THE NEWSMAGAZINE FOR RUNNING SPECIALTY RETAILERS / RUNNINGINSIGHT.COM
OCTOBER 1, 2019
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
There is growing interest in running ‘America’s Distance’ As Seen on Instagram ... page 10 Dates announced for Best Stores in America .. page 16
Reviving the Mile
Why – and how – running stores are getting involved in mile races. / By Daniel P. Smith
rendan Barrett recalls traveling to Madison Square Garden as a teen to watch the famed Wanamaker Mile. Those fond memories of watching one of the globe’s marquee mile races spurred Barrett and his team at the Sayville Running Company in Sayville, NY, to contemplate their own one-mile event. “[Five-kilometer] races are a dime a dozen, but the Mile is a classic, digestible distance done a lot less frequently,” Barrett says. When former Sayville Running Company employee Kyle Merber became a Hoka One One-sponsored athlete, Barrett and Merber seized the opportunity. The duo put together a fancy presentation for Hoka leadership on an all-comers track meet built around mile races. “Before we even got to page one, they were on board,” Barrett recalls of his meeting with Hoka leaders. In 2015, the Hoka One One Long Island Mile debuted, bringing about 200
participants and upwards of 1500 spectators together for an evening of one-mile races. Today, fueled by its established reputation, Sayville Running Company’s energized commitment and generous prize money from Hoka, the Long Island Mile is one of the nation’s premier mile running events. The 2019 edition of the event, held Wednesday, Sept. 4 at Bay Shore Senior High, featured more than 300 total participants competing in front of some 2000 spectators. There were a dozen sections of community races, a kids’ race, a sub-elite heat and two pro races, including a men’s field in which nine athletes broke the fourminute barrier. While it’s the elite athletes who capture many of the headlines, Barrett says the Long Island Mile is just as much a community celebration. The event includes elementary school students churning through four laps as well as people in their 70s plodding out 15-minute miles. Every year, Barrett says,
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new participants show as the intimidation factor wanes. “People can wrap their head around the Mile. They remember it from gym class and understand the symmetry of it,” Barrett says. “It’s doable, yet underdone.” That, however, is beginning to change as race directors, running stores and others embrace the Mile to encourage fitness and generate interest in the sport. At the turn of the century, the U.S. hosted approximately 330 road mile events of the competitive variety, according to data from Bring Back the Mile, a national campaign to promote the mile run. Today, that number is closing in on 900 as the number of road mile finishers has surged from 70,000 to 160,000 over the last decade alone. “The Mile is ‘America’s Distance’ and a number of people have rolled up their sleeves and added the Mile to their local calendar,” Bring Back the Mile founder Ryan Lamppa says.
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Reviving the Mile (continued)
The Dart for Art has become a fixture on the racing scene in Ann Arbor, MI. The one-mile road race is held each July in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Street Fair.
There’s the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines, IA, the Run Forrest Run Front Street Mile in Lahaina, HI, the Manzano Mile in Austin, TX, the Salt City Mile in Utah and, the granddaddy of them all, the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, an annual affair that boasts nearly 8000 participants. Seven years ago, the local arts group in Ann Arbor, MI, approached Ann Arbor Running Company owner Nick Stanko with the idea of hosting a 5k in conjunction with the town’s annual art fair. Stanko urged them to consider a mile race instead. “There wasn’t a mile in Ann Arbor and the mile distance opens up an event to the full spectrum of people, from elite 4
In Binghamton, NY, the nation’s earliest St. Patrick’s Day Parade gets an annual dose of running flair with The Belmar Parade Day Mile.
