Coach Carrie's Coolest Finds at The Running Event
AFM's fitness writer walked the aisles of Austin's annual fitness expo and found some attention-grabbing new gear.
Fountain of Youth of Fountain of Shoe? Brooks used this colorful display to show off their shoes.
Photo by Weston Carls
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Crazy cat ladies attend cat expos and shows; car fanatics attend car shows; landscape architects attend nursery expos; and fitness professionals attend The Running Event. It’s yet one more reason why Austin is the coolest city in the world. A business-to-business conference and expo—The Running Event—takes place the first week in December.
Most of the major shoe, apparel, and watch companies, as well as gadget inventors and nutrition experts in the running world attend the event—coming together at the convention center to network, make an impression, and do some business. It’s where companies meet with retailers in hopes of wooing shop owners and managers, obtaining new orders, and securing some coveted shelf space. I have to say, in a world dominated by increasing Internet and online shopping sales, it’s pretty refreshing to see some good old fashioned face-to-face interaction and sales pitches taking place. People still need to make a connection with their potential audience, and products still need to be seen in stores.
And just when you think there’s no more room for innovation in the shoe or apparel industry to be made, think again. New products are being invented and older products are being improved all the time. The Running Event makes you ask yourself, “What will they think of next?”
I was fortunate enough to spend one full day walking the floor as a Media representative. I perused the booths, not necessarily as an influencer for rack space, but as an avid consumer interested in learning about the newest products for both the athletes I coach and those I connect with in reviews, columns, seminars, and clinics.
I set up a couple of appointments in advance, but spent most of the day walking up and down the aisles. I passed by hundreds of exhibitors, waiting for something or someone to catch my eye or engage me in conversation. I’m no DC Rainmaker or Aaron Hersh of Triathlete Magazine. I’m just a typical age-group athlete who loves new stuff that will either enhance my multi-sport experience or improve my training times and efficiencies.
I’m not one to give in-depth reviews as much as I am to give my honest, often humorous, impression. (I’ll leave the technical side of things to those smart dudes and chicks who can communicate that stuff more effectively.)
It’s been a week since the Expo and there were so many great companies and products that left an impression. Only a few resonated with me on a personal level though—they either sparked a laugh, more curiosity, or a connection with the key players. Are they the next greatest thing you simply can’t live without? Who knows! They are, however, my top picks for ingenuity and authenticity.
Click to Page 2 to see my review on OOFOS.