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Meet James Zwick, of Sports-Am

James Zwick is the mastermind behind the Sports-Am events hosted around Utah. Races like the Cold Turkey Run, Run La Caile, and even the brutal Hidden Peak Challenge started out simply with the thought of, “I could have a race here.” Today, Sports-Am holds many running, cycling, and even snowshoeing events for participants to test their mettle, try out a new distance or event, and have a great time, on some of the best running routes that Salt Lake has to offer.

                                 James is an avid runner and cyclist, as well as a participant in other sports. One day many years ago James                                         was running in City Creek Canyon and thought it would be a great place to hold a run. The catch? He wanted to                                 host a run on Thanksgiving Day. Friends told him that no one would want to show up on Thanksgiving to run,                                     but James said, “I don’t care, I’m going to do it anyway!” That first year, 50 people showed up, and in the years                                   following, participant numbers increased exponentially to the point where he has nearly 1000 people                                                   registering each year, and had to have a sister event in Millcreek Canyon so more people could participate.                                         That first year, the Cold Turkey Run was born, as was James’ career as a race coordinator.

How does James come up with such great places to hold events? It turns out it’s just a matter of organizing events around some of his favorite routes.

Lucky for James, he has an excellent crew of people working with Sports-Am, (Wendy Kelly, Gina Williams, Audrey DeArcos, Denny Moore, Chris Wolfe, Grant Dansie, Geno Attencio and the list goes on. James has come up with some incredibly creative ideas to set his company apart.


                                Sports-Am contributes, along with many others, to the physical well being of all who engage in, and participat​e                                 in activities to improve life. Sports-Am extends it's contribution to include Special Olympics Utah in helping to                                   bring dreams come true for someone like Mitchell.  When registering for any Sports-Am event, you have the                                       opportunity to make a cash contribution.  Thank you


Sports-Am also has a partnership with The Road Home, that works with  individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Salt Lake valley. For each event, Sports-Am outlines
 different items that The Road Home is needing (it usually varies with the seasons), and participants then donate  food, clothing, blankets, or whatever else may be needed at the time.

                           James also does biking events and started the City Creek bike sprint, a laid-back bike race along one of his                                         favorite routes, the Widowmaker, from the base of Snowbird Ski Resort to Hidden Peak, and the East Canyon Echo                           Road Race, a US Cycling Federation sanctioned race that covers 60 miles. There’s even the Snowshoe Stomp, a 5K                              snowshoe race the second week of Jamuary.

Runners, cyclists and snowshoers are guaranteed to find something they’ll enjoy.

With so many events to choose from, it can’t be easy for James to pick a favorite event "they are all so different. How can I say which one is my favorite?”

It’s clear that he really cares about each race and loves each one for different reasons. One thing that is absolutely certain, though, is that James works very hard to create a challenging but fun event for all participants. He even has an official mascot—his dog, Bella. She started out going on runs with James, and comes to events as well. “She’s a kid’s dog, the runners love her. She always gets treats.”

And on race day, keep an eye out for James and Bella; more than likely, they’ll be one of many with a happy smile on their face.
 

Enjoy!