A Conversational Pace – Forward with Drew Hartman.
Focus. Intention. Community. Purpose. These are just a few of the words that pop up in conversation with Drew Hartman as well as become the backbone for how he approaches running, life in general, and everything in between. With an (understandable) hatred of high winds, the town Boulder, CO at his feet, and knowing running is most fun when you find your favorite way to move, this a Conversational Pace with Drew Hartman.
I don’t recall when I first came across Tracksmith, but I do remember when I got my first pair of Tracksmith shorts. I wasn’t faster, but I was faster. It felt so cool to be a part of “that club,” now. Sounds silly, I know, but there was something about “graduating” from the readily-available brands to donning teeny shorts with a little bunny on them.
Call it wanting to associate with brands that best match my personality/beliefs (I don’t have many, tbh), we fast forward a few years and brand veils get pulled back a bit more. I start to
stalkfollow more athletes, sure, that run for these somewhat-boutique brands I’ve fallen headlong into, as well as the minds behind bringing the brand to life.
Enter Drew Hartman, Tracksmith’s Integrated Marketing Manager and man about town (special nod to a place near and dear to my heart, Boulder, CO). Between keeping the spirit of Tracksmith alive, sharing thoughts on where business and running meet through the podcast, Running the Show, and keeping community and purpose at the heart of why he runs, Drew has a lot to say. So let’s listen.
Leggggs: Drew. Thank you so much for being with us today. We are stoked to have you on Leggggs. Starting at the top to give everyone an overview: Will you give us a short intro about yourself? Who are ya? Where are you located? What do you do?
Drew Hartman: I’m Drew Hartman. I recently moved to Boulder, CO after a long stint in Boston where my love of running blossomed. Starting in 2017, I began working part-time in retail for Tracksmith while working in the tech industry. Fast-forward to present day: I work in marketing for Tracksmith and my day to day spans from working on our Go To Market strategy and execution, owning ur podcast/newsletter sponsor strategy, heading up our ambassador program, and leading activations. More conversationally, I like to think that I get to learn from the running industry and running culture for a living.
Leggggs: Tell us something about yourself that isn’t immediately available on your social profiles, etc.
DH: Something you might not know from socials is that I attended law school and have a degree from Northeastern University School of Law. I originally dreamed of being an in-house attorney for a sportswear brand, but pivoted away from that after finishing school.
Leggggs: Any personal mantra you live by?
DH: I wouldn’t say that I live by a personal mantra, but I was challenged by a friend, Chris Madaffari, to think of one word that comes to mind as he snapped a Polaroid of me. The word “forward” came to mind. “Forward,” to me, doesn’t celebrate moving beyond the current stage of celebration or experience. It represents momentum with purpose, which can be applied to the way I run, the way I work, and beyond.
Leggggs: That’s really amazing. How about summing yourself up in one sentence. Whatcha got?
DH: Tough, but I’ll try to write it like a newspaper headline: “Man, who found running later in life, approaches his relationship to running with focus and intention, but with lightheartedness and seeks to learn from the running community and culture in order to lead with purpose.”
Leggggs: Yes. I haven’t had anyone state it like that before, and I love it. It’s perfect. Alright, so I’ve been doing some research on movement and how a body in motion leads to a happier mindset, and overall better mental health (and feelings of being less lonely) – That said, outside of running, what do you do to keep your body in motion, and your mind and soul happy?
DH: Outside of running, I enjoy walking my dog, hiking with my partner, and cycling with friends when I can. I also like boxing! Something I don’t do as often anymore, but still love.
Leggggs: Boxing? I’ve always been curious about that. Sort of on the same tip, do you feel there’s a relation between finding personal happiness through focusing on your own wellness, and becoming a more active participant in the world at large?
Said differently, does being happier with yourself make it easier to be part of a community and therefore feel less lonely? How? Why?
DH: This is a tough one because I feel like this could be a “chicken or the egg” situation when it comes to personal happiness and community involvement.
I’ve had the fortunate experience to chat with many people who define movement and community differently. While I hope that participating in community creates universal value for all, I know that all communities are not always accessible and approachable.
Rather, I think the emphasis is on finding a community or communities that provide a sense of belonging for you. That sense of community is rooted in shared experience of endurance and social interaction, but belonging is that icing on the cake to see yourself as a part of the group you interact with.
I do believe that a sense of belonging in the endurance community is out there for everyone, but the running community and industry bears the weight of making those avenues to belonging more visible and accessible.
[A] sense of community is rooted in shared experience of endurance and social interaction, but belonging is that icing on the cake to see yourself as a part of the group you interact with.Drew Hartman on finding community through running
Leggggs: When thinking about your own personal wellness, what do you find to be the biggest barrier to taking time for yourself to become a better person for the world at large?
DH: This feels like a good moment to recognize the role of ego as a barrier. Ego can drive me to believe that my time is too finite or too valuable to do something or take on a challenge and can introduce fear of failure.
ON RUNNING, PERSONALLY
Leggggs: Switching gears slightly… When did you first get into running? What was your motivation?
DH: I ran in high school (2008 – 2010) to stay in shape for soccer. Then I found running for fun in 2012 in training for a half marathon and continued my journey from there.
In the college era of running for fun, I had this idea of running 10 marathons in my 20s as a bucket list kind of thing. It made me feel like running could be a part of my life for the sake of creating a challenge to complete.
Leggggs: How often do you run?
DH: 6-7 days a week.
Leggggs: Why do you continue to run? What is your motivation now?
DH: Running now looks and feels different to me than it did in 2012 – 2019. I now see running as a daily practice. It doesn’t have an end date or a final goal. It doesn’t have a mileage calculator. It’s no longer on my bucket list. Running has become a language of sorts that I speak with myself when I log miles and when I race and it’s a language I speak with others through experiences we share.
Running has become a language of sorts that I speak with myself when I log miles and when I race and it’s a language I speak with others through experiences we share.Drew Hartman
Leggggs: That’s poetic, man. What do you do to diversify your running? How do you keep it fresh, daily?
DH: Sharing runs with others is the easiest way to make an old place feel new.
Leggggs: What’s been your favorite run to-date?
DH: My favorite kinds of runs always start with friends and end when we’re tired. There’s probably dirt beneath our feet and the weather is warm enough to keep stripping off layers in the middle of the run and throw them in the car trailing us (in this perfect situation, someone is driving next to us with water and fuel). The hills are probably awful and feel like they’ll never end until they do and we ride the descent of the hill that will always be waiting for us. And there’s probably a cold body of water to get the legs in immediately after the run is over.
Leggggs: I did the whole cold-lake-plunge-immediately-after-a-long-hot-run for the first time last summer. HIGHLY recommend. Can’t wait for the warmer weather to do it again.
Best run to worst: What’s been the pits when running?
DH: My worst runs usually involve high wind. There are few things I hate more than high wind. Sometimes the run gets cut short on those days and that’s ok.
Leggggs: What are some of your bucket list places to find yourself running?
DH: I’m really fortunate to run and live in one of the meccas of running in the world. As a result, my bucket list destinations would most likely be joining good friends I’ve yet to share miles with and run with them in their favorite place/route.
Leggggs: Do you have a quote you repeat to yourself mid-run when shit is getting real?
DH: Make your own luck.
Leggggs: If someone were looking to get into for the first time, what would be a piece of advice you’d offer as inspiration?
DH: Running and the feelings we derive from it differ from person to person and from situation to situation. It may not be fun when you start. It may not be fun with certain people. But running can be fun when you find your favorite way to move.
Leggggs: Finally, how do you convince yourself to run when you really don’t feel like it?
DH: Forward. If we think that what we do is a part of something larger, the run may be easier to start. However, I think forcing a run is unnecessary and steals the joy we want to associate with running.
Forward. If we think that what we do is a part of something larger, the run may be easier to start. However, I think forcing a run is unnecessary and steals the joy we want to associate with running.Drew Hartman
ON THE RUNNING COMMUNITY
Leggggs: Shifting back to the running community on the whole, what would you tell someone looking to give running a shot? Advice maybe they can’t get from a Runner’s World, etc.
DH: Create your ideal environment to run. That may be with others or it may be alone. It may be on pavement or concrete or treadmill or dirt. If you can create what you need to enjoy the run, you may be willing to try it again and maybe try a different environment eventually as well.
Leggggs: We spoke to personal wellness and a “body in motion is a happier body,” but what do you find to be the main benefit of running regularly?
DH: Running is a part of my routine. I prefer the days when I start with a run, even when I’m racing home to make it in time for a 9am meeting. That routine runs deeper than miles in Strava or a sustained heart rate, but it’s fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine and socialization and teamwork, all before I join my team at work everyday.
Leggggs: Kind of an odd question, but what do you use your time running to “do”?
DH: Social runs are time to talk about anything with friends (and hopefully not talking about running). It might extend to recounting our first concert attended and our best concert attended. It might be a time to talk through some difficult topics and seek some advice. However, runs alone are usually brainstorming sessions. I think about a strategy I want to explore at work, a question that has me stumped, or an idea I want to flesh out for a campaign proposal.
Leggggs: What are some of the lesser-known/unexpected benefits of running that people may not readily see until fully committing to the sport?
DH: I wouldn’t say that this is a nuanced opinion at all, but I think when we run more often, we may lose sight of how nice it is and how privileged we may be to be outside.
Leggggs: If a person were looking to join a running community (a local club, an online-only presence, etc.), what are some tips you would have for them to make sure they are finding the right one?
DH: There’s value to being a lurker. I have a biased lens of seeing running as a social endeavor and I want to know if a group I attend could be “my people.” That may mean something different to everyone, but I want to assess if I would want to spend time with group members outside of a running context before diving in fully.
Leggggs: I grew up in Denver and worked for many years in Boulder. I recall those days fondly and miss the whole Boulder scene (especially in the early to mid 2000s). What’s it like now? What keeps you there?
DH: I’m pretty new to Boulder as I moved here in September of 2021 and I feel privileged to be here. I’m still discovering the nuances of the scene here, but the people and the scenery keep me here. I’m fortunate enough to have great friends I get to train with here and the view ain’t bad, even when you’re sucking wind.
Leggggs: What’s the running scene like in Boulder?
DH: One thing I appreciate about the Boulder scene is that there’s always someone better. For someone like myself that doesn’t operate in that top percentile of the sport, I don’t need to obsess over times and VO2 maxes and to make it look like I can run kilometer repeats longer than anyone. You’re running the same roads as Alicia Monson, Edna Kiplagat, Emma Bates, Joe Klecker, etc. You’re never going to steal their crowns or Strava segments. I find that freeing for someone in my position or with a similar relationship to running as myself because there is no posturing to be something to someone else. You can pass these pros on the farm roads and wave, and then see them at the coffee shop afterwards.
Leggggs: If I were to move to Boulder tomorrow, what should my first steps be in becoming an active participant in the Boulder running scene? (who do I need to talk to? What clubs should I keep an eye out for? Where do you meet new people? etc.?)
DH: I’m biased, but you need to come to Soft Hour, hosted by Brian Schroy and Erin Osgood of The Track Club. Every Wednesday morning at 7am, they host a community run that celebrates running easy on soft surfaces. It’s all about conversation, connection, and celebrating the beautiful spaces around us. You’ll catch a smattering of runners from different clubs in Boulder, Denver, and the surrounding towns (and you might see some pro runners there too).
Leggggs: Do you feel as though running is an accessible sport? If so, why? If not, what does it have to do to improve its accessibility, if anything?
DH: I find the opportunity accessible, but not the practicality of running accessible for everyone. I think the narrative of accessibility for running is overblown. I understand that people use this narrative in an encouraging way, but I think we need different phrasing.
Running may not be accessible because of safety. There are threats of violence to people who are outside alone, threats of harm for those who run in dangerous environments, and risks of injury for those who lack the appropriate equipment to safely participate–just to name a few reasons.
We may not be able to solve these matters, but community can mitigate the risk. Community can provide education for safe running practices; it can provide a forum to participate with others safely in a group; and it can provide a forum to receive the resources and equipment an athlete requires to flourish. Now to think about how to adequately resource the community: we’ll need like 15 more pages, additional representatives, and a lot more time to suss that out.
Leggggs: What do you personally see as the biggest barriers to a person wanting to start running? And what can the running community do to help?
DH: Safety, education and resources are the biggest barriers in my mind. Touched on those above.
ON RUNNING THE SHOW
Leggggs: You just launched a new podcast, Running the Show, that explores the intersection between running and business. What was the inspiration behind launching this?
DH: The aim of the podcast was inspired by our personal interests and relationships to the sport. Emma and Evan have experience in the high-performance aspect of training and racing and Evan and I have experience working in the running industry. Through our personal experiences and personal investigation, we’ve been intrigued by exploring the rift between the activity of running and the sport of running. Our goal is to amass opinions and perspectives from industry experts, athletes, brands and cultural leaders in running and to conduct investigations to keep learning.
Leggggs: Why focus on this intersection? What are you hoping to learn?
DH: Our “why” exists in being curious about how the activity of running is touted as “the most accessible sport” does not have sustainable structures for the sport to flourish. There seems to be a rift between the activity and sport and we hope to learn about pain points and gain perspectives from a range of guests. By taking this approach and building this bank of knowledge, we hope to lend perspective to those who can lead change within running. All progress starts from perspective.
Leggggs: What need in the market are you hoping Running the Show can fill?
DH: I hope that we can align and connect with people who love the activity of running and pique their curiosity about what it takes to put on their favorite race or what it takes to make their favorite shoe. For professional athletes and industry professionals, I hope we can provide a platform for how they created their individual brand. For brands, I hope we can help tell their origin story and connect on a common ground with runners globally. So many things!
Leggggs: What is the end goal / 5-year plan for Running the Show?
DH: The goal for us at the outset and the goal will always be to create carefully considered and inspiring content to challenge an audience…and to have fun doing it.
I do hope that we are able to work with the very people we interview–the athletes, industry professionals, the brands, and the cultural leaders–and consult in some way to connect them for progress within the running sphere.
Leggggs: Finally, any shoutouts to anyone?
DH: In running, the shoutouts go to my mentors at Tracksmith for investing in me and to the running community and leaders worldwide for letting me learn and build with them. Personally, the shoutouts go to my partner Caila and my parents for challenging me to always want more.
The fanboy in me can’t believe Drew joined us for a Conversational Pace, and the runner in me is beyond stoked to have yet another enlightening conversation with another absolutely quintessential member of the running community. Thank you, Drew, for spending time with us today. Truly grateful for your insights and contributions. See you in Boulder soon!
To follow along on Drew’s journey, check out:
A Conversational Pace – Somer Kreisman keeps moving.
Constant motion, capturing the moments between the moments, discerning individual wants and needs, an insatiable appreciation for Nike Invincibles, knowing when to “hunt” and when it’s time to lean in and get to work, this is a story of connection diversified, and Somer Kreisman.
I first started seeing Somer Kreisman’s name pop up when sifting through the shots Matt Palmer sent over for his Conversational Pace feature. Since, I have seen Somer’s name all over the place, like when you’re thinking about buying a car and start seeing it everywhere. Except, instead of an overabundance of 4Runners, Somer’s name was attached to some of the most compelling, intimate, and poignant running photography I’ve seen; raw emotion and sheer grit from the highest trails to the flattest tracks (and everywhere in between.)
There are a million words, assumptions, and emotions brimming from Somer’s photos, and there are perhaps equal amounts going on behind the camera. Physical therapist weekdays, race photographer weekends, Pheobe Bridgers appreciator 24/7; it should go without saying that we, as humans, are complicated nuances, but sometimes, we forget. In our day-to-day, we’re bound to our titles and others’ expectations. But when throwing on a pair of Invincibles (or another running shoe), we’re free. This is the story of Somer Kriesman, someone who loves to climb hills.
Leggggs: Hi Somer! Thanks so much for being a part of this. Stoked we’re getting to chat. First off, short introduction and a little about yourself.
Somer Kreisman: Hi, I’m Somer (pronounced like the season). You can find me on @somerrunner and Strava. Offline you can find me shuffling around Greenlake in Seattle, WA at the crack of dawn and sometimes the not-so-crack of dawn.
Professionally, I’m a physical therapist during the week and a race photographer during the weekend.
Leggggs: What’s your personal mission?
SK: The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Essentially this boils down to working hard wherever the ol’ feet are planted. Whether that’s in the clinic, during a race, on a photo assignment, in the gym, etc.
The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
Leggggs: I like simplifying things. So, if you had to sum yourself up in one sentence, what is it?
SK: Clever, but not in a functional way.
Leggggs: Outside of logging miles, what do you do to keep yourself happy? Your mind, body, soul… all that good stuff…
SK: I like to keep busy. I’m at my happiest when I’m in motion or working toward a goal. I derive a lot of joy and purpose from doing things that feel like they contribute positively to the world— whether that’s helping rehabilitate someone’s injury so they can get back to doing what they love, or capturing images of people that make them feel empowered and strong when they see them. Second happiest when snuggling with my whippet, Oakley.
Whenever I’m injured and not able to run, I usually lean pretty heavily on art as an outlet. I got really into film photography again in 2020 when I was dealing when plantar fasciitis (as far as injuries go, this one is a 0/10, do not recommend). I also like reading. Pilates is another great way to keep balanced, particularly as a runner.
Leggggs: When did you first get into running? And most importantly, why?
SK: I think this was in high school (2005ish), training for the P.E. mile. Never ran for a school team in high school or college.
I really didn’t want to get last place in the P.E. mile, because everyone is always watching that person and I was cripplingly shy in high school. I guess I was motivated by anxiety.
Leggggs: How do you keep your running routine fresh? Or, how often do you diversify your routine?
