GU Energy Labs announces ultrarunner and Indigenous advocate Callie Vinson as 2023 WSER 100 entry recipient.
GU Energy Labs is excited to announce that ultrarunner Callie Vinson will receive the company’s Western States 100 entry for 2023. Vinson, a member of the Choctaw community of the desert southwest and an advocate for body inclusivity and positivity in running, will be representing the Indigenous advocacy nonprofit Rising Hearts and GU Energy Labs at the historic California race this coming June.
“I never once dreamed I’d have the opportunity to run such a prestigious race like Western States, and thanks to GU Energy Labs and Rising Hearts, I don’t have to dream. It’s already a reality,” Vinson says about the opportunity.
In October of 2022, Vinson completed a major running milestone—the Moab 240, a multi-day ultra race with nearly 30,000ft of vertical gain through diverse and mountainous terrain around Moah, UT. Successful completion of this challenging race was the culmination of a years-long journey for Vinson, who in 2013 started down the path to losing over 200lbs. Incorporating first walking, then jogging and running into her life ultimately kickstarted a running career that has grown to include advocating for more inclusive definitions of what it means to be a runner. Vinson doesn’t stop there, however, and is also a vocal advocate for Indigenous athletes. She often helps to raise awareness for communities like Native Women Running, and works to spread the word about Indigenous participation and representation through her social media channels.
“Representation matters...we wanted to give this opportunity to a runner with passion and a purpose who will inspire us all...every time we step out on the trails.” - Celia Camargo, GU Energy Labs
Jordan Marie Daniel, founder of Rising Hearts, says about being able to work with Vinson, “We are so excited to support, uplift, and celebrate Callie as she prepares for and runs at Western States. She is an inspiration, a powerful and prominent voice within the Indigenous and running communities, and really promotes what we need to see and hear everyday, body positivity.”
With its support of Vinson at WSER, GU Energy Labs is proud to deepen its kinship with Rising Hearts, the Indigenous-led organization working to promote and amplify under-represented voices in the running community. In 2022, the GU WSER entry went to Indigenous artist and ultra runner Yatika Starr Fields, who painted the 2022 official race poster, spoke on an all-Indigenous panel, and, with Rising Hearts, facilitated the first ever land acknowledgment at the race. In collaboration with Rising Hearts’ Running on Native Lands initiative, GU is working to secure land acknowledgements at a number of races it sponsors, with an emphasis on centering local Indigenous people and their stories.
“Representation matters. As a sponsor of such a prestigious race, we wanted to give this opportunity to a runner with passion and a purpose who will inspire us all to find a deeper sense of meaning every time we step out on the trails,” says Celia Camargo, Director of Community and Purpose at GU Energy Labs. “We can’t be more excited to support Callie; you’ll find her volunteering at local races in the Phoenix area, hosting training runs and cultivating a welcoming, inclusive community and we are thrilled to welcome her to Western States, the birthplace of the GU Energy Gel!”