Running Insight 4.15.19

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LATINOS CORRIENDO ‘Latinos on the run’


Maria Solis Belizaire works to get more Hispanics running — one city at a time. APRIL 15, 2019




Latinos Run looks to connect Hispanics with their local running communities one city at a time.


ith health care a major topic among Hispanics in America, Maria Solis Belizaire is on a 50-state quest to change the narrative and bridge the gap between fitness and a community of some more than

58 million people. Solis Belizaire is the founder of and guiding force behind Latinos Run, whose mission is to bring together those in the Latino community through running and exercise. Her single goal: To combat health-related issues

such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity among the more than 55 million Latinos living in the United States, 70 percent of whom are identified as obese or overweight. Founded in New York City in 2016,

Maria Solis Belizaire has gone coast to coast with Latinos Run, starting in New York City in 2016 and making it all the way to San Francisco to spread the word.

RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2019 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published twice each month, 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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Latinos Run (continued) Latinos Run currently hosts local free group runs and events for runners of all levels — walkers, elite athletes and kids. And even though its roots are in New York City, Latinos Run reaches out to almost all corners of the country by hosting pop-up events in, among other locations, California, South Florida, Washington, DC and Philadelphia. The Origin of Latinos Run

Solis Belizaire and Latinos Run have run in 31 states across America, so far.


As a child, Solis Belizaire was actively involved in athletics, but as she entered her teens life took a turn for the worse when her mother became incarcerated. As a way to deal with adversity, Maria turned to running and became a member of her high school track team. Years later, her twin sister invited her to take part in a local fun run, which became her first organized race

and the start of a love affair with the sport. Soon after she would be introduced to an ultra-marathoner who encouraged her to join the local New York Road Runners club with a goal of completing a New York City Marathon, which she accomplished in 2015 (followed by three more NYC Marathons in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Chicago Marathon in 2018). Running became a life changing experience for her. After participating in countless races across the United States, including her five marathons with family and friends, Solis Belizaire began to think about the impact health had not only on herself, but others in her community. Having lost her mother and friends from cancer and other heath issues, including obesity and heart disease, she knew she had to do more.

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RUNNING INSIGHT To contact Maria Solis Belizaire

Latinos Run (continued) In 2016, unable to find a group that catered specifically to Latinos, she decided to take action and form Latinos Run in honor of her late mother, Miriam Calderon Solis. “What’s unique about our movement is that we are connecting with a community on a large scale,” Solis Belizaire says. “From our inception, our runners from Latin America have been able to connect with our runners from the States.” Running Across America Well-known names in sports and running have supported the Latinos Run effort, including (from top) former NFL star Tiki Barber, Nike athlete Eliud Kipchoge (center) and Skechers marathoner Meb Keflezighi (center).


She takes her role in that connection seriously — so seriously, in fact, that she has embarked on a campaign called Project Run 50, where she is running in each state across America to meet more Latinos and to empower the community to lace up and get active. She tells Running Insight that as of April 1 she has run in 31 states and she is actively seeking local retailers this year to facilitate running in the remaining 19 while filming the full Project Run 50 effort. The outreach through running – yes, you can think of Forrest Gump and his epic journey across America – is designed to spread the word about running and exercise to a community often overlooked by the mainstream industry. She also wants to expand the horizons of people who often think – and run – only locally. “The one thing I have noticed is that a lot of runners stick to their local areas,” Solis Belizaire observes. “There is so much to see out there. This county is so beautiful, but many people don’t even know where many states are for fear traveling too far. I am going to give people a look

at this beautiful country and the epic places I have been to.” Currently servicing around 20,000 runners worldwide, Latinos Run certainly is spreading the gospel of running. And there is much more to come. The group will be traveling together to run the Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon and the Lola Challenge in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition, from Sept 15 through October 15 Latinos Run will be hosting pop-up runs across the country – New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and South Florida are currently on the schedule – to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The Retail Connection

