November 1, 2022

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5 Takeaways: A Preview of The Running Event Education


MARCH 16, 2020 NOVEMBER 1, 2022

ALLYSON FELIX Exclusive Interview: Olympian, entrepreneur and #TRE22 keynote speaker talks running, a new career and the challenges and rewards of building her Saysh brand.


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#TRE22 Sneak Peek A run with ...


The Running Event keynoter talks about her career, her new Saysh brand and her personal goals headed into 2023. AS ONE OF THE MOST HIGH-PROFILE SPEAKERS ever at The Running Event, Allyson Felix – Olympian, entrepreneur and founder of lifestyle brand Saysh – will share her experience of building a brand anchored in values and community during her keynote “Daring to Do Things Differently” address at The Running Event 2022, November 29, in Austin, TX. “I’ve been around the running community most of my life and my entire career,” says Felix. “Having the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at The Running Event is a surreal feeling and I’m excited to share my story on how I found my voice, am attempting to build a business in a different way and why community is what it’s all about.”

Felix’s keynote address – Tuesday, Nov. 29, 12:00 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center – will cover the last five years of her athletic career, another Olympic Gold medal, the birth of her daughter, the founding of her company, Saysh and a false start on her retirement. She will remind listeners how important it is to dream big, build differently and keep going — even when it feels like you’re facing a giant. Running Insight caught up with her – figuratively, not literally, since we could never actually catch up to an Olympic runner – prior to TRE22 to gather some insight into her post-running career, the philosophy behind the Saysh brand and the message she wants to provide to the run specialty community in her keynote address.

Let’s start with the basics. You said at an event last year that you started Saysh because you didn’t see the company you believed needed to exist in the world. Can you expand on that a bit? I saw a lot of companies that I felt were taking women for granted. Companies that loved having women as customers and saw opportunities for growth in their women’s business, but were not committed. So is Saysh a sneaker company, an apparel company, a lifestyle brand or a hybrid? Saysh is a lifestyle brand for women. We make sneakers made specifically for women’s feet.

Photo: Dante Marshall

What do you consider as your most significant business accomplishment to this point? It’s hard to choose one, but they all come down to creating change. Saysh has just become the first female, black-owned footwear brand carried at Foot Locker. I’m really proud of that and proud of our team for putting it together. What message would you like to send to the run specialty RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2022 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published monthly, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Divesified Communications, 121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101; (207) 842-5500.




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A Run With Allyson Felix (continued)

Allyson Felix and her brother Wes are bringing the Saysh brand’s first technical running shoe to The Running Event this month. Photo: Elizabeth Carababas

retailers about your brand and why they should consider bringing it into their stores? Saysh exists to see your female customers better than any other running footwear brand ever has. Yes, we build our lasts based solely on women’s feet, but the cushioning is based on a woman’s body, the lacing system is based on a woman’s body, the packaging, 6

the way we approach customer care, everything we do is based on her. I hope you’ll carry our shoes, because what we wake up to do is to provide her not only a better product, but a better feeling about herself when she puts our shoes on. Are there any brands – both within or outside of the running business – that inspire you and serve as a

model for what you are looking to do with Saysh? I’m really inspired by what Athleta does and how they only speak to female customers. I’m also inspired by the women’s networking community CHIEF. There are so many inspirations, but those are just a couple. For Women By Women is a Saysh mantra. How involved are you

personally in the product design? I made sure that I’m the sample size so that I can really feel every aspect of each of our footwear products and I’m very involved in the design and direction of our products. Does your daughter have any input into the clothes you are designing yet? Not yet, but hopefully soon! © 2022 Diversified Communications


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A Run With Allyson Felix (continued) but we can each do them.

What will be the product focus going into 2023 and beyond? In 2023 we’re focusing on performance. It’s taken time to make sure we’re providing the best performance product for her possible, but we’re getting close and it’s all about performance.

And what product will Saysh be showing at TRE? We will be showing our first technical running shoe. What are your thoughts on the diversity within the running business community and what are your goals on expanding DEI efforts within the industry? I think we have a lot of work to do, but I’m excited for that work and Wes and I are eager to take it on. Sometimes it feels like the running community is very segregated based on the distance that you run. I want to champion efforts to bridge that gap more. We’re all runners and most of us probably love running for the exact same feeling.

You certainly made quite a splash with the Saysh Spikes at the Olympics. Are there more performance shoes in the works? We don’t have more spikes planned at the moment, but winning a gold medal in Saysh spikes was incredibly special. It was historic and I’m sure we’ll show back up at the games again in the future. What is your planned distribution strategy? We will distribute through some wholesale partners and we’ll also distribute through our website. We’re really excited about our wholesale partners and can’t wait to get our product on new women and share our story with them. Explain the concept behind and progress of the Saysh Collective? The Saysh Collective is the foundation of our brand. It’s where we invite people in to experience belonging. We are rolling out new features and a new format in early 2023 — I think you are the first media that we’ve shared that with. The Collective means everything to me, it signifies all of the women that came along my side when I was at an extremely low point fighting for maternal protections. I was scared, lonely and women came alongside of me and lifted me. Our Collective is my thank you to them and it 8

Felix will be spreading her message of building community, staying resilient and creating change during her keynote presentation at #TRE22. Photo: Elizabeth Carababas

is a place where they can come and connect, experience classes and workshops and be fully themselves. There’s also your Saysh Maternity Returns concept. Please explain that policy and how it is going. The policy is going really well and we’ll be sharing new announcements on it soon. During pregnancy women’s feet can change size and many times it’s permanent. We don’t believe women should be punished for doing the most incredible thing on the planet, so if you own our shoe and your foot changes size we’ll send a new pair out to you. We hope it’s a reminder that we see you.

How are you personally and the Saysh brand making a statement for women’s rights, in the workplace and in the sports world? We’re listening right now — doing our best to listen to our internal team and our customers on what they need from us. The world is so heavy right now for everyone, but even more so for women. We show up every day to remind women that they matter. What will your message to attendees at The Running Event be in both your keynote and during the trade show? I’ll be speaking about building community, staying resilient and creating change. How these things may seem out of reach,

What is your running routine like these days? Are you training for anything? Well I’m just getting back into exercising post-retirement and the runs are getting longer by sprint standards, haha. I’m not training for anything at the moment, but have been thinking about challenging myself sometime in 2023. What are your business goals for 2023 and what will it take to get there? In 2023 we’re going to raise brand awareness by continuing to share the story of Saysh. And finally, what are your personal goals for 2023 and what will it take to accomplish them? Personally, I’m working on balance in my life. It’s so hard to try to do it all and I know that I can’t do it all at the same time, but I’m looking forward to a bit more balance in 2023. n © 2022 Diversified Communications

#TRE22 Sneak Peek



unners need their open spaces and there is an organization making its debut at The Running Event 2022 that is dedicated to providing and preserving that space. The partnership is a part of the event’s ongoing efforts to expand the reach of the run specialty business into the Great Outdoors and to support the groups that hold similar goals.


The Conservation Alliance, founded in 1989 by outdoor industry leaders REI, Patagonia, The North Face and Kelty, who shared the goal of increasing business support for conservation efforts, now represents a coalition of more than 270 businesses – including The Running Event and Switchback@ TRE – that pool resources to fund more than 50 conservation projects a year.

They then use the voice of business to advocate for land and water conservation throughout North America. T h r o ug h o ut it s h i st o r y, T h e Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $28 million to grassroots conservation groups whose collective efforts have helped protect 73 million acres of wildlands, 3580 river miles, halt or remove 37 dams, designate five

© 2022 Diversified Communications

Photo courtesy Trust for Public Land

The Conservation Alliance is reaching out to the running community to further its mission to protect open spaces.





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Conservation Alliance (continued) and provide elevated financial support for its efforts. The Conservation Alliance has been expanding well beyond the core outdoor brands — one of the reasons it is reaching out to run specialty through The Running Event partnership.

marine reserves and purchase 21 climbing areas. That’s a lot of room to run, hike and explore. Growing Core Membership T h e c o r e o f t h e C A’s membership are brands from the outdoor industry and greater outdoor recreation economy, including names familiar to TRE attendees such as runningfocused brands Adidas, Altra, Brooks, On and Topo Athletic, as well as a long list of outdoor industry brands that have a presence in the running industry. In 2022 and into 2023 the CA is also getting stronger in the banking, hunting and fishing, brewing and craft beverage sectors. Conservation Alliance members have the ability to invest in a highly effective and diversified grant program that supports more than 50 conservation organizations per year and do so by working collaboratively with others from the business community to further shared priorities, explains Shoren Brown, VP–public affairs, who points out that 100 percent of membership dues pass 12

through to its grant program. This ensures all contributions are going directly to the groups on the ground doing the work without requiring company staff time to deal with the administrative burden of managing a diversified grantmaking portfolio. “By supporting a wide range of organizations and projects that increase recreation access, benefit people and communities, support biodiversity and provide natural climate solutions, our members have the ability to access visual content and stories about the landscapes they’re investing in and promote those stories through their channels,” Brown says. Enter the Confluence Program Additionally, the CA recently launched the Confluence program to intentionally connect to historically racially excluded people for the protection of natural places. “Great things happen when a diverse coalition of voices and perspectives comes together to champion solutions that balance the best interests of land

and water, wildlife and people,” Brown explains. “In a world where customers increasingly care as much or more about the values of a company they are supporting as they do the products they a re buyi ng, ou r members use the Alliance as a way to engage in corporate advocacy in a collaborative and nonthreatening way.” A n id e a l C on s e r va t ion Alliance member engages in a handful of ways: • First, members nominate g rassroots conser vat ion organizations to receive funding, then all member company employees can vote to determine which projects will get funded. • Second, members use their platforms to share news about CA’s work and the work of its grantees with their networks and customers. • Third, members use their voice to support the campaigns the Alliance is funding through business-led advocacy. • And finally, cause-marketing ca mpaigns a nd product collaborations prove to be a way to center its work to drive sales

