by Zander

March 20, 2024

In the spring of 2023, Finn Wardman passed on from this world at the age of 20. To carry on his spirit of adventure and passion, Finn's father, Geordie, set up a foundation in Finn's name. This foundation will provide opportunities for students to travel the world and gain life-changing experiences outside the classroom. To raise money for the foundation, Geordie, along with a good Bermudian friend, Chase, are planning to run 100 miles in Finn's honor with the goal of raising $100k. For Geordie, the idea was sparked on a run before Finn's service and has since snowballed into over $90,000 raised for the Finn Wardman Foundation with the Zion 100-mile ultra less than a month away. All donations will go towards setting up a Finn-inspired charity that will capture his love of life and spirit of adventure while changing the course of students' lives. Leading up to the 100-mile event, we are inspired to help Geordie and Chase get across the finish line. Our Executive Director, Zander, sat down with Geordie to talk more about raising $100k by running a 100-mile ultramarathon.

Zander: Could you tell us about the cause you're raising funds for?

Geordie: The funds that we are raising are for a new underprivileged student grant that we are calling the World Explorer Student Grants. These grants are dedicated in loving memory to my son who died last year at the age of 20. He was the love of our lives, and we have been devastated at his passing from a senseless accident. He died at his peak when he had the most potential and biggest dreams, we wanted to pass on his spirit to those less fortunate. The World Explorer Student Grants are meant to fulfill other children’s dreams in the form of adventure, passion and love of life.  The student grants are tailored scholarships for individuals to pursue a lifelong dream they never could due to financial restrictions.  

Some examples of grants could be taking a leadership course in Alaska, pursuing a marine biology research diving course in Australia, training for an Olympic ski team in Utah, etc. The idea is to enable students to pursue their dreams in locations where they have the best facilities and bring those skills back home to their community. We can't wait to see what proposals the applicants come up with! The fund will be designed to continue in perpetuity. 

Zander: Why did you choose ultra running as a mechanism for raising funds?

Geordie: That is a good question, because I wouldn’t consider myself a runner and I don’t particularly like running.  I would say I have a love hate for running. The hate comes from the pain of logging long hours, tearing up my feet or being so stiff I can’t even walk after a 6 hour run. The love comes from the peace of being outside, the adventure of pushing yourself and finding new areas to explore that normally you would never go.  While I have always done a bit of running for exercise, running 100 miles is not something I had ever done, nor was I interested in doing this type of distance. When my son died, the idea of raising $100,000 to run 100 miles just came to my head. 100k for 100 miles. It was short, simple and memorable.  It sounded scary but worthy of a tribute to my son. When I asked Chase if he thought I could do it, he said, "yes", and I will do it with you. From that moment on, we were both locked in.

While nothing could come close to the loss we have experienced, this project has given some semblance of purpose and meaning to carry on his spirit, passion for adventure, and love of life. 

Zander: What has your fundraising journey looked like?

Geordie: Chase and I started thinking about raising these funds in early December to make sure we had enough time to make the $100,000 goal by April 13th. We didn’t send out our first email until just after Xmas, and the initial response was massively positive.  On Jan 1, we were only at $6,000, but by Jan 10th we reached our 30% goal. By February 1, I think we were at $50,000 and now we are at $90,000.

The biggest efforts came from a few emails that Chase sent, my wife sent, and my mother sent. I made a few social media posts in the beginning and the word spread quickly on Facebook and Instagram. I made a presentation at a school that my son attended and did two interviews with some local papers which helped a lot. Our strategy now is to do pretty much the same. I will make a few more social media posts announcing that we are coming to the end of our fundraising and to make a donation. We are doing this article and I'm thinking about doing an interview or two on running podcasts. 

Zander: What made you choose the Zion 100 mile event?

Geordie: The original idea was that I would choose the charity and Chase would choose the event. My condition was that the course be somewhat flat. Chase loves the Crested Butte area of CO, and likely UT is close to his heart. The course is also relatively flat, with it being 10,000 feet of vert spread out over 100 miles.  I live in Switzerland, and the same 100 mile race 40 miles from my house is called the UTMB in Chamonix, France which has 60,000 feet vertical. That is not fun.

I don’t know this area of Utah very well, so I am excited to get to know it better. The weather seems mild and it looks like a lovely place to do some exploring and running.

Zander: How can people get involved with the Finn Wardman Foundation?

Geordie: That is easy. Share this article and find more information at

With the rise of ultra running, we have seen more and more individuals leverage these events as platforms for raising awareness for causes close to their hearts. Running 100 miles is an enormous feat of determination and endurance that captures the imagination and inspires others. At Wander Project we aim to support individuals committed to raising awareness and funds for a cause they care about through running, turning the force of each footstep into a force for good. You can support Wander Project through the Finn Wardman team's race page and turn your running into purpose through any of our partner events!

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