SK: Lately, I’ve been dividing up the year between Trail Season and Road Season. I think this works great because I’m injury prone and trail season gets me really strong for when it’s time to hit the roads.
Leggggs: So it’s not the same thing every time?
SK: Ew, no. Ok, I will acknowledge that I do run around Greenlake a lot but (!!) the paces usually change depending if it’s a workout day or an easy day. And to be fair, I’m usually running in the dark during the week so the location doesn’t really matter since I can’t see anything anyway. On the weekends during Trail Season, I’m usually running up something steep in Issaquah. Uphill tempos are a big fav.
As soon as it gets wet and gross, I’m heading back to the roads. I love running fast, which isn’t always possible on trails depending on the technicality of the terrain. Also not having any ankle insecurities is a nice bonus to road running. I appreciate the differences between both roads and trails, and go in and out of love with each. Whenever one starts to feel stale, I’ll switch to the other.
Leggggs: Say an alien (they exist) were to touch down in the middle of the NYC Marathon or, say, Cocodona 250, how would you describe running to them, given they have zero idea what it is, and what the hell we’re doing?
SK: You’re essentially just hopping from foot to foot. Wait, do aliens understand hopping? Do aliens even have legggggs? We run because it feels good and hiking sucks (hot take…).
Leggggs: I like it. That said, what is your favorite type of run?
SK: U P H I L L T E M P O. I like climbing.
Leggggs: Follow up – What run takes a bit more motivation to kick your ass into gear to do it?
SK: Any double, any situation. No further questions.
Leggggs: Easy, or hard, as that. Tell me about your favorite run ever? What, why, where, how, who, when…. etc
SK: Last summer I got to run on the Summerland trail at Mt. Rainier National Park with my friend Ryan who is really good at taking pictures and also good at not getting lost. It’s just so beautiful everywhere you look, kind of feels like running through a painting. A really pretty painting.
[Mt. Rainier National Park] feels like running through a painting. A really pretty painting.
Leggggs: Conversely, the worst run of your life? What made it terrible and how did you push through (if you did)?
SK: This is an easy one, the first marathon I ever did in 2012. This makes it sound like I’ve done many marathons since, which is super not true (have done one since, and it was not awful). This was Very Bad because the longest run I did leading up to it was 14 miles. I was 18 years old and had no idea how to train for anything. It was The Worst Run Ever because my twin sister passed me at mile 17 like I was standing still. Memorably bad times.
Leggggs: Bucket list places to run?
SK: Grand Canyon!
Leggggs: Same. Okay, so, follow up – Where has been the most amazing place you’ve logged miles?
SK: Bryce Canyon! Am I a canyon freak or what?
Leggggs: What races are you eyeing in the near or not-near future?
SK: Hmmm. I’d love to run a 50K. But don’t tell any of my friends because they’ve been trying to get me into The Ultras for years now. A race from this year that I would love to run again would be Daybreak’s Backcountry Rise. It is stunning. Do it.
Leggggs: Alright, getting into some gear-related questions now. What’s some running gear you can’t live without?
SK: Shokz open run headphones, Nike invincibles, gloves, Garmin 945 (the nav is lifesaving).
Leggggs: What is your go-to kit for running on the:
SK: Compression socks, black spandex shorts, crop top, nike invincible
SK: Compression socks, black spandex shorts, crop top, nike trail peg
SK: Compression socks, black spandex shorts, crop top, nike vaporfly if road//trail peg if trail race
Not running and relaxing AFTER said run?
SK: Hoka recovery slides and an XL hoodie/sweatpants. Also, have been known to rock a full-length parka post-run (I’m a Cold Girl).
Leggggs: Best shoes for road / trail / recovery / short runs / long runs
SK: For the road: nike invincible. Trail: nike trail peg 2/3/4. Recovery: hoka slides
Leggggs: Headphones or no headphones when running?
SK: Yes headphones.
Leggggs: Follow up – Pump up music for running? What’s your perfect song?
SK: I really like sad music. I also listen to an embarrassing amount of Taylor Swift. Out of the Woods is pretty great. Additionally, anything from High Violet by The National.
Leggggs: Got a quote you repeat to yourself mid-run when shit is getting real?
SK: Few will hunt. (Extracted from “everybody wants to eat, but few will hunt”) this is a reminder that when things are feeling tough, that’s when it’s time to lean in and go to work. That’s where the magic happens. ✨
When things are feeling tough, that’s when it’s time to lean in and go to work. That’s where the magic happens.
Leggggs: If you weren’t running, what would you be doing to keep your body, mind, and soul active?
SK: Spin biking, rowing, lifting weights, pilates– movement is how the body tells the brain it’s alive – I like to keep it kinetic 🙂
Leggggs: What no-bullshit advice would you say to inspire a person to start running?
SK: I think people have to want it, I would never push a running habit on someone that wasn’t already into it themselves.
Leggggs: Who do you have to thank for where you are in your running journey?
SK: Definitely all my friends who believe in me WAY more than I ever believe in myself. Bret Jorgensen, Chris Gregory, Ryan Thrower, and Melody Coleman are a few that have really helped me along the way.
Leggggs: Finally, when you realllllllly don’t want to run, how do you convince yourself to get out there?
SK: I don’t run when I don’t feel like it– and these days are few and far between. The days I don’t want to run are when my body is hurting and I should probably just cross-train or skip a day anyway. It’s harder to talk me into a day off than to get out for a run 9 days out of 10.
What sticks out to me the most listening to Somer is her honesty when she dissects the intersection between life and running. It boils down, at least here, to movement. Simple, complex, forward, backward, in-place… movement is movement, and movement can ultimately lead to a less lonely existence.
Stay up-to-date with Somer and all her going-ons, photography, running, and other various movements:
(Listen to Leggggs) Neature. / The Playlist
“There are no two words in the English language more damaging than, ‘Good job.’” On paper, an argument could be made that “good job” is all a person needs to hear sometimes. Validation of effort or satisfaction of spirit. While that may be the occasional case, reaching for greater… attempting more… becoming better versions of who we were yesterday… that’s where transformation happens.
American Journalist, Sydney J. Harris, once said, “Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Good job is just a part of what we love to hear but also secretly don’t.
Something to ponder as your head is filled with this hour and ten minute exploratory sound journey to evaporate emptiness, consociate closeness, and drench destiny. Crafted judgment-free by Leggggs community member, Glenn Bona.
A Conversational Pace – Trevor Hains; less about the “where” and more about the “who.”
A quest for identity, a journey replete with embracing soaring highs, getting comfortable with the crushing lows, pushing through frustration, practicing patience, and focusing on who you run with over where, this is the story of Trevor Hains.
Saying yes to last-minute invites, far-away running camp opportunities, showing up for group runs with clubs you don’t belong to (yet), and essentially getting comfortable with being uncomfortable has paved the path for lifelong friendships, a deeper sense of connection, and feeling less lonely through running.
At this point, I feel like everyone is somewhat sick of me talking about the transcendent experience that was my summer 2022 Hood to Coast adventure. But it’s near impossible to talk about and the power of togetherness, community, and feeling less alone without mentioning such a defining moment in the life of a runner. (While this sounds like a broad-stroke, I have yet to meet one person that has run H2C that hasn’t wholeheartedly agreed that your first time will stick with you for a lifetime.)
Enter Trevor Hains. Trevor and I met in Van 2 during the Hood To Coast 2022 relay. Drawn immediately to his competitive nature, I appreciated the hell out of his grit and blunt fortitude to make our van one of the elite participants even before Sam turned the ignition key. While, “we’re gonna podium,” was mentioned more than once, my fave things about Trevor were his commitment to pushing himself, his die-hard defense of all things Van 2, and really bringing the team together through a palpable intensity he instilled in us to keep us going strong regardless of zapped energy.
It was all or nothing. And in that, it was all of us, together.
This is Trevor Hains.
Leggggs: TREVOR. Hell yes. What’s up man? Stoked you’re here. Just for some context, and to introduce you a bit, who are you and what do you do?
Trevor Hains: I am Trevor Hains. Find me on Instagram at @trevhains. I currently work as a brand marketer for The Washington Post. More importantly, I also serve as Dojo of Pain’s unofficial/self-proclaimed “Head of Swag.”
Leggggs: What’s your personal mission? Or, if you had to sum yourself up in one sentence, what would it be?
TH: When I decide I want to do something – I go all in. Be great at the things you love. That applies to running, but more importantly to friendships and relationships.
Leggggs: Hell yes. I so appreciate the unbridled “go all in” spirit. Definitely something that kept us afloat, and in front during Hood to Coast. That said, when did you first get into running? Why?
TH: I’ve played team sports at a competitive level my entire life. It wasn’t until college that sports took a back seat and I spent most of my energy figuring out what the fuck I was going to do with my life in the “real world.” I gravitated towards marketing and managed to land a job in NYC. After 6 months in the “real world” I realized that a competitive outlet was seriously missing in my life.
I knew that, while I liked my job and took it very seriously, it was never going to be my life’s passion. I wasn’t going to set a 5AM alarm and wake up like “LET’S MAKE SOME FUCKING ADS TODAY, BABY!”. I couldn’t just wake up, commute, work, commute, eat, watch tv, sleep, wake up, commute, work, drink, commute, watch tv, eat, sleep. I needed something that I loved doing, something that I could commit to, something that would make me happy, push me mentally and physically, and provide me identity. In 2017, I spectated the NYC Marathon and decided – “yup, I want to do THAT shit. That’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.”
So, just like that, I officially became a runner in early 2018. And of course – I went all in.
Leggggs: I feel like all-too-often, we build up, so greatly, what we do for money, that if one stone slips, the entire structure of who we are crumbles. Glad you found that outlet. Though, makin some fuckin ads baby is not without its merit.
What type of run gets you going most? Fave type of running basically
TH: I love a good track workout – especially a team track workout. I like that the workout has structure and I like that runners of all paces can support one another. As someone who didn’t run in high school or college – I love wearing spikes. Spikes just turn the energy up a notch.
Leggggs: Tell me about your favorite run ever? What, why, where, how, who, when…. Etc
TH: I can’t think of a single “favorite” run, but for me, it’s less about the “where” and more about the “who.”
I’ve run in some beautiful places, but the runs that I’ve enjoyed the most are the runs in which I’m with a solid, hard working crew. Beautiful weather and solid banter. Luckily for me, that’s most days.
Leggggs: Fair enough. Then, how about the worst run of your life? What made it terrible? How did you push through (if you did)?
TH: My last marathon was pretty brutal. Aside from the head wind, the cold, being completely alone, and the lack of aid stations – I felt bad early and I crossed the line broken and pale. My dad caught me at the line and basically carried me inside to get warm. I was in the best shape of my life, I bonked, and I failed. But hey – that’s marathoning for you. Get comfortable with failing. Get back up and go again.
Get comfortable with failing. Get back up and go again.Trevor Hains on overcoming the crushing lows
Leggggs: Such a valid sentiment that we often forget. Shit is going to happen. We are imperfect, fallible creations. Gotta get comfy with losing it all from time to time.
In a completely different line of questioning, what’s some running gear you can’t live without?
TH: Salt. I sweat – a lot. Not only do I sweat a lot – I have severe salt/sodium loss. I used to really suffer on hot, long runs – muscle cramping, stomach issues, bonking, etc. Adding BASE salt or LMNT drink mix has been essential.
Bandanas. They just look cool.
Leggggs: Sweat brothers. I remember, distinctly, Xavier patting my back after my last H2C leg and going, “Jesus, you’re wet.” Good times.
How about shoes? Best shoes for road / trail / recovery / short runs / long runs? All that…
TH: My favorite road race shoe of all time is the first Nike Vaporfly NEXT% – you know, the green colorway. The lock down, the design, the weight, the bounce, the durability. I bought a pair in 2019 and I still do workouts in them after 500+ miles.
All about the OOFOS post-run.
Leggggs: Team OOFOS for life, man.
Got a quote you repeat to yourself mid-run when shit is getting real?
TH: I don’t have one. I wish I did. If I’m honest, positive self-talk is something that I struggle with as a runner. I’m incredibly hard on myself. My default setting is not nice. When a race or a workout gets hard, I always push through – but mainly out of frustration. It’s something that I’ve really noticed this year and I’m working hard to address it.
But, I think “shit will get real” for any runner that is truly pushing their limits. Failure and doubt are guaranteed for those brave enough to toe their threshold.
While I don’t have a quote or a mantra, something that I do try to remind myself pre-race is “Trevor, you love this”. You love working hard, you love finding your limits, and [while you’d really prefer not to] you love entering the pain cave. The nerves, the pressure, the expectations – you enjoy that. So, go do what you love.
Leggggs: I so value and appreciate the vulnerability and honesty in that response, Trevor. When I intially crafted that question, I had no idea the nuanced answers I’d get. And sometimes, there’s just no answer. It’s almost harder to operate without a mantra but still find ways to keep yourself going. Fuck yeah, man.
Keeping your head in the game on your runs, though, are you a headphones or no-headphones guy?
TH: I’m a firm believer in no headphones when racing or on a group run. I love the sound of a runners’ stampede. But, music is essential when running indoors on the treadmill or on a solo long run.
Leggggs: Well said. It’s not black and white. Also, I have never heard the term “runners’ stampede” and I am now in love with that. Gonna steal it. (with credit).
Follow up – Pump up music for running? What is your perfect song?
TH: I tend to stray away from the typical loud pump up song. I like these quiet, yet emotionally powerful type songs. It’s not genre-specific and frankly I can’t really describe it. They tend to hit me in some weird part of my brain that makes me want to run through a brick wall.
- “Escape (feat. Hayla)” by Kx5, deadmau5, Kaskade, Hayla
- “Nose to the Grindstone” by Tyler Childers
- “Kyle (i found you)” by Fred again..
Leggggs: Love me some Fred again…
How do you convince yourself to run when you really dont feel like it?
TH: For the most part, I always want to run. But, obviously there are some dark, cold, rainy days in which I would prefer to keep sleeping. I think a few things help push me. First, having others to keep you accountable. It’s hard to make excuses when I have friends/teammates like Xavier (among many others!) who are on time, wearing a huge fucking smile, never complain, and are committed to the workout at hand.
Second, if I’ve really lost motivation – I’ll just cop an exciting new pair of running shoes. BOOM, problem solved.
It’s hard to make excuses when I have friends/teammates…who are on time, wearing a huge fucking smile, never complain, and are committed to the workout at hand.
Leggggs: That Xavier, man. And really everyone I met from Dojo…
What is on your bucket list of places to run?
TH: I’ve always wanted to train in Iten. It also seems like every pro runner was in St. Moritz this season. Other than that, I’d love to hit a workout at the Nike headquarters track.
Leggggs: I can maybe help with the Nike HQ track workout. Next time you’re here, let’s make it a plan.
What no-bullshit advice would you say to inspire a person to start running?
TH: Like most runners, running a marathon was the goal that inspired me to start running. But after completing my first marathon, I waited 4+ years to run my second. I realized (1) a smart runner works their way up in distance and (2) improvements at shorter distances are just as awesome.
So, I would say to any new runner – don’t get caught up in the marathon (or half marathon) hype. Have fun at shorter distances. Take pride in a new 5k PR. Be patient. Be intentional.
Leggggs: Really, really well put, man.
Who do you have to thank for where in your running journey?
TH: I have so many people to thank. At the top of that list is Kennedy, who listens to me ramble about training theories, keeps me grounded, and supports me endlessly. When it comes to relationships – running can be an inherently selfish endeavor. It often consumes much of your time, money, and brain power – all of which can lead to friction and resentment. I feel very fortunate to be with someone whose idea of a vacation is going to Berlin … to run a marathon. It’s one thing to have a partner that understands/tolerates your passion, it’s another to have a partner that shares your passion.
Lastly, I wouldn’t be the person/athlete I am today without the influence of my uncle, Rick Schofield. A serial marathoner and long-course triathlete, my Uncle Rick might as well have been Superman. He knew better than anyone the power of endurance sport and its community. My uncle Rick passed away in January 2021. I try really hard to be half as supportive and strong as he was.
Leggggs: What races are you eyeing in the near or not-near future?
TH: Richmond Half Marathon in November, NYC Half in March, and my first Boston Marathon in April!
Leggggs: Anything else for the community?
TH: Follow my dog’s Instagram → @helloimmeatball. Photos by yours truly.
A massive thank you to Trevor for sharing his story. The ups and downs and in-betweens are just further reminders that why we do this (running), how, where, with whom, what kind….. etc, is far more nuanced and individualized than anyone can put a label on. Running isn’t about winning races. But it also is about that. It’s about mental health. But it’s also not. It’s about exploring the world AND hammering a treadmill. Whatever your reason for logging distance is, running is a connection to something greater than the individual… something personalized yet universal. And Trevor reminds us of that here.
Stitched Together: Bridging Perception and Representation with Brett Farrell and Territory Run Co.
What do you do when the gap between your perception of running and how brands represent it is incredibly immense? For Brett Farrell of Territory Run Co., it meant starting his own thing to feel less alone.
Welcome to Stitched Together, a new series where we have the rad opportunity to sit down with the founders, owners, and big minds behind some of our favorite brands inside (and mousse outside of) the running community. First up, I got in touch with Brett Farrell owner and founder of one of Portland, Oregon’s on-the-rise yet already-premier trail running contingents, Territory Run Co.
What first struck me about Brett was the fact that he wished to do this feature face-to-face. After a quick back-and-forth, we found a time for me to swing by Territory’s North Portland HQ, situated quietly under the St. John’s Bridge with an inspirational view of Forest Park licking your eyes from just across the Willamette River. Pulling up to the shop on a rainy Portland morning, a sense of belonging and “shit, this is gonna be good,” filled the wet air.