The running community as a whole is certainly welcome to join in the fun, she stresses, and Latinos Run has already hosted countless runs out of retail stores. “These runs help generate business for the retailer and also introduce people in the community to running and to retailers that service the running community,” Solis Belizaire explains. “Many times we are bringing a new demographic to these retailers as well. “I would very much like to invite running retailers to get to know our organization as well as join us for one of our future events,” she adds. “It doesn’t matter if you are a walker or an elite runner, we cater to everyone by making sure our runs are fun and exciting. We know how fast the Latino population is growing, and we also know there is power in numbers. We can’t just sit back and hope for change, we have to create it.” n © 2019 Diversified Communications


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5 for Fashion Five niche apparel brands presenting distinctive goods to running retailers. / By Daniel P. Smith


atthew Rosetti can only shake his head when it comes to a discussion about running specialty stores and apparel. “Aside from Nike and the screening of private label pieces with creative local branding, most running shops can’t move apparel,” Rosetti says. “That’s because, unlike footwear, there’s no differentiating element to [apparel].” That reality, in fact, sparked Rosetti and his crew at the Brooklyn Running Company to launch RunBK Apparel in 2016. Rosetti calls RunBK his team’s attempt to create functional, fashionable apparel that allows running stores like his to present tops, shorts, pants and other apparel selections beyond the ubiquitous and mainstream. “A boutique brand offering is how shops should be differentiating on the apparel side,” Rosetti contends. Much like niche footwear brands such as Altra or On give footwear walls a differentiated selection beyond the conventional players, niche apparel brands provide retailers an avenue to ensure run specialty remains special. These five upstart apparel brands blend a unique point of view with a specific interest in the run specialty channel. rabbit



The result of Monica DeVreese’s experience in the running industry – she’s the co-owner of two Santa Barbara Running stores in California – and Jill Deering’s

© 2019 Diversified Communications


5 For Fashion (continued) unabashed perfectionism, rabbit apparel aims to be something better. Neither complicated nor fussy, rabbit touts a full line up of men’s and women’s apparel that includes shorts, tees, sports bras and pants. Available in about 75 run specialty doors across the U.S., rabbit apparel is manufactured in Los Angeles, roughly 100 miles south of rabbit’s Santa Barbara headquarters. This proximity allows rabbit leadership to monitor all aspects of production, to quickly bring compelling products to market and to ensure the fair treatment of workers. “We make running apparel that we want to wear and we do it in a way that we can feel good about,” rabbit PR manager Jeff Stern says. Focused on listening to the voices of its run specialty partners and customers, rabbit brings an assortment of colors, styles and designs to market each season a nd recently debuted a looser fit “freedom” line for women as well as its rabbitTRAIL line.

pre-orders before closing the ordering window and heading into production, where runs typically range from 500-1000 units. The ever-revolving nature of INKnBURN’s designs allows its select running store partners – the Ultra Running Company in Charlotte and the three-door Running Center in California among them – to bring vibrant, exclusive gear into their stores on a near weekly basis. And, it’s worth noting, there’s a fanatical following for some INKnBURN gear. Its “holiday sweaters,” technical performance pieces that resemble a knitted sweater, have become collectibles in some corners, while one INKnBURN jacket even sold for $1400 on the secondary market. INKNBURN (ABOVE). RAW THREADS (BELOW).


INKnBurn apparel is not designed for those content to blend into the crowd. From its Santa Ana, CA, headquarters, the artist-driven company founded by Megan Tsuyuki and her husband, Rob, in 2008 offers technical men’s and women’s apparel that is unapologetically bold and artistic. “We’re about the art and that’s what our audience really appreciates,” Tsuyuki says. Powered by a team of in-house artists, INKnBURN makes its entire collection of smallbatch apparel inside its Santa Ana warehouse. The company nails down a design and accepts 10

