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Elite Athletes

Different by Creed.  Uncommon by Deed.

John Maxwell

2021 Salomon Pro Squad
Ultra-Trail Runner

John Maxwell is a 32-year-old Ultra-Trail Runner based in Sedro-Woolley Washington.  A husband and father of two boys, John is a family focused athlete who shares his love for running with everyone around him.  John first discovered his passion for running in 2010 while attending the University of Washington running on the Burke Gilman Trail in-between classes and made his marathon debut at the 2011 Eugene Marathon.  Over the next 5 years he completed over 15 marathons including the 2013 Boston Marathon.  

John shifted focus to trail running after finishing the White River 50 Miler in August 2017.  In just a few years, John competed in a number of highly competitive races including a 2nd Place finish at the 2018 Squamish 50/50, 6th place in the 2019 Inaugural Whistler Alpine Meadows 100 Miler and set what was the new Unsupported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Wonderland Trail in 2019 (Loop around Mountain Rainier).

Although 2020 looked very different in all aspects of life, John stayed focused, and in September set out on the Washington Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with aspirations to set the FKT.  After 6 days of continuous movement, pushing personal boundaries, both physically and mentally, John was forced to stop 400 miles into the journey due to small tears in his Achilles limiting mobility in his left leg.  After 8 weeks of recovery from damage incurred on the PCT, John set his sights on doing an informal 100 miler.  In January 2021, training smart, dialing in nutrition and taking lessons learned from the PCT, John set a new personal record at 18:35:51 on a route with over 14,000 feet of vertical gain.  

There’s still a lot of unknown for 2021.  Rest assured, when John’s not spending time with family, he’ll be training hard for competing as an Elite Athlete at TDS® (acronym for "Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie" - following the footprints of the Dukes of Savoie) by Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in France this summer. 

Theo Rlayang

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter

Theo Rlayang is an Undefeated Professional MMA Fighter and aspiring entrepreneur. He is a 5X MMA Champ and #1 ranked in North Carolina with 12 fights: 6-1 as an Amateur and 5-0 (3 KOs) as an undefeated Pro Fighter. His goal is to get to the UFC and become the best in the world. 

Theo was born in the central highlands of Vietnam. He is an ethnic minority from the Bunong Tribe. He grew up in poverty.  His family of six children lived in a small village in the mountains of Vietnam. He was bullied a lot growing up and had anxiety and trauma from many near death experiences as a kid. 

The turning point for Theo was in 2002 when he and his family moved to the United States as refugees.  Theo was 8 years old when he arrived.  His family didn’t speak any English.  It was difficult for them to transition to a new way of life.  Luckily, they had amazing sponsors who helped them with adapting. 

In school, Theo played soccer, wrestled and ran track. He fell in love with sports which gave him confidence and allowed him to express himself. His wrestling coach, Cliff Thompson, got him interested in mixed martial arts. Coach Thompson was a pro fighter and wrestling coach for Page High School. Coach Thompson was able to encourage Theo to go to college and wrestle for University of North Carolina, Pembroke.  Theo later dropped out of college to pursue his dream of becoming a professional MMA fighter. 

Theo’s big break came when he worked at a nail salon in Virginia where his Boss Danny and Sophia (Danny’s wife) taught him how to do nails, and hooked him up with a fight promoter. Theo took his first fight with only 2 week’s notice against a much heavier and higher-level fighter who had over 6 years of experience. Theo trained himself for the fight with no coaches or training partners. He got beat up badly with bruises all over his face. He cried after the fight. At that moment, Theo vowed to never taste defeat again. 

Theo found Primal Martial Arts, coached by Meshack Adams, and Greensboro Sambo Judo, coached by with Ben Rothrock, in Greensboro, NC, that helped him dominate his subsequent fights. He was 6-1 in his amateur career with 3 Championship belts. In 2020, Theo made his Professional debut during the Coronavirus Pandemic. He trained at different MMA super camps to sharpen his skills and train with the best coaches and fighters in the world. 

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