Ras Vaughan's Unsupported, Sextuple-Rim-to-Rim
UltraPedestrian sets OKT (Only Known Time) for epic Grand Canyon route
Jason Vaughan, 41, widely known as Ras, and who performs music under the name Jahson Ites, has become somewhat of a living folk hero in the Pacific-Northwest running community, and the only races he’ll likely ever win are the ones in which no one else participates.
A tall, lanky, Rastafarian family man with waist-length dreadlocks who runs in red, yellow and green and lives in a cabin in the middle of sparsely populated, north-central Washington, he’s perhaps the best-known (and most-loved) “back of the packer” in the area. His motto is “An ultramarathon is like a mullet: business up front and party in the back,” and he has been making a compelling case the last few years that slower running is better running.
He’s also at the front end of a project that is likely to intrigue ultrarunners and, well, just about everyone—establishing "Only Known Times" (OKTs) on almost incomprehensible solo endurance outings. Last summer, that meant running around Washington’s Mount Rainier semi-unsupported twice in one push (he picked up a food cache at the end of the first loop, and did have pacers for much of the second), and, recently, in early May, he ran Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon six times, carrying all of his own supplies and finishing in 68 hours 10 minutes.
I sat down to talk with him because the world needs to know about this man.