Raw Threads

The husband-and-wife team of Terry and Jennifer Leonard established Raw Threads on a straightforward formula: pair eco-friendly apparel with winning designs. To the first point, Raw Threads uses a lightweight bamboo fabric Jennifer Leonard calls “addictive” and “cashmere-like.” The fabric offers 50+ UPF for long workouts and outdoor runs. T h a t fa b r ic p r ov id e s a high-quality canvas for the Florida-based company to unleash an assortment of witty, fun and artistic designs, both of its own making as well as those featuring beloved characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Garfield through licensing agreements. “Our customers thrive on our storytelling while experiencing the quality and function of our clothes,” Leonard says, adding that Raw Threads will soon be adding Pixar characters to its © 2019 Diversified Communications

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5 For Fashion (continued) portfolio. Men’s and women’s apparel as well as accessories such as arm sleeves, headbands and patches are currently available on Raw Threads’ website as well as in run specialty stores such as Orlando’s Track Shack and Fit2Run locations across Florida. Territory Run Co.


Brett Farrell founded Territory Run Co. as a niche trail running brand committed to recognizing running as a beautiful, pleasant experience, not as the sweaty, grimacing effort so prevalent in contemporary culture. “We take our cue from surfing brands who have long celebrated the beauty of that activity as opposed to the hardship,” Farrell says of his Portland, OR-based company. Currently in about 15 run specialty doors, Territory’s limited-batch products are typically favored by trail running enthusiasts who want a more laid back, casual style that doesn’t feel “overly athletic.” “We’re offering people a way to identify themselves as trail runners,” Farrell says. Since its 2014 founding, Farrell has broadened Territory’s assortment beyond graphic tees to include hats, the company’s most in-demand product category, sweatshirts, pants and tees, including the popular All Day tee made from recycled coffee grounds. On the heels of unveiling Mileage Supply, a custom branding outfit aimed at producing unique goods for races and retailers, Territory is also readying the debut of its first short this summer, a made-in-Oregon product. RunBK Apparel

RunBK’s men’s apparel features a sleek, modern and decidedly urban vibe that Rosetti considers perfect for those fatigued by the status quo and eager to find a more distinctive, sharper look. “RunBK presents that unique opportunity for a runner to gear up in pieces that are both fashionable and functional,” Rosetti says, adding that all RunBK pieces are tested “ad nauseam [by runners] before they go into production.” Conscious of not overburdening its select group of running retail partners with abundant inventory, RunBK has been uber-intentional with its product assortment. The three-year-old company offers only a handful of SKUs per seasonal capsule and prioritizes unique takes on its most popular products, namely the popular five-inch WillyB short that’s currently available in three different colors. “We believe in the importance and sustainability of brick-and-mortar retail … [and recognize] we are nothing without the shops who are curating our brand,” Rosetti says. n 12

© 2019 Diversified Communications

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Let’s Face(book) It Facebook remains the most powerful platform for growing your run business. / By Gerardo Perez


ust because you don’t have the marketing budget of a “big” store, doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and compete against e-commerce giants and big-box retailers for market share. In fact, niche and specialty stores have competitive advantages such as flexibility, faster execution and unique products and services. When you hear digital marketing as a business owner, it can sometimes be overwhelming as it is often assumed you need to invest in everything in the digital mix to acquire new customers. The great news is that you can engage with almost the entire running community in only one social platform — Facebook. There are numerous articles available on how to use Facebook and maximize its tools, from targeting the right audience to the importance of using videos, being bold but authentic and even on how much you should spend on advertising. These are all important points; however, you won’t find much information about the platform and its algorithm, so here’s what you need to know about Facebook and how to make it work for your business. Why Facebook? Easy! It’s the world’s most popular and established social media platform with more than 2.2 billion active users and it’s the primary source of running information among all social media platforms. A Facebook Page Is Not Enough

While having a Facebook page and developing a follower base is important, the harsh reality is, that for any post you publish, as few as two percent of your followers will see it, that means that if you have 100 followers and you publish one post a day, only five people potentially will see that post. Ultimately Facebook is a business, so if you want to reach your followers as well as new and potential customers, you’ll have to pull out your wallet to make sure your 14