runners to parents pushing the jogger,” Stanko says. The Dart for Art is now an Ann Arbor staple. On July 15, more than 600 runners tackled the one-mile course that touches downtown Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus. Attracting young and old, competitive racers and newbies, the event also features awards for the fastest team and the largest team. “We want to support every level of running and the mile is a great way to do that,” Stanko says. On the first Saturday in March, the City of Binghamton, NY, hosts the nation’s earliest St. Patrick’s Day parade and upwards of 30,000 people line the one-mile parade route. Before the parade kicks off, however, © 2019 Diversified Communications
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Reviving the Mile (continued) Promoting ‘America’s Distance’ IN 2012, AFTER years of lamenting the Mile’s dwindling presence on American soil, former Running USA media director Ryan Lamppa concocted Bring Back the Mile, a national ca mpaign to pro mote and champion the Mile as “America’s Distance.” Lamppa and his team’s earnest efforts – combined with U.S. milers earning some lofty honors on the international stage and some forward-thinking race directors – have
helped shine a spotlight on the Mile and spur the creation of one-mile races across the U.S. “This has snowballed and turned into an active movement and I like to think our effor ts have had a nice ripple effect on the sport,” Lamppa says. To build on that momentum, Lamppa views running stores as key partners. As p ro mine nt f itne s s advocates in their communities, running
stores play an integral role in e nc our ag ing people to move, Lamppa says, and the Mile presents a wonderful opportunity to invite participation, ignite competition and spur interest. “Whether it’s following Bring Back the Mile on social media, entering a mile event or starting a mile race in their community, running stores are just the grassroots partners we need to beat this drum,” Lamppa says. n
nearly 400 runners own the street for The Belmar Parade Day Mile. Participants range from former collegiate track stars to greenclad mot hers a nd daughters to a running T.rex head. For several participants, it’s their first-ever race, says Jenna Jenks of Binghamton’s Confluence Running, a driving force behind the now-annual event. “The mile is just a different beast, a lot less scary, a lot less intimidating,” Jenks says. “It’s something accessible for people just starting out and the more we can
cultivate beginners, the better.” Piggybacking on the pa rade, mea nwh ile, m a k e s t h e eve n t ’s logistics much more manageable for Confluence Running and its partners. There’s no need to shut down roads or pay extra for police. And given the euphoria for the subsequent parade, runners appreciate a crowd lining the entire route. “A lot of customers tell us this is their favorite race of the year. It’s short, sweet, fun and full of great energy,” Jenks says. “That’s good for them and us.” n
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Fleet Feet Rochester Opens New Location Smaller store is the third in the area from two run specialty retail veterans.
leet Feet Rochester has opened a third store in Victory, NY, east of its other two locations. The retail space will be 2000-square feet with similar offerings to Fleet Feet Rochester’s other two area locations. The developer at High Point is the same developer of Fleet Feet’s current location at the Culver Road Armory. “We are so excited to finally open and share this store with the community,’’ says Ellen Brenner-Boutillier, owner of Fleet Feet Rochester and YellowJacket Racing with her husband, David J. Boutillier (Boots). “Our new location at High Point in Victor will allow us to better serve our community through our footwear fitting, product knowledge, breadth and customer service plus training opportunities to build healthier lifestyles. As our manifesto states, ‘We are more than a shoe store.’” The 2000-square-foot store “will be our smallest footprint of all our stores, but it is very unique,” Brenner tells Running Insight. “The developer had to keep the motif of the
history of the region, thus all store fronts in the shopping complex look as though they are from the late 1800s, yet in the millennium. I jokingly say, it’s like Little House on the Prairie meets the millennium.” Boots and Ellen opened their first store 15 years ago. They opened the Ridgeway location in 2011 then followed it by moving
their original Brighton store location to the Culver Road Armory in 2014. Later that year they purchased the Fleet Feet Buffalo location. In addition, the couple owns YellowJacket Racing, which was started by Boots in 1998. YellowJacket owns more than 50 local races and provides services to another 25 events. n
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Being ‘Gramable’ It’s all about the pictures these days and Instagram is where retailers need to be. / By Daniel P. Smith
hose selfies snapped in front of a pink neon sign that reads “stronger faster further together.” Those Instagram posts of the “shoe slope,” a series of monochromatic running shoes descending a wall that would seem comfortably at home in a museum of contemporary art. Those dressing room shots aided by the oversized mirror or photos of the colorful “Run with Joy” mural. These are no accident. In fact, Instagramability – or being gramable – looms large at The Loop Running Supply Company in downtown Austin, TX. Heck, even the bathroom, with its vibrant pink clay tile, was carefully crafted with Instagram in mind. “From the very beginning, the idea of creating Instagramable moments in the store was at the forefront of our mind,” acknowledges Pam Hess, who launched The Loop in December 2017 with her husband, Ryan. While run specialty stores are, first and foremost, peddling running gear and hightouch, expert customer service, enterprising
