With hundreds or thousands of runners in local races, it’s hard to see who’s running alongside you. Granted, you probably won’t forget the gentleman (teenage girl?) in the gorilla suit or the lady in the purple dreadlocks and a tutu, but with such fantastic costumes, you might not notice that many Fleet Feet employees are running in the same races you are.
Our staff members receive professional-level trainings and various certifications to ensure the best customer experience. In many cases, however, they can make recommendations because they are runners. They are triathletes. They know which flavor of Gu they would recommend because they’ve tried them all. They can help you tie your shoes properly because they have to do it themselves, every week.
While these particular races aren’t exactly local, we wanted to share the recent race experiences of a few members of the Fleet Feet family. Runners love to swap stories, and our staff is no different. Next time you are in the stores, feel free to ask them for more details!
Olga Crutcher just finished her first half-Ironman distance triathlon in September at the Redman Triathlon in Oklahoma City. Olga, who has been with Fleet Feet for two years, started participating in triathlons in 2006. She’s done a marathon and a half marathon, but has finished about six triathlons.
“Triathlons are something you get addicted to, or don’t like at all,” Olga said. “Water is my weakest event, but I keep pushing myself to overcome the fear. The Redman was the best race experience I’ve had, and I’m hoping to complete a full Ironman by 2013.”
Olga finished in 6:01. She recommends this race in OKC as a great starting point for major triathlon distances.
Drew Barton completed the Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado in August. Billed as “America’s Ultimate Challenge,” this marathon begins at an elevation of 6,000 feet, climbs almost 8,000 feet, then descends. His finish time was 10:15, almost twice his finish time of 5:20 at his first marathon (Arbuckles to Ardmore in Oklahoma.)
“It’s more like a fast-paced hike – just trudging up a hill,” said Drew, who’s been at Fleet Feet for over two years. “There’s no way to get off the mountain once you get up there. It was fun, but a different type of challenge, for sure.”
Drew recommends this race to others due to the great race organization, good support and amazing scenery.
Fleet Feet Co-Owner Tim Dreiling recently returned from Germany after participating in the Berlin Marathon. This fast and flat course is now the home to the world record for the fastest marathon.
While Tim enjoys combining traveling and running, he is careful to mention that running in another country can be a different experience than a local race.
“The support was different,” Tim said. “The course was very tight and packed for the entire length. The aid stations were really crowded and the finish line party wasn’t as extravagant as you might think.”
His favorite race moment: "Post race, left the finish area and bought a couple of biers and brats from a street vendor - then took a seat on a series of steps next to the restored and gorgeous Reichstag and sat down to eat on the exact spot the Berlin wall was located!"
“Berlin is an amazing city, and running is Europe is wonderful, but it also makes you appreciate the organization and ammenities of marathons back at home."
Many of the other Fleet Feet employees have participated in various other events both near and far. Not only can our staff help you with equipment and training, but they can share their personal experiences with different races and courses.
See you soon!