Three Guys and Their Nipples How some Austin runners took on the business of chafing
By Sara Sanchez
ost athletes, especially runners, experience chafing at some point in their lives. Male runners taking on long-distance training may have the misfortune to experience nipple chafing. This occurs when the sensitive skin of the nipples is exposed to prolonged rubbing; breastfeeding can also cause the condition, as can friction from shirts and other substances, such as badges and logos. In severe cases, the skin is rubbed open and bleeding occurs, resulting in those red streaks spotted on shirts toward the end of long running events and an unpleasant, painful stinging—especially when water hits the area. Ouch! Many runners work to find their own solutions to this uncomfortable problem. Some apply protection in the form of petroleum jelly, which can stain fabric, or in petroleum-free products such as BodyGlide; some use Band-Aids (which often come off when skin gets sweaty), and others even try tape, 68 • au sti nf Itm agazi ne.c om • 01.2 015
which can create a problem during removal. Three Austin friends decided to try to find a reliable and marketable solution to this annoyingly painful problem. James Dodds, Stuart Frazier, and Travis Power met while they were in college at the University of Texas. The idea for their product, called NipStrips, came from personal experience and recognizing a need in the market. Dodds, who had often used a generic fix for chafing, said he wanted a lasting solution. “I was always fixing things with duct tape,” said Dodds, but he needed—and felt others would benefit from—a more reliable product, something that gave athletes one less thing to worry about on race day. The team began product testing; this research took about six to 12 months, and some 25 to 30 different items were evaluated in the process. It was important to first identify the pros and cons of each version and materials; they then worked with 3M to find the right adhesive, which turned out to be silicon based, that lim-
We asked you to vote for the people and places that keep Austin fit. Here’s who and what made the cut.