Running Industry Involvement “Our primary goal is to use the power of the business community to have a positive impact on conservation efforts,” Brown explains. “While core outdoor businesses have a strong correlation between their business interests and places for people to recreate, there are other businesses and industries who have a tie to land and water conservation with a less obvious connection. Each can greatly elevate our efforts if brought into the fold.” As an example, the brewing industry has a dependency and need for clean water. In order to have access to it downstream, they need to work to protect the headwaters and tributaries to ensure flows and water quality are strong. When you contrast that with a fishing company that wants to keep 100 percent of the water in a river to preserve fishing habitat, you run into what appears to be a conflict of interest. Yet in reality if all parties can put their differences aside and find points of commonality, incredible results can be achieved. The same holds true for the running industry. Although it is very much part of the greater outdoor industry, the running and endurance-focused brands aren’t typically at the shows or events that the Conservation Alliance attends. At the same time, their dependency on trail access is no different than the © 2022 Diversified Communications




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Conservation Alliance (continued)

hiking, camping or backpacking brands that are core to CA’s membership and Brown feels their representation is one of the key missing pieces in its coalition. “Specia lt y ret a ilers a re some of the most engaged and important members we have in our coalition,” he points out, because these are the businesses that are deeply connected to their communities and know the local leaders within the c o n s e r va t i o n m ove m e n t. That gives them the ability to highlight local campaigns and use the Alliance to put them on a national level. “From a n advocacy perspective, small, locally owned businesses are also

favorites of elected officials who love to hear from family-owned businesses working in local communities and supporting local economies,” Brown adds. CA, TRE22 and Texas At The Running Event in Austin, TX, the Conservation A l l ia nc e wi l l b e host i ng a b r e a k fa st p r e s e nt a t ion in partnership with Angel Pena, executive director at Monumental Shift, where an overview will be provided of their work at The Conservation Alliance, while Pena will explain the effort he’s leading to protect the Castner Range in El Paso, TX. (Conser vat ion A l l ia nce director of membership and

Community Led Conservation in El Paso, TX: A Conversation About the Proposed Castner Range National Monument with The Conservation Alliance and Monumental Shift When: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7:30 a.m. Join The Conser vation Alliance for breakfast and a discussion about its work to support local conservation efforts in Texas. Angel Pena, executive director of 14

partnership, Conor McElyea, will also be walking the show floor and is looking to schedule time to meet with anyone who’s interested in learning more about how they can get involved. Contact him at conor@conservationalliance. com.) The Conservation Alliance’s focus in Texas is working in coalition with its allies at Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project to ensure that the Castner Range is protected. Nuestra Tierra has a peoplefocused mission to ensure that Frontera (border) communities have access to the outdoors. Castner Range is a mountainous 7000 acres located between city neighborhoods

Monumental Shift, who is leading the effort to protect the Castner Range, will engage the audience in a discussion about community-led conservation in the community of El Paso, TX. Learn about how you can get involved in business-led conservation and add your voice to the growing national chorus of business leaders and outdoor enthusiasts calling for the Castner Range National Monument.

a n d F r a n k l i n Mo u nt a i n s State Park in the majority Latinx community of El Paso. Renowned for its annual display of blooming Mexican Yellow Poppies, Castner Range has exceptional cultural, ecological and historical values and it remains undeveloped despite decades of population growth and land urbanization around El Paso. “The voice of business plays an outsized role in protecting wild places and outdoor spaces and we encourage the running industry to join our broad coalition of companies that are working to conserve land and water and provide recreational opportunities for people from all walks of life,” says Brown. “We call on you to use your voice to ensure that businessled solutions to conservation challenges are front and center in the national conversation.” Priorities for 2023 The Conservation Alliance’s goals for 2023 are to ensure that its priorities for land and water conservation continue to move for wa rd and that the com munities work ing on conservation and outdoor recreation both continue to evolve a nd embrace long standing equity and diversity challenges. “Simply put, our ability to achieve our goals depends on incredible members and their commitment to our shared vision,” Brown adds. “The bigger and more powerful our membership, the more likely it is that we can achieve lasting protections for threatened places and provide key funding and support for our allies working to lift up historically marginalized voices.” n © 2022 Diversified Communications

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#TRE22 Sneak Peek

PERK-FECT TOGETHER Des and Ryan Linden head to #TRE22 with their new coffee company, Linden x Two


very runner knows that running and coffee go together like, well, running and coffee. There’s nothing like a good pick-me-up to get you going in the morning or for some postrun socializing. Ryan and Desiree Linden, two endurance athletes who are pushing their limits in athletics and love a great cup of coffee to fuel the pursuit, certainly agree — so much so that they decided to start their own coffee brand, Linden x Two, with a unique perspective as world-class runners and avid coffee drinkers. Running Insight caught up with Ryan and Des to find out about their latest business venture and why run specialty retailers — and The Running Event attendees – should reach out to learn a little more about how running and coffee are inseparable. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, the interview took place virtually and therefore we could not sit down over a cup a fresh brewed coffee to chat, but perhaps we can at The Running Event.) The Back Story … Sports have taken the Lindens all over the world and on their journey they’ve sampled and enjoyed coffee on nearly every continent. In fact, they often found themselves throwing out running shoes and stuffing their travel bags with whole bean coffees on the way home. The Coffee Epiphany … One day Ryan and Des decided they should try and make their own perfect roast — starting with an air popper (think at-home popcorn machine) and quickly graduating to a proper coffee roaster and currently working off a Mill City 6 kilo roaster. “The flavor profile and quality of a roasts escalated equally fast and we decided we wanted to continue chasing the perfect roast and make our beans 16

Ryan and Des Linden continue their running while pursuing their passion of growing Linden x Two.

available to others who could appreciate a quality cup of coffee,” Des explains. Thus, Linden x Two was born. Linden x Two Today … The couple has come a long way since, creating Linden x Two in 2019 and today they operate a small business out of Charlevoix, MI. It boasts two coffee clubs – Small Batch Coffee Club and Roast Ryan’s – and they sell single origin bags year-round on their website – – and have several wholesale accounts for shops around the country. Why Coffee? … “Along with running, coffee is our passion,” says Des. “Racing has taken us all over the world and we found that on these business trips after a run the second order of business was to

find the best local coffee shop and load up on their brews and beans. After sampling so many coffees we developed a sense of exactly what we wanted in our own cup.” Developing a Coffee … Then came the roasting process, taking all that information and seeing if they could bring out the best in every bean that hit their roaster. “Much like running, it’s a never-ending pursuit of seeking perfection and self-improvement,” is how they describe the effort. “We really do love the process and we hope that passion and drive is reflected in the quality of the coffee that hits your cup when it’s finally brewed by you.” The Linden x Two Difference … The Lindens believe that their background in highperformance athletics offers a different

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Linden x Two (continued) Next Brew Up … Cold brews and instant coffees are two items they are working hard on getting just right, but that’s about as adventurous as the brand is willing to get at the moment. There are definitely a number of trends on the rise — mushroom coffee, CBD infused, etc. — but those venture a little too far from the Linden’s business plan. “Our goal is to keep the main thing, the main thing,” is how they put it. “We don’t anticipate a great cup of hot coffee going out of style any time soon.”

Ryan Linden remains in search of the perfect coffee at Linden x Two.

mindset than most folks have in the coffee business. They pledge to take the same intensity and desire for perfection and improvement they both have in athletics and apply it to the beans they’re roasting — in essence, they are truly chasing the perfect cup of coffee, from selecting the right bean, nailing the roast and delivering it to the customer as fresh as possible. The Business Angle … Linden x Two was formed as a very collaborative company — there is no ego about getting its logo stamped on everything and making sure the brand is front and center. Instead, they are looking to work with partners to make sure they’re giving a delicious cup of coffee to their customer — if they want to make custom labels or cobrand a label with Linden x Two, 18

they are up for it. In fact, the “x Two” in Linden x Two exists as a slot to place a retailer’s brand alongside. Why do runners like coffee so much? … A simple question with a simple answer from Des Linden: “It’s the go juice! There is no other beverage that gets you geared up for a run in the morning. That’s because the caffeine in coffee is a natural performance boost.”

The Marketing and Promotion Strategy … Social media and word of mouth are the cornerstones of Linden x Two’s marketing strategy. They don’t plan to push too hard, but are finding the right partners and customers seem to find them. Welcome to The Running Event 2022 … Linden x Two will be showcasing its coffee and how unique and delicious it is during The Running Event in Austin at Booth 309. The game plan is to have fresh hot

Social Drinking, Of Course … And then there is the social component of finishing up a run and milling around with friends over a cup of coffee — it’s totally socially acceptable to hang out in running clothes at a coffee shop. “Have you ever had a shower coffee? — perfection,” Des says. “I could go on and on, here.”

coffee brewing and cold brew cans – and potentially nitro kegs – available throughout the day. Coffee and a Good Book … At #TRE22 Des will also be sharing some of her book material, “Choosing to Run.” After coffee and a run, they think coffee and a book are about the best pairing you can get, so they are inviting TRE attendees to drop by and enjoy a cup of coffee, some conversation and a light read. 2023 Goals and Beyond … Linden x Two is looking to continue its slow and steady growth. Since both Des and Ryan remain heavily involved in competitive athletics and fulltime jobs, they aren’t looking for explosive growth at the moment. However, they plan to continue to spread their coffee message by working directly with brands and run specialty shops. They are looking to make more of those connections in 2023 and consider being at TRE a great first step in facilitating that process. Still Running … Ryan describes himself as a bit of a casual runner these days and has found a love for gravel cycling that’s kept him out of his running shoes more often than he’d like to admit. However, with winter rolling in he expects his mileage will take a nice bump and perhaps that will inspire him to jump in another marathon sometime soon. Des is prepping for the New York City Marathon and is very deep in training. So the routine is pretty simple: run, eat, sleep, run, be cranky, repeat. n © 2022 Diversified Communications


#TRE22 Sneak Peek

TAKEAWAYS From #TRE22 Education

Presenters scheduled for the education

Plus there’s the Training Camp Theater right

program at The Running Event 2022,

on the show floor during TRE, featuring

November 29, 2022 in Austin, TX, tell us

unique and interactive presentations from

what attendees can expect to take back

influencers, brands, retailers, authors

to their stores if they attend their session.

and a few other surprises for attendees

There’s a lot to learn!!!

looking for something special.


© 2022 Diversified Communications






FRIENDLY AT PEACH Creative Outreach Ideas to Find New Customers Without Spending a Lot of Money Heather Trainor, Big Peach Running • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1:00 p.m. With a title at Big Peach of Maker of Friends and Purveyor of Fun and Amazon Guru, Heather Trainor certainly has a unique outlook on the run specialty business and how to make it better – and more fun – without having to spend a lot more money doing so.