“There was a gap between the feelings I had about running, and what the brands at the timer were portraying,” Brett mentions as we start diving into the nitty gritty, pushing past initial niceties and the handshake moment. “I wanted to paint a different picture of being more chill and exploring the outdoors. It’s about having a good time in the outdoors… and running is the vehicle for that.”
There is a distinct honesty and uncanny relatability to Brett’s origin story for Territory Run Co. If you see something in the market you don’t vibe with, or you see a huge gap in what is being represented and how you feel, chances are, you are not the only one. As our conversation inevitably ventured into the trail running space, Territory’s bread and butter and chief audience, Brett began to explain, “If you talk to non-runners…non-trail runners, they would see [trail running] as extreme. There’s a gap between extreme and approachable to a lot of people.”
Territory, which takes inspiration from Southern California surf/moto/lifestyle brands, embraces the “everyone is welcome, and we’re just here to make sure you feel a part of the community” vibe. “From day 1, I wanted this brand to be about the community,” Brett explains. And with Forest Park as Territory’s unofficial playground, where the brand regularly hosts group runs for all skill levels, it’s hard to argue differently. There is literally a trail in Forest Park for ANY type of runner. Look it up and try to fight me on it. And if that’s not enough, Brett and crew have even put together a Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running to further assist anyone/everyone to lace up and get lost.
While Brett and his lean and community-focused crew continue to grow Territory, while welcoming new and seasoned trail runners from all over the world, he leaves us with one insanely relatable thought:
We’re constantly being pulled into the machine of making money, and the stress in that, and all the bullshit in the world: When you step outside of that and into the outdoors and running, that goes away.
Sit back, break out the theragun or footbath or TENS unit or roller, wipe the mud off your calves, and enjoy a chill and enlightening chat with Brett Farrell, live and direct from the Territory HQ in Portland, Oregon.
Follow Territory’s journey:
All right. I think we’re good to go. I dunno if it’ll matter. Maybe, um, as if we, if we keep on touching this, that might Oh, maybe do, I can, um, put like a shirt underneath. Oh, that might be good. Yeah, like a beanie or something, whatever. Just, uh, like one of these. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know. That might help.
Good call. Yeah. I like this one.
There you go. Seems good. Yeah, I like how
small that one is. Seems precarious. The one I have is like, like this big. Oh, nice. .
All right, sweet. Um, so we’ll just start at the top, I guess, uh, brief introductions, who you are and, and where we’re based. So
just kick us off. Yeah. I’m Brett, I’m the owner of Territory in Portland, Oregon.
We’re in. , our territory shop location here in St. John’s in, uh, in Portland, right across from Boris Park, staring at the rain falling right now. Sweet. In a brewery.
Yep. Yep. Nice. Awesome. Um, so what do you, uh, what do you officially do here? What, what is your, uh, official title at
Territory? Yeah, I’m the owner, founder.
Um, I kinda. have my, my hands in a little bit of everything.
That was your next question. What’s
your, what do you actually do? ? Yeah, . We’re, we’re a bit of a, we’re, we’re a lean operation here, so we have, um, three part-time employees, um, and they handle, like managing the fulfillment and shop here. That’s Thomas.
And then, um, Mack does. social media and Allie, who’s been with us the longest, handles our customer service and, um, custom projects. And I, so I do kind of everything else, so Nice. The marketing, the product development, um, but definitely among product testing. Product testing, yeah. And getting, getting input from our employees on kind of everything, right.
So I’m just like, I also use them just to like be my. , um, just, yeah, sounding board on, on ideas and, and products and product development.
Nice. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. I’ve met Allie. Uh, well, I didn’t meet Allie. I, I sent an email to customer service because I was so stoked on the hat. I got the, the blue one and I, I wore in a marathon.
I was like, look, I’m representing, and she was like, sweet. Good to see. And then I met Mac at the photo shoots. Yeah. Just Thomas’s left. Yeah. . All right. Great stuff. Um, so what did you do before this? What, uh, what was territory or what did you do before? Territory?
Um, yeah, it’s completely. Completely different, uh, background.
So I studied psychology in school and then, um, my thought was I was gonna like, use that to be like a counselor or like a cool, eventually get cool. My MSW masters in social work. Um, my first job outta college was working with, um, Uh, adolescents living in a group home back in New York. Oh wow. And so, yeah, completely different kind of world.
Um, and then I moved out to Portland after traveling abroad for a year and, uh, just kind of started at square one, um, where my interests were at, which was working at a, running a running shop. So I got a job at a running shop. Um, is it still around?
Yeah. Yeah. Which one? Foot traffic. Oh, foot traffic. Yeah.
Yeah, and I was also working part-time working with, uh, homeless youth in Portland. Oh, wow. Nice. So I was like still like maintaining that kind of, uh, uh, direction. Mm-hmm. . But then the running took over . Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It just, uh, yeah. Once I was working at the shop, I got started to get ideas.
I started to see some, like gaps in the, the industry. Yeah. And, um, , that’s, yeah. Making that decision to work at a running shop is what led me to start territory. Okay,
cool. Um, so you said you moved to Portland. Why, why Portland? Why here? Why the
Pacific Northwest? Yeah. So two reasons. So when I was traveling, I was in New Zealand, uh, and I, like, I wasn’t meeting that many Americans, but the Americans that did meet.
You gotta check out Portland, Oregon. Okay. . Interesting. I was like, really? Why? You know? Yeah. I didn’t know anything about it at that time, but my, my sister had moved out to Seattle the year prior, so before I was in New Zealand, I visited Seattle. Um, and she was living in downtown Seattle and she was in a, a building.
And the first thing I did, um, when I got there was go to the top of the building the roof and saw Rainier for the first time. Oh yeah. I had never seen, yeah. A mountain like that coming from New York, um, . Totally. And it was just mind blowing. It just kind of like was, uh, a big attracting force pulling me to the northwest.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. That’ll do it. Yeah. . Yeah. It, it’s one of those things that makes this place so special is like, I get to Council Crest a lot like I was saying and like on a clear day, if you’re running up there, you get to see Hood Rainier, um, Washington and um, shit, what’s the other one? I dunno.
There’s one other one and you can just like see ’em off from Adams. Yeah, Adams. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it and it’s just, yeah, it’s incredible. It’s kind of what brought me up here too. It’s just like different place. Yeah. From, spent the last 10 years in San Diego. But, um, yeah, like see it was
nice down there, being able to see like peaks like that from city just.
I think, uh, I’ve always thought of it as like, it just pulls you out there. Yeah, totally. When you’re, when you’re constant looking at it, you’re like, all right, yeah, I’m going, yeah. I
gotta go do something about that . Yeah, totally. Um, okay, cool. So that’s kind of like the, uh, introduction, a little bit about you.
So, um, I wanna get into the brand a little bit more. Um, when did it officially start and let’s gimme some origin
stories. Yes. So nine years ago, like almost exactly is when I started working on it. Um, I had quit, quit my job, and then, um, went on a little road trip to kind of like, uh, cleanse the pallet , uh, just to like get some, get some ideas brewing.
And I, I had the idea like start a trail running brand for a couple years before that. Yeah, I got into, I got more into trail running. living in Portland, did my first 50 K in Wyoming and just started to see the culture and like, I was like, oh man, this is, this is pretty rad. Yeah, there’s like a clear difference between what I was exposed to prior when just road running, right.
Culture and like I just wanted to, wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to soak it up as much as I could. And also just coming from the running shop, I saw this, like, this gap in terms of like, um, the, the feeling. that I had about running mm-hmm. that wasn’t being portrayed, uh, by other brands at the time.
Mm-hmm. , it is a little bit more now, but like more about the experience in the outdoors, more about like this like kind of laid back culture. Mm-hmm. rather than like runners were always kind of, cast as like these type A, um, rigid personalities. Yeah. And that wasn’t what I was seeing in, in, in my experience of, of running totally trail running.
Yeah. Um, so I wanted to like paint a different picture of like just more chill. Yeah. This is like, this is about just like exploring the outdoors. Yeah. It’s about like pushing your limits a little bit, um, or a lot, but uh, it’s more just about. just having a good time. Yeah. In the outdoors. Okay. And, and running is, is the vehicle.
Yeah. For that.
Definitely. Well, it kind of gets into my next question about what needs you see in the market that you thought territory could help fill? So it’s really about like taking it from sort of like always on being extreme to like go do your thing kind of. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean there and there is like, like if you talk to non um, runners or even.
like trail runners, like Yeah. They think, they think of this as extreme. Mm-hmm. . Um, and there there are definitely elements of, of that. Yeah. Um, but yeah, that’s not like that, that, that’s not like how I identify as a runner. Mm-hmm. , I don’t feel like what I do is extreme. Um, and lately definitely not at all.
But, um, yeah, I, I just think there’s, there was a, yeah, a gap in terms. Of that as well. I’m just like, this doesn’t have to be extreme. This, this, this can be approachable to
Yeah. A lot of people. Okay, that’s good. Um, so, uh, in terms of brands you saw out there as inspiration for, for territory, who are you
Um, yeah, basically, um, any brand that wasn’t in the running world. . Okay. Um, so I was looking in like, like the surfing industry a lot. like. Yeah, a lot of like California, like motorcycle surf brands. Okay. Is where I was like looking a lot
like, uh, I’m trying to think of iron and resin. Iron and
That’s one was one that I always looked at. Yeah. And yeah, still look at as like just a great, uh, just have a great. Great branding, great imagery. Yeah. Um, for the, the lifestyle and culture of, of what they’re trying to,
instead of hitting you over the like head with, it’s all about motorcycles. It’s about like the adjacent lifecycle.
Yeah. It’s about, it’s about like hanging out with your, your dudes super. Yeah. Totally. More than it is about the
motorcycles. Yeah. I like that. Again, it’s like, that’s like
literally the vehicle. in this case, but yeah, it’s, it’s more about just being with your, your people.
Yeah. Okay. Um, so story behind the name, why territory,
Yeah. The name was a struggle to, to come up with. Like it kind of held up launching Yeah. The brand for a while. I was like, uh, interesting. Yeah, I think so. I had the idea like in October, 2013 and didn’t officially launch until. F 2014. Um, just, and like I was launching like very on a very simple basic level of just like one t-shirt design.
So like I could have done it right a lot sooner, but didn’t, didn’t have a name. Um, and therefore couldn’t come up with a design. Yeah. . Um, just designing like that’s,
mountain up there. You’re right, right. . Um, so yeah, it was like, it ended up being, , my roommate at the time, like, I would always just like be spitballing with her ideas.
Um, and I was like, really, uh, stuck on the words, like boundless. Mm-hmm. , like, I wanted that to be the feeling, but didn’t, it didn’t sound like the brand name. Yeah. Um, so I was just playing with Boundless for a while. Um, just like kind of the, the freedom element of being in the outdoors. And my roommates said territory.
Yeah, that’s it. Is that taken? Yeah. And after like months, um, it was literally like, uh, months. Um, it was just like, that’s it. Nice. And I don’t know if it came up before and I passed over it. Yeah. But, um, once I heard it at that time, it was just like, yeah, we’re
doing it. I like how that happens when you just like, hear a word or something.
You’re just like, yeah, that, that makes perfect sense to me.
Yeah. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. We even had a, um, I had like 10 or 15 people over my house to have like a. kind of post-it note like party of like trying to figure out the name. Yeah. And after all this, like all these people like writing on post-it notes and we had it up on the wall.
Nothing, never . Yeah. We got, got a lot of cool words that ended up like being a part of the brand, but Sure. Not the, the
name. Any, uh, any like top contenders that you remember that it could have been?
if it’s a trade secret, like you’re giving up for a line. Don’t. One was, uh, fi uh, okay. Because my one roommate at the time was, uh, spent some time in Norway, so that was her, her idea. And I really liked it because like, it just feels cool. Fi, f i e l f I think it’s fj. Oh, like, okay. Now, now I don’t even remember the spelling, but it’s Fj e l or fj?
E l l. Okay. Um. . I was just picturing like Americans just calling it fgl. Sure. Fg.
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it’s a new energy supplement.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it didn’t, didn’t make the cut. And plus like, I don’t really have any ties to Norway. So yeah, it was, it was sense. Almost
likes performative in its own sense. Like it just sounds cool in another culture.
mine. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Um, so I guess we kind of touched on this, but like in a, in so many words, what do you think is territory’s major differentiator in the. .
Yeah. I, I think it’s always been, um, our branding, um, kind of the stuff I’ve just, just highlighted, but mm-hmm. also, just that we’re, we’re a small in operation, um, that’s just kind of like homegrown community oriented.
Yes. Um, you know, like, yeah, we’re not, I think we’re closer to a running shop in terms of like community oriented than we are, like, um, to a, a bigger brand. Um, but yeah, I think, I think we’ve kind of like mixed those two elements together. A brand and a local, local shop. Cool. Um, yeah, I, I don’t think there’s really much of that.
And also, yeah, there’s really not, um, Still, there’s not much in terms of like another trail running brand. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. Yeah. You know, like I envision there’d be like a lot more popping up over the years, like that are like really just tied to trail running specifically. Um, but we’re, yeah, pretty much still the only trail running specific.
Brand. Like I, and that’s been my thing is just like, kind of just stick in our, our spot. Yeah. Not try to be something else. Yeah. Um, not try to, you know, um, cater to a different different market. Like I, I wanted to create this for, for trail runners and I think that’s, that’s what we do well and that’s
Yeah, definitely. I like that. Which is a perfect segue cause I set it up, um, , how does community in the natural. , uh, play into the brand. So, uh, like how do you, how do you work that in? What’s, what’s the
significance of it? Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of, yeah, everything, I mean in terms of our, our natural environment, like, um, that’s what’s been so cool about getting this location in St.
John’s had, being close to Forest Park. Mm-hmm. and Forest Park is a big part of our brand from like day one. That’s, you know, where we were going to take photos and, um, it’s just, it’s been our, it’s our playground here in Portland. Um, but it’s definitely. , I think just it’s, it has matched up with our brand just because it’s, it’s here.
Mm-hmm. like that, that kind of moody northwest vibe has always been a part of Yeah. Our, our brand imagery as well. Um, moody, Northwest Vibe. Yeah. Yeah. , I like that. Yeah. And then, yeah, I mean, community. Yeah. It’s, it’s definitely been my, um, one of. , yeah. Priorities and interests is like from day one, I wanted this to be like a community thing and I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in that entirely in the way that I wanted to.
Mm-hmm. , um, uh, just cuz like you get caught up in so many other things, uh, aspects of the business. Totally. Like, yeah. I like, and that’s been great recently in the last year with, with our shop here, like being able to host, host runs here. Yeah. But yeah, in the past it was our sunrise runs, which. , uh, had an awesome following and we were having like, you know, big, big turnouts on nice, our monthly sunrise runs.
Um, but yeah, we want to, we’re just still trying to figure out more ways to, to get involved in community and yeah, meeting people face to face as a, as an online business, it’s like so much of it is, is. me. Yeah. In front of a computer. Totally. I don’t love that. Yeah. So .
Yeah. No, that’s why I was so stoked that, uh, you wanted to do this i l or in real life, um, versus the typed out.
Exactly, man. Yeah. I mean, that’s like, it’s not everything. Like I, yeah. I mean, I don’t have any interest in typing out. Right. Totally. The story to you, like, like I, I want to, this is, this is way more Yeah. Definitely fun for me to like actually meet you and Yeah.
Plus I get to check out this. Yeah, exactly.
Cool. Okay, so this one’s kind of interesting. What is like the, the uniqueness, um, of the community here and the landscape specifically here, that you can translate or makes aspirational to the rest of the world? Like why, how are you convincing people from not here to buy the brand or buy
into the brand?
Yeah. I mean, I, I don’t think, um, I mean Portland is in, uh, the Northwest is definitely a part of our, our brand identity. Mm-hmm. and like, um, I mean, yeah, I was just looking at our recent graphics. One is Oregon and one is specific Northwest. Mm-hmm. . I’m like that, that’s like the first time that we’ve really done such a specific design to our, our area.
Um, but yeah, I think, I think what we, what we do is try to appeal. To trail runners everywhere. And, um, yeah, I mean, we have people internationally buying our stuff and all, all over the US and, um, yeah. And I think that’s the message that we send isn’t, isn’t tied to really our area. It’s, it’s tied to trail runners and it’s tied to like, just like the struggles of the everyday person.
Like, like one of the, like the messages that I’ve always tried to put out. like that. Like we’re constantly being pulled into the, the machine of like making money and, um, and the stress in that and like all the, the bullshit in, in the world. And there’s like, when you step outside of that and are in the outdoors and running like that goes away.
Totally. And that’s like, that’s the message I’m always trying to push. Yeah. Just like that’s like the more human. Um, real life kind of, yeah. thing that I’m, that I’m seeking in my life, and I think a lot of people are seeking in theirs. And, um, and that’s I think, ultimately the message that people are gonna out to.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s almost like, yeah. When you’re on the trail. I, I, I think about that a lot. Like, I, I like to say I win a lot of hypothetical arguments in my head when I run . Like all that shit, like, I wish I should have said. Um, but yeah, it’s like you’re on the trail, it’s, that’s your territory, no one else is.
Mm-hmm. . Right. So that kind of relates to the brand name. Um, what’s been the biggest. For the brand since
launching? Yeah. I mean, honestly, our, our latest, latest, I mean, it’s fresh in my mind, but our doing teas in Oregon has, has been, it’s awesome. Like, on my mind for since the beginning of like, how can I, how can I make stuff as close to home as possible?
Yeah. Talking about community and, and that like, that was like the ultimate of having shirts made here. Mm-hmm. in our own state, in our own community. . That feels like, like a big, a big wind for me. Uh, unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’re gonna be able to do it again. Yeah. , the factory has not been able to, um, continue.