operators like Hess are peddling something else: gramable moments that memorialize the in-store experience and elevate the brand. Instagram’s influence on Retail With an estimated one billion monthly active users, half of whom are daily active users, Instagram has firmly established itself as one of the globe’s most important and influential social media sites. Recognizing this, restaurants, retail outlets and other customer-centric venues have built Instagramability into their environments by integrating eye-catching design elements, crafting photo-worthy moments and inviting patrons to post images. “Big picture retail, Instagram is absolutely something people are thinking about more and more,” says Holly Wiese, of 3 Dots Design, a Boulder, CO-based design firm that specializes in specialty retail, including running shops. “Now, I wouldn’t say it’s the top priority, but there is definitely heightened awareness.” In this smartphone-toting world, riding the Instagram wave stands a smart, savvy way
to gain notoriety, generate social media buzz and propel relevancy. After all, a retail shop with an active network of advocates tagging the running store and using its hashtag offers a path to increased brand awareness — and, hopefully, traffic and sales. “Because it’s our customers doing the marketing for us, Instagram offers a good, efficient way to spread our brand and our message,” says Hess, who is regularly asked to “scoot to the left” so people can take a photo of the store’s “stronger faster further together” neon sign. “If you create a cool vibe and attract the right people to come in, then they will post.” (And they might also buy, Hess adds, noting that the ability to sell goods through Instagram represents another compelling reason for stores to deepen their ties to Instagram). Becoming ‘Gramable’ Though visual merchandising is a longstanding pillar of successful retail, Instagram’s surge has elevated its importance as well as the value of a distinctive, unique store environment that inspires social sharing. “You don’t want to get carried away, but anything to pique the interest of customers and add to the experience piece is a win,” Wiese says. While stores might certainly encounter budget and space limitations, there are nevertheless creative, even simple ways run shops can overcome those challenges and improve their Instagramability. Distinctive Design With some creative flair, stores can create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching focal pieces that entice photos and sharing. The neon sign and “Run with Joy” mural at The Loop are two such examples. Others include the Converse store in New York City that used black and white Chuck Taylors to create a skull mosaic on its wall and the Denver bike
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Instagram (continued) shop that installed a cityscape scene backdrop. “There was a large empty area in front of that portrait so people could roll over there with their new bike and get their photo taken,” says Wiese, whose team designed the bike shop space. Taking the Opportunity: Interior features playing up local flair, inspiration or motivation can prove particularly popular in running stores. A word of caution, though: keep it simple to avoid sensory overload and, as much as possible, prioritize white space. The neon sign at The Loop, for instance, isn’t surrounded by other kitsch. ‘Gram’ the Purchase Outside of restaurants, no
other retail sector has perhaps embraced Instagram more than bridal. When a bride-to-be selects her dress, many boutiques invite her or her entourage to take a photo holding signage – sometimes a chalkboard, sometimes something professionally produced – that says something akin to “I said ‘Yes to the Dress’ at America’s Bridal.” While the store will later post the photo and tag the bride (with her permission, of course), savvy stores also take photos with their guests’ cameras and then encourage them to post. Taking the Opportunit y: Might running stores follow the lead of their bridal retail counterparts and similarly celebrate
a customer’s purchase? Whether it’s a high school sprinter’s first pair of spikes or the chosen footwear of a woman training for her first 5k, running stores are uniquely well positioned to mimic these “Say Yes to the Dress” moments. Wooing a Post At many of its events, The Loop employs a professional photographer tasked to capture candids. Later, The Loop blasts out those images to attendees, inviting them to post the images to social media while tagging both the photographer and The Loop. “We see people using these images and they’re grateful,”
Hess says. Other retailers woo a post with photo booth-like selfie stations or in-store vignettes that customers can slip into for a whimsical, one-of-a-kind photo. The 3 Dots crew, meanwhile, presented one of its retail clients a plan featuring a vibrant custom designed floormat that read: Awesomely Instagramable. Taking the Opportunit y: Whether a run shop chooses to be subtle or straightforward, teasing the photo opportunity is half the battle. Explore ways big and small that others can post about the store. Better yet, provide the store’s Instagram handle and a simple, short hashtag aligned with the store’s branding. n