1.Always be Ready for Outreach. Make sure you have flyers, cards, coupons, prescription pads and gift cards on hand all the time. You never know when you may need them. 2. Make Running Fun, Easier or Both. Be on the lookout for creative partnerships, activities and even ways to teach people how to acquire a taste for running. Remember, for most people it’s not about loving running more, it’s about hating running less. 3. Go to School! Offer to teach a clinic (even lacing shoes is something that most kids could brush up on), show up at events and don’t limit yourself to running. Lots of other sports need running shoes, too. And, remember, if you make it fun this can be a recruiting tool as well. Working in a running specialty shop is a badge of honor for most kids on a track or XC team. 4. Be a Resource for Medical. Sure, everyone wants referrals, but we can earn credibility by arming the medical community with information that helps them answer all the crazy questions they get asked. Technical specs for shoes, ranking of footwear by unit sales to show what is trending and anything else that can make them better able to serve the running community. Become a resource to make their job easier. 5. Races Need Runners! We are not just a cool location to host a packet pick-up. We are a media vehicle and we can reach your race’s target audience better than any media vehicle or other sponsor can. Hand out flyers, promote in digital media and make your race partners highly visible at the front of the store with banners or sandwich boards. Even more than dollars, races want runners. Connect them with the runners! 22

STRAVA SURPRISE? How You Can Build Your Brand on Strava Like Altra The folks from Strava, Altra Thursday, Dec. 1, 12:00 p.m., in the Training Camp Theater A panel discussion, which Strava teases will feature a surprise guest, will help attendees – retailers and brands alike – learn how they can build their brand on Strava like Altra.


1. Discover how Altra responded to the pandemic-induced exercise boom and carried that momentum forward postpandemic. 2. Catch a sneak peek of some of the latest product innovations at Strava, including route embeds, @mentions in clubs, and more. 3. Meet Altra athletes Keely Henninger and Frank Lara and learn how they engage with Strava followers to build their personal brands and drive value for sponsors. 4. Learn how Altra is using Strava to grow their brand awareness, drive sales and build an engaged and valuable community. 5. With over 189,000 Strava clubs created and club membership growing by 37 percent in 2021, more athletes are seeking connection and community online. Uncover more trends in digital fitness during this session.

© 2022 Diversified Communications



BRA-VO The Art of Retailing Sports Bras: How To Tap Into a New Revenue Stream Tish Tilly, She Science • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 3:15 p.m.

ON TARGET Breaking Records With Innovation On Running Wednesday, Nov. 30, 12:00 p.m. The On Running Training Camp session will be a panel discussion with On Athletic Club members about the effects that product innovation have on the sport of running.


Almost 20 percent of women who drop out of running do so because of their breasts. Retailers looking for an untapped revenue stream should up their running bra game with product, training, appointment selling and better fitting rooms. Tish Tilly, co-founder and managing director of She Science, which operates within a specialty run store in Australia and sells more than $500,000 a year worth of running bras, will share insight into selling the category and introduce a way for retailers to significantly increase their revenue with a (relatively) small cost and space requirement.


1. Find out what women are searching for to best align with what active women want. 2. Learn the key differences between a technical sports bra and a crop — and why you need to educate your customers about each category’s benefits. 3. Hear from someone who has introduced by-appointment Sports Bra fittings to learn how they now help 400 women a month into better sports bras. 4. Get a round-up of some critical research in this field. 5. Dive into what we can learn from the lingerie industry about how they retail bras. 1 More Takeaway: Tish Tilly wants her session to be very interactive, so she plans to have giveaways, including free sports bra vouchers, for attendees answering questions throughout the session. 24

1. Athletes are an integral part of the insights, development and, ultimately, creation of new footwear products. 2. Wearing the most innovative pair of road racing shoes and track spikes can be the difference between win or lose. 3. New foams and technology are offering faster highly cushioned footwear to get more out of recovery days. 4. Access to the highest performing footwear in the industry is both a physical and mental advantage. 5. At On, post-career development is as much a focus of innovation as is the result on the track.

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Anita USA 1-800-866-6223



CRUSHING IT Crush Your Business Goals With Improved Operations David Jones, The Excellence Advisory Tuesday, Nov. 29, 3:15 p.m. As a leader or staffer, have you ever said to yourself, “This store should be operating smoother and generating better results,” or something like that? In this fastpaced interactive session you’ll want to take lots of notes because you’ll learn proven methods that top retailers use to generate 25300 percent higher sales and profitability than their comparable peers. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It all centers on the customer experience. And that experience comes directly from your business operations. In this session you will learn how to immediately improve your operations and generate gold medal results.


1. Why details matter. 2. The least risky, least cost path to growth. 3. Why execution to 100 percent should always be the goal. 4. The Shark Fin Curve of effectiveness versus efficiency. 5. The keys to understanding and exceeding customer expectations . So if you’re content with mediocre operations and results, there’s no need to attend this session. Only those who are serious about making their business better should attend.


CHARM SCHOOL The Art of the Intangibles Josh Levinson, Charm City Run; Christi Beth Adams, Fleet Feet Nashville; and Dan Sheridan, Brooks Running Tuesday, Nov. 29, 4:15 p.m. So much of what makes stores successful are the intangibles. Leadership, people, maintenance, culture, community initiatives, motivation, recruiting, retention. Leaders in the run specialty industry will discuss the intangibles that they think make the most substantive difference in their business and what they do to make sure they are paying attention and cultivating this difference maker. The Art of the Intangibles was the title of a class Josh Levinson took in the University of Texas-Austin MBA Program. The teacher was the first president of Dell Computer and entrepreneur Lee Walker. The class revolved around noticing the “little things” in successful businesses. “We spend a considerable amount of time obsessing over numbers, assortment, layout, etc.,” Levinson says. “These factors are essential to the success of any run specialty store, but the difference makers in most successful organizations revolve around leadership, authenticity, culture and other little things that would seem rather unimportant.”


1. Be Authentic. Do not lead like someone else. 2. Numbers are a guiding light. 3. What’s it worth to you to sleep at night? 4. Team stability. 5. Who you are vs. what you do.

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ROCK ON! How to Remove the Barrier of Entry and Build a Diverse Community The crew from Red Rock Running Company, including owner Mark Jimenez Tuesday, Nov. 29, 3:15 p.m.

Get ready for a fun and exciting 45-minute session with the leadership team from Red Rock Running Company, located in that equally fun and exciting city of Las Vegas. This won’t be your typical presentation, they promise. First, they will get you out of your seat and moving around with some activities designed to engage you with the topic and help you learn. The reason: Because diversity is all around us and it comes in different shapes and sizes. We just have to know where to look for it So if you’re willing to get a little bit uncomfortable with the Red Rock Running Company team, you’ll come away with some key points that will not only help you and your community grow and become more diverse, but will also grow your bottom line.


1.Weltanschauung — What is it? Why is it important to your store and your community? 2. Be intentional — Act with a purpose! 3. Empathy — Don’t have it? Learn about it and why it is useful. 4. People. Yes, it’s about people. 5. Community. Growing your community grows your bottom line. 28

THE UPPER HAND Create an Engaging Brand and Marketing Plan with Strategy, Simplicity and Storytelling Upper Quadrant Tuesday, Nov. 29, 9:30 a.m. The best marketing comes from knowing your audience, understanding their needs and desires and being able to present your products and services in a way that resonates with them. So this Deep Dive interactive session will walk attendees through the process of creating an effective marketing strategy that focuses on the core of your business. UQ’s brainstorming techniques will show you how to create unique content and work with your team to define quarterly marketing goals. They will also teach you how to reach your ideal customer, develop a cohesive brand and create a marketing calendar centered on diversity and inclusion.


1. Identify prospective audiences by creating personas. 2. Brainstorm for each quarter using the 5 W’s. 3. Choose the right tactics for your business. 4. Utilize simple design and storytelling to create content. 5. Execute a realistic marketing plan.

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VIDEO CLASS Building Creative Video Content with Isaac “Ike” Easley Ike Easley, Take It Easley Productions Wednesday, Nov. 30, 10:00 a.m. in the Training Camp Theater Did you ever want to make your own videos to promote your store and/or your races? Well, here’s your chance because an novel interactive session led by Isaac “Ike” Easley, Emmy award-winning owner of Take It Easley Productions and former producer for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, is not only going to show you how, but is going to make a video with you. “Running is my life and I love creating content for the endurance sports community,” Easley says. “In my session you’ll learn the basics when it comes to creating content — starting with basic shot composition and moving on to what type of stories you can create to tell your brand’s story. Lastly, you’ll learn how to make your own creative content library. The Takeaway in this Training Camp Theater session: Learn how to make creative content and how it can help expand and grow your business.


DOUBLE PLAY PART 1 _ LEADERSHIP SKILLS Making ‘Good’ Leaders ‘Great:’ A Path To Success Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2:00 p.m. Gregg Frederick, G3 Development Group Gregg Frederick is in such demand as a speaker and has such a great message for specialty retailers that he is actually leading TWO sessions at The Running Event. The first is all about Making Good Leaders Great.


1. What is “leading up” and how to identify opportunities to lead up when your title or position isn’t seen as a leadership role? 2. A 10-step hierarchy of leadership engagement that has been implemented with 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies and how to use it in your store or organization. 3. How training your skill, mental health and physical health leads to becoming a great leader. 4. What great managers do to become great leaders in only 15 minutes per week. 5. How building self-awareness through utilizing a strengthsbased approach builds emotional intelligence. DOUBLE PLAY PART 2 — SALES TRAINING How To Be An Effective Retail Salesperson Tuesday, Nov. 29, 4:15 p.m. Then as part of the inaugural How-To Series for Sales Associates, Frederick will laser in on How To Be An Effective Retail Salesperson. As a Certified Sales Executive (CSE) and former VP–retail development for Giant Bicycle, he will give attendees real-life tips on how to maximize their chance of closing more sales. He’ll review how to engage the customer before, during and after they leave the store. This is a must for any customer-facing owner, manager or retail salesperson.


1. How to effectively engage the customer using physiology to project trust and confidence when they walk through your door. 2. Understanding the customer journey and how to engage them along the way. 3. How to ensure you are providing a valuable in-store experience to your customers. 4. How to you use video to make connections with your customers 5. Providing value post-sale to ensure the customer comes back.

