Runner, Cat Herder, Garbage Man, & Mad Moose Events Director, Justin Ricks (Ep.13)


  • Justin’s background in running (4:38)
  • From the corporate world to living in a camper (11:15)
  • The origin of Mad Moose Events (17:47)
  • How scared were you to leave your secure job? (20:24)
  • What goes into putting on a good race? (26:12)
  • How has race directing affected your own running? (31:16)
  • What does directing a race actually involve? (32:37)
  • What’s your favorite race to put on? (34:45)
  • What’s your coaching style? (39:26)
  • #familygoals — their daily family morning runs (42:18)
  • What race do you want to do the most? (48:10)

This week’s episode is a bit of a prodigal son story, because our guest today, Justin Ricks, was an accomplished young runner who walked away entirely from the sport early into his college running career — he just dropped running completely. But some years later he found himself drawn back to running, and he gave up a very secure corporate job, moved his family into a camper, and started to put on race events.

Then, Justin and his family kept putting on more and more race events each year under the Mad Moose Events moniker, and as you’ll hear, Mad Moose is very much a ‘whole family’ affair.

But Justin and his family don’t merely make a living in running, they also live to run, and they literally run together – the whole family – every single morning.

And despite putting on over 20 races a year in Colorado and Utah, Justin himself somehow manages to score some very impressive race results when he himself decides to race, including his 1st place finish two weeks ago at the Silverton Ultra 55k; his 5th place finish last month at the Leadville Silver Rush 50 miler, and you’ll find a whole lot of other wins, podiums, and top 10 finishes of his over on

So I talked to Justin about this rather unconventional and very interesting life that he and his family are constructing; we talk about walking away from and returning to running; the origins of Mad Moose events; whether he intends to put on even more events in the coming years, which event he himself is most interested in racing in someday, and yes, i ask him about those really improbable-sounding daily morning runs with the whole family.

Jonathan Ellsworth talks with Mad Moose Events Director, Justin Ricks, on Blister's Off The Couch podcast
The Ricks Family. (photo by Chris Hunter)

1 comment on “Runner, Cat Herder, Garbage Man, & Mad Moose Events Director, Justin Ricks (Ep.13)”

  1. I have been enjoying Mad Moose events for a few years. I don’t run ultras so many of the races are too long for me, but the Ricks family is always fun to see.

Leave a Comment