COMMUNITY BUILDER & VISIONARY STAIR CLIMBER, TACOMA
At A Glance
- Founded the Unleashed at Stadium Bowl race in 2011
- Co-founder of the Kindred Souls Foundation
- Retired Army National Guard major
Upon taking command of his battalion at the Tacoma Armory, Brian realized he didn’t know the 35 officers serving with him personally, “whether they liked scrambled or fried eggs,” for example. Knowing that sports can be the biggest indicator of character, he scheduled monthly stair runs at Stadium Bowl as part of their physical training—followed by his officers’ favorite types of eggs at the Hob Nob restaurant.
His philosophy? “If this is going to stop you, you can’t lead my soldiers.”
Officer physical training soon became the highlight of the battalion’s month. Brian’s officers grew into a great team, an outcome of the struggle and camaraderie they shared on the stairs.
Within the next 11 weeks, Brian and his wife, Kelly, quickly organized the inaugural Unleashed race with no prior planning experience. Unleashed participants run or walk all the Stadium Bowl stairs, “weaving the stairs” by running up one staircase and down the other.
The race proceeds benefit Kindred Souls Foundation, a nonprofit Brian and Kelly founded to place lesser-adoptable animals into long-term foster homes. “Unleashed and Kindred Souls Foundation is the perfect fusion of who Kelly and I are as individuals and is exactly what we’re meant to do.”
Though the fastest racers clock in around 10 minutes, the event is open to all, regardless of age, fitness level, gender or race.
“Many people have never gone in all the way, so I wanted to create a space safe enough for participants to give their all and see themselves differently,” Brian said.
He explained that while “nothing destroys the human ego like all-out physical effort,” it also reveals your relation to others, allowing you to recognize how hard life can get. “That’s when you realize one should drop the judgment. Other people matter.”
On average, the race takes 22 minutes. There’s even a two-loop option for 3,256 steps total.
After the race’s conclusion, participants are invited to visit information booths representing different community partners, encouraging people to create community.
Brian hopes Unleashed will become a two-day event with 10,000 participants and 150 community partners.