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KAMPS KOUNSELOR How-To Series for Sales Associates: All I’ve Learned in 37 Years on the Sales Floor Glen Kamps, Dick Pond Athletics; and Daniel P. Smith, Running Insight senior editor Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1:00 p.m. Store associates aren’t going to want to miss this one! Glen Kamps, the most senior employee at America’s oldest run specialty store, is going to get off of the store floor for a while to share lessons from 37 years on the run specialty store frontlines Peddling running shoes and gear at Dick Pond Athletics in suburban Chicago for nearly 40 years, Kamps has learned a thing or two — and the veteran shoe slinger is determined to share that knowledge. Kamps will offer a 45-minute program titled “All I’ve Learned in 37 Years on the Sales Floor,” designed to reinforce important realities of the running retail environment and push running store associates to elevate their game. In a conversation with Running Insight senior writer Daniel P. Smith, Kamps will share battle-tested tips to help running store employees deliver superior customer service, enhance their store’s culture and find greater fulfillment. Among Kamps’ key points:


1. Kindness matters. Embracing a genuine interest in what brought people through his store’s front door, Kamps seeks to understand the reasons driving each individual’s visit. He champions listening above talking and establishing a rapport with people rooted in friendly conversation. “People will spend money with people who are nice,” Kamps says. 2. Customers aren’t really in the store for shoes. Running shoes are available anywhere these days. So, why do people visit their local run specialty shop? It’s to capture help from 32

an educated associate who takes an active interest in their plight. “That’s why you need to bring your best game for every customer,” according to Kamps, “because they can go elsewhere and you don’t want to be the reason they do.” 3. Features are nice, but benefits are better. The running industry is filled with fancy terminology and patented technology. It’s easy to become geeky, but Kamps focuses on benefits. What does the fancy midsole foam provide? Why is antimicrobial beneficial? “Boil it down to the common man,” he says. 4. Being a good, invested teammate creates a better workplace. Kamps preaches effort and initiative. He urges associates to help their peers by putting away shoes on the sales floor or fixing the crooked doormat to ensure a positive first impression. This sets a positive example for others to follow and contributes to a stronger operation. “A better retail store is a better place to work,” he says. 5. A customer return is an invitation to get things right. Returns can make an associate feel defensive or inferior. Sometimes, though, the shoes just don’t work out and Kamps champions regrouping to recapture the customer. “Remind the customer you’re on their team and want them to be happy, healthy and active,” Kamps says.

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Connect, learn, and do business with top brands at #TRE22 There’s still time to register and experience The Running Event 2022. From expert-led education to nearly 300 exhibiting brands ready to connect, don’t miss specialty retail’s premier conference and trade show. Interested in exhibiting? Contact Event Director Christina Henderson at



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YES TO NIL Influencer Marketing and NIL Opportunities for Specialty Retail Tim Murphy (BibRave), Liam Fayle, Mikah Meyer Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2:00 p.m. The New Pay to Play rules have changed the game in college and high school sports and run specialty retailers should embrace it. This session will cover what the change in NIL laws means for athletes and how retailers can work with all types of influencers, including those structured as NIL deals.


1. Education and clarification. The experts will answer questions like, Who’s considered an influencer? How can they help me? Why should I have an influencer budget? What steps should I take when considering working with influencers? What are good resources? 2. Inspiration. New ideas are hard to come by, especially when it comes to marketing. This group of knowledgeable, creative influencer experts will spark new ideas and excitement for retailers who want to work with influencers and athletes. 3. Informed perspective. These panelists are experts with years of experience on the athlete side, the influencer side and the influencer management side. They can speak to all elements of athlete and influencer partnerships and how they can be beneficial. 4. Steal their ideas! Murphy and his panelists will discuss at least three actionable ideas – one per panelist – that retailers can “steal” from this session. They are meant to be used as thought exercises and inspiration to get creative juices flowing, but the aim is to present and discuss three actionable ideas. 5. Empowerment. Marketing can be painful, boring, frustrating and/or intimidating at the same time. Feeling stronger about your influencer approach can reinvigorate how you view “putting yourself out there.” 34

A SUSTAINABLE MESSAGE Pathways to More Sustainable Athletic Products Jamie Hunt, Pressio and Athletic Endeavor Consultancy Group Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2:00 p.m. in the Training Camp Theater Sustainability is certainly THE hot topic in run specialty these days and this presentation will help guide attendees to a broader understanding of what true sustainability means to apparel products.


1. Developing sustainable products that make a difference will be presented through seven key areas that Pressio has defined as the 7 Pillars of Sustainability. 2. Attendees will be guided through each facet, its importance and its current and future availability. 3. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the materials and processes that create the apparel and true sustainability. 4. This knowledge will help attendees make better decisions and ask better questions of their brands to be sure their own company’s sustainability goals align with their purchases. 5. In a world where all brands seem to call themselves sustainable, this is perfect for anyone who ever wanted to know what is the real difference between products.

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IN WITH INVENTORY + A PRIVATE SESSION The Product Assortment Playbook Tuesday, Nov. 29, 9:30 a.m. How-To Series for Owners & Managers: Going Private (Label) Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1:00 p.m. Liz Amiani and Raj Dhiman, Retail Strategy Group Every retailer has a different strategy for building its product assortment. Some have strong private label programs, while others are successful with accessories. Regardless of the strategy, the assortment must be profitable. The key is that assortments built with the customer as the focal point are the most profitable. Now the question is: How do you create a winning product assortment? And that leads to questions about product testing, sampling and minimum order quantities that retailers struggle with. As such, Retail Strategy Group is inviting attendees to two separate sessions built around the same topic. First, as part of the morning’s Deep Dive sessions, “The Product Assortment Playbook” will discuss the basics of a profitable product assortment. Because the onus is on the retailer to build the assortment with the customer in mind, a well-defined product assortment leads to increasing full-price sales, growing basket sizes and fortifying brand loyalty. Retailers will be shown how to go beyond shoes/apparel to include accessories and outdoor items, introduce meaningful SKUs into the assortment, partner with their vendors and tap into the power of the running community. Retailers will be encouraged to steal from their playbook and come away with action items they can implement rapidly with minimal disruption to their business. And then “Going Private (Label)” will explain how to start a private label program. Because although the name suggests otherwise, private label products are visible in the public eye. REI has Co-Op, Wal-Mart has George and Nordstrom has Zella 35

Activewear. Mind you, private label is not reserved just for the big names — niche retailers can and do get into the game. Running retailers should consider private label products as a complement to their branded offerings. For example, private label can quickly fill identified gaps in the product assortment. The added benefit is the healthier margins on these products versus their branded counterparts. In this presentation, the two RSG experts will explore the benefits of private label, how to get started and the “how-to” of executing a private label strategy. Run, jog, or sprint your way to these sessions in Austin.


1. Why the running community is the ace up your sleeve for assorting product. 2. How to partner with vendors for product testing and development. 3. How to increase the chances of success of a private label program. 4. How to preserve gross margins, increase full-price sales and deliver on what customers want. 5. How to keep your current vendors part of the product mix.

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GET LOW WITH LIA The Low Impact Alliance presents: Building a Sustainability Strategy Christian Fyfe, Palmetto Running Company; Sarah Geren, Pacers Running; Alex Sessa, Salomon Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1:00 p.m. Anyone interested in how a sustainability story is not only good for the environment, but is also good for business will want to attend the Low Impact Alliance’s presentation “Building A Sustainability Strategy.” They will leave this session feeling motivated and empowered to develop their store’s sustainability strategy and confident that the LIA will be supporting them every step of the way. Attendees can look forward to a lively discussion about what retailers are already doing in their stores, what steps brands are taking to improve their products and what systemic change looks like in the specialty retail industry. In this session, they will share their mission of “promoting transparency and environmental responsibility within the running industry by educating, advocating and inspiring action” to ensure that future generations have a healthy planet to run on with these actionable items.


1. Why sustainability is good business. 2. How the LIA is advocating for positive environmental change in the run specialty industry. 3. Why retailers’ participation in the LIA is essential to its mission and the future of the sport. 4. What retailers can start doing today in their own stores. 5. The launch of the LIA survey, which will give the industry critical information on how its customers view sustainability. 36

LIVE, NOT VIRTUAL Running in the Outerverse Robin Thurston, CEO, Outside Inc. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2:00 p.m. Outside Interactive, the world’s leading outdoor-focused tech company, recently launched the Outerverse, an adventureminded, wellness-driven alternative to the Metaverse. The Outerverse features a platform that enables creators – which could include brands, events, retailers and organizations in the running industry/community – to publish content to very large audiences and directly benefit from the engagement and revenue they drive. What’s in it for run and outdoor specialty retailers? Plenty. This session will share ideas, opportunities and best practices for creators to engage the Outerverse with unique NFT offerings and incentives all themed on getting more people outside and active.


1. How “Web3” technology can help people enjoy real – not virtual – experiences with digital rewards to grow participation in running and other outdoor activities. 2. How you can further diversity in the emerging NFT economy. 3. Exploring different financial models for creator partnerships. 4. How the Outerverse helps creators with pricing optimization, distribution, marketing, community and finance. 5. How to get started with an Outerverse/NFT partnership.

