Team Run Amok | The Speed Project '23

Team Run Amok at 2022 TSP

At 4 am on the 24th of March, Team Run Amok will line up at the Santa Monica Pier for the second year in a row. They are united by a common goal: run to Las Vegas as fast as their bodies (and conditions) will allow. The desert beckons, leaving no choice but to answer the call. 

The Speed Project is an unsanctioned, no rules, team running race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The aforementioned team is made up of some psychedelic characters. They have to be a bit on the wild side to make a half-baked plan like their's work. We caught up with the team to get a bead on who they are, and why they do what they do. 

Without further ado, meet Team Run Amok - a crew of artists and beatniks, punks and athletes. 

Travis Weller - "Athlete"

Hailing from the Alleghenies in PA, and now residing in San Rafael, California, Travis Weller is a student of balance, running, and art. No stranger to long days on his feet, Travis is a successful ultrarunner, taking home podium finishes in distances ranging from 50 kilometers to the coveted 100 mile outing. When he’s not out in his local mountains, you can find him working in his creative space, or preparing a meal for his family of five. 

What fuels your running addiction? 

“Seeking a sense of mind and body balance is my main motivator to run. It can unlock an emotional space where creativity and compassion thrive. Most importantly, it's fun.”


Top 5 albums right now?

Natty Locks Dub - Winston Edwards

Dove - Cymande

Authentic Hawaiian Songs - Marlene Sai 

La Rebajada de Los Sonideros 1962-1983 - Saturno 2000 

Mr. Brown Eyed Soul - Sunny & The Sunliners 

Travis Weller in Roark Run Amok Gear From the TS Weller Collection

Leah Lange - "Athlete"

Leah is a nordic skier by trade. And a badass one at that. Taking home 3 NCAA titles while racing for the University of Utah, and continuing on to race professionally, she is an absolute weapon on skis. And, it turns out, in running shoes. Last year’s Speed Project was her first road race, and she dropped a startling 6:45 mile average. She’s one of those. Currently residing in Bozeman, MT, Leah can be found in the mountains, summer or winter. 

What fuels your running addiction? 

“Just getting better has been fueling my recent treadmill addiction. But in the past, it was just the freedom of running outside along a trail with no other obligations. It’s freeing.”

Top 5 albums right now?

"Whatever Nash’s are."

Leah, Team Run Amok at TSP 2022

Luke Jay - "Athlete"

Colorado native Luke Jay is your quintessential outdoorsman. The guy you want to be when you grow up. Luke grew up fishing, hunting, snowboarding and exploring the high alpine of the Colorado backcountry, stumbling on endurance sports in his mid twenties. He ran his first 100 mile race in 2013 and has been connected to the magic of ultrarunning ever since. 

What fuels your running addiction?

"I find that running is the best way for me to stay grounded. I receive so much good earth energy from being out there. Running makes me a better human, dad, and husband. Running keeps me motivated, humble, and honest. I love the process that is running and am grateful for the movement through nature and life."

Top 5 albums right now?

Milo Goes to College - Descendents


Cool it Down - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Kid A - Radiohead

GLOW ON - Turnstile

Luke Jay; Team Run Amok

Laura Cortez - "Athlete"

Laura is a pinnacle in the Denver community, both on and off the trail. On top of her successful ultra running career, Laura is the founder of Trailtinos, a running group for Hispanic and Latinx athletes in the Denver area, and cofounder of Run Wild Trail Camp, a day camp focused on teaching youth from underserved communities about the environment through running. When she’s not running, Laura loves walking her three dogs, and skinning up her local mountains. 

What fuels your running addiction?

"I've begun to love how it challenges me as a person to actively make decisions that will get me to where I want to be. Like, I can choose to do my workout properly, I can choose to half-ass it, I can choose to not do post-run stretching/PT.  Ultimately the only person it will impact is me. It's a challenge to be the person and runner I want to be, and I strongly feel like being consistent and dedicated to this craft helps me be more consistent and dedicated in other parts of my life."

Top 5 albums right now?

"I’ll give you my top 5 songs." 