Um, they’ve been open for, for a few years, but mm-hmm. , um, costs were too high and, yeah. Bummer. Luckily we squeaked in there before they, they had to close down. .
Oh man. That’s a bummer. Yeah. Um, yeah, I, I got a couple of those shirts from this photo shoot and I absolutely love ’em, and I like, haven’t taken this off wearing the Beanie
And then, um, yeah, the shirt’s like my daughter’s even, she’s three, but she’s like, these are soft and she wants to wear ’em too, so they’re a hitter in the house. Awesome. Thank you for those. Um, so conversely, I guess maybe this is kind of the same, in the same vein, but what’s been the biggest learning? So opportunity for the brand outside of
Yeah, man, I mean, there’s always, there’s always so much to learn. Uh, I’m at a point where I’m like, I gotta, I gotta get back to figuring new stuff out. Mm-hmm. , you know, like the e-commerce world, the social media world, just like you, you can like coast that for only so long Yeah. Under your amount of education you have around it, and then you have to go back and, and learn a lot more.
Yeah. Like, so right now, like, um, I’m trying to learn tac . Oh yeah. Which is probably not where you’re going with this question, but it’s just like, Hey, anyway, it’s like, man, you. . Like that’s where people are at now. Yeah. Um, and, um, we, our brand really grew on Instagram. Mm-hmm. , that’s how we got a following in the beginning was, was definitely Instagram.
And it was like, it was organic. It wasn’t like we were paying for ads at the time. It was just, it was easy Yeah. For people to kinda latch onto us and now it’s, it’s not that case at all. Instagram or, or other platforms. But um, it seems like TikTok is the new Instagram on the TikTok. Yeah, I gotta That’s right here.
Gotta learn that, turn out stuff and try to try to reach people there with our, with our
messaging. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I, I, uh, I used to work at a SASS company, a software company in, in San Louis Obispo. And, uh, we were trying to get into the TikTok world and I was like, look, I’m just like the manager guy.
You guys take care of this. I just pilot, like, just push it off onto the younger kids and like, I don’t know if it, is it funny. Just do it. I don’t know. Yeah. . So, um, in terms of sustainability then, for the product, I know you were talking about, um, you know, maiden Oregon, which is awesome. Um, but how much does that play into, into the production?
Yeah. I mean, um, yeah, so our current, our current fabric rts is recycled polyester, um, infuse recycled coffee grounds, which, um, definitely has. some good sustain sustainable elements. Um, unfortunately for like textiles in general mm-hmm. , like, no matter how you do it, it’s not like a clean process. Right. Even the best are like, we’re still contributing to the problem.
So it’s like, all right, how do we, how do we make it the least problematic as possible? Yeah. Um, and yeah, so I mean, we’re trying to incorporate that. , I mean, every product we have, um, it’s, it’s hard, but it’s like, definitely like anytime I talk to a, a factory or uh, a textile nil, I’m trying to go to go in that direction.
Mm-hmm. . Um, so yeah, hopefully our, our shorts and our hats are gonna be incorporating recycled nice recycled materials and, um, um, yeah. I mean, I, I want that to be in every product
we have. Yeah. Yeah. Good call. All right, so let’s get into some future state. Um, since we’re talking about sort of down the line, um, five years from now, territory will be blank.
What’s, what does the future state look like ideally?
Yeah, I mean, I, I envision now us being, um, just growing on our essential core products like our, our tees, our shorts, uh, our hats having like, um, multiple styles in each that. one, a little more lifestyle oriented, one, a little more performance oriented.
Mm-hmm. , um, for kind of every product category. And, um, and then just having our website be a little bit more of like a, a welcoming trail running marketplace for, um, yeah. New trail runners or really any, anybody who’s a trail runner. Mm-hmm. . So like, I would love people to come to our site as they’re just getting into trail running to not just find our products, but.
Other products as well that they’re gonna help their, their trail running journey. Nice.
Um, what’s a good setup then for, uh, the, the plans to diversify the offerings? So build on core products, but is there any, any rumors about footwear or anything else coming down?
No. Yeah, I’ve never had interest in, in doing footwear.
It’s just a two, it’s too much. Yeah. . Um, but like, I’d love to, to figure out a way to offer. , uh, other brands, footwear, yeah. Through our site. Mm-hmm. . Um, so yeah, it would, it would change, um, change our model a little bit, but, um, yeah. I would love at least like to have some like, core shoes that like Yeah.
Really make sense with our, with our brand and with our community to, to
offer on our site. Yeah. That makes sense. Um, I’m, I’m sure you’ve seen or maybe not the, uh, the satisfy running x norta com. Collaboration, anyone in mind for a territory collaboration?
Um, yeah. We, I always like, um, I’m trying to, to get new, um, yeah, new ideas for collaborations.
Um, but yeah, nothing, nothing’s on the. The table right now. But yeah, that’s definitely, uh, always a good idea to collaborate with other
companies to just start with like a local pizza place and just do like some stickers and start there. It’s
so small. . Yeah. Our last, our last one was with, uh, gooder. Okay.
Yeah. Yeah. The sunglasses. Yeah. We did, uh, a collab with, uh, true Gear a few years ago. They’re local Portland brand. They, they’re more back country skiing. Oh, cool. Back country snowboard. Nice. So we did a
hat with them. Awesome. Um, any more plans for, uh, further brick and. Is that a, is that appealing? You wanna set up shop anywhere else?
No, no. Yeah. I mean, we’re definitely like an online company operation. Um, but there, there’s always been that idea, um, to be more of, a little bit more of like a running shop. Okay. You know, like if we, if we were gonna offer shoes on our website once one day mm-hmm. , I think it would also make sense just to have a little bit of a storefront where we could offer in person.
Gotta try those out. Yeah. Yeah. Having a place to try on and, um, and then that opens the door for just like a whole lot more community interaction. Yeah. And, um, yeah. I, I would love that. Nice. All right.
Um, okay, so spreading bit, uh, the love a bit into the industry. Um, what other brands in the space are you seeing provide, um, value to the lives of trail runners and basically runners in general?
What are the brands are doing it right, I guess, in.
Yeah, I mean, I think, um, a lot of brands have shifted over the years, um, to really offer great, great products for, for trail running. Mm-hmm. . Um, yeah, I think, I think Solomon has always done a killer job. Like, I think I’ve always been a big fan of what they’re doing and especially like their content over the years, like a.
That’s, that’s really what I’ve loved is their, their, their films and, um, their portrayal of trail running. Um, it’s good shit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, and, and that’s, and that’s I think is like one of the most important things. Yeah. I mean, gear is, is all a part of it, but, um, yeah, I mean, showing what it’s like out there and showing like human stories I think is one of.
Yeah. Aspects of it. It’s that connection. Um, so any runners out there that we should be keeping an eye on? Any, any names come to mind?
Um, yeah, actually, actually Mac here just interviewed, uh, rich Lockwood. Okay. Um, and Max’s in the room for the listeners. . Uh, yeah. And, uh, yeah, just kinda, um, started hearing about him last year and it’s, he’s off to like a really.
Awesome. Start. Okay. Excited to, uh, to read Max’s interview. Nice. .
All right. You going out for a run? Yep. All right, man.
We got my key. Cool .
Um, okay. So I’m trying to, so one of the points of this too is to, uh, sort of like offer advice and offer aspirational, um, insights for, for runners, amateur runners, um, runners looking to get sponsored or run for a brand.
Since you’re the founder and owner of this one, um, what advice would you offer to, to runners looking to get into that? ,
I would say, um, reach out to the brand directly. Um, you know, like I think early on I would get emails, um, from people asking about sponsorship, and it was like, um, yeah, it was just, and still to this day, it’s just like, it’s way easier for me to engage with someone, um, when they email me versus like if it.
to like a direct message on Instagram? Just, yeah, it’s just, um, there’s just so much going on on social media. It’s hard to like, make a priority to like, um, read all those Yeah. Comments. So like, I think it, it always makes sense to reach out directly. Um, but yeah, in terms of like, um, yeah, just their, what they’re doing, it’s, it’s, it’s, for us, it’s not so much about like, are you winning races?
It’s like, , it’s what your style is, is it’s what kind of person you are. Mm-hmm. , it’s, it’s always hard to gauge that, um, unless you’re talking to someone live, you know? Totally. Um, you don’t really know what someone’s like over social media. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I think it’s like, it’s about like trying to get a phone call.
Yeah. Like, I mean, I feel like that’s, that’s how I still operate. Like I want to talk to people over the phone rather than email. Yeah. . It’s just personal touch to it. Yeah, yeah, definitely. I want to have, wanna have more contact. Yeah. Especially like when I’m working in front of a computer all day, it’s just like, it’s just a nice break to, to have those conversations.
Talk to someone. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s less about like race accomplishments and potentially like social media followership and it’s more about judge a
character and Yeah. I what you’re providing to the community. I mean, yeah. I don’t wanna lie and say it’s not about race performance and. , there’s some element, all that.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s gotta be a part of it. Yeah, to an extent or, yeah. Or like just the following. Uh, there, there has to be something about them that is going to be, uh, noteworthy. Right. Totally. So.
Okay. Um, cool. That’s kind of all the brand specific questions. I just have a couple personal questions, just add a little bit of color on, on you.
Yep. Yourself. Um, so, uh, in terms of your running style, what type of running gets you going most? What, what’s your favorite type? . Um,
I think I know the answer. Yeah. So right, right now. Um, so yesterday was my first run in like 30 days. Oh wow. Covid. And it just like wrecked me. Oh geez. Sorry to hear you. Just like low energy for I think I, I’ve, uh, figured out I had medium Covid
Okay. Medium Co. I like it. I found an article about Medium Code. It was like, I think that’s what I had, but feeling better now. Um, but yeah, like, um, so. Where I got Covid was our run Camp . Oh, wow. And, uh, at that, that’s like, that’s my, that’s kind of my ideal running like, you know, 10 to 12 mile runs, like in absolutely stunning places.
Yeah. Um, and running with, with good people. Like, I think my, yeah. Still my favorite thing to do, like even like on a Saturday morning is just to like, run with like one, one good buddy. Yeah. do like, you know, eight to 12 miles. Yeah. Um, usually in Forest Park. Yeah. Yeah. Lately, yeah. Forest Park, um, like yeah, a few years ago I was always going out to the Gorge.
Um, oh yeah. And hopefully I’ll get back into that. I’ve had just a few like life projects that have gotten in the way, house projects and, uh, it’s a commitment to get out there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely more, and I’m looking forward. When that’s done, just to getting, getting really back into, into running.
Nice. Cause it’s, it’s been, it’s been kind of sidelined for a while. Yeah. I mean, first starting territory was like really consuming and then, uh, for some reason I, I chose to buy a house that was a complete remodel and uh, and then chose to so hard, what are you talking about? then chose to, uh, build out my basement from scratch to make that an apartment.
Oh, so sweet. Like I’ve had. Some tiny project, big projects. Yeah. That, that I’ve chose to do myself too. Right. I’m not like, oh, wow, you’re not hiring it up. Right. Yeah. That’s, and that’s, I think that’s like just my personality, like I, like in starting my own business, it’s like, it’s this like diy. Yeah. Kind of.
I want, I want to survive on my own. I want, I want to see what it’s like to like do it myself. Yeah. And there’s a, there’s some faults in there, , but you know, it’s learning. Yeah. But yeah, I love, I love that process. Of, of starting something and also, um, yeah, learning and getting my hands dirty. Yeah,
Um, in terms of the, uh, the runs in Forest Park, what’s, uh, if you, if you’re willing to share your favorite loops or favorite trails,
what do you Yeah. What’s your go to? Yeah, so it’s, it’s like a lot of people’s, the Maple Trail in Forest Park. Okay. It seems like it’s, uh, everybody’s favorite, but yeah, it’s definitely mine.
Um, yeah, I do like a. , eight mile loop. That’s like the go-to.
Okay. Yeah. Is that Maple is south
of Dogwood, right? Yeah. So I, uh, I start on, um, wait, maple I’m trying to fix, right? Yeah. A little bit north. I start, I start on uh, um, Salzman. Oh yeah. Okay. It’s kinda like mid Mid park. Mid park,
yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah. Okay, cool. I usually start down by cumber. Um, or at Washington Park. Oh, yeah. Over on that Saturday hill. But, yeah. Um, cool. So what is some, uh, I want to ask you this specifically, cause you own an apparel shop, but what’s some running gear you can’t live without?
Ah, good question. Um, yeah, the, I mean, I’ll plug our own stuff.
Our hats . Cool. Our, our gorge cap has always been my favorite. It’s like, uh, doesn’t sell anywhere near as like our long haul cap. Mm-hmm. , but it’s always been. Favorite style? Which one is the, um, the one on the bottom, bottom left shelf there. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Um, just kinda like your, more like classic, classic hat style.
Yeah. Um, but yeah, the long haul cap, the five panel cap is way more, yeah. Like, uh, that’s, that’s what’s in right now. Okay. Um, yeah. So as far as shoes, um, like I was in Ultras for all, like basically when I first started trail running. Yeah. Up until. , I guess last year, um, my, my toes just got, got wider because, because of the shoe and haven’t Yeah.
Wasn’t able to switch to anything else, but I Oh wow. I just, interesting. Uh, Thomas, who works here, uh, had to be, try out the north face Okay. Vector shoes and. and it’s totally worked for me. I’m like, I’m hooked on those. So that’s
awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve noticed in the last year my, uh, I would used to be like an eight and a five or eight and a five, 8.5, eight and a half, um, like flat across the board.
And since running more competitively, I like nine, nine and a half. I can’t fit eight and a half . Hell happened to my feet, man. I know toenails left, but I guess, uh, whatever. Um, all right. So in terms of keeping yourself motivated when you. Like, when things get hard, what’s your, uh, what’s your go-to quote that you like to tell yourself?
Oh, that’s a good one. Yeah. So, um, so early on when I first started Territory, I interview, interviewed Yasin Dub Boon. Okay. And, uh, he told me what he used and I just fucking love it. Um, his was like, I’m, I’m made for this. Um, oh, nice. Like that. Like he, he would, I think he, he said he was using. During his Western states, um, like top 10 finish.
Mm-hmm. , um, you know, and his story was like, you know, he’s got roots, um, from Morocco and you know, where it’s super warm and there’s heat and um, you know, he’s running Western states and the heat and so he is just like, I’m made for this. Yeah. Like, I’m made for this. And uh, obviously I don’t have a lot of those stor background stories.
that just stuck with me of like, whenever I’m like in a hard time in, in a race, um, something like that comes out and yeah. It works so well. Nice. Like I’m a, I’m a big believer in, in those, like, those mantras. Yeah. Because like you’re, the mind is like, it’s, it’s malleable. Like you can, you can make it do what you want it to do.
Yeah. As long as you can coach yourself a little bit, you know? Yeah. Look at whim H too, right? Yeah, man. Breathe through anything. . Absolutely. Yeah. The, the other one, uh, I stole from, um, um, oh God, uh, Lauren Fleischman, who Okay. Uh, uh, was, I saw her run at the Olympic trials in 2012, I think. Mm-hmm. . And I saw the post run, the interview, um, and her, her mantra was, um, or no, her, her visualization was the.
Mm-hmm. , uh, and the person interviewing her was like, oh, like you’re being traced by a lion? And she’s like, no, I am the lion. Oh, . And, and like, and like visualizing like, um, just like a strong animal like that. Yeah. And like, I think a lot of us runners, like, especially trail runners, like we feel like a little animalistic when we’re out there.
Sure. Incorporating like, just like this, this idea of a strong. animal, um, I think also helps significantly. Yeah,
definitely. I was running one time, um, on like fire lane two I think, and I was coming down the hill and it was like pouring rain and this like white. Dog. It turned out to be, comes up the hill and I was like, in my head, head for like a split second was like, how do I kill a wolf with my bare hands?
Yeah. And then I saw that owners coming up and I was like, my God, I didn’t kill it. .
I don’t think I would’ve been able
to. But yeah, animalistic quality. I like that it comes out. Um, absolutely. Yeah. Headphones, or no
headphones when you’re running? No headphones. Okay. Yeah, I. . Uh, so many of my friends like, do like, uh, books on tape or, uh, not books on tape.
They don’t, they don’t call that anymore. ? Uh, no. Not podcast too, but, um, audio. Audio
books. Yeah, audio books. Books on tape. You know, that’s not gonna
go away. Yeah. . Uh, and I’ve, I’ve done it a little bit, um, but I think I should do it more cuz like, it, like, I think it, it’s another, um, it’s just another way to like learn something.
while you’re doing something you love, you know? Yeah, totally.
Yeah. What’s, uh, so I’m putting together like a conversational pace, which is the feature, um, name, uh, playlist. So everyone that’s been contributing, I’ve just been throwing it onto a playlist and sharing that out. What’s, uh, what’s your pump up music or what’s your, what’s your go-to Jams?
Um, yeah, I’m, I’m not a pump up music guy. All right. , fair enough. What’s your comment like? Yeah, I’m like, my, my musical genre is like just like, chilled out. Awesome stuff. Um, I’ve always been a big Pete Yorn fan. Okay. Um, and he just came out with a new album, so that’s been my, my thing lately. Sweet.
It’s called Hawaii. Okay. The album. Yeah. All
right. I’ll check it out. Yeah.
Um, when you really don’t feel like going for a run, what do you tell yourself to get out the door besides watching your old video?
Yeah, that I will, way better off when I come back. Nice. Yeah, there’s like, without a doubt, like no matter what, you’re always happier when you come back from a run.