A runner’s success in competitions depends on how well they’ve prepared so on race day they can focus on execution! This is the same for using Facebook ads.

communication gets through. Facebook advertising bridges the gap between the online and offline worlds, helping businesses achieve their end objective of driving customers into their store. Once you understand the Facebook algorithm, you’ll see how powerful the platform can be in helping you grow your business. Understanding the Algorithm

Facebook knows more about you (and your customers) than you know about yourself. It’s a better predictor of your habits and behaviors than you. Scary, but true! Most people who run Facebook ads think they control who can see their ads by selecting a “desire target audience,” but this cannot be further from the truth. The algorithm only takes about 10 percent of what you tell it to do and decides the rest on its own. Facebook has the steering wheel, not you. It has real-time access to everybody in the platform and it knows all of their data, including their entire user history, so the algorithm wants to make sure it matches the right message to the right person at the right time. The Facebook algorithm has the network, the knowledge of everyone on it and the natural selection engine capable of iterating more variable combinations in seconds than a thousand scientists could in five years. What it doesn’t have are the “initial conditions” needed for a successful campaign.

Initial conditions are the “Audience– Message– Creative” combination that together are key to appealing to the correct user and getting them to engage. In a constantly changing environment such as Facebook, variation is the key to success and survival in the platform. Without variation the algorithm will jam and your ads will stop getting traffic and fail faster than you can imagine. This is why many people struggle with Facebook ads. Preparation Is Everything

A runner’s success in competitions depends on how well they’ve prepared so on race day they can focus on execution! This is the same for using Facebook ads — to run a successful ad campaign, preparation outside the platform is 95 percent of the battle and only five percent execution. New runners are always seeking advice from experienced runners; in fact, professional runners are likely to have a coach too. The same is true with business owners when trying to get into digital marketing no matter how long you’ve been in business. If you already have a digital marketer within your team, you’re likely dominating your market. If you don’t its best to request help when it comes to nurturing your business’ biggest asset, your customers. n Gerardo “Gerry” Perez, founder of RUNGP – – is an entrepreneur and running aficionado passionate for everything related to the sport of running. He is a digital marketing consultant connecting run specialty stores, race directors and running coaches within the running community to help grow their businesses through proven client acquisition strategies.

© 2019 Diversified Communications

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running shorts Balega Unveils Fresh Colorways and New Kids Socks For Spring.

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alega has expanded its Silver, Hidden Dry, Blister Resist, Women’s Enduro and children’s Hidden Cool sock collections with new colorways for Spring 2019. The updated styles are available in stores this month. “Balega is committed to creating socks founded upon research, design, technical excellence and durability,” says Tanya Pictor, Balega VP–marketing. “We are thrilled to introduce unique styles and fun colors to our kids’ collection this spring.” The new lineup includes: • The award-winning Silver sock (MSRP $15) shows off its antibacterial, anti-odor properties with four new colorway offerings for Spring 2019, including Midgrey/Green Pepper, Neon Orange/Grey Heather, White/ Aloe and Ultra Violet/Pinkberry. • The women’s Enduro No Show (MSRP $13) is designed to mold perfectly to the narrower female foot. The sock offers medium volume construction, arch support and a high level of cushioning. The breathable mesh ventilation panel helps keep feet dry and comfortable and the no-slip heel tab and seamless toe box help prevent blisters. The women’s Enduro No Show sock is offered in three new colorways: Ethereal Blue, Ultra Violet and Bright Lilac. 16

