US Cross Country
Head Coach: Mark Oftedal
Mark moved from his home state of Illinois to Salt Lake City in 1983 to “see what it was like to live around mountains instead of corn and soybean fields.” He’s been running as long as he can remember: racing alongside rocking boxcars on dusty gravel roads in elementary school; plodding the endless black-topped, humid, country miles that divide acres of green; pacing cinder, shale, and rubberized tracks through high school and college track programs; and now savoring many miles of mountain trails.
Bringing along course work, in various fields of interest, from Eastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois, Mark received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Utah with studies in philosophy, anthropology, dance and English. In 1994 he received a teaching certification through the Masters of Education program at the University of Utah. Wishing to share his love for running he began coaching in 1996. It is his hope that the runners he works with will find a life-long love for running.
Mark is married to Sarah Wright, whom he first craned his neck over at a high school track meet – but didn’t meet until coming to Utah. Together, with their son Eli (also a runner) they enjoy making their home in Utah.