Treasures from TRE
The Annual Running Event made its way back to Austin this past year, and Austin Fit Magazine (and this contributor) couldn’t have been happier! Check out Carrie’s favorite finds at TRE.
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The Running Event consists of more than 250 brands including some of the biggest companies on the planet as well as innovative newcomers. It is, as they say, a great opportunity to see new products before any other channel of distribution and meet with key executives at the best suppliers to the run specialty channel. It’s also the chance for the fitness-oriented companies to discuss industry trends and strategize with each other through changing times and shifting buying habits.
For a fitness enthusiast, podcaster, and writer like myself, it’s the chance to go behind the curtains and catch a glimpse of what’s to come. I also see it as an opportunity to highlight companies, old and new, who are working diligently to improve our well-being, safety, comfort, recovery, and fitness potential. In talking to business owners, marketing gurus, and salespeople, you see their true passions behind what they do. If we don't invest in the future of our own health and fitness, what can we invest in?
Even though I learned about a variety of products including footwear, nutrition, compression, and bras, one thing rings true from all of the vendors and companies—they care about the end user. In fact, these days, so much of their marketing depends on it. Positive word of mouth carries more weight than any ad campaign in a magazine ever will.
That’s why I’m honored to share my positive experience with many of the booths I visited at The Running Event. So many welcomed me into their space to share their stories. Some of the products are fairly new, like family-owned maple syrup producers, Untapped. Others are larger companies like this year’s Kona shoe juggernaut, Hoka One One, who seem to have found “their time to fly,” as their slogan suggests. Big or small, new or veteran, each company had a human element and, on their behalf, I'd like to share some of their enthusiasm.
Here are some of my favorite from TRE:
If you've been competing in the trail running space, you've no doubt seen the rise of these shoes in the last few years. Hokas (as they are usually referred) made their visual mark as the antithesis of the minimalist shoe. They promote ultimate comfort while still being very light—even though they may not appear that way. This year, Hoka One One shoes even surpassed Asics to claim the top spot of shoes worn at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Athlete endorsements are a big deal in the sport of triathlon, and it showed with their impressive count—over 18 percent of the World's Best Triathletes competed in Hoka One One's on the Big Island.
I was invited to try a pair and go for a morning run with a couple of Hoka staff and Author, Jonathan Beverly. I hadn't run in these shoes before but, after I got used to how different they looked on my feet, was truly impressed after our five-mile jaunt on the trail. I assumed they would feel heavy. They didn't. Their most popular styles are the Clifton and the extremely cushy, Bondi, both classic Hoka One One styles. I was wearing the Machs, which are a little less bulky. While they still take some getting used to, I loved them and proceeded to wear them all day, and they provided plenty of comfort and cushion on a hard expo showroom floor. Visit Hoka One One to learn more about their 2018 lineup of road, trail, hiking and recovery shoes!
I have to say, The UnTapped boothand product direct from Slopeside Syrup stole my heart. How many times in your life will you get the chance to talk with two brothers (Doug and Roger Brown) who are maple syrup farmers in rural Vermont? Also, how many times will a sponsored athlete share with you her joy that she runs on the same property where her nutrition is actually produced?
The product contains no foreign chemicals and no gut-busting ingredients that you can't pronounce. It's just fresh maple syrup—the ultimate fuel for endurance athletes. Maple syrup, as it turns out, is low-glycemic and is packed with minerals and antioxidants, providing clean energy for endurance athletes. Their product line includes both portable maple syrup packs, waffles, and their all-new Maple Aid Drink.