Kids’ Hidden Cool

• Blister Resist socks are made with the natural Mohair fiber with its unique structure that protects against sheer friction blisters. Combined with Balega’s Drynamix, Mohair is twisted to create the DRY-MO moisture management solution. Mohair also naturally prevents the growth of bacteria, making it an antimicrobial fiber. For Spring 2019, Balega introduces Blister Resist No Show (MSRP $14) color options: Ultra Violet/Bright Lilac, Ethereal Blue/Light Aqua, Lilac Rose/Electric Pink, Mink/Legion Blue, Legion Blue/Grey, Charcoal/Black, Midgrey and Green Pepper. • The lightest sock in the Balega collection, Hidden Dry (MSRP $13), offers a triple-Y heel that creates a pocket ergonomically formed to the shape of the heel. The new colorways for Spring 2019 are French Blue/Navy and Electric/Bubblegum Pink. • To round out the new offerings, the updated Kids’ Hidden Cool sock collection (MSRP $13) offers performance running socks for children. Like the adult models, the kids’ socks offer a reinforced heel and toe, a hand-linked seamless toe for seamfree comfort, soft plush cushioning for comfort and protection and a heel tab to prevent slippage. New colorways for Spring 2019 are White/Blue, Midgrey/Red, Navy/Cobalt, Lime/Turquoise and Watermelon/Pink. n

A Running Insight reader sent in this photo of her two-yearold daughter, Morgan Courtney, picking up her first race packet at Charm City Run in Annapolis (MD) Town Center as part of its Healthy Kids Running Series – race-locations/greater-annapolismd/ Part of a nationwide series, the Annapolis event is a fiveweek program for kids ages two through eighth grade that culminates on race day May 12 at Anne Arundel Community College. As one of the youngest participants, Morgan will be running a 50-yard dash and she gets a race bib for every week, with a bottom tear-off portion so they can score each runner — just like the big kids. Talk about starting them young! n

© 2019 Diversified Communication


running shorts

ASICS Enters Into Multi-year Deal with LA Marathon.


SICS has entered into a five-year sponsorship deal with Conqur Endurance Group that will make it the official footwear and apparel partner and presenting sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon beginning in 2020. This multi-year agreement comprises significant brand integration, on-site and in-store event activations, digital and social content, broadcast integrations and online retail promotions. ASICS and Conqur will re-launch their partnership in January 2020, beginning with the Pasadena Half Marathon, as the two build on their rich history together ahead of the Los Angeles Marathon in March. In addition to the 2020 Los Angeles Marathon, ASICS will expand its partnership in Southern California by becoming official partners of the Pasadena Half Marathon at the Rose Bowl, The LA Big 5K, and Santa Monica Classic 5K and 10K. ASICS will also look to support Conqur’s extensive youth running and community programs. “Our partnership with Conqur to become the presenting sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon solidifies our commitment to the run category.” says Koichiro Kodama, CEO of ASICS North America. “ASICS is back and more dedicated than ever to drive our brand forward as we build off of the very foundation we were created on — performance running.” With a heritage deeply rooted in running, ASICS is making significant investments beginning this year to help it reclaim the top industry status, including run-focused activations and updates to its athlete roster, most recently signing multi-year sponsorship deals with female distance runners Emma Bates and Allie Kieffer. Bates is a 2018 USA Marathon champion and was the first American female to cross the finish line in the 2019 NYC Half Marathon, placing fourth. Kieffer is a distance runner who placed fifth in the 2017 NYC Marathon and seventh in the 2018 NYC Marathon.

ATRA Teams With OrthoLite

The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) has renewed its partnership with OrthoLite, the provider of comfort and performance insole technology found in more than 500 million shoes annually from over 350 top brands. The partnership names OrthoLite the “Official Insole of ATRA,” and also includes a promotional program to be announced later this year that is tailored to reaching ATRA’s audience of trail runners nationwide. OrthoLite has been a major supporter of ATRA since the mid-2000s, primarily as an official partner. “We are proud to further our long-standing partnership with ATRA as the trail and mountain running community’s official insole,” says Dan Legor, OrthoLite director of marketing. “Our goal is to enhance the trail running experience for athletes at every level with superior comfort and performance insole technology.” “Partnering with OrthoLite is a natural affiliation, given OrthoLite’s long-standing commitment to running in general and, for years, its dedication to off-road,” adds Adam Chase, ATRA president. ATRA is dedicated to providing educational tools such as its events standards program, which debuted in March 2012, Rules on the Run, Trail Tips, Trail Running Camp Standards, and Event Sustainability. Additional content is offered through its quarterly Trail Times newsletter and monthly e-newsletters — one for race participants, another for race directors. Brooks Names New Ad Agency