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Selfie Nation and other Instagram Posts for Run Retailers
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Index Card Intentionality The secret to attaining your business or personal goals is a lot simpler than you think. / By Tom Griffen
’m going to let you in on a little secret. I don’t often share this with folks, but when I do, I preface it with a disclaimer. And here it is: What I am about to tell you will change your life, so be ready. That’s right, be ready. What I am talking about is manifesting your truth. Creating your own reality. Taking charge of your destiny. All before it comes to pass. Really, it’s simple. Doesn’t cost you a thing. And no, it’s not a rabbit out of a hat, either. No hocus-pocus going on here, people. But there is a magic word. Though when you hear it you might wish it had more oomph. Because it’s just a normal word. Nothing special. But make no mistake, you can make this word fly. It can bring your dreams to life. Here’s the word: intention. That’s right, intention. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Your intention is the first step towards meeting all your goals, achieving your definition of success, or shaving a minute off your 5k PR. Sort of like fake it ‘till you make it, but significantly less uncomfortable. In fact, this intention allows you to dream up your own
reality, then sit back and watch it appear. Here’s what you do: Grab a stack of index cards. Brainstorm your goals (be honest with yourself). Be very specific with the goal’s details. Write each goal on a separate index card. Format the goal statement as an affirmative and complete sentence (My business grew by $100,000 in 2019). Use as many cards as you need. Staple the cards together. Carry them with you wherever you go. Read all of these goals out loud to yourself at least once/day. More is better. Be ready for your goals to come true.
I’ve been doing this for the past 10 years. And every six months or so, I have to redo the cards because they’ve all come true. Every. Single. One. An index card set my intention to start a business. An index card set the intention for me to publish my first article. An index card began my path towards a Master’s program. To walk across the United States. I created an index card to keep me intentionally focused, upbeat, and positive. To be kind to others. To start random conversations with strangers. I’ve repeated my index card goals so many times that my body eventually assumes they are true and BOOM, so does the universe. I know it may sound a little hokey. The sort of thing you’d read in a new age selfhelp book. But I assure you this is a way to ensure daily energy is being given to the things you are fighting hardest for. A mindful way to both control and remain vulnerable to future plans. Do you have any goals or big picture dreams for your business? Of course you do. Now go get yourself some index cards and get to writing down your intentions. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. n
1. Becom e 2. Run a a millionaire. 20-minute 5K. 3. Eat mo re 4. Read m nuts and fruits. o 5. Then ru re Running Insigh t. n a 17-m inute 5K.
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Best Running Stores Headed to Georgia Annual event recognizing top run retailers will be held May 17-19 in Stone Mountain.
he Best Running Stores, which since 2008 has ranked the top running stores in the U.S., will be held next year in Stone Mountain, GA, at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott, from May 17-19, 2020. The Best Running Stores annually recognizes and celebrates the top specialty running stores based on overall quality, in-store experience and involvement in the community. “The Best Running Stores event was a great experience and is becoming a can’tmiss event in our industry,” says Anders Brooker, manager of Runners Edge in Missoula, MT and the winner of The Running Event’s 2019 Store of the Year award. “Not only were the best stores in the country recognized for their hard work and commitment to their local communities, but the time with vendors, retailers and industry experts was highly valuable. “The format of the event allowed us to not only learn from each other, but spend some great time with other stores from around the country as well,” he adds. The 2020 Best Running Stores event will take place over two days at a beautiful venue that will serve as a backdrop for meet-andgreets, morning runs, industry insights and trend overviews, retail/vendor meetings, interviews with the top four stores and so much more. Additionally, sponsor brands are invited to participate and benefit from a hosted buyer event concept and receive their schedule of meetings prior to the event, giving them the opportunity to meet with each of the winning stores over two days. Nominations for The Best Running Stores open in January. In order to be considered for the annual award, customers must first nominate their store of choice. The Best Running Stores then embarks on a rigorous evaluation process, which includes testimonials, community involvement, employee benefits, charitable impact and even a secret shopper process to assess customer service. 16
www.bestrunningstores.com The nominated stores will receive three complimentary nights at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott and two full days of face-to-face meetings with brands in all segments of the running industry, along with ample opportunity to share ideas, network and celebrate with peers.