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#TRE22 Sneak Peek

Running Advocates Five advocacy groups are using The Running Event to spread their message to the run specialty business.


s part of its commitment to expanding the reach of the running community through its #TRE22 Cares program, The Running Event has invited a number of advocacy groups to Austin to provide them with exposure to the wider running and outdoor specialty retail communities. To get an idea of the goals of these advocacy groups and their message, Running Insight convened a virtual roundtable of five of the groups to provide insight into what to expect at TRE22. Nancy Hobbs, Executive Director/Founder), American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Bailey Denmark, Director of Development, Big City Mountaineers (BCM) Tiffany Smith, CEO, Camber Outdoors Kathleen Baker, Managing Director, and Jess Rogers Bloom, President of the Board of Directors, Runners for Public Lands (RPL) Todd Crandell, Founder, Racing for Recovery Let’s introduce everybody with an “elevator pitch” on the mission of your organization in 2022? Kathleen Baker: Runners for Public Lands is a nonprofit organization that builds inclusive running communities dedicated to protecting the environment. Using the lens of environmental justice, we organize and mobilize runners for environmental stewardship, the protection of public lands and equitable access to nature. Todd Crandell: Racing for Recovery is a nonprofit organization with the mission to prevent all forms of substance abuse by promoting a lifestyle of fitness and health for those affected by addiction. Nancy Hobbs: Our mission remains the same year after year: To represent and 38

Runners for Public Lands is committed to preserving open space for all outdoor enthusiasts.

promote trail running, mountain running and ultra trail running. We do have a theme each year and this year it is “Trail Running is for Every Body.” Bailey Denmark: Big City Mountaineers provides transformative experiences through connections to nature that strengthen life skills and build community for youth from disinvested communities. Since our founding in 1990, over 11,000 youth who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do so have spent over 45,000 nights under the stars. Tiffany Smith: Camber Outdoors is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to removing barriers and providing access to women and other underrepresented groups by supporting workplaces as the vehicle of change to create diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces across the outdoor industry. Camber provides a growing

community of corporations, nonprofits and small businesses with programs and tools that accelerate workplace systems-change. What is the most pressing issue facing your organization and members headed into 2023? Denmark: BCM has been one of the most enduring presences when it comes to increasing diversity, access and representation in outdoor recreation spaces. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we knew that our work was not just about this — it is also about supporting youth health. Our intention is to demonstrate that the time youth spend on the trail with BCM is a highly effective health intervention that leads to many benefits in other aspects of a young person’s life. To date, our work has not really been talked about in these terms. We intend to change that and to

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actually be the health support that youth need. Sm i t h: T he O ut door Recreation Economy (ORE) is experiencing a once-in-alifetime disruption and our Camber Survey System data tell us that corporations in the sector contain a workforce that is 81 percent white. This singular perspective has shaped workplace systems that feel exclusive, do not visibly deliver on the promise of equity and struggle to compete in a national landscape of workers who increasingly identify with currently underrepresented groups in the Outdoor Recreation Economy. The Outdoor Recreation Economy will require a shift of attracting and retaining diverse talent into nearly one million jobs if it is to match the breadth of consumers already here — that reflects the nearly 40 percent of consumers who identify as BIPOC. The ORE has an opportunity to focus not only on access to the outdoors, but also on access to the indoors of the outdoors. Hobbs: There are several (in no particular order). First is User Experience because there are more trail users than ever before and that means potential conflicts. We support and embrace Trails are Common Ground. Then there is the Environment — climate cha nge, ca rbon foot pr int, protecting and preserving open spaces. And finally there are Opportunities and welcoming environment by continuing to provide opportunities for youth to masters. Crandell: The most pressing issue facing our organization is housing. Racing for Recovery donates more than $1 million to cover the cost to the souls 39

ATRA’s Nancy Hobbs says there are a number of vital issues facing the specialty retail industry and advocacy groups are there to help resolve them.

we serve so they have a place to live while they are working on sustaining sobriety through our balanced, holistic lifestyle. Jess Rogers Bloom: As runners, we don’t require a lot to pursue our sport. However, there are inherent barriers to entry for many, especially for those from marginalized communities and those with challenges related to accessing nature. Access often comes at a cost and at RPL we prioritize breaking down the barriers to ensure equitable access to nature and running for everyone. RPL’s mission is to build inclusive running com munities dedicated to protecting the environment. In 2023 we will focus our efforts on equitable access to nature and its relation to environmental stewardship. We recognize that this isn’t just a social issue, but one that intersects directly with how people connect with and care for the natural world around them. How have these challenges and

opportunities changed over the past few years? Denmark: COVID has really brought health needs into the forefront. It has always been the case that time spent on the trail is good for the body, mind and soul, but because the communities BCM works with have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, there’s never been a more appropriate or necessary time for BCM to step up and deliver on its mission. Baker: RPL believes that diversity in perspective and representation is necessary to be successful in protecting our environment. As we work to make running and nature more accessible, we also recognize there are impacts that result from more runners using trails and accessing public lands. RPL sees this as an opportunity. The more runners we can empower to protect the land they use by getting involved in local level advocacy issues related to environmental justice, the bigger impact we can have as

an organization. Crandell: Prior to 2016, we were mainly an agency that was provided support. But since then we have turned into an innovative clinical treatment agency that focuses on the impact of trauma and how to cope effectively with it in order to live with inner peace. Hobbs: T here has been more awareness and more of an activation mindset over the past few years, especially as it relates to trails. People are realizing that we are fortunate to have trails to recreate upon and that if they are not protected and preserved, we won’t have any trails. S m i t h: We’ve s e e n a n uptick in women and BIPOC participation and increased diversity within the outdoor industry consumer base, which yields a great opportunity for retailers, vendors and race organizers to intentionally engage in DEI efforts within the workplace and spaces. Through identifying these barriers to workforce participation and engagement, and lack of measures and tools for progress as common threads or points of opportunity, Camber strategically aligns our programming to meet these challenges. We are committed to tackling the issues before us; we are working on the opportunity presented by a growing outdoor industry. How can our readers – the run and outdoor specialty retailers and brands – get involved in your organization? D en m a r k: We wa nt t o encourage any company, brand organization or individual to turn their next outdoor adventure into an Adventure for

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Running Advocates (continued)

Big City Mountaineers provides transformative experiences for youths who would otherwise not have such an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Someone, where folks can add a layer of purpose and meaning to the activities they already love to do. As you run, walk, hike or do whatever you’re passionate about, you can raise funds to support our mission of access to the outdoors for youth from disinvested communities. This is a great way to build community within organizations and give people that little extra bit of motivation to do the thing they have always been thinking of doing. Crandell: They can participate in our annual 5K race. They could donate running shoes, promote our unique livestream support group meeting or they could make a donation to support the organization online Hobbs: A few great ways include being featured on our website. We have run spotlights on specialty in our Trail News section, we welcome articles at any time. We’d of course love it if retailers and vendors share information about ATRA — even a link on their website. B l o o m : A s a g r ow i n g organization, we seek members and partners that align with our mission, can help grow our platform and share our 40

work with their communities. RPL relies on the sustainable f unding received th rough our individual and event/club Membership Program. Recently, we also launched the RPL Brand Coalition that provides tailored opportunities for brands and retailers to connect and collaborate with us on varying levels. We take great pride in creating lasting partnerships and ensure alignment in priorities, goals and vision. S m i t h: B e c o m e a p a r t of the Camber Community. Camber Outdoors offers corporate, small business and nonprofits the opportunity to align with other brands within the ORE who are committed to make this an industry of choice for all. In addition, we offer eligible small business and nonprofits sponsored Camber partnerships. We invite Industry leaders and brands to become DEI Champions within their workplaces and provide resources to support Camber’s meaningful work impacting over 300 partner corporate, small business, and nonprofit partners and more than 13,000 individuals in the outdoor industry.

What is the benefit to brands and retailers? Smith: Data reflects that by 2030 more than half of American workers will be BIPOC. The business case is clear: More diverse, equitable and inclusive organizations are better able to meet goals, win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction and decisionmaking. And all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns — for companies and nonprofits, for individuals and for communities. By committing to workplace diversity, equity and inclusion, running brands and retailers, and everyone really, can create a sense of belonging and community. B a k e r: A r el a t i o n s h i p between RPL and a brand or retailer is mutually beneficial. If a brand is investing in our programs they become part of our larger goal to create inclusive running communities dedicated to protecting the environment. With the support of a coalition of brands and retailers, RPL can provide the framework needed to organize and amplify independent efforts and resources to create an impact greater than the sum of its parts. Hobbs: The website is full of information, from press releases to education to book reviews to runner features to tips and techniques. We also have a YouTube channel with more than 500 videos. We can also be a resource through our demographics gleaned from surveys and our team has extensive knowledge about the sport to share. Crandell: I would like to develop par tnerships with the running brands that I use

(Saucony, Oakley, 2XU) and have that partnership be a give and take. For example, having them use my image and personal story along with the Racing for Recovery concept and success stories as a way for them to showcase their kind support and how it actually works and benefits the world. Denm ark: First and foremost, our hope is that a partnership with BCM helps brands and retailers advance their advocacy goals and gives them a meaningful way to do their part in increasing youth opportunity, as well as diversity and representation, in outdoor recreation spaces. Engaging in a giveback event or campaign with BCM has increased partners’ sales and bottom line; this is a proven effective marketing strategy. And BCM may be a wonderful point of connection for companies looking to break into the trail space. What do you look to accomplish by your presence at The Running Event in Austin? Denmark: We are hoping to make connections with existing and prior partners, as well as meet new partners and grow our circle of supporters. We are also hoping to make ourselves better known to brands who may not focus on outdoor recreation but who are interested. Hobbs: Meeting attendees and sharing our passion for the sport through one-on-one interactions and also through Switchback in whatever way we can assist. Smith: During our panel, “Breaking Down Barriers: DEI is the Race to Run!,” I hope to emphasize the importance of creating equitable, inclusive © 2022 Diversified Communications

who are making bad choices to deal with that hurt. Rogers Bloom: The Running Event will be the first large outdoor industry event that Runners for Public Lands attends. We are excited to meet new outdoor industry reps, retailers and runners and to build lasting relationships that also help to further our mission. We are excited to share a film screening of “Everyone Run’s — The Story of Adapative Athlete Shaun Wahl,” and hope that this story inspires others to get involved in promoting more equitable access to nature and to the sport of running.