Brooks Running has selected Huge as its creative agency of record (AOR). Effective immediately, Huge will act as Integrated AOR responsible for marketing, creative, brand strategy, positioning and digital marketing, as well as global activations. The account will be lead out of the agency’s office in Brooklyn, NY, and first work is slated to break November 2019. n

Zensah, Karnazes Partner

Zensah is collaborating with Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes to develop and market its compression arm sleeves. Developed in conjunction with Karnazes, the Badwater Ultramarathon winner and 4 Deserts Champion, these specially designed arm sleeves are engineered to protect runners from the elements by blocking up to 98 percent of UV radiation. Moisture-wicking and cooling, they shield athletes from the sun and help prevent overheating. “Dean represents living life without limits, a mantra of Zensah,” says Zensah CEO Ze’ev Feig. “Dean has inspired millions of people around the world and it is an honor for us to team up with him and bring awareness to the important issue of climate change and the need for sun protection,” Feig adds. The new Zensah compression arm sleeves for all levels of athletes have a second-skin feel and are made with a seamless design and ergonomic contour for ultimate comfort. n

© 2019 Diversified Communications



running shorts CEP Launches Commuter Sock With Fleet Feet.


EP Compression has launched a commuter sock with targeted, graduated compression designed to support wearers while they’re on the go or at work. The new sock retails exclusively in Fleet Feet stores, online and on CEP’s website. “Featuring lightweight medical-grade compression, the sock is designed to promote circulation and improve oxygen supply to muscles while also having a less synthetic feel than typical compression socks, making them comfortable enough to have on all day,” according to Luke Rowe, senior VP at CEP Compression. A first-of-its-kind product offering for

CEP, the commuter sock includes breathable cotton and a lightweight material that makes it easier to put on and take off than other graduated compression products. “Our focus with every customer who walks in our doors is to outfit them with the personalized solutions they need to achieve their goals,” adds Victor Ornelas, director of brand management, Fleet Feet. “The commuter sock is a comfort-rich solution for customers searching for a versatile, everyday compression sock.” n


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You Spoke, The Running Event Listened A letter to the running industry from TRE Event Manager Christina Henderson.

To All TRE Exhibitors and Attendees: We began planning The Running Event 2019 the day after the 2018 edition in Austin closed last November. We thoroughly read through your post-event comments and are taking your feedback and creating an even better event this year. We believe in listening to our attendees and exhibitors to ensure that The Running Event remains the meeting place for the

running industry. One step we will take in 2019 is to condense The Running Event to three days rather than the four-day format you’ve seen in the past. We will have a full day of quality content for retailers on Tuesday, December 3, and then have two full days of trade show hours on Wednesday and Thursday, December 4 and 5. With this structure we will increase the amount of time retailers and brands have on the trade show floor. Plus, we’ll still have plenty of time for networking, the Indie 5K and all the other activities that make TRE an enjoyable, worthwhile experience. We believe this will create a more

“We began planning The Running Event 2019 the day after the 2018 edition in Austin closed last November.” CHRISTINA HENDERSON

productive, time-efficient TRE for the run industry. If you have any questions about these changes or anything else regarding The Running Event 2019, reach out to me at Sincerely, Christina Henderson Event Manager, The Running Event 214-263-4706 |

© 2019 Diversified Communications


The WIDE WORLD of RUN Interested in Exhibiting?

The Running Event is the intersection of all key players in the run industry.

Contact Us! Christina Henderson (214) 263-4706

DECEMBER 3–5, 2019 • AUSTIN, TEXAS Produced by

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