Several months ago I was inspired to start writing again; not the remedial journalistic stuff I drop on here, but real, meaningful writing that expresses a deeper side of me. Sometimes it comes out in the form of poetry, other times as a short story or even just a random series of words and incoherent sentences. None of it really sees the light of day. But it has become important to me again. This exploration into deeper self-evaluation has seeped into other aspects of my life, including running.
This year, after some running soul searching I have chosen to do a few things differently than the last couple of years. And as long as I can stay injury free and get in some good training, I plan to be very busy.
First and foremost my focus this year will be to make http://trailandultrarunning.com (TAUR) as successful as possible. We have refocused the store on selling our own brand. We currently sell hats and stickers, will move into buffs in the next week, and will introduce shirts and sunglasses in the next month. As advertising on our site increases and revenue grows the plan is to start growing and visiting the community we've worked so hard to build. We firmly believe in brand authenticity and will continue to strive to protect that.
Because of that focus on TAUR I have decided not to take on any sponsors that I feel would be in conflict with the work I'm doing there. We do a lot of product reviews and it would be ungrateful of me to review and promote several brands, while at the same time representing an obvious bias towards the one that is sponsoring me. Therefore, the only actual product brand I will continue to represent in 2015 is Gnarly Nutrition, a health nutrition company. Since we don't review, sell, or promote any recovery nutrition brands there is no conflict and I am happy to once again be a part of the team. More importantly than that, they are a brand I truly respect and I know understand and respect my vision towards running.
The one other sponsor I have taken on this year is Ultra-Adventures. These races, directed by Matt Gunn have always been a favorite of mine. At first glance it might just seem like an easy way to race without the weight of heavy fees, but it is so much more than that. I have gotten to know Matt over the last few years and it is his running philosophy and race direction attitude that really makes me want to represent the company. I would encourage all of you to go to their site and read their What We Do. They are much more than that and I plan to spend this year expounding on the relationship they have with some of the most beautiful places in this country.
With that relationship I plan to do the following races (UA races will be indicated as such):
- February - Antelope Island 50 (UA)
- May - Grand Canyon 100 (UA)
- June - Bryce 100 (UA)
- August - Tushers 100 (UA)
- September - Wasatch 100 (acceptance pending)
Unorganized adventures are where my heart truly lies, therefore I also plan to do a bunch of adventure running (no surprise there). Much of that calendar is still up in the air, but I can say that the adventures of 2015 will be much bigger and more aggressive than ever. My current plan is to push to new distances (hoping to get close to a 150 miler) and do bigger peaks. More to come on that later.
Skyline Drive (photo by Scott Wesemann)
In all, 2015 should be an absolute MONSTER year and one I hope to bring to all of you. Much of what I write and focus on will be on TAUR, but I do plan to share all of my adventures here, along with the rest of the Refuse 2 Quit crew. Best of luck everyone and I can't wait to see you all out on the trails.