Camber Outdoors’ Tiffany Smith points out that by 2030 more than half of American workers will be BIPOC and the running and outdoor industries need to reflect that mix.

workplaces, especially in a multi-billion dollar industry with more than seven million jobs, and the steps and tools needed to make that happen. Additionally, I hope to connect with more people in this industry and share our mission and the work that Camber is doing. Crandell: We hope people understand that addiction and self-destructive behaviors can be stopped and a beautiful life can ensue. Additionally, people need to understand that souls who are using drugs are not bad people, but rather hurting people

F i n all y, w h a t a r e yo u r organization’s plans for 2023? Baker: 2023 will be a big year for Runners for Public Lands. We are seeking funding to grow several of our existing programs that directly address environmental justice issues and break down barriers to running and nature. We are also excited to launch the Everyone Runs Funds — our program that will provide funding and in-kind donations, such as coaching and gear, to help disadvantaged runners chase after their dream goals. We plan to launch this program in January and announce the first round of recipients in April. We also look forward to launching the Runners for Public Lands Ambassador Program that will organically grow additional

RPL communities across new diverse communities in the U.S. Cr a n d e l l : We pl a n o n increasing our app features (the Racing for Recovery lifestyle app launches in October) and also building our own recovery housing unit while continuing to serve those in need. Hobbs: We have not yet announced our theme, but each of our themes over the past few years is not retired after the year in which it was featured. We build on our themes each year and look at the trail and mountain r unning climate to assess where some of our resources will be placed in the coming year. Smith: Camber Outdoors is focused on collaboration, culture and community. We aspire to collaborate with brands and organizations aligned with inclusive culture — workplaces and spaces that promote a sense of community where everyone is included, valued and poised to be a part of the changing landscape of workplaces and spaces in the outdoor industry. In order to do that, Camber’s commitment remains steadfast by creating robust programming of equitable systems, inclusive culture and opportunities for leadership and employee peers, talent development and a full suite of resources specifically tailored to address the need for a more diverse workplaces in the outdoor industry. Denmark: Along with the

To get involved with any of these advocacy groups: American Trail Running Association: Big City Mountaineers: Camber Outdoors: Runners for Public Lands: Racing for Recovery: 41

Todd Crandell’s goal in 2023 is to build Racing for Recovery’s own recovery housing unit to serve those in need who are using running to turn their lives around.

many things we’re doing to streamline and optimize our scaffolded program model, we are also going to pilot a program for BCM trip alumni who are interested in taking the next step with us and with their outdoor pursuits. Tentatively called the Leaders program, selected BCM youth alumni will receive training, professional development and support in outdoor leadership, serve as a junior instructor on BCM trips and access career exploration oppor tunities. The selective experience will come with a stipend as well. Additionally, we are overhauling how we work with volunteers to ensure that everyone who wants to volunteer with us has the opportunity to have a highly impactful and memorable experience. n © 2022 Diversified Communications

#TRE22 Sneak Peek

Show and Taxes In addition to everything else, there are tax benefits to attending The Running Event. / By Mark E. Battersby


hey’re back! That’s right, having fun and reaping the many benefits of attending events such as The Running Event 2022 in Austin, TX, this fall, are once again possible. While not all conventions, trade shows, seminars and events are “in person,” tax write-offs – and restrictions – new and old are in place for those attending or participating in either. Not too surprisingly the tax rules have changed over the past two years and there are new write-offs strictly for those attending remote events, seminars and the like. A new, temporary write-off for 100 percent of some food and beverage costs, new per diem rates and a recently increased standard mileage rate are just a few of the things a TRE attendee faces today. Travel to a Tax Deduction Generally, a specialty retail business or someone who is self-employed can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses incurred when traveling on business. Meeting the requirement of being “ordinary and necessary” business expenses, and if the trip is completely business-related, the full amount is deductible for costs including: • Travel by plane, car, bus or train between the attendee’s home and the destination. • Transportation at the destination including from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the event and even the cost of a car rental. • Actual or standard mileage costs of using a personal or business vehicle for the trip. • Parking, tolls and other costs associated with the use of the vehicle. • Lodging. • Meals, either the actual cost or the IRS’s per diem allowance. • Dry cleaning or laundry services. • Tips related to any of the above. 42

Today, and at least until 2026, employee business expenses cannot be taken as a personal itemized deduction. Specialty retailers along with the self-employed and independent contractors can, of course, continue reaping tax savings when attending events in-person or remotely. Expenses, including travel, lodging and meals, can be deducted for owners and employees attending a convention or trade show within the United States — as long as it can be shown that attendance benefited the business. (And attending TRE certainly fits in that category!) This applies to workshops, conferences and seminars as well as actual trade shows and conventions. However, while travel expenses are among the most common business expense deductions, this type of expense can also be one of the most confusing. Fortunately, things can go a lot smoother when using the IRS’s standard expense deduction. The Per Diem Allowance Business travel entails a wide variety of expenses. In addition to the cost of getting to and from Austin, paying for a place to stay, local transportation, meals and entertainment and more all cloud the deductions possible. The IRS’s per diem rules greatly simplify the process of substantiating business travel expense amounts. Originally designed for federal employees, the per diem is a daily allowance for specific travel expenses now used by private employers and accepted by the IRS. While the per diem amount does not cover the transportation to out-of-town events or other business destinations, it does cover lodging, along with meals and incidentals once an attendee arrives at the event. Updated every year, the per diem rates

Not too surprisingly the tax rules have changed over the past two years and there are new writeoffs strictly for those attending remote events and seminars. change as cost rise. The per diem rates include three components: • Meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) “high/low” rates are $295 for travel to any high-cost locality and $202 for travel to any other locality in the continental United States. The amount of the high rate treated as paid for meals is $74 or $64 in any other locality. • Incidental expenses only cover such things as fees, tips and the like and remains at $5 per day. • High-cost cities and locations covers the cost when business requires visiting to a more expensive destination. Friends and Family Generally, there is no tax deduction for a spouse, dependent or any other individual traveling with an attendee. In order for their travel expenses to be deductible, the spouse or other individual must also be an employee of the business. A spouse’s travel must be for a bona fide business purpose. Although not deductible, those accompanying spouses, family members or friends can stay in accommodations that are priced “per room” without jeopardizing the attendee’s deduction. When driving, rarely does an extra passenger add to the expense.

© 2022 Diversified Communications

Too Much Fun = Vacation When it comes to travel that is both business-related and personal, the IRS is on the lookout for anyone trying to classify a nondeductible personal trip as a deductible business trip. Fortunately, convention-related expense deductions have long been possible even if part of the trip included personal vacation time. So feel free to enjoy some time in Austin. Deducting expenses for family members accompanying an attendee on a business trip isn’t possible unless there’s a business reason for them to attend. What’s more, traveling to a destination and engaging in both personal and business activities means deducting traveling expenses to and from the destination only if the trip is primarily related to the running business. If the trip is primarily personal in nature, none of the traveling expenses are deductible. This is true even if some business activities are engaged in while at the destination. Naturally, deductions are permitted for particular expenses incurred while at the destination if they otherwise qualify as business deductions. Foreign Events and Cruises Foreign travel solely for business is fully tax deductible. When it comes to deducting expenses for attending a trade show or convention outside the North American area, however, the event must be directly related to the running business and it must be as reasonable to hold it outside North America as in it. Tax deductions for conventions, shows and other events held on cruise ships are 43

permitted. Of course, the event must be directly related to the specialty retail business, the ship must be a vessel registered in the U.S. and all of the ship’s ports of call must be in the U.S. or its possessions. Unfortunately, only up to $2000 of the expenses of attending a qualifying event on a cruise ship may be deducted each year. Same Rules for Remote Events As a result of the pandemic, many trade shows, conventions and other events were forced to operate virtually. Today, attendance for many of those events remains possible only remotely. In order to reimburse workers for expenses incurred attending shows, conventions and other events, a specialty retailer can establish an IRS-approved reimbursement program. These so-called “accountable plans,” cover the expense of attending or par ticipating in remote events – as long as they are business-related. Employees provide receipts for their expenditures; the business pays them back and the reimbursement qualifies as a business expense. These reimbursements would be for reasonable and necessary expenses, which might even include a portion of the expenses associated with those remote events such as: • Cell phone or landline plan • Personal computer or tablet • Home internet plan, and • Teleconferencing software or hardware Obviously, on ly br ief ly at tendi ng a remote show, webi na r or ot her event would make allocating costs extremely difficult for anyone

not already working remotely. For those individuals, deducting “education-related” expenses might be the preferred course of action. T he re qu i rement s for education-related expenses are that the event, webinar or seminar must improve a taxpayer’s skills or help maintain their professional expertise. Plus, they must be related to the individual’s field of work. The IRS Likes Records Attending a show or other industry event can mean big bills for travel and hotels. A running retailer can, of course, deduct those expenses, softening the blow to the bottom line. However, deductions must be suppor ted by adequate documentation. The IRS often challenges de ducct ions for t ravel expenses that are not properly s u b s t a nt i a t e d. T hu s, it’s important to keep “adequate” records that show: • The amount of the expense • The time and place of the activity, and • The business purpose and relationship. That means retaining materials such as show badges or seminar workbooks that can help prove attendance at the event. Other helpful materials would be conference agendas with business-essential sessions, an exhibitors list, a catalog of relevant seminars and business cards and vendor brochures. Although a specialty retailer may not be required to keep all receipts from The Running Event, such as those for expenditures under $75, it doesn’t hurt to do so. They often serve

Specialty retailers along with the selfemployed and independent contractors can continue reaping tax savings when attending events inperson or remotely. as a reminder of a deductible expense, especially where the payment was in cash. Benefits and Benefitting Attending trade shows, conventions, conferences and other events can be a great way for running business owners and self-employed individuals to keep themselves and their employees current on industry developments, ensure ongoing professional development and improve skills. It also allows for networking opportunities. Best of all, the costs of attending or participating in these events may be tax deductible. Naturally, deducting show attendance costs that are lavish or extravagant is a no-no. And showing the business purpose of these or any other expense in needed to secure the deduction. T he complexity a nd ever-changing rules make professional guidance neceesary for those wishing to secure the maximum write-off for their running specialty retailers. n © 2022 Diversified Communications

#TRE22 Sneak Peek

Racing By Design How to utilize branding and design to create a cohesive – and connected – race day experience. / By Rita Carroll


hen it comes to races, it’s not always obvious to those involved how impactful the event’s designed elements can be to the overall experience. As a designer in the running event community, it’s become a welcome challenge for me to ensure each design decision I make holds true to optimizing the race day experience at every creative touchpoint from start (marketing materials, promotional items, social media) to finish (race bibs, posters and medals). To do this, there are three main values I strive to uphold in order to create a connected race day experience for both the event itself and for the participating runners. By anchoring my creative process in a mission to uphold trust, collaboration and celebration, I have identified a few ways to achieve this through design execution. It’s important for both the team and the athlete to feel trust in an event. That it will not only be organizationally sound, but also an event that’s safe and securely executed with minimal headaches and maximum fun. With trust comes willingness of participants to sign up, spread the word and return for another year. Race planning and support along the course are a core component of success, but this trust can also be achieved and upheld through branding. Creative consistency across all platforms from social media and marketing to race premiums and signage ensure a brand confidence that trickles down to the race itself. Success for this starts by scaling out and accounting for as many creative items holistically at the onset of planning to allow for intentional execution, clarity, and consistency. I like to say that a consistent brand is a confident brand. I’ve also found that taking a collaborative 44

to maintaining a collaborative nature and creating community from planning to promoting to race day strengthens the fabric of the event and creates a shared sense of ownership.