Yeah. And like sometimes it’s just like a all right, you know, I’m just gonna go out for a mile or two and mm-hmm. . Um, and eventually, yeah, I’ll probably do more, but, um, no matter what, it’s always. , you’re always happier after. Yeah.
Yeah. I heard a quote from uh, Lucy Bartholome too that said like, if you really don’t want to go for a run, just run for 10 minutes.
If you still feel like shit, go home. Yep. But 99.9% of the time you just keep going. You’re gonna keep going. That’s great. . Um, alright. Where, uh, if not, I mean, we’re living in one of the most beautiful places to run, but what are your bucket list places that you’d like to log
Some miles. Yeah. So when I was in New Zealand in 2007, 2008, like I, I.
Trail running at that point. Um, I was just doing backpacking, hiking. I would love to go back there and run. Cool. That’s like cool, probably like highest on my list. And that was like the one place that I’ve been, that when I was there I’m like, I’m coming back here someday. Nice. It’s just, it’s far away, so it’s hard to , it’s hard to make it happen.
Yeah. Um, it’s like kind of the. that, uh, we can go from here, but yeah. Yeah, that’s probably top of my
list. Nice. All right. Um, so someone that is looking to get into running, trail running, whatever it might be, what is no bullshit advice that you would give
them? Yeah, start, start small. Like I definitely have a, had so many conversations over the years with, um, yeah.
Even people who, who have been road running for a while, but don’t. don’t feel the confidence of getting on the trail. Mm-hmm. , um, for a variety of reasons, but more, a lot of it is because of the hills. Sure. And it’s like, here, just walk, walk the hills. Yeah. A lot of, a lot of trail runners are, I would say the majority of trail runners are, are walking a lot of hills and there’s no, there’s no shame in that.
Yeah. I think a lot of runners, a lot of runners coming from the road have a lot of shame when it comes to walking at all. In any, at all. Yeah. At any point of a run. Um, and it’s. . All right. Well what are you out there for? Yeah, that’s, you have to go back to that question. I was like, are you out to like constantly prove to yourself that you’re gonna run the whole time?
Mm-hmm. or are you out there for the experience? Yeah. Of just being outside, um, and. Moving your body.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I learned that firsthand with, uh, with JT at Alpen Flow. We did the Elkhorn Crest Trail and, uh Oh yeah. I mean, there’s so much walking and I was like, Ugh, come on. Like, we gotta keep going.
But at the end of the day I was like, no, I was, I was here for the experience and like, it was, it was a really good, like humbling but also eyeopening moment. It was, it’s really cool to like, cuz I’ve been road, road running for so long and like to finally get into that state. It’s almost like zen like them.
Yeah, man. Like fast hiking. Absolutely. Fast walking, . Yeah.
Yeah. It’s great. Yeah. Like, yeah, just keep moving forward. You’re powering up a hill, like yeah. You’re not running and you’re just like, but you still get into that, those rhythms. Yeah. It
feels awesome. Exactly. Yeah. Um, alright, so, uh, just a couple more.
Who do you have to thank for where you are in your running and, and business journey? Shout out
time. Oh, good question. Um, yeah. When I, when I first. , you know, came up with the idea for territory. Um, I reached out to a lot of people, so like, for advice, for help. Mm-hmm. , people who had businesses and, um, Willie and ya, uh, Weis.
Wolfpack. Then they were animal athletics. Um, definitely like, brought me into the community. Nice. Um, like didn’t, didn’t really. bad and I about it, like, you know, like when someone starts something new in your, in your community, um, I think some people can get like, who are you? Right. You know? Totally.
Totally. Like, cause at the time I really wasn’t like I was trail running, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t like really in the community. Right. Yeah. Yeah. , like I was just kind of doing it on my own for the most part and with a couple friends. Um, so it was like, it was hard to. Break, break in mm-hmm. with this idea.
Interesting. Um, uh, you know, the whole like imposter syndrome, you know, like that’s definitely true. Definitely. Yeah. You feel that. Um, and there was definitely, um, yeah, just like an openness with those guys that were like, yeah, come on in. Yeah. Um, welcome .
Interesting. Yeah. Um, I wonder like, was that mainly due to the fact that you’re trying to start a brand and get into the community?
Yeah. Yeah. Like if, if I was coming in as just. Brett, like trying to run with people. Yeah, it would, it would be fine. But I had this other agenda. Yeah, exactly. Which felt, felt a little weird for me. Um, it’s like I’m not just trying to get to know people, I’m trying to like spread my, my idea around. Yeah. You know?
Um, but yeah, they, they made a big difference in like, Willie, Willie was like just a, he’s like a connector. He likes to connect people. Nice. He introduced me to a lot of people and That’s great. Um, people that I’m like some of my best friends. I feel that through him. Nice. That’s
great. Um, so when you’re not running, what are you doing to keep your body, mind, soul, everything
active and happy?
Trying, I’m trying to meditate, um, as much as possible. Um, that’s like I’m a big, like I said before, just a big believer in. , like the power of the mind. Yeah. And um, it’s a practice that I want to keep honing in on. Um, uh, I’ve always, or for a while I’ve seen a therapist, like, I feel like that’s like key to my mental health.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and uh, yeah, like I play guitar that’s like nice, like a kind of another meditative practice. Um, and. . Yeah. That’s, those are, those are great outlets. Yeah. Yeah. . .
All right. So anything else you wanna promote? This is, this is the part where you get to be as shameless as possible.
What, what you got going?
Yeah. I mean, again, like our, our new all day tees are, are where it’s at. Like, we absolutely love this, this fabric, there’s, there’s not really another performance. Like it mm-hmm. , other than maybe like a Marino. Mm-hmm. , it feels more like a cotton. Um, you know, I think everyone, like when they first see it, they’re like, oh, this isn’t a performing shirt.
Yeah. But then they take it out and they’re like, wow, this performs. Yeah. Really well. So that’s our, that’s our main goal with this shirt is to really inform people that this, this shirt performs super well. And it’s like you get the book best of both worlds. Yeah. It looks great. Feels great. Doesn’t feel like a, a technical fabric that you wouldn’t want to wear.
Yeah. Um, outside of running, um, and like that’s, Always like what I’ve tried to do with the products is like, I wanna make these products something you’d wanna wear even when you’re not running. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Just you should, why not ? Yeah. I mean, I don’t wear
my singlets around much, but I do wear these shirts.
Yeah. . All right. Any parting shots for the legs, community,
anything? Uh, yeah, keep, keep up the fight. Keep up the fight, uh, to keep running as much as possible. Being outside as much as possible. We have a lot on our plates in our. Adult lives and, uh, we’re, we’re all better for it when we get out and be outside.
I agree. All right, Brett, well thank you so much. That’s all. That’s
it? Yeah, that’s all. Thanks man. Looking for Yeah, of course.
I’m just gonna stop on that.
A Conversational Pace – Ryan Keeling on community stoke, 1000-day streaks, and movement as medicine.
Ryan Keeling is a true chaser of stoke, a climate change mitigator, mountain peak explorer, and a believer in the pure and freeing facets of lacing up your shoes and going for a run.
I first came across Ryan Keeling when he tagged Leggggs in an Instagram post. First off, hell yes, thank you Ryan for the tag, but second, damn, dude, I am so stoked this happened. When I started Leggggs, I thought, “I’ll meet some cool people, probably. And there may be some learning opps along the way…” But as I continue this Leggggs project, I am continually and thoroughly blown away by not only the caliber of people I am fortunate enough to talk to but also the incredibly rich and engrossing stories they tell. And Ryan Keeling is a shining example of the ethos of Leggggs incarnate.
I could talk more about Ryan’s passion for running, community, the outdoors, summiting the impossible peaks, and doing everything with a captivating smile, but instead, I’ll give him the mic. Ryan, stoked you’re here. Let’s do this….
Leggggs: Ryan – So good to chat with you, man. Thank you for being here. As we always do, let’s start at the top with who you are and where we can find you online and otherwise. Then feel free to tell us what you do.
Ryan Keeling: Ryan Keeling | Seattle, WA / Instagram: @ryan.w.keeling / Strava: ryan_w_keeling
For work, I am the Sr. Manager, Technical Operations – GIS at DroneSeed.
We are a full-service reforestation start-up based in Seattle with a mission to make reforestation scaleable to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Reforestation is incredibly spatial as you may imagine, so it is my job to ensure that we’re leveraging geospatial technology and GIS data (maps!) to help to get the right trees, in the right place, and at the right time. At DroneSeed, we do everything from cone collection to seedling production, aerial seeding via drone, aerial survey, and planning, and help landowners impacted by wildfire with project finance and conservation easements. I joined early days (<10 people) and have since watched the company grow significantly including acquiring the 130-year-old Silvaseed, a major conifer seed bank and tree nursery. It’s been exciting being a part of the company from the early scrappy days until now where we are truly making a difference by helping to plant millions of trees every year. Exciting things to come – give us a follow (@droneseed.co)!
For fun, I am an aspiring mountain goon who spends much of my time stoke chasing, bouncing from one outdoor activity to the next. Running is my primary activity and my daily go-to, but I also enjoy mountaineering. I have climbed several of the major Cascadia region volcanoes and mountains all over the cascades. Biking is great too, and I get out a few times a week to commute or cross train.
Last season, I picked up skiing after a few years of FOMO from my friends and absolutely loved it – definitely not something that I had access to growing up in the Midwest. Hope to do much more light alpine touring this year! When not active, I love a good road trip. My wife and I recently acquired a 1987 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia and have enjoyed taking that out to the mountains – nothing better than a van hang after a big adventure.
Leggggs: Damn. DAMN. Will make sure DroneSeed gets a follow and encourage everyone reading now to go ahead and do the same. I feel like you and Glenn should chat about chasing stoke through the mountains. Seems like a lot of similarities there.
Getting more into who you are as a person, what’s your personal mission? If you had to sum yourself up in one sentence, what is it?
RK: Lead a sustainable life with patience, empathy, and a sense of adventure.
Leggggs: And when did you first get into running? Why?
RK: It wasn’t long before I learned to walk that I got into running. Some home videos consist mostly of me running in circles around the backyard or at the beach. I was one of those weird kids who trained for the mile in elementary school during recess.
Baseball was too slow for me, and soccer was better, but I truly fell in love with running and haven’t looked back. It’s such a pure and freeing activity and allows you to see, do, and feel the world around you.
Leggggs: Yeah you definitely need to sync with Glenn.
What type of run gets you going most? What moves you, as they say?
RK: Big mountain runs are definitely my favorite! There is nothing better than getting to the high alpine, running ridgelines, filtering water from an alpine lake or melting snow, and soaking up mountain views. Yewww!
Leggggs: Love that shit so much. Only done a few bigger hills like this but the stoke and adventure of being up there… Nothin like it.
That said, tell me about your favorite run ever? What, why, where, how, who, when…. Etc. All that goodness.
RK: This year has been filled with some really good running. I was fortunate enough to join one of my running groups Cowgill Trail Collective this year for a lot of big days in the mountains.
Highlights: several runs in the Teanaway area, a Goat Rocks Wilderness weekend, and a Mount Saint Helen’s (Loowit) circumnavigation.
Maybe because it’s so fresh, but the mid-October Loowit circumnavigation was especially rad. I knew it was going to be a good day when my wife Liz and I rolled out our Vanagon to giddy pre-sunrise trailhead excitement. The day was pretty epic, with vibrant sunrise colors enhanced by smoke from the nearby wildfires, running through a powerful dust storm on the west side of the mountain, helping each other with route finding and stream crossings, seeing Liz and our other friends who were on a point-to-point – so good. It was such a great group too. We all took turns riding the highs and lows of the ultra rollercoaster and lifting each other up throughout the day. The trail is so diverse from boulder fields, to rope climbing drainages, big climbs, and flat and exposed sections (the Plains of Abraham was so fun!) and flowy forest sections.
A friend and rad human Bret Jorgensen, who you chatted with back in September, filmed us and put together a short film documenting our day. Check it out: Running the Loowit Trail with The Cowgill Trail Collective
We all took turns riding the highs and lows of the ultra rollercoaster and lifting each other up throughout the day.Ryan Keeling on keepin the group stoke high
Leggggs: Bret is so rad. Thanks for telling that so vividly. Can honestly put myself in that moment and feel equal parts FOMO and honest-to-goodness thrill.
And with that in mind, what has been the worst run of your life? What made it terrible and how did you push through (if you did)?
RK: Ohh geeze. There have been a few over the years.
One of the more recent memories sticks out. In the summer of 2021, despite being fully vaccinated, I got COVID and was hit pretty hard. That first day I was really sick – I had a super high fever and felt terrible. I didn’t want to give up on my run streak, so I took off my poofy jacket and wool blanket, double-masked up, and laced up my running shoes for a short run. It wasn’t fun and definitely high-up on the list for worst run of my life.
Leggggs: So that thing I said about FOMO and thrill, I can, without a doubt, say I feel the exact opposite about this. Do not envy you. But, man. Hats off to ya for pushing through! Keep the streak/dream alive.
And speaking of puffy jackets and keeping the streak alive, what’s some running gear you can’t live without?
RK: As a map nerd, perhaps the one thing that I wouldn’t be able to give up is a GPS watch. I love the mapping abilities and the data insights that are captured by a multisport GPS watch. I’ve recently upgraded to the latest Garmin Fenix 7x and I’m obsessed.
Less fun, but also essential for a fair skin northern European mutt like me, a sun hoody has been essential to keeping me from frying on big alpine days.
Leggggs: What is your go-to kit for running?
RK: Altra Lone Peaks trail runners, Darn Tough micro crew socks, Dirty Girl Gaiters, Patagonia Strider Pro Running Shorts or Boa Moove shorts (for Cowgill Trail Collective adventures), a Seven Hills Running Shop shirt, Ombraz sunglasses, and one of my many Territory Run Co. hats.
Leggggs: I just interviewed Brett at Territory… what a cool dude, too.
And on that note, too, what are your thoughts on the best shoes for road / trail / recovery / short runs / long runs, etc.?
RK: I’m a big fan of all Altra Running shoes. My favorites for the trail are the Lone Peaks and for the road, the Torin. In my basement, I have about 15-20 pairs of different pairs of shoes that I rotate through. There is nearly every model of Altra to Brooks Cascadia and Catamount to Solomon Wild Cross. It’s all about the type of run, the expected conditions, and how my body is feeling.
Leggggs: I can dig that.
Shifting gears a bit, and getting into the motivation for running, what’s a quote you repeat to yourself mid-run when shit is getting real?
RK: There are two that I use most often. One serious, and one funny:
“Remember, you chose to be here. You WANT to be here.”
The latter is something that Scott Jurek wrote above his signature in a book I had him sign 10+ years ago and it’s stuck with me.
Leggggs: Nice, dude. I like that whole, “you chose this” vibe. I think Bret even said something similar, but it’s such a good reminder.
Now when you’re talking to yourself on runs, are you doing this with or without headphones?
RK: No headphones! I like to get in my head and truly sense the world around me. Occasionally, like when I was working on running every single street of the Ballard (Seattle neighborhood), I would pop in headphones. The Dirtbag Diaries podcast is also pretty fun during a chill long run!
I like to get in my head and truly sense the world around me.Ryan Keeling on purposeful undistractions
Leggggs: Follow up – Pump up music for/after/before running? What’s your perfect song?
RK: Picking a single song is tough! Here are some of my favorites: ‘Sunflower’ by Vampire Weekend, ‘New Slang’ by The Shins, ‘I’ll Be Loving You’ by The King Khan & BBQ Show, ‘Are You With Me Now? by Cate Le Bon, ‘Dorothy’ by Polo & Pan, ‘Weekend Friend’ by Goth Babe, ‘Put a Flower in Your Pocket’ by The Arcs.
All of these songs have been added to the CONVERSATIONAL PACE playlist, btw.
Leggggs: YES. I don’t meet many people into King Khan. I knew we were destined to meet for some reason.
How do you convince yourself to run when you really don’t feel like it?
RK: Keeping up the motivation to run when I’m really not feeling it has been the biggest challenge of my current 1000+ day run streak. Turns out, it’s really hard to convince yourself to run when it’s dark, cold, and rainy, work has been rough, it’s late, you’re hungry, sore after a big race, etc. I’ve found that despite how much I resist or how long I sit by the door waiting to go outside, I never regret a run. Plus, the movement has proved to be so good for my mental and physical health.
When I was thru-hiking the AT, my buddy Quinn (trail name: Merry) and I (Pippin) hiked with Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes (Redfeather) for a few days. Such an incredibly athletic and beautiful human. Anyway, one of the things that she talked about and promoted is “movement is medicine”. That has truly stuck with me; and I feel that it helped to reinforce the running habit.
Leggggs: Movement is medicine. Perfect.
What are some of your most coveted bucket list places to run?
RK: Ohh man! SO many places. I’d love to live the runner dirtbag life and travel, run, and adventure around the world. I’ve always loved to zoom around Google Earth and examine maps and old globes and imagine visiting faraway places. High on the list is the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. I’d love to have my own running-focused version of Patagonia’s short film, Mountain of Storms | A Legendary Road Trip where Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, and co. load up in an old van and drive from California to Chilean Patagonia, surfing, skiing, and climbing along the way.
Does anyone want to come with me?
I’d love to live the runner dirtbag life and travel, run, and adventure around the world. I’ve always loved to zoom around Google Earth and examine maps and old globes and imagine visiting faraway places.Ryan Keeling on unending and insatiable wanderlust
Leggggs: I am in for that documentary/trip/adventure. Just let me know when and where. Kidding, not kidding. Sounds ideal.
On that motivation front and to help someone get into the stoke of running like you clearly have, what is some of your no-bullshit advice would you say to inspire a person to start running?