For more information about the 2020 event and nomination criteria, visit http://www. bestrunningstores.com updates. The Best Running Stores is organized by Diversified Communications, producers of The Running Event and publishers of Running Insight. n
Anders Brooker (second from right) and the team at Runners Edge celebrate being named the Store of the Year at this year’s Best Running Stores event in Arizona.
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Wanted: Outstanding Retailers, People TRE Industry Awards to recognize special accomplishments in the run specialty business.
oes your staff have a star whose story is worth telling? Is your store outstanding in its community service? Are you helping to stimulate physical fitness in your market and create a new generation of runners? And in doing all of this, are you able to maintain a balanced professional and personal life? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you should
nominate your store for one of the awards listed below to be presented at the annual Industry Awards Party at The Running Event on Thursday, December 5, 2019, in Austin, TX. These following awards, along with The Canadian Store of the Year and new version of the Just Do It Award sponsored by Nike, will be presented that evening. n
to help both customers and fellow staff. A cheerleader for their store and its culture, this individual inspires an active lifestyle and personifies what Run Happy means.
SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY AWARD Presented by ASICS
ASICS believes that the key to a healthy and happy lifestyle is through a sound mind in a sound body. ASICS is an acronym, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano — a sound mind in a sound body. The winner of the Sound Mind, Sound Body Award embodies these values on a daily basis in both their personal and professional life. In honor of ASICS’ founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, a donation of $1949 will be made to the winner’s charity of choice.
THE UBUNTU AWARD Presented by Balega Sports
This is awarded to a store that makes a tremendous difference in its community. The culture of Balega draws its inspiration from the humanistic philosophy focusing on people’s allegiance and relationship to one
another. It is the relationship to our communities that resonates with store owners every day in their hometowns. Changing lives, helping to improve the lives of those living in our communities.
RUN FOR GOOD AWARD Presented by Saucony
At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run; a great day is when we inspire others
RUN HAPPY AWARD Presented by Brooks
The Run Happy Award celebrates a specialty retail store employee who brings a glass-half-full approach to his or her job every day. This individual always has a positive attitude, dedicated work ethic, and is a total team player — going the extra mile
to run. And now, more than ever, that must include our kids. The Saucony Run For Good Award recognizes a retailer who inspires kids to run their world through communitybased youth running programs. The winner will receive a donation to help introduce even more children to the power of running, creating a happier, healthier future for the local community. Saucony will join the winning retailer in the hosting of a local running event for children and their families.
Nominations for all these awards can be submitted to Mark Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Christina Henderson at email@example.com 17
© 2019 Diversified Communications
running shorts Camo Hits the Streets with the Latest UA HOVR Infinite Drop
rban Camo – the latest UA HOVR Infinite colorway – is for the runner who traverses the city streets every day. The unique camo prints, in a black and a white style, are not designed for blending in with the surroundings. These shoes are available for women and men at UA.com and select retailers. The UA HOVR Infinite (MSRP: $120) is a neutral cushion shoe for long-distance training. This shoe is called the UA HOVR Infinite because it was created to take the runner through an infinite number of miles.
RecoFit Compression Going Out Of Business RecoFit Compression Gear, a Boulder, CO-based sportswear manufacturing company, is ceasing operations. “After 11 amazing years of outfitting pro athletes and weekend warriors with quality compression products, I am closing up shop to focus on my career as a real estate agent here in Boulder at Live West Realty,” explains owner Susan Eastman Walton. “It has been a pleasure serving such an impressive, talented and fun athletic community.”
Featured in the shoe are a full length HOVR midsole that extends from heel to forefoot, an outsole built to provide enhanced grip and an added layer of cushion and an upper that provides the perfect locked in fit without extra weight. The UA HOVR Infinite is also digitally connected — a pod embedded in the midsole of the right shoe connects via Bluetooth to MapMyRun, allowing runners to track their run data without a device, receive virtual personalized coaching on the runner’s gait, stride length and pace. n
Tecnica Adds Footwear Rep Tecnica, the Italian manufacturer of innovative technical outdoor footwear, has added Mike Young as a sales rep in the South Central United States, servicing retailers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Young brings 35 years of experience in performance footwear to his new role with Tecnica, having played an integral role in the development of Prince’s T-Series tennis shoe.