Making race medals a collectible is one way to create celebration and connection to a race event.

approach to the creative process creates a sense of connection and pride for the whole event team, which is palpable to participants come race day. Flexibility (and fun!) should be established - and prioritized - from the beginning of the creative ideation process. Creating the Playlist I like to remind myself of this as I’m developing a brand or executing on designed deliverables to keep the work feeling unlabored, but rich. One way I lean into this early on in my process is by curating playlists. I often make them collaborative so other members of the team can contribute and reference to feel a special connectedness through creative planning. This type of collaboration can scale beyond the internal team. Taking that sort of approach, whether it’s a playlist or another unique type of creative platform to get folks excited and involved, can be presented to participants through various communication platforms. Gentle and gradual attention

Celebrate the Event Another important value that I hold true through all facets of the race is celebration. Events are a tangible representation of an athlete’s journey and hard work and are meant to be commemorated for everyone involved. I work hard to stay mindful of that as I’m developing the designed pieces, particularly race day premiums. One way I like to achieve this is by making race medals feel like collectible items. In the past I have identified classically collected items, such as record albums, postage stamps and keys, to inform the shape and direction of the medal. This way, year after year, participants will want to add to their collection, which is beneficial for everyone involved. Overall, branding and marketing present ample opportunities to connect both with your internal team, sponsors and your participants. Folks can sense the energy behind a project to inform how they receive the experience. Being mindful of and fostering that energy through aligned values can open up creative opportunities that not only speak to your brand but also connect to your audience in new ways you may not have considered. n Rita Carroll is founder and designer of Out&Back, a studio based in Philadelphia that provides creative solutions to events and brands in the running and fitness space. Contact:

© 2022 Diversified Communications

T H U R S D AY, D E C E M B E R 1 · 7 A M · C I R C U I T O F T H E A M E R I C A S


Open and free to all attendees. Simply opt-in when registering for #TRE22.

#TRE22 Sneak Peek

What’s New?

To whet your appetitie for all of the new products at The Running Event, here’s a sampling of eight that we found first.

Ghosting at TRE … Brooks’ Ghost 15 model features its DNA Loft v2 within the midsole for a lightweight cushioning in addition to an enhanced upper that includes a redefined 3D Fit Print for an improved secure fit. MSRP: $140 No-Show at the Show … Darn Tough’s No-Show Tab Ultra Lightweight with Cushion running sock features a chafe-eliminating cuff, high-performance flex zones and a supportive fit. Built with ultra-lightweight, wicking Merino for all-day, marathon-mileage bids. MSRP: $18


Ya Gotta Hydrate … Mantra Labs’ Hydrate is formulated with 1200-plus mg of six electrolytes to hydrate better. Created with natural oceanic electrolytes, marine minerals and vitamins without any sugar or artificial flavoring. MSRP: $24.99

© 2022 Diversified Communications

#TRE22 Sneak Peek

Shoe Synergy … Jambu’s lightweight Synergy shoe has a foothugging design that’s secured with a bungee lacing system and toggle closure. The durable, heavy-tread outsole is equipped with All Terra traction for grip. MSRP: $59

Off the Hook … Handful’s first hook and eye closure bra – the Off the Hook bra – features straps that adjust for comfort and security. The bra offers mid-level support and a smooth front panel. Made from recycled polyester, this bra includes pad pockets with removable Thin Lights Out pads. MSRP: $62

No Distress Here … Neversecond’s C90 High Carb Drink Mix delivers 90g of energy in each single-serving pack using a blend that is also isotonic for fast gastric emptying. C90 is both pH-neutral and mildly flavored to reduce the risk of GI distress during intense effort. MSRP: $34 47

Elites Only … The Vimazi Z20 is specifically tuned and designed for elite distance runners. Optimized for agility, speed and max energy efficiency at pace, its FastPods deliver cushioning and forefoot propulsion efficiency. MSRP: $175

Going Vegan … Constructed with seamless welded PU/synthetic uppers and set on a new sneaker-inspired Camara outsole, Lowa’s Axos GTX Lo Ws is 100 percent vegan. Featuring a durably waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex lining to protect feet from the elements. MSRP: $230

© 2022 Diversified Communications

Switchback #TRE22 Sneak Peek

Come On In #TRE22 will ‘Welcome the Outdoors In’ at inaugural Switchback.


un retailers sell a lot of products that a re used in the Great Outdoors. Hikers and trail runners shop at run specialty stores. Outdoor stores sell running gear. So it is only natural that The Running Event expand this year into a special section reaching out to an expanded customer base. It is called Switchback at TRE and the motto, appropriately enough, is “Welcome the Outdoors In.” The aim, quite simply, is to provide an elevated onsite experience where outdoor retailers can source products, develop meaningful peer relationships and gain industry insights to stay ahead of trends and better serve their customers. For the first time at #TRE22, November 29-December 1, 2022, in Austin, TX, Switchback at The Running Event will welcome outdoor brands to connect and do business with qualified buyers spanning outdoor and run specialty retail. The forward-looking expansion includes a new space in the TRE exhibit hall, actionable, relevant conference sessions and dedicated networking events that will unite outdoor brands and retailers with run specialty — ultimately helping key players understand and meet market needs for future growth. “The Running Event has an intimate, community-driven spirit and energy and we’d like to create that space for the outdoor industry,” says Christina Henderson, event director for The Running Event. “We understand the needs of specialty retailers and we invite outdoor stores to come experience everything TRE has to offer.” 48

As of press time, Switchback at TRE exhibitors representing the brands leading the way in outdoor specialty include:

Adidas Terrex Scott Sports Unifi Vapor Apparel Asolo Pivot Point Icebreaker Locally Malakye Fitterfirst Lowa Boots Farm to Feet Tanri Danner Trere Innovation Keen Sayso Shade Wolverine Worldwide Dansko Oboz BioLite Scarpa Vionic Those outdoor brands exhibiting at Switchback at TRE join a number of leading companies already selling into outdoor specialty and spanning categories ranging from footwear and apparel to technology, nutrition, recovery and POS. For more: https://www.therunningevent. com/access-switchback-at-tre/ n

© 2022 Diversified Communications

Doubling Down in Cincy Fleet Feet Cincinnati doubles unit count to eight with absorption of four local JackRabbit stores. / By Daniel P. Smith


ith one stroke of the pen on September 1, 2022, Frank and Stacey DeJulius’ running specialty empire in Cincinnati swelled — and swelled substantially. The owners of four Fleet Feet locations in and around The Queen City, the DeJuliuses’ ambitious deal with Fleet Feet corporate included absorbing four local JackRabbit shops — retail outlets originally founded under the Bob Roncker’s Running Spot banner. Overnight, the decade-long Fleet Feet franchisees saw their unit count double from four to eight, their employee count surge 50 people and millions of dollars in inventory come under their charge. “We’re so excited to move ahead and implement our model in more communities around southwest Ohio, which means inspiring movement, creating healthy lives and connecting with other local businesses,” Stacey DeJulius says. Growing in Cincinnati It’s been an enterprising decade for the DeJuliuses, who moved to Cincinnati in 2012 in order to purchase the 11-year-old Cincinnati-Blue Ash location from Fleet Feet corporate. “I remember being so jazzed to get to Cincy, but also being scared to death of Bob Roncker’s stores because he was the running institution in Cincinnati,” says Frank DeJulius, an alum of Fleet Feet’s Operating Partner Development Program designed to groom future franchisees. DeJulius worked at Fleet Feet stores in Cleveland, Nashville and suburban Chicago before acquiring the Blue Ash store with Stacey. When Roncker sold his four namesake running stores to the Denver-based Running Specialty Group (RSG) in late 2013, Frank 50

Frank and Stacey DeJulius became the owners of Fleet Feet Cincinnati in 2012. With the acquisition of four JackRabbit locations from Fleet Feet corporate, the couple now owns and operates eight stores in Cincinnati.

DeJulius remembers wondering how that deal might impact his fledgling business. At the time, RSG, an operating segment of The Finish Line, Inc., was on an aggressive purchasing spree that would come to include JackRabbit stores in New York City, the Boulder Running Company in Colorado

and Garry Gribble’s Running Sports in Kansas among others. Frank DeJulius, of course, had no idea what resided ahead, so he and Stacey hustled into the future determined and committed. They opened additional Fleet Feet stores in 2014, 2019 and 2021, the latter being

© 2022 Diversified Communications

a novel retail presence at the Fifty West Brewing Company campus in Cincinnati. “I’ve got an entrepreneurial mindset and knew I wanted to grow,” he says. “Plus, we didn’t move to Cincy to be second best.”

The growing Fleet Feet Cincinnati empire led by Frank and Stacey DeJulius includes dynamic retail locations in suburban West Chester (top) and at the Fifty West Brewing Company campus in Cincinnati.