RK: Running has been so good to me, and I truly hope those who haven’t made the leap give running a try. Running gives you such freedom and access to community. For those just getting started or still on the fence, getting started is the hardest part. Even as a lifelong runner, I often struggle with the mental block of “is this run worth it”. It took me some time to realize that not every run needs to be this grand adventure, be a big distance, or fast paced. A run is still a run and should still be celebrated even if it’s running around the block. I never regret a run and I strongly believe, with time, you will feel the same. Get out and move – your body and mind will thank you!
It took me some time to realize that not every run needs to be this grand adventure, be a big distance, or fast paced. A run is still a run and should still be celebrated even if it’s running around the block.
Leggggs: That is so well put, man. Just get going. The hardest step is the first….which sounds like a cliche adage, but it’s popular for a reason.
I feel like this is going to be a hearty list, so let’s do it: Who do you have to thank for where you are in your running journey?
RK: I definitely have to give a shout-out to my parents back in Michigan who have always supported my running. Especially to my mom who signed me up for Cross Country in the seventh grade having no idea what it was. Thanks also to my wife Elizabeth who I met while running back at the University of Michigan – Dearborn Cross Country team. Elizabeth has been my default support crew and has made sure I’ve stayed alive on more occasions that I can count. The greater Seattle running community also is well deserving of a shout out, especially Seven Hills Running Shop and Cowgill Trail Collective who have truly welcomed me like family, introduced me to ultra running and have helped me grow as a runner.
Leggggs: I keep hearing such rad things about the Cowgill Trail Collective. You and Bret and a few others have mentioned them, then I started seeing the shorts all over IG. Stoked to hopefully run with y’all someday.
What races are you eyeing in the near or not-near future?
RK: I’ve raced a bunch in 2022 and now that the rain is back I am starting to think about my 2023 running and adventure schedule. I’ll definitely be jumping in a few Daybreak Racing events, Wy’east Trailfest.
Leggggs: If you weren’t running, what would you be doing to keep your body, mind, and soul active?
RK: It’s hard to think of a life without running! I hope my body holds up to truly be a lifelong runner, but when and if I slow down I’d make the transition to focus more on mountaineering, cycling, and long-distance hiking.
Leggggs: Anything else you want to promote right now? Be as shameless as you want, please.
It feels weird to say it, but I’d love to promote myself! One of my early goals for 2023 is to get support for my adventures through some level of sponsorship. If there are any brands out there looking for a mountain goon like me, I would love to chat!
Secondly, when I’m not busy running in the mountains or planning a reforestation project with DroneSeed, I’m working on a creative outlet through an online shop called Cascadia Mountain Goods. I’m just getting it set up, but I’ve been creating some fun mountain-themed goods. I’ve recently got into 3D printing and have been printing out the cascade volcanoes. It’s been fun to tie in my map-making expertise into celebrating my outdoor pursuits.
Leggggs: Any parting shots for the Leggggs community?
RK: Stay rad and keep chasing that stoke! Thanks for having me, Leggggs community.
The amount of excitement and sheer love of running and life pours out of this chat with Ryan, and I cannot thank him enough for spending time with us today. Please show Ryan and his community some love as well, and be sure to throw him a high five or like or follow of whatever/wherever.
Helpful Ryan links:
A Conversational Pace – Sam Wellman on the pros of negative self-talk, french discotheque, and sorting out life through running
Sam Wellman fancies himself an avid music head with a penchant for “bad film photography” and sci-fi. He can also be found working at a running store in DC where he is able to meet some truly dope people in the community. I know Sam as a potential “brother from another mother,” if people still say that.
There are those people that come into your life at the most random times that suddenly go from “I won’t remember this person” to “Who did I talk to before I met this person?” I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a few of these types this year alone (all because of the power of merely saying, “fuck it, let’s go“), and Sam Wellman ranks in the top 3 at least of these peeps. (There’s no official ranking system at play here, btw… no favorites or anything… but I will say Sam and I did start off on a weirder foot given I was his replacement on the Dojo of Pain Hood to Coast squad.)
That said, and on top of the friendship we formed in the van, first over LCD Soundsystem and then continuing through ongoing shared personality traits, Sam is now one of the dudes I look to as a conversation starter where the world of mental health collides headlong into the world of running. He is also one of the prime examples of how a simple “what’s up” can turn into better mental wellness for both parties.
And for whatever reason, after going through this interview, I threw on Spaceman 3’s classic, “For All the Fucked Up Children We Give Your Spaceman 3.” You’ll see why….
Leggggs: Sam. My dude. What’s up. Thanks for agreeing to share your story with the Leggggs community and help bring this world even closer together. Starting at the top, who are you and what do you do?
Sam Wellman: I am Sam Wellman!! Pretty much only on insta, @samuelwellman, if you like one rad 35mm pic every 3 months and then mediocrity the rest of the time.
I hate the what do I do question—mostly I run. Lately, that hasn’t been so much the case. I am an avid music head (shout out LCD Soundsystem and one of the most intense “did we just become best friends?” moments in van 2). Bad film photography. Sci-fi nerd, art nerd etc.
I earn a living working on the front end of construction design-build projects. Side hustle: working at a running store called Pacers Running in DC – a great way to meet some dope people.
Leggggs: Sorry. I’ll tailor that question differently in your next feature. So, if you could sum yourself up in a sentence, or maybe just tell us your personal mission: What is it?
SW: – A couple come to mind.
- Leave it better than you found it.
- Be curious, not judgemental. (s/o to my fellow ted lasso fans)
Leggggs: Dig that so much. And really good reminders to just repeat daily, tbh. When did you first get into running? And more importantly, why do you do this?
SW: The year is 2018. I find myself out of shape, freshly single, living approximately 200 feet from the Mediterranean Sea. I decided to go for a run after work which was about 11pm. It was awful in the sense that I felt like I was breathing through a straw (thanks cigarettes/France), but wonderful at the same time. I immediately thought “I can go further” and years later, here I am.
Leggggs: I love the simple honesty in that, as well as the fact that you were living that close to the Mediterranean Sea. Just a touch jealous about that. So now that you’re in the thick of this running business, what type of run gets you going most?
SW: Easy runs with pals that ends in coffee. Solo runs in the rain with some solid tunes and foliage.
Leggggs: Damn. Yes. I mean, how do you choose between. the two? You don’t. Both with their merits and bonus features. With that in mind, tell me about your favorite run ever?
SW: I did a pretty big run/hike in Tettegouche State Park/northern Minnesota that ended up being like 40+ miles total on the day. Mid-October, peak fall colors, Lake Superior, monumental stupidity, almost got lost in the woods, moderate panic attack.
Didn’t see another human for like 6 hours, it was great.
Leggggs: Dream. Even with the panic attack. Makes the highs ever better when you add in a semi-low. Conversely, and I think I may stop asking this because the past is passed, but what was the worst run of your life to-date?
SW: I like to leave the bad ones in the past (be a goldfish), but after Grandma’s Marathon 2021, I apparently was breathing so hard I tore some intercostals (the muscles in between your ribs)…? I would not reccommend. Couldn’t get out of bed, had trouble breathing for a while.
Leggggs: Holy hell. I didn’t even know those existed. Sounds brutal. Let’s get off the runs for a sec and chat gear, quickly. What are some pieces you never leave home without?
SM: A good hat. Also, splitties > half-tights.
Leggggs: To the point. I dig it. How about shoes? Best shoes for road/race/trail/etc. All that…
SM: Asking the REAL questions here: not much of a trail guy so pass.
- Recovery: Hoka Bondi
- Short/Daily: Been diggin the Hoka Clifton or Adidas Boston 10
- Long Run: New Balance 1080 for an easy guy or Saucony Endorphin for speedier
Leggggs: I only ask the hard-hitting questions, Sam. Like this one: What is a saying you repeat to yourself when shit is getting real during a run?
SW: I’m a big negative self-talk guy, so it’s usually something like, “Keep pushing, you coward.”
Leggggs: I get that. I tell my legs, often, “don’t even start whining now. This is what you were built for.” BTW, headphones or no headphones when running?
SW: Either, depends on the mood.
Leggggs: Fair, fair. LCD Soundsystem and our unbreakable bonds of friendship aside, what is your go-to for pump-up music?
SW: I’ve been on a huge french discotheque kick lately, Lewis ofMan or L’imperartice get the juices going.
Leggggs: Sweet. I need some new music, so I will be checking that out ASAP. When the French discotheque doesn’t do it alone, how do you convince yourself to got for a run when you are 100% not feelin it?
SW: I was having a conversation w/ Jeff (of dojo) recently about how everyone has a different relationship with running.
We basically came to the conclusion that we are the lucky (or mentally unstable) ones who generally don’t have these feelings. I can’t remember the last time I didnt feel like running. Even through covid, heat, snow, and more recently – anemia, I always feel like a good run will sort me out.
Leggggs: I remember on the Hood to Coast tour when you just went for a run. It was something I could tell you needed, versus wanted. Always dug that.
Where, then, would you dream of running one day?
SW: Easy. Even though I’m not an ultra guy, it’s gotta be UTMB.
Leggggs: Sweet. So we’ll just coordinate that and go together, as well as meet Glenn there. And to inspire, maybe, others to get there too, what no-bullshit advice would you offer to someone looking to lace up for the first time?
SW: I get this all the time at the run store, and my response is, “Look, I really fucking love running, but I’m kinda fucked up, so I understand if it’s not for you.” I think you just gotta find what you like that gets you moving and outdoors. Biking, walking, hiking, fishing, climbing, etc… time spent in nature/improving yourself is time well spent.
Look, I really fucking love running, but I’m kinda fucked up, so I understand if it’s not for you.Sam Wellman: honest if you ask about getting into running
Leggggs: Forest bathing. It’s now the hot thing, but there’s a good reason for it. Just being outside. It’s better.
Time to get thankful – Who do you have to hug/thank/high five for where you are in your running journey?
SW: Way too many peeps. I could honestly go on for a while here, but I’ll be brief.
The crew at Mill City Running in Minneapolis are the ones who really got me to love running. The sense of belonging and passion for the sport is unmatched. Dojo (of Pain) for accepting me and becoming my DC fam and being just a kick ass group of people in general. Definitely would not have survived in DC without this gang. From chill coffee hangs on sundays to helping me work thru all my shit to bullying me into fitness. I love this crew 🙂
Leggggs: I cannot agree more with the Dojo shoutout, though I’ve only met a fraction of the peeps. True blue, from what I can gather, and from who I’ve met. How about any races you got coming up? What’s on your dance card?
SW: CIM in december. Goal: finish.
Cherry Blossom 10 miler in the spring?
Other than that nothing concrete.
HTC summer ‘23 LFG
Leggggs: Hell yes. Anything else you want to promote right now? This is your time.
SW: Go read about our Hood to Coast adventure if you haven’t already. I’m just a dude who drove the van, my homies in the van are real badasses. Also, check out @Dojoofpain on insta to keep up with our shenanigans. A bunch of us (not me) are primed to absolutely rip some fall races. Most importantly, come run with us if you’re in DC!
Leggggs: Finally, parting shots. Final word:
SW: Take care of yourself first – mentally, physically etc.. go to the doctor. Running is life!
See what I mean about Sam? Relatable, aspirational, welcoming, honest, brutal, and “kinda fucked up” all in one radical person. Thanks for being a part of the community, Sam. And thanks for the open invitation to come to DC. Definitely going to take you up on that soon.
Gathered: Winter Running & How Community Keeps the Fire Stoked
Leggggs community members chime in on staying connected and beating detachment during the colder and darker months.
Winter, man. (Like, “Summer, Man,” but, different…) Good start there, Jonny.
I was reading the other day about SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and how it only, officially, impacts about 5% of the population. While stats are hard to argue with, I just feel like there’s more to it and this is far more widespead than we’re caring to admit to ourselves and each other. I got to thinking, then, about all these emails and posts right now about holiday gift-guides or TeN bEsT tHiNgS tO hAvE iN yOuR cOlD wEaThEr KiT content-forthe-sake-of-content click-grabs. I get the sell sell sell content (because now EVERYONE is a content marketing,) but you lose anything with soul or authenticity approaching connection that way.
So then, thinking about SAD, and thinking about being sold versus talked to, I felt a disconnect. A new thermal layer from Tracksmith is a must (and I’ve asked for a new pair of lined-tights for Christmas,) but that’ll only take my spirits so far. There are still some threats to mental wellness that need addressing:
- There’s a need for extra motivation to get up and get going, whatever that may be, when the days are shorter
- Circadian rhythms are thrown off
- Calendar invites might be accepted, but more oftentimes out of habit without the intention of attending the event
- It’s fucking dark and it’s sad
- Generally, it can just suck to move or think about doing anything that isn’t blanket-related
Winter is either coming, or it’s here, depending on when you read this. And from the illumination of my artifical sunshine light, I decided that instead of sitting around “forcing” myself to run, and generally just be stoked, I’d ask the Leggggs community about all of this. Specifically, and because I need this myself, I want to help relay not only any cold-weather essentials but more importantly, how one stays motivated to run in the dark and cold months. And this, frankly, is a way better approach because I don’t have any clue what I am talking about half the time, and I’m easily dissuaded when the sky is gray. (I wore my Nike Down Parka with shorts all winter last year… which was a great look if you want to give off the allusion of not wearing pants.)
This is about more than gear. This is about maintenance. This is about continuing the charge of finding a connection with the road, the trails, the track, each other, and a passion when the times are both physically and mentally tougher. This is about feeling less lonely in the dark.
On the secret to staying motivated to run in the dark, cold, dreary winter months:
- Usually I’m training for something. What’s worse: arriving at the start unprepared, or just showing up in your training and working through that discomfort? I would feel more pain from just giving up. We don’t do this sport because it’s easy. – Ryan / @ryanyambra
- Running with friends! Always run with friends. – Kennedy / @nickerkenn1
- Running in the dark, in the cold, feels like a little secret. And it’s a special secret when you run with friends or say hi to a fellow runner on your solo run. Only Santa should be out during these hours! It gets harder in January, though, when all the fun is over. – Caryn / @notcaryn
- Having a dedicated crew to brave the bitter mornings. – Xavier / @z_xav_z
- Plan for cool wintery weekend runs. There are some great trails that are even better in the winter than summer and I look forward to them each year. Also, having an early spring race to train for helps – Renee / @go_renee
- A burning hot belly full of a weird mixture of spite and love of the sport. All jokes aside – I love snowy runs! It’s definitely the northerner in me, but winter isn’t so bad. Less people, after a mile you warm up, the post run steamy shower. All magnificent. – Sam W / @samuelwellman
- What’s winter? – Jeremy / @jeremybsmith
- I love winter running. No races to prepare for, no heat stroke, no crowded sidewalks – just good friends, hot coffee, and training purely for the love of the game. – Trevor / @trevhains
- What will get me out the door for sure is knowing I have someone waiting for me at a trailhead. So a good group to keep you honest. Also, running in cold or bad weather inherently makes you a bad ass. – Bret / @bretfromreallife
What is one essential, must-have piece of gear that gets you through the cold runs?
- A good pair of gloves! Water resistant and well insulated. Such an important accessory considering we lose much of our body heat from our extremities. – Ryan / @ryanyambra
- Not a piece of gear, but merino wool was my savior last winter. It locks in the heat but is breathable – truly the best winter running material out there. – Kennedy / @nickerkenn1
- Thick socks are a game-changer. The first body parts to freeze are my toes. And, this might sound silly, but putting ear pods in even if I’m not listening to anything helps to keep the cold air out. – Caryn / @notcaryn
- I love the Patagonia houdini jacket. It’s nice for retaining heat but still breathable so that you won’t get too sweaty and uncomfortable underneath. – Xavier / @z_xav_z
- Absolutely good gloves. I prefer wool, especially merino wool, as they keep your hands warm even when they inevitably get wet. But the real key is to carry more than one pair so I can change out to dry gloves. It’s a quick downward spiral when my hands get cold because then I’m less inclined to try to use my frozen fingers to eat or even change out another piece of wet clothing – Renee / @go_renee
- Tracksmith brighton baselayer is my favorite piece of running gear. Full stop. Summer/winter. Its magic. – Sam W / @samuelwellman
- Not living where it gets cold enough to matter. (but i work in nyc as well, and the answer is good gloves) – Jeremy / @jeremybsmith
- Sam stole my answer – the Tracksmith Brighton baselayer is hands down the most versatile article of winter running clothing. Sponsor me, Tracksmith. – Trevor / @trevhains
- Another vote for the Patagonia Houdini (air), and a good pair of gloves. – Bret / @bretfromreallife
Does anything change in your routine during these months?
- I become obsessed with fireplaces and warm drinks. I feel like I savor those moments of comfort more during these months. Before and after my run I’ll curl up next to the fireplace with a book and a cup of coffee. It fills my soul. – Ryan / @ryanyambra
- I use my sunrise simulation alarm clock every day. It’s so dark in the morning and having that warm light tricks my brain into thinking that it’s later than it is, making it easier to get up and go. Hot coffee too. – Kennedy / @nickerkenn1
- Less mileage overall. This is a good time for downtime! No need to log hard miles all year long. Let Rudolph wrack up the mileage (ok done with the xmas references I promise!). – Caryn / @notcaryn
- I double down on my activation drills and stretching before and after my runs in order to avoid injury. – Xavier / @z_xav_z
- Yoga makes it way back into my schedule. – Renee / @go_renee
- In the winter i am not opposed to a one way run + SOS call/metro home to avoid a gnarly headwind. – Sam W / @samuelwellman
- I run more bc I prefer not overheating, summers have gotten out of control both at home and on the road. – Jeremy / @jeremybsmith
- I try to do a big strength training block in the winter months – that way I can have quads like Xavier. Usually, 3x a week in the gym – which means slightly less running and/or less intense running. It’s a good physical reset. – Trevor / @trevhains
- Mainly the only thing that changes in remembering to grab a headlamp. Maybe a warm beverage in a hydroflask to look forward to when you get back to the car. Warm apple cider saves lives. – Bret / @bretfromreallife
Thank you to the Leggggs community for chiming in on this one, and I truly hope it helps someone stay the course when the course is iced over (literally and figuratively.)