“Builders” to join Team Hyland’s 2020 Boston Marathon team, which will be composed of individuals who have created something impactful in their community that helps their fellow humans, schools, pets, animals or the environment. In its fifth year as the Official Cramp Relief Sponsor of the Boston Marathon, Hyland’s opened the application process on September 23 and will close at 11:59 PST on October 6, 2019. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. resident who have built a community, a movement or a foundation. Applicants can range from founders to local chapter leaders, but must have been the driver of an initiative. Additionally, applicants must have completed a full marathon or longer distance race, at least three half marathons, or another incredible endurance feat within the past 18 months. This distinguished team will be selected and announced on or before December 1. Apply at hylands. com/Boston.
Hyland’s Seeks Community ‘Builders’ Hyla nd’s Powe re d i s se e k ing
Lubrizol Achieves Gold Sustainability Rating Lubrizol recently received a Gold
sustainability rating from EcoVadis, a provider of business sustainability ratings that provides detailed assessments of businesses’ environmental, social and ethical performance. A Gold rating means Lubrizol scored within the top five percent of more than 55,000 companies rated by EcoVadis and the top two percent of its industry. The company was evaluated on the strengths of its actions and policies relative to Environment, Labor and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. This is the sixth year Lubrizol was part of the EcoVadis evaluations and it has seen a steady increase in its scores every year. Vuori Gets $45 million Investment T h e f o u r- y e a r- o l d , S o u t h e r n California athletic brand Vuori has picked up a $45 million growth equity investment from the investment firm Norwest Venture Partners. The company, which says it’s profitable, will now join a stable of consumer startup brands that includes Casper Sleep, Grove Collaborative, Jolyn, Kendra Scott, Madison Reed and Topo Athletic. n
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running shorts PTO Wants To Buy Ironman Parent Company
h e P r ofe s sio n a l Tr i a t h lo n Organization (PTO) says it has approached Wanda with the intent to acquire Ironman and its assets. This past July, Wanda, which owns both Ironman and the Rock’n Roll race series as well as other major endurance events, went public, offering its shares at $5.16. The company said it would use the proceeds from the Initial Public Offering to pay down debts and grow the business. However, the IPO was less successful than planned. The company hoped to sell 28 million shares in the $10 to $11 range and instead sold 23 million at the lower price. Since the initial offering, shares have dipped and at the time of this publication, the stock was trading at about $4.60. In an online interview, PTO said it wants to buy Wanda and especially Ironman because the company is burdened with debt that prevents the company from investing and promoting the race series. “Our goal in acquiring the Ironman assets is to free it from this excessive debt burden and we are in discussions with partners where a healthy portion of equity is injected into the business to reduce interest payments and increase investment in things like promotion, production, race standards and prize money, and maybe even a health insurance programme for
Bowen Leaves JackRabbit Kirsten Bowen has left JackRabbit Spor ts to become SVP GMM Merchandising and Design at White House Black Market. She had been the senior merchant at JackRabbit for four years. Ultimate Direction Sponsors Edwards, Schlarb Ultimate Direction, the maker of hydration and wearable gear, has 19
professionals,” PTO said. PTO added: “You must admit something is wrong when athletes like Matt Russell and Tim Don are reduced to GoFundMe pages and charitable sponsor donations to pay medical bills after bike accidents at a World Championship Event. It is actually heartbreaking to see, and to be honest, we are a bit surprised the community is not more upset by this.” PTO has made the approach to Wanda in a formal letter but said it has not yet received a response. PTO said it does not have the resources to make a purchase, but is “in the process of talking to a number of partners and we will be quite selective as it is important
for us to work with a group that shares our vision.” At the time of its proposal, PTO said it has named Sam Renouf as CEO. Renouf had previously been CEO of Motiv Group and before that was part of the executive leadership team at Active Network. The proposal by PTO is seen as a longshot. The PTO describes itself as a not-for-profit entity representing the body of professional triathletes and seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of the dedicated professionals who strive to realize the highest levels of the sport and inspire all those who participate in triathlon, from seasoned age groupers to newbies. n