- Genesis by Grimes

- Sentimental Trash by Sweet Valley

- New Theory by Washed Out

- Pop Song by STRFKR

- El Chico del Apartamento 512 and Baila Esta Cumbia by Selena

Laura Cortez: Team Run Amok TSP 2022

Rio Lakeshore - "Athlete"

Rio: Father, writer, explorer, earth empath, trail dancer, all around solid human. With Los Angeles, Inglewood, the Mojave and the PNW in his DNA, Rio has diligently cultivated the spiritual element of running, letting that guide his path. 

What fuels your running addiction?

"Catharsis - The mental and physical clarity is highly addictive!"

Top 5 albums right now?

Body and Soul - John Coltrane

Kirtan: Turiya Sings - Alice Coltrane

I against I - Bad Brains

Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread - Lee “Scratch” Perry

Rio Lakeshore; Team Run Amok

Brandon Johnson - "Athlete"

Fast as hell and an absolute menace on aux, BJ refused to answer our questions, responding that he runs for "Ubi" - which is apparently some kind of ice cream. He did give us his favorite albums, though.

Top 5 albums right now?  

2001 - Dr. Dre

Blackout! - Method Man & Redman


The Battle of Los Angeles - Rage Against the Machine

Swimming - Mac Miller

BJ: Team Run Amok

Ryan Sirianni - "Road Crew"

A fixer by trade, Ryan is known by the world as Rod Stewart. Put anything in front of him, and he’ll figure out a way through: Modelo and Corralejo in hand. The last time he ran was four years ago in Denver, catching up to his U-Haul van in traffic. Carrying an eighteen’r of Modelo. 

Top 5 albums right now? 

How Could Hell Get Any Worse - Bad Religion

Bloom - Rufus Du Sol

African Roots Act. 1 - Wackies

Beauty and the Beat - Go-Go's

Live at the Casbah - Dead Moon

Ryan Siriani; Team Run Amok Crew

Corey Brindley - "Road Crew"

When asked, Corey informed us that "This is my second time doing the TSP thing. Nothin' like stretching a 5 hour drive into 40... I'm more of the hype man for this event, sprinkling in some personality from behind the wheel... you wanna take this next leg slow? Maybe I'll pace ya, might even sing to you while you're questioning your life choices running through Death Valley. Regardless, we're getting you to the finish line. First cold beer is on me.. After that, I'll probably get you another. We'll see."

Top 5 albums right now? 

Promised Heights - Cymande
Link Wray - Link Wray
New Skin For The Old Ceremony - Leonard Cohen
Baltimore - Nina Simone
Loaded - The Velvet Underground

Corey Brindley; Team Run Amok Crew

Nash Mader - "Road Crew"

When he's not running long miles in the hills or skiing the California high country, Nash can be found drinking beers out of his shoe. Where did we find these guys? No stranger to the road, he's ready with a pace and a hug when the night gets long.  

Top 5 albums right now? 

Cornell 5/8/77 - Grateful Dead

Bird and Diz - Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker

Home - Billy Strings

Bryter Layter - Nick Drake

Horses - Patti Smith

Nash Nader; Team Run Amok Crew

Ryan Hitzel - "Road Crew"

With the high desert as his second home and 4-low his favorite gear, you best not put anything in Ryan's way. Known to the world as "Elvis", he will always get you where you need to go, sometimes without even knowing it. 

Ryan Hitzel; Team Run Amok Crew

TJ Bottom - "Road Crew"

This is TJ's second year in the desert driving, pacing, and providing a shoulder to cry on. So you can consider him an expert. When asked, he told us that "[his] intimate relationship with The Speed Project consists of a unique concoction of scorpions, stomach acid, flatulence, hip-hop, double upper decky lip pillows, insomnia, shoes, gels, and belly giggles."

Top 5 albums right now? 

The Score - Fugees

Expectations - AJ Legrand

Collection 2 - Misfits

The Chronic - Dr. Dre

Destroy the Machines - Earth Crisis

TJ Bottom; TEam Run Amok

Snacks - "Road Crew/ Photographer"

As Team Run Amok's resident road dog and photographer, Ryan Valasek, aka "Snacks", is fresh to long desert runs, but a veteran when it comes to sandbagged missions and self inflicted pain. Catch him making some magic with his arsenal of cameras and first time TSP enthusiasm. 

Top 5 albums right now?                            

Back in Black - AC/DC

Exodus - Bob Marley

The Wall - Pink Floyd

LA Woman - The Doors

Come As You Are - Nirvana

Ryan Valasek; Team Run Amok Photographer

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