See you out there, friends.
A Conversational Pace – Glenn Bona on UTMB goals, murder hornets, and the community of stoke.
You know that part in The Office when Andy says, “I wish you knew when the days were when someone says, ‘Those were the days.’” Or something like that. TFW you look back and realize just how good things were without hindsight being so 20/20 all the time? That’s how I recall the heydays with Glenn Bona, or BONEZ if you’re nasty (and follow him on IG), when we worked at the same agency in San Diego, doing digital marketing bullshit to pay the bills, and before we took to running in the same form as we do now. Though, he was seriously into it and seeing the world on his feet long before I was. IRREGARDLESS.
“Funny to look back at those pictures and realize how much healthier we are now.” Glenn opines in an IG DM convo we had. Granted, the picture in question is of us in the office break room holding up a bottle of Costco-sized vodka (from Costco because DEAL!) for one of the very-frequent company happy hours. (Nothin like some booze to ply the workers to stay late… But it worked and we were happy. Who’s complaining? Fuck your core values. We gotta eat and drink…)
But, again, those were those days. And they were fun. But we are here now, and I’d wager we are having a better time. Especially Glenn. “I just want to see the world on foot,” he told me, when I casually asked about his motivation for running. And, now, I can’t think of a better way to see the world. Between UTMB training, Thailand adventures, and doing the digital nomad thing, Glenn (sorta) actually sat down with Leggggs to chat about the above good ol’ days, hornets the size of small cars and the crossroads between digital marketing and running.
Leggggs: All right, sweet. Well, Glenn, thank you so much again. Um, Oh, we had nice today before we hit record. Now it’s not gonna make sense to people. . Um, Awesome. All well, we’re here to do the legs interview. Um, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna start it off. I’m just gonna start firing the questions out and you can just answer ’em as verbose and as grandiose and all the other ose’s as you want.
Glenn Bona: How about hum humble-ose?
Leggggs: You know, I think we should trademark that. All right, cool. So, um, yeah, just starting at the beginning. Who are you, man? Where can we find you online? What do we need to do to figure out where you are?
GB: Yeah, so my name’s Glenn. You can find me on Strava as Glenn Gabriel Bona and on Instagram if you’re into that, at stokes.zip, um, spelled like it sounds.
And then I also have a podcast that I need to, uh, rebirth. It’s called Nomad Wolf. I also interview other trail and, um, endurance-minded people. Me and my buddy, Ben, I’ll talk about him later in this interview… We started up a little side, uh, project that kind of is still figuring itself out.
Leggggs: Sweet lot, a lot of places. Dig it. Yep. Um, yeah, I wanna know more about that, that podcast, so we’ll talk about that in a second. So outside of, uh, outside of podcasting and running and, um, Yeah, just being, being you, uh, what, what do you do?
GB: Yeah, so outside of eating, sleeping, and running, which is pretty much all that I do, I’m an SEO and content strategist at an agency called Omniscient Digital. We help tech and B2B SaaS companies fill up their funnel and also drive conversions and leads.
Leggggs: Nice, Nice. Content, man. Everyone needs content. I love content.
GB: Yeah, content. I know you love content.
Leggggs: That’s good. Um, alright, so, switching gears a little bit as they say. What’s your personal mission like, if you, if you had to sum yourself up maybe in one sentence.
GB: Oh man. Yeah, I had to think this one over a little bit because I did, I want to be too grandiose about it. Like, “You know, if David Goggins is doing this, then what is Glen doing?”
Leggggs: Right? Disclaimer, Glen has seen these questions before now. Spoiler alert. Spoiler alert.
GB: I’ve come prepared. I always come prepared for these.
Leggggs: I love it.
GB: So yeah. I think my personal mission is mostly to put myself in places that I’ve never expected of myself. And then hopefully that inspires others to also put themselves in places, whether that’s physically in the world, so outside of their current bubble that they might just live in. Um, and just explore more of themselves and of the world by foot.
Leggggs: Nice. Um, Okay, so this is a curve ball. Kind of just follow up to that—this is not on the questions list. Um, what’s the first step, no pun intended, for someone to just kind of like, take that, take that leap into exploring the world by foot? Like what it’s like the, what was the tip?
GB: Um, I guess the biggest tip that has enabled me to explore more of the world by foot is to just sign up for a race in a very different city or in a very different place that you’re used to and then just train for that thing and then get to the start line.
Um, I feel like traveling has kind of been, more or less like, I don’t wanna say routine, because everybody’s travel experience is very different, right?
But for the most part, I think with social media, you kind of just do things for the gram. You see places for the gram and. You kind of just take the photo and say that you’ve been there and stuff like that. And in essence, I think that traveling has been… it still serves its purpose for the person experiencing it, but I feel like we’re almost doing it for other things and maybe the wrong things.
And why I push for racing in different places is because the phone’s away, you’re just interacting with the environment. You’re seeing things by foot that you normally wouldn’t see if you weren’t running a race there.
Leggggs: Oh, good call, man. Like so yeah, exploring the new city by foot instead of by car, by tourist charter or something like that.
That’s really cool. I like that. Yeah. Um, all alright, good segue into another tip: why did you get into running or when did you get into running, and then why?
GB: Um, so, you know, I’ve done the casual half marathon in San Diego years before I actually took running seriously. So I first legitimately got into running when I was training for my first marathon, just because I thought a marathon was such a huge feat in my head.
And it still is. Don’t let me downplay anybody training for a marathon or doing that sort of effort.
For me personally, it was a bucket list item. I wanted to do one before I turned 30, and I thought it was just gonna be a one-and-done thing. But during the whole training process, I noticed that the more things that I had on my plate, whether it was like training and also work and other things, the more I was able to just, you know, stick to my guns and stick to commitments.
And I don’t know, I just found out more about myself in that process, and I just wanted to keep that process close to me and just fall in love with it even more. So it just became more serious after that.
Leggggs: Yeah, definitely. Um, Yeah, that’s a good story. In the last interview we had, the guy mentioned that, getting into running, working at an aid station, for instance, was kind of like a gateway drug to getting into the whole scene.
Similar, yeah. Training for a marathon…getting that routine, understanding what your body can do. Pushing and pushing and then being like, “Holy shit, I did it. Yeah. Let’s what else it can do, Right?”
GB: Exactly. It’s always going after that curiosity. Going after that curiosity always makes life way more interesting.
Leggggs: I dig it. What type of run gets you the most stoked? What, what gets you going in the most? What’s your favorite?
GB: This answer is, Yeah. This answer is pretty short and sweet: Long runs on the trail with.
GB: Boom. It’s exponentially better when you share it with someone because the struggle is just shared and spread amongst everyone. And I’m not saying that we always struggle together, but like other people will always uplift the other one during that long run.
And I don’t know, it’s just a good excuse to be out in nature experiencing things again with just the environment and the sensory overload that is being out in nature on a trail with your friends. You don’t know what you’re gonna see. You don’t know what the weather’s gonna be like that day, and you always come back with a story to tell. And I just, I just love those like five-hour or longer missions where you’re just out there and you don’t know what the day is gonna bring, but it’s gonna be awesome.
Leggggs: Yeah, like, nothing to answer to except for those around you and your legs. Basically. Just keep going. Yeah. Yeah.
GB: Your legs with 4g’s!
Leggggs: That was not a product placement, I promise. Alright, so then on that note, um, do you have like a particular favorite run that stands out in your mind from one of those five-hour missions? Who was it with? Where was it?
GB: So this was, I think back in October. I was training for my first a hundred miler, and I was with two friends that, were also training for the same a hundred miler. It was a race that was supposed to take place in December of 2020…? 2021? We’re in 2022 now, right?
Leggggs: Time’s a flat circle. I have no idea…
GB: Well after Covid. It’s just like…the covid years… I think it was 2021. Anyways, so we are both training… or all three of us were training for our first a hundred and, it was during our peak training week.
So there was like a three-week block where you’re just after fitness… you’re pushing your limits. So me and my two friends set out to complete a 50K, which is about 30 miles running a mountain loop up in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. You could do three loops and that would land you 40K.
But if you make it down on the other side of the mountain, that adds a little extra to give you the 50, right? It turned out to be 55, but we can go into that later.
Anyway, I remember just recognizing that I was in the best shape of my life, right? And doing 30 miles on Saturday and following that up later was 16 miles on Sunday, with also like 13 miles on that Friday. I was just like, “Yeah, no problem. This is gonna be fun,” Right?
Um, the problem was I gave blood on that Friday after I did 13 miles, and I stupidly just didn’t account for that at all. While I was doing the 30-mile effort, I was, well, not charging. I was like power hiking the second loop. And for some reason I was just was completely out of it, I felt super lightheaded. I was fueling, so I knew it wasn’t a bonk or anything, but I was just struggling, hardcore. And the two friends that I was with, I wouldn’t say that they weren’t physically there. They were pushing and I wasn’t able to keep up, and I knew something was off. Then all of a sudden it just hit me. I was like, “This probably has to do with the fact that I gave blood the day before, you know? Why did I do that? I messed up my fitness,” and in my mind, I was like, “It was for a great cause, blah, blah, blah.”
All of that. Anyway, we made it to the top, and there’s this little village on top of the mountain. The town is called Khun Chang Khian. That’s where we load up on snacks, coffee… and we also have lunch up there. It takes 10 kilometers to make that loop back to the village.
So you hit the village, do 10kms, and then you’re back up there.
We get back to the restaurant, and all of us were just completely dead. It was super hot. I think it was like 1:00 PM. Peak Thai heat. And all of us were just so out of it. I come in last, and then all of a sudden I just see my buddies just like sprawled out. And then I just start laughing because I was just like, “We’re just insane. This is awesome that we’re like all struggling together.” I remind them that I gave blood and they were just like, “Well, you’re here and you made it.” And that was just like a really good reminder that, you know, you could still, I don’t want to, you know, uh, recommend giving blood and like training, but it’s just amazing how like the body and the mind can sort of overpower and push you to your limits and all of that.
And it’s just awesome to, again, share that suffer with, two other people that, you know, we’re training for this really big project. And to see it pan out and have the memories like that, it’s just incredible.
Leggggs: I think the name of this episode is gonna be called like, “Do not recommend donating blood before running 30 miles” or something. It’s a work in progress. I’ll work on it.
GB: We can make it more click baity… but I mean…
Leggggs: 10 reasons not to, but number four will surprise you. Um, dude, that is, that’s one of the best running stories I’ve ever heard. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not just saying that because we’re recording or because you’re on camera.
That’s fucking awesome.
GB: You should hear my next one.
Legggs: Is that the follow-up about the worst running story? Let’s just jump into it since this…
GB: This one’s gonna blow that, that first one out of the water. So this one took place a week before the best run of my life, right?
It was with one of the training partners that came up. His name’s Joseph. The other one was Tara, by the way.
Anyways, I was having a really solid training day with Joseph. We did a 50K on Saturday, and then this Sunday one was just 24. So like, kind of half of that. Right? And we are doing the loops up in Khun Chang Khian, except this loop goes all the way up to the summit called Doi Pui, and there’s a segment on Strava where you do 800 feet in about 1.5 kilometers. So it’s a good amount of vert. It’s also really rocky and rooty. So it’s really great training for how the terrain is supposed to be at Thailand by UTMB. Anyways, we like celebrate, we’re like pretty thrashed because of just the weekend, and we’re just gonna head back down and have some beers and stuff like that.
On the way back down, I notice just this huge buzzing thing around my leg, right? I didn’t think anything of it. And then I just like moved my hand, like right next to my thigh and like, I didn’t violently swat it away, but I like moved it and then all of a sudden I just feel this hot electrical knife searing pain in my thigh.
And I just yell. “What the fuck was that?” Right? And, I didn’t even think like about the buzzing thing. I was like, “Okay: one – it’s not a snake because it’s not on my ankle.” And then before I knew it, I was just getting like, hammered with other stings, and then I just freak out.
My buddy called it “cartoon mode” where he just saw me like flail… my poles are strapped to my wrist, and I’m just like charging this downhill segment that’s incredibly technical, and I’m just like running, yelling, flailing… something that you would see out of the movies or a cartoon, right?
Then all of a sudden, I just hear in the back of my head, because my buddies behind me, “Oh shit.” And then all of a sudden he starts yelling. And running, and we’re just like running for our lives pretty much.
So we’re just sprinting down this, this trail and eventually I think I…yeah, I outrun these hornets… these massive hornets, and I feel thrashed. I got this thing on my head, my arms, my back, my legs. And once I get to a clearing and there’s no hornet around me, I look back and I’m just waiting for my friend. I’m yelling my friend’s name. “Joseph, are you alright?” Eventually, he starts coming out of it, coming out of the brush. And then he was just like, “Dude, that was fucked.”
And then I was like, “Yeah, we gotta go. Like we gotta…”
I’m thinking we have to seek medical attention. And it sucks because the trail is somewhat so technical that it would probably take us maybe 20 to 30 minutes to get back to the village that we usually stop and eat at. And we’re obviously freaking out, running down. I remember hearing one of my friends say that he runs with an EpiPen because he’s allergic to bees. I’m not allergic to bees. My buddy isn’t allergic to bees. It was just like a really frantic time. I remember getting back into town, going to this little hole-in-the-wall cafe, and then just pointing at enlarged bumps on my arm and stuff like that.
And then she’s speaking in Thai, and she was just like, mimicking the hornet. She gives me ointment. And then we were just wondering if we could get a ride down from the top of the mountain to the closest hospital. The cafe owner pulls out his pickup truck. We get in—it takes about 40 minutes to get to the closest hospital because, like I said, we’re at the top of this remote mountain.
And the city of Chiang Mai is a really windy drive back. And while we were in the pickup truck trying to calm ourselves and looking at our wounds, my buddy, Joseph stupidly pulls up an article. “Dude, those are Asian giant hornets. And a tour guy died from getting too many stings.” And now we’re counting our stings.
This tour guy had 20, my buddy had 15 on him, and I had 10 on me.
We get to the hospital, and we do blood work. We’re fine. My buddy has to stay over at the hospital just because he’s like 55, training for races like these. And yeah, that was the worst run of my life. Also makes for a great story.
But it gets even better.
So I forgot to say, on the best run of my life, we go back to the cafe of the owner that drove us to the hospital, and we’re sitting down having lunch. It’s amazing that we’re back out there training the week after this incredible experience.
But we go back to the cafe owner, and he obviously recognizes us, and he just has this huge smile on his face. His name is Yaah. And we’re like, “Yaah, you’re happy to see us? We’re super thankful for you taking us to the hospital.” And then he was just like… he had this huge smile on his face and then he was just saying, “กิน (kin)…” something… And “กิน (kin)” in Thailand, or in Thai language, means “to eat.”
And we were like, “Eat? Eat what?”
And then he pulls out his phone, and he shows us his dinner from days before. And he actually went back up to that spot, smoked out the hornets, cooked them, and ate them. And he sealed the hole. So with Asian giant hornets, you couldn’t see the nest because they actually nest underground, right?
Leggggs: I’m looking ’em up right now, by the way.
GB: So he smoked them out, emptied the whole nest, ate them, and then covered the whole with concrete.
Leggggs: Oh my God.
GB: Yeah. This guy… we called him a superhero. We called him Superman and… Yeah, they’re huge. They’re terrifying. They’re the real deal.
Leggggs: Wow. Oh my God. Wow. Well, I’m glad that you only had like 10 and your buddy only had 15 because it sounds like 20 was the tipping point there. Jesus dude. That’s intense.
GB: Yeah, it’s, it, it is intense. It is, uh, a story that not too many people know about. Um, but it’s, it’s been like, you know, about a year, uh, removed since the experience.
Easily, the best story that I can lend.
Leggggs: Yeah, no, I appreciate it, and I’m sure everyone that’s listening will a little appreciate it too.
I guess that’s kind of a good segue too into the next question about gear. Um, outside of like an EpiPen, what’s some gear that that you can’t not run with? Or what’s some of your favorite running gear?
GB: So the gear that I’m probably most obsessed with is the Naked Belt. And it’s pretty much just a runner’s belt. You essentially can strap on anything from your poles to your bib. I keep all my food, or even my cell phone. I even brought like a little film camera on my hundred-mile run in that belt. And now it’s just that essential piece of gear that I would recommend to anybody. Even though I have like a really great Salomon pack, that’s 12 liters for longer missions. I had that plus the naked belt for my 100K at UTMB, and then also the hundred-mile, and it was just perfect. Easy access for your food or your gels or whatever you’re bringing for shorter runs or for longer runs. I love it. Like if I’m wearing basketball shorts on a run and there are no pockets there, I sometimes use that… just use my naked belt in conjunction with no pocket pants or shorts.
To just go out…like it acts like, you know, I can keep my wallet and my phone there, and it’s just easy access.
Leggggs: Yeah, dude, I can just like imagine you out at the club or something with no pockets in your pants, but you’re like, “Whoa, I got it.”
GB: I got it. I, I’m there. I’m always prepared, you know…
Leggggs: “You want my id?”
GB: Exactly. I’m a huge convert so… Running belts in general, but the Naked Belt, I highly recommend it.
Leggggs: All right. Good to know. What’s your footwear looking like? What are your favorite shoes for different terrains? What are you wearing for the road? On the trail?