added versatile mountain athlete Meredith Edwards to its ambassador team. Ultimate Direction is also the newest sponsor for Edwards and Ultimate Direction ambassador Jason Schlarb’s successful video series, “Run Around the World,” produced by Ben Clark. Edwards is a forme r U.S. Ski Mountaineering Team member and podium finisher at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc’s TDS, the Javelina
Jundred 100K and the Flagstaf f Skyrace 55K. Together with perennial race winner Schlarb, Edwards stars in Run Around the World chasing adventurer around the world in places like Oman, China, Ushuaia and in Colorado’s San Juan mountains. Ultimate Direction has committed to sponsoring the reminder of the in-progress season and will continue supporting in 2020 along with ambassadors’ Edwards and Schlarb. n
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LOOKAT ATTHE THE MOST MOST IMPORTANT IMPORTANT RUNNERS RUNNERSAND AND RACES RACES OF OFTHE THE PAST PAST MONTH MONTH AA LOOK
Courtney Dauwalter Wins UTMB Courtney Dauwalter has a penchant for winning the longest, gnarliest ultradistance trail races. Wearing red and white, below-the-knee running shorts, the 34-year-old Salomon-sponsored athlete from Golden, CO, ran relentlessly amid hot temperatures, 32,000 feet of elevation gain and a bad stomach to claim the women’s title at the 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) in Chamonix, France on Aug. 30-31. Despite coming off a hip injury that forced her to drop out of the Western States 100 in June, Dauwalter, outran a deep international field to win the daunting 171K race that passes
Willis, Simpson Win Fifth Avenue Mile
Nick Willis and Jenny Simpson solidified their status as the king and queen of New York’s Fifth Avenue on Sept. 8. Willis and Simpson extended their dominance with hard-fought wins in the 39th annual New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile through Manhattan. For Simpson, it was a record-extending eighth overall (and seventh consecutive) win in the event, while Willis broke the record for most men’s victories with his fifth win. In the women’s race, Simpson (New Balance) held a slight lead through the halfway point, but American Elinor Purrier (New Balance) pushed to the lead and opened a slight gap with 300 meters to go. Simpson never ceded more than a few inches and her familiarity with the uneven terrain of Fifth Avenue was the deciding factor as she edged ahead to hit the tape in 4:16.1, just 0.1 ahead of Purrier. That cut a half second off the event’s all-time mark she had shared with PattiSue Plumer. In the men’s race, the 36-year-old Willis (Adidas) used a lastsecond kick to snatch victory away from Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare (Adidas).
Americans Dominate Diamond League Finals through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland in 24 hours, 34 minutes, and 26 seconds. Like most trail races, there is no prize money in the UTMB. She’s the fourth U.S. woman to win the race, following in the footsteps of Krissy Moehl (2003, 2009), Nikki Kimball (2007) and Rory Bosio (2013, 2014). No American man has finished higher than second since Topher Gaylord and Brandon Sybrowsky tied for second in the inaugural race in 2003. Jason Schlarb (Altra), finished as the top American overall in the race, placing 19th in 24:27:59 a few minutes ahead of Dauwalter.
Although it garnered little attention in the U.S., Americans Noah Lyles, Christian Taylor Michael Norman, Sam Kendricks, Donavan Brazier, Ajee Wilson and Sydney McLaughlin dominated the twomeet Diamond League track finals on Aug. 29 in Zurich and Sept. 6 in Brussels. The Adidas-sponsored Lyles solidified his position as the top sprinter in the series by winning the 100 in Zurich (9.98) and the 200 a week later in Brussels (19.74) to earn the series title. Meanwhile, Taylor (Nike) won the men’s triple jump with a 58-foot-6 leap to earn his seventh Diamond League championship trophy. Norman (Nike) won his third Diamond League 400 race of the season in 44.26, while Brazier (Nike) turned in the race of his life with a world-leading 1:42.70 to become the first non-African to win the men’s 800 title. Kendricks (Nike) won the pole vault for the second time in three years with a 19-5 jump, while Wilson (Adidas) won her fourth women’s 800 race of the season in 2:00.24 and McLaughlin (New Balance) claimed her third 400 hurdles victory in 52.85 as each took home their first Diamond League trophies.
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