MormonTimes.com is racing ahead with the formation of a new running team.

The MormonTimes.com Racing Team includes top Mormon runners, as well as some Mormon celebrity runners selected to represent the site while bringing recognition to the sport.

Currently the team comprises 11 members from all over the country, yet Bob Wood, team manager, hopes to attract more runners in the future.

"I believe in this," Wood said about MormonTimes.com.

As a former agent who has represented Olympians from 23 different countries and someone who served in various capacities at USA Track and Field, including on the executive committee and board of directors, Wood knows the business. He also knows that the MormonTimes.com Racing Team will help promote both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the sport of running to members and nonmembers, runners and non-runners alike.

It was up to Wood to get a noticeable team that can win races and get the word out about the site.

"I am hoping to make it a really great team," Wood said. "But I have to stay on top of it to keep it talented."

The team includes an Olympian, several beauty queens, former college athletes, and one member of the Utah National Guard.

"They are all members and all believe in this," Wood said about the athletes and their belief in the church and the sport of running.

The MormonTimes.com Racing Team includes:

• Grant Robison, a 2004 Olympian in the 1,500-meter who graduated from Stanford and is the NCAA champion in the 1,500.

• Jill Stevens, Miss Utah 2007, who served in Afghanistan as a medic. She has completed 12 marathons and won the 2003 Afghanistan Marathon.

• Kip Kangogo, the assistant track coach at Lethbridge College and former BYU and TCU All-American in track and cross country.

• Lindsey Dunkley, a former BYU runner who recently won two 5-kilometer races in Provo.

• Nathan Robison, former BYU runner, son of BYU track coach Mark Robison and grandson of legendary track coach Clarence Robison.

• Angela Olson, a returned missionary who served in Singapore, was one of the top high school cross country runners in the state of Utah.

• Bryan Lindsay, former BYU runner and nephew of KSL-TV anchor Bruce Lindsay.

• Cynthia Losee Fowler, former Weber State All-American who placed fifth in the Houston Marathon in January 2008 and has competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials and Boston Marathon.

• Julia Bachison, who represented Utah in the Miss USA Pageant in 2008 and the Miss America Pageant in 2006, and was captain of her high school cross country team in Ogden, Utah.

• Heather Anderson, who represented Utah in the Miss USA Pageant in 2007, is a professional runway model, ran track and played basketball in high school, and represents the D.A.R.E. program in Utah and on a national level.

• Jenna Jensen, a recent BYU graduate who was captain of the cross country team and placed seventh in the Mountain West Conference 10,000-meter event.

• Paul Pilkington, the team's coach, is the current distance coach at Weber State and the former winner of the Los Angeles and Houston marathons.

The MormonTimes.com Racing Team will debut this weekend at the New York Women's Mini Marathon in Central Park on Saturday. Fowler, Bachison, Anderson and Jensen will compete in the race.

Visit MormonTimes.com for the latest updates as the race progresses, with photos and blogs from the athletes. The site will continue to bring readers coverage of all the Mormon

Times.com Racing Team's events, including blogs from the athletes, select live coverage from certain events, photo galleries, and question-and-answer sessions with Pilkington about training, increasing endurance levels and making running a habit worth loving.


E-mail: jlarson@desnews.com