GB: So, I’m a believer in mixing up your footwear, right? So in terms of differences in stack height, I sometimes train with Altra running shoes because they have that zero foot drop. I don’t run in it all the time. Um, but I like to mix up, um, the stack height and also just the shoe. Um, what I race in is usually a Saucony just because of the foot shape that it, uh, lends to me because I have pretty wide feet.
I’ve noticed that when I run in Saucony, I don’t lose as many toenails, which is also a good thing.
Leggggs: Toenails just slow you down though. Like, I’m glad mine are gone, you know?
GB: Yeah. . Yeah. Did you surgically remove them?
Leggggs: Uh, not yet, but I mean, at this point…
GB: But I actually did the, uh, the 100K CCC in Hoku Speedgoat 5, just because they have a wide-foot option. But I think I would just keep that for shorter races. I do love the cushion there. Um, but for the most part, I think I’m a huge Saucony guy. Um, but I am, uh, really excited for the, that, what is it? The Ultrafly Trails?
Leggggs: Oh yeah.
GB: They look beautiful.
Leggggs: They’re ah, they look so nice.
GB: They’re super lightweight. I think there’s one review on YouTube by The Ginger Runner, and he loved him. So I definitely want to add that to my quiver.
Leggggs: Yeah, they’re doing a lot of like teaser stuff for that. I mean, Tyler Green’s wearing them a lot, and then yeah, I’ve seen the YouTube and uh, I don’t know… I want ’em so bad. . They’ll come out, they’ll come out. It’ll be nice.
GB: Yeah. Do you know when? Is there like a projected…
Leggggs: I heard 2023. That’s all I’ve heard. Um, but I mean, the way time is going, like we’ve mentioned at, at the top of this, like that could be here tomorrow, so.
Leggggs: Yeah. Awesome. Um, alright, cool.
So, I’m gonna switch it up a little bit. Hornets aside, blood draws aside…what is a quote that you repeat to yourself when shit’s getting real on the trail, or road? Like you just need something to keep yourself going. The “I got this” moment. What do you say to yourself?
GB: So this is like a sort of mantra that I’ve come across on, maybe it was like my third Ultra…it was a 80K and I was still recovering from a pretty bad DNF, my first DNF, the race before.
And the mantra is, “Every step is a step of belief.” And when things get really, really, really tough and you’re thinking like, “Oh, I can’t make it,” you have to think of belief as something that you can work towards.
And every step that I took inched towards more of that belief that you could finish a race, or you could get to the next checkpoint. And I, yeah, I echoed that mantra to both my friends Tara and Joseph, that I ran the hundred-mile with and they use that mantra as well. And yeah, I don’t know.
I would think that I would come up with an even sweeter mantra. But that one just fits and works at all times, so.
Leggggs: Yeah, I could see that work on like a mile walk or a hundred-mile run. Like, just, just keep going.
Leggggs: Um, well you have headphones in now, but when you run, what’s your thought on headphones versus no headphones?
GB: I go no headphones. It took a while for me to make the transition to no headphones, but I fully appreciate just, it’s again, like interacting and being like in the environment and just like focusing on your breath or what’s around you.
I also feel like running trails, um, especially technical trails, uh, with headphones. It’s like really distracting. You get out of flow. But if you’re running roads, surely. There are times when I put on a really good set or I have like a playlist and those are really great. But for the most part, um, yeah, people ask me like, Oh, what did you listen to on your 100K? And I was like, “Nothing.” I didn’t even bring headphones.
Leggggs: I brought headphones on my first marathon and realized, at like mile 25 and a half or so, that, um, it was a terrible idea. Because you just kind of miss this, miss the stoke, you miss the whole like, fanfare and people yelling your name and all that. And then like, I’m sitting there listening to an Alkaline Trio song that I’ve heard 3000 times before, but I’m like, “Oh man, it’s pump up.” I’ll listen to it afterward.
GB: Exactly. You can celebrate it during your post-run beer.
Leggggs: Exactly. Yeah. Um, speaking of pump-up music, what’s your pump-up jam? What do you use to keep going? Like you said you put on a good list or set? What does that include?
GB: I actually found this on, you know Satisfy Running?
Leggggs: Yeah, of course. … Uh that’s such an asshole answer, like, “Oh, of course. I know Satisfy.” Yeah, I’ve heard, I’ve heard of ’em.
GB: All right. You pay the prices.
Leggggs: I’ve got a couple of their pieces yeah.
GB: So one of their playlists, they have this song called Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Morricone, and literally, before every big race, I listen to that, and it just gets me in the moment. It’s just, it’s one of those classic songs that you would hear in old vintage film. Like a vintage cowboy film. And I relate it similarly to, you remember that movie Gladiator? Where he squats down, and he picks up the dirt, and he like moves it in his hands like this? And he just gets like, ready, gets in the zone. I put on that. And that just like gets me into the right zone. Into the right, like “I’m gonna crush this,” or, “I’m gonna finish,” and yeah, it’s awesome.
Leggggs: That’s awesome. Um, yeah, like put your, put yourself in that moment. Any song that can do that, that’s a, that’s a winner right there. That’s good. Mm-hmm. . Um, so before that moment, like when you’re sort of talking yourself into getting into running or like, not getting into running, but going for a run, getting into an activity, how do you convince yourself to, to get up, get out the door, do it? What’s your wisdom there?
GB: To be honest, I think right now I don’t need much convincing at this point. It’s more like, if I can get my shoes on, then I’m out the door. Right? So I think the biggest step is just to put your foot in your shoe, and that’s all the convincing that I need. I think for the most part, this is just a lifestyle at this point. Right?
And I remember before I found running or before I got into running, I was always looking for that one hobby or that one sport that would take me into my old age. I thought it was gonna be golfing. I thought it was gonna be surfing. I thought it was gonna be a bunch of other things, right?
But now it’s like most of my time outside of work is just focused on, “Did I get enough sleep so I can run the best? Did I eat enough? Did I eat the right foods so I’m not having diarrhea when I run.” Or something like that. You know, it’s always related to running.
Even my work, even with, you know, SEO and content marketing…if you don’t publish pieces that are optimized for SEO every week, then you’re not gonna see the effects over six months of your work. Right? And it’s all the long-term game. It happens every single day. So I don’t really need too much convincing, and I hope people just put on their shoes and get out the door.
Leggggs: Did you just equate running to SEO?
GB: Yeah, dude…
Leggggs: That’s the ultimate crossroads. That’s great. Well done. Well done. I was waiting for it. It’s kinda like the Hackman/Caine theory from PCU. Like you can figure out those crossroads. All right. I dig it. . All right.
What’s a place…You’re all over the place. You’re all over the world. Um, your Strava is the most inspirational one, maybe, I follow but, what’s your bucket list place to run? What are some places that you haven’t checked off the list yet?
GB: So, um, the main one that I really, really want to do is the hundred mile Ultra Trail Mount Fuji. You pretty much go around Mount Fuji, and, what’s so interesting about it besides the place and the terrain, and it being an international race with people that I’ve never met, but I’m excited to meet…and also the food that, at the aid stations, like, “what do they have there?” Like, do they have noodles? Am I just gonna be fed sushi? This is gonna be awesome. I don’t know.
Leggggs: Just wasabi flavored Gu gels…
GB: I might get diarrhea then… I might
Leggggs: That might do it. That might do it.
GB: Yeah. That might do it. But what’s so interesting about that is they have a firm rule against using poles. And I just found out about that, and it’s, it’s terrifying, um, to think that like, “Oh yeah, you can’t use hiking poles during a race that is somewhat set in their rainy season.” Um, so I just imagine like a, a bit of a mud fest without poles. That terrifies me, but it also excites me.
Leggggs: Do you know why there’s no poles?
GB: I don’t know. Um, I actually don’t know why. Yeah. If there’s a…
Leggggs: What about people just like helicoptering around….?
GB: Ha yeah HIM! Disqualified!
Leggggs: That’s interesting though.
GB: You can’t even use a branch from a tree or a stick to like use as poles that you like find…
Leggggs: Must be like something new, like your own physical capability. Not the native, third-party…
GB: It’s probably gonna take me a while to feel like I’m at a certain level of fitness. Obviously, is gonna take a ton of training without poles to just get used. It’s almost like, uh, headphones, right? Like you get used to not running with headphones. Maybe you used to not running with poles.
Leggggs: I’ll add that to the questions moving forward.
GB: Yeah… and then two other races that I’m excited about. The Lavaredo Race which is through the Dolomites. That is really interesting to me just because I’ve never seen the Dolomites. Or the Pyreness. So those are mountain ranges that I would love to do a race in.
And then lastly, Western States just for the culture.
Leggggs: Yeah. Yeah. That seems so rad. Awesome. Good stuff. Um, alright, so you, uh, you kind of dipped into this a little bit, but, um, like putting your shoes on is just the first step, the tipping point into kind of exploring the world by foot.
But what’s some of the no-bullshit advice you would give to someone if they wanted to start running?
GB: Yeah. So, um, pretty much I would recommend this to everyone and I wish I jumped into this sooner, but find finding a local run club or a Facebook… Just having friends in the community to do the activity with just keeps you in the stoke and just keeps you in the sport much longer.
I remember training for trails before I even knew other people in Bangkok did trails. And that was definitely a lonely time. It was great for like your own personal mental training, but to like keep the stoke alive, you definitely need to do it with other people, right? So like I, I saw you, uh, join a camp and also do races with other people in a group, and that’s just a completely different experience than just training and doing a run by yourself.
Still very valuable to do that; those runs by yourself…don’t get me wrong, but that added element of just having friends to do it and having a group to share your stuff with is just massive.
Leggggs: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. Man, it’s such a cool community. Like even through this whole little Leggggs experiment, whatever I’m calling it right now… making these connections…I’ve been running sort of by myself for so long and one day I was out on the trails and I met this one dude and that turned into knowing, or getting introduced to the Hood to Coast team that I was on and all that goodness. But yeah, man, it’s interesting. It’s half like actively seeking and then half just being open to sort of like being cool with whatever comes your way kind of thing. So I can’t agree more with that.
Um, um, so speaking kind of on that, you’re far along and your running journey is more of a lifestyle like you said, but who do you have to think for where you are right now in your running lifestyle journey?
GB: So there are two people that I want to thank. Um, and then there’s a wider community that I want to thank. Actually, three people that I wanna thank.
So first up is my buddy Ben. He was the first one to convince me to get back into training, get back into running, and eventually go for my first marathon. He was doing the Bangkok full marathon, and then he was like, “Hey Glenn, do you wanna sign up and train together? You can do the half marathon, I’ll do the full.” Then once I finished that half marathon, it was my first international race. Because I was thinking like, why would I run in Bangkok? It’s like so hot here, right? Anyways, after I finished that race, all he said was, “You’re pretty much halfway to a marathon, you might as well just knock it out if it’s in your bucket list?”
And him just being like, “You’re just halfway there.” I was like, “Okay, I’ll just continue training.” And that was a huge shift in my mindset.
Then the next is, I want to thank my buddy Darren, who was the one that challenged me to do a 100K Ultra with him just weeks, tt was two weeks, after I did my first 50K Ultra. And, you know, I accepted for the wrong reasons. I think. I didn’t respect trails, really. I thought I could just, David Goggins my mindset through it. But really my body wasn’t fully recovered from my first trail experience. So I got to 65 kilometers in that race. And my body, my body just completely shut down, started cramping up in the worst way. And it just felt like I couldn’t overcome, I couldn’t… mindset my way through the rest of it. And yeah DNFing was literally not part of my vocabulary. I didn’t even know what the acronym meant until like, that day. And I never thought it would be like part of my vocabulary, you know, thinking that I was like, so mentally strong or like, that just wasn’t part of my persona at all.
And yeah, it just got humbled really quick. And um, that experience kind of just served as a cornerstone memory for me because now I just do races that put me in really beautiful places, are organized really well. Um, I also respect the courses a lot more and I also respect the training that I do.
So yeah, I just love that memory of me DNFing. It’s just, it’s really catapulted me into just training smarter and harder and for better races. So, yeah, that, that was huge.
And then the third person is probably my coach Zoë Rome. Right after I DNFed, about a month after feeling sorry for myself, I was like, “Okay, there are better ways to train for races other than just going for a long run.”
So one of my friends from San Diego, her name’s Tys, she was like, “You should listen to the DNF podcast by Trail Runner Magazine.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s perfect. I want to hear about other people, other athletes DNFing and all of the things that they learned from it.”
And the host of that podcast was Zoë Rome. I just reached out to her. She was coaching. Her running club or running community is called Microcosm Running. They’re based outta Colorado. But everybody’s from all over and we just celebrate each other and the Facebook group is like super active. And Zoë has just been pivotal in shaping my training plan, checking up on me every day through the training plan and just giving me tips and helping me learn and all of that. So I’ve a huge appreciation for her and everybody that’s part of that.
Then lastly, this is a community shout-out: Bangkok runners.
I wouldn’t be able to run the trails in Thailand without them because they’ve shown me all the cool spots, and there are some really great expats. It’s mostly a club of expats, but there are obviously a bunch of other Thais that run within Bangkok runners and it’s just a great community full of people that come from great backgrounds, and it’s just been awesome.
Leggggs: Nice dude. That sounds incredible. So when I get over to Bangkok, you’re gonna have to show me around and introduce me to some of these people. Cause it sounds absolutely thrilling, to be frank. So in terms of training, Zoë helping you with some training plans, what races do you have coming up that you want us to keep an eye on?
GB: I guess the next big race that I plan on doing is in December. It’s the Thailand by UTMB. I’ve done the 80K and I’ve done the hundred mile. But I really wanna work on my speed, so I’m gonna do the 50K and see if I could just, you know, give it a really good, fast effort. I’ve never really… most of my ultras and my trail runs have just been to finish.
And just to… you’re always gonna enjoy the race, but for the most part, I think now that I feel like I’ve gotten a hold with my trail legs and all of that, I definitely want to kind of test the upper limit of how fast can I go?
Leggggs: I just, I just wanna call this out real quick cuz we started sort of at a marathon being your bucket list item. And then training to get to that like 13.1 basically. And then your friend saying, you’re basically there, just keep going. And now you’re talking about, “Well, I wanna just do a 50 K to work on my speed.” Like that’s a pretty sweet transition to go from like that’s my bucket list to like, okay, fuck it. I’ll just try it. “I’ll just do a 30-miler because I’ve gotta work on my speed anyways.” That’s really awesome, dude. That’s really, I don’t know, it’s just kind of… it’s cool to like actually see the progression come to life. That’s really rad.
GB: So yeah, it’s even cooler….Not to toot my own horn a little bit, but I ran my first marathon in 2019 and it’s 2022.
Leggggs: Damn, dude.
GB: So like, it’s crazy to know like…to find out what you’re capable of if you like really double down on a sport. And it just gives me a wider appreciation for people that like specialize in something, whether it’s a hobby or it’s their career or building a business. Like I have much greater profound respect for people that put in the hard work to do the things that they do.
Leggggs: Yeah, man. Well, you’ve done it. So I’m stoked and I think, uh, people, you know, listening to this are gonna be stoked too, hopefully. So that said, what, what else do you wanna share? What, what else do you wanna talk about? Um, I mean, you can do a shoutout to Nomad Wolf when you get that podcast back off the ground.
GB: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I do actually have a couple of episodes that I do need to release for Nomad Wolf. One of ’em is with Lucy Bartholomew you from Soloman.
I guess like some parting words… If you’re thinking about getting into running or just getting into a sport or getting onto the trails… I feel like it’s just opened up a completely different world for me and a different world to see more of the world. You know, I, I’ve spoken about this earlier in the podcast, but you know, it’s running is a great forcing function to just get you out of the house and even more so to put you in places you might have never dreamed of expecting yourself to land in. For example, I don’t think I would’ve gone and seen the Alps if I didn’t have the dream to run the CCC at UTMB. And I’m just beyond grateful to not only see the Alps from a tourist perspective, but to like circumnavigate it, well halfway circumnavigate it, from Courmayeur, Italy through Switzerland and ending in France in like one of the biggest running events of the year. And yeah, it’s just, you know, you have a ton of fun when you dedicate yourself to something like that, whether it’s running or even whatever that challenges you.
Running is a great forcing function to just get you out of the house and even more so to put you in places you might have never dreamed of expecting yourself to land in.Glenn Bona on the unexpected benefits of just putting your shoes on
So I just challenge everyone who’s listening to see more of the world through these events. Make friends along the way. Have fun and make memories.
Leggggs: Dude, it’s what it’s all about. I love it. Glenn. I can’t thank you enough, man for sitting down with us. I really, really, truly enjoyed this. And I think we’ve got a lot of great stuff here and hope this inspires some people to, to get out there and, I don’t know, see the world on the on their feet, man.
GB: A hundred percent. Thanks for having me on and I’ll reach out and we’ll get you on the NomaD Wolf podcast.
Leggggs: All right, that sounds perfect, man. Um, alright dude, Well have a great rest of your day. Safe travels back across the ocean and we’ll be in touch.
GB: Sounds good, man. Take care. Take care everyone. Bye.
(Listen to Leggggs) someone smash something with your frost hammer / The Playlist
Even in the quest to be less lonely, sometimes you just need to be angry. My daughter has this book where this monkey is super grumpy the whole time, and he doesn’t know why. Turns out, monkey just needed to be grumpy… no reason other than it was a good day to be grumpy.
Enter: someone smash something with your frost hammer. Some days are on, some are off. No reason for it. But on those off days, like when Spilner loses his cool (which is 100% his meal ticket) there’s this playlist, one hour and thirty eight minutes of eardrum assaults and frontal lobe intrusions made specifically for bad-mood-10-milers, but can be played for any affair. Assembled with care and mild frustration by Leggggs community member, Jeremy Smith.