An Unexpected Opportunity In late 2021, Fleet Feet leadership approached the DeJuliuses with rather stunning news: they were in talks to acquire 56-unit JackRabbit, RSG’s rebranded specialty running unit that included the four former Bob Roncker’s retail locations. Fleet Feet leaders noted the overlap in Cincinnati, where the DeJuliuses’ four Fleet Feet outlets rivaled the four JackRabbit locations. The two parties held numerous discussions about potential paths ahead and the DeJuliuses examined a range of different options. In the end, though, the couple decided to acquire the four JackRabbit units from Fleet Feet corporate and convert them into DeJulius-owned franchised units after a brief cooling-off period in the first half of 2022 to square up issues with leases, landlords and employees. “Once we decided to do it, there was no pause,” Frank DeJulius says. Charging Ahead Into 2023 E a r l i e r t h i s ye a r, t h e DeJuliuses began building o ut t h ei r o rga n i z a t ion a l chart to support eight stores. They hired an HR manager as well as floor and assistant managers and recently moved their distribution center and corporate offices above Bob Roncker’s flagship store in


The DeJuliuses intend to build upon the heritage and history of Bob Roncker’s four stores – there are ideas to revamp Roncker’s famous shoe collection and officially christen it Roncker’s Shoe Museum. Cincinnati’s O’Br yonville neighborhood. “ I c a m e up on t h e f it stool and know how to be an employee and a manager and make customers happy,” Frank DeJulius says. “Now, it’s about making employees and management happy and learning how to be more of a leader, so that’s been a shift.” The DeJuliuses intend to build upon the heritage and history of Bob Roncker’s four stores – there are, for example, ideas to revamp Roncker’s famous shoe collection and officially christen it Roncker’s Shoe Museum to honor the Cincinnati running legend – as well as plans to modernize each location. “We truly enjoy building amazing retail stores, so we’re going to take hammers to all of them and create eight really cool running stores here in Cincy,” Frank DeJulius says. “If we can mix great environments with the level of customer service we deliver, we’re excited about what the future holds.” n © 2022 Diversified Communications

running shorts RIDC/Saucony Will Run For CommUnity in Austin During The Running Event AS THE RUNNING SPECIALTY INDUSTRY GATHERS IN Austin, TX, for The Running Event 2022 – Nov. 29-Dec. 1 – the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC) will be partnering with Saucony to hold a fun CommUnity Run. • Wednesday, Nov, 30, 6 a.m. start • Run/Walk Length: Approx. 3.6 miles • Start: Sunset House, 310 E 3rd St. • End: Trail of Lights • Parking: Free parking at the Hilton (500 E. 4th Street) with validated ticket. • Transportation: Buses will be available to transport back to the start or participants can run/walk 2.4 miles back. • Registration: Sign up by Nov. 25. The running industry has been and continues to be primarily a business and culture of white people and TRE’s attendance has reflected the industry’s lack of diversity. In response, the RIDC is working with the event organizers and Saucony to help change that as it seeks to challenge the current status quo while amplifying the inclusion, access and roles of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the industry. The coalition is united by the belief that running, walking and fitness support a healthy culture and should be accessible for everyone. The CommUnity Run will include attendees of TRE and RIDC and Saucony are inviting Austin’s highly diverse local running community to participate in taking a step toward creating a more diverse and equitable running culture and industry.

Tailwind Nutrition Expands Into New Facility, Welcomes New COO After a decade of growth, Tailwind Nutrition, a provider of simple and complete sports nutrition products for athletes, remains committed to keeping operations and manufacturing at home in Southwest Colorado and has made two moves that benefit not only the business, but the company’s hometown of Durango. This year, Tailwind moved to a new production and warehouse facility in La Plata County and also hired Chris Jacobs as its new COO. “Tailwind Nutrition continues to grow 52

RIDC’s long-term goals include increasing BIPOC employment, increasing BIPOC leadership/ownership, increasing the share of BIPOC suppliers, vendors, and contractors hired, and increasing BIPOC participation. Additionally, it works to improve authentic BIPOC representation in media and marketing and for 100 percent of BIPOC runners to report feeling welcome, included and safe at running stores, clubs and events. Run event page on the RIDC website: To register:

at a fast clip,” according to Jenny Vierling, co-founder of Tailwind. “We outgrew our production facility three years ago and it’s been a game of Tetris since. We’re thrilled to open our new facility with ample space for growth, keeping manufacturing and fulfillment here in Southwest Colorado. “At the same time, we’re excited to welcome Chris Jacobs as COO, bringing his organizational expertise to help more athletes achieve their goals as we scale,” Vierling adds. In his new leadership role, Jacobs will run the day-to-day functioning of the company — adding processes and

systems that enable scalable growth from Tailwind’s Durango office. New Balance Opens DC In Tennessee New Balance Athletics plans to invest $68.5 million in a new distribution center in Lebanon, TN. Located in the Speedway Industrial Park, the New Balance facility will support a portion of its digital commerce business and service its wholesale and retail operations for its apparel business. The construction of the automated processing facility, at approximately 350,000-square feet, is expected to be completed in late Summer 2023.

© 2022 Diversified Communications

running shorts Strides for Progress Strava Challenge Supports Texas Nonprofits During TRE 2022

THE RUNNING EVENT IN AUSTIN, TX, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, is much more than a typical trade event. The organziers have made a significant effort to extend the event’s impact beyond the walls of the Austin Convention Center to reach out to a number of Texas communities. One of those efforts is the communitydriven initiative Strides for Progress. This activity-based Strava challenge will take place at The Running Event 2022 and will support five Texas-based nonprofit organizations. Strides for Progress will challenge participants to log running, walking, hiking, wheelchair or handcycle activities in the Strava app to reach a collective mileage goal of 35,000. The challenge will be active beginning Thursday, November 24 and will close Thursday, December 1. When the 35,000-mile goal is reached, donations will be equally distributed to the following organizations, selected in collaboration with the Running Industry Diversity Coalition: 54

• Austin Angels • Austin Justice Coalition • The Lilith Fund • Texas Civil Rights Project • Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund “This year, we want to give The Running Event community the opportunity to make a real, tangible impact beyond the walls of the Austin Convention Center,” explains Christina Henderson, event director of The Running Event. “The Strides for Progress initiative will not only donate money to five incredible nonprofits, but it will shine a light on what these organizations are doing to address some of the most important issues facing Texas communities.” One of the nonprofits that will benefit from the Strides for Progress effort will be Austin Angels. “Austin Angels is excited to be a beneficiary of The Running Event’s Strides for Progress challenge,” says marketing director Sara Hale. “This time of year, families in foster care have so many needs – both

emotional and physical – and it’s because of this kind of financial support that we are able to rally the community around these children and provide radical relational support for foster families.” Strides for Progress is open to The Running Event attendees and exhibitors, as well as anyone else – whether they are at TRE or back in the store or office – who would like to participate. Athletes will be able to join the challenge on Strava starting Thursday, November 17. Donations are possible with the support of Strides for Progress brand partners, including premium partner Body Glide and partners Brooks, HOKA and OS1st. The Running Event has also pledged to donate. Interested participants are encouraged to join the TRE Run Club on Strava to stay up to date about Strides for Progress and receive the latest challenge news. To join:

© 2022 Diversified Communications

running shorts Road Runner/Kelly’s, Polartec Technology, Vuori NYC store, Saucony Ride 15, Altra VIA Olympus Road Runner Absorbs Kelly’s Running Warehouse After 19 years in independent operation, Kelly’s Running Warehouse has been officially absorbed by its parent company, Road Runner Sports, which plans to streamline their operations by rebranding the discount outlet as Road Runner Sports Runner’s Outlet. As part of the move, Kelly’s Running Warehouse now officially reroutes to Road Runner Sports Runner’s Outlet. Founded in 2003, Kelly’s Running Warehouse was essentially a website for discounted prices on running shoes and carried brands that included Brooks, ASICS, Hoka, Saucony, Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Reebok and Altra. Kelly’s Running Warehouse claims to have sold more than 50,000 pairs of shoes to runners of all levels. “We named Kelly’s Running Warehouse after my sister, so it holds a special place in my heart,” says Michael Gotfredson, president of Road Runner Sports. “For nearly 20 years, it was the best place to find incredible prices on running shoes. Now is the right time to bring it into the Road Runner Sports fold.” Road Runner’s portfolio now includes 44 brick-and-mortar stores in 12 states and an e-commerce site. Polartec Debuts Bio-based Protection Technology Polartec has launched a bio-based Polartec Power Shield fabric technology that it claims sets “a new standard for sustainable weather protection.” The launch signifies Polartec’s continued pivot to source living matter substitutes for petroleum-based products while increasing the efficiency and performance of fabrics and materials. The advanced monolithic membrane of Polartec Power Shield is made from a combination of plant-based and non-PFAS materials and achieves a combination of 55

waterproofness, windproofness, long-lasting breathability, high durability and comfortable stretch. Vuori Opens New York City Store Vuori has opened its first New York City store — located in SoHo at 106 Spring Street, it is the brand’s first East Coast flagship. Housed in a historic cast-iron building that Soho is known for, the retail store features a modern and clean design with earthy elements. The store is its largest location, at about 5000-square feet. The product mix at the store focuses on fitness, yoga, surf and lifestyle. Interior design elements include custom fixtures of natural materials, the first display monograph on Vuori, a custom art installation of backlit mountains representing the meaning of Vuori, Finnish for mountain, and a 40-foot hallway of soft-edge lit repeating arches leading to a fitting room lounge. The opening in New York’s Soho district follows an earlier opening of its London store in Covent Garden, marking its first brick-and-mortar shop outside of the U.S. Currently with 24 stores, Vuori has more than 100 store openings scheduled to open in the U.S. over the next five years. New Product: Saucony Ride 15 TR+GTX

The redesigned Saucony Ride 15 TR delivers a comfort-first sensation for trail runs and is built using softer cushioning and grippy tread — it also has more foam and a durable feel. Among other features: • A segmented PWRTRAC outsole and

lightweight yet durable upper provides versatility for the road and the trail. • A softer PWRRUN cushioning formula provides more cushion and less weight for “springy” trail and road runs. • A beveled midsole with a higher stack of cushioning delivers an easy stride from heel-to-toe. MSRP: $140/$160 GTX Altra Launches Max Cushion Road Shoe

Altra Running today launches VIA Olympus, described as “a max cushion road shoe designed to provide optimal cushion and efficiency for a comfortable run no matter the distance.” The VIA Olympus celebrates Altra’s technologies coupled with a new rocker shape geometry that encourages a more efficient toe-off. In addition to its new rocker geometry, Altra’s FootShape Fit, Balanced Cushioning and EGO MAX midsole helps VIA Olympus deliver a plushy road ride that helps put runners in a more forward leaning stance. “Our goal was to create a running shoe for consumers who enjoy max cushion, but do it in an Altra specific way that incorporates our FootShape comfort,” explains Altra president Todd Dalhausser. “VIA Olympus is quick on foot and provides a rocker shape geometry for runners who want an efficient and familiar running experience they know and love from Altra.” VIA Olympus’ design is sculpted to help mimic the natural run experience, which also adds to the efficiency of the shoe. Available in three contemporary colorways for both men and women. MSRP: $170

© 2022 Diversified Communications

Welcoming the

Outdoors In

Discover a new dedicated space for the outdoor specialty industry to gather and grow Switchback at The Running Event (TRE) delivers an elevated onsite experience where outdoor retailers and brands can do business, build meaningful relationships, and access valuable industry insights. Interested in exhibiting?

Contact Event Director Christina Henderson at


NOV 29 - DEC 1 AUSTIN, TX @therunningevent

Produced by:

#TRE22 Sneak Peek

One More Thing ... To get everyone fired up about The Running Event 2022 in Austin, here’s a look back at #TRE21. More excitement ahead!


© 2021 Diversified Communications

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