22 January 2014

go pro! ... or as close to the big time as i'll get

about this time last year i first read about the Running Free sponsorship program and inquired about how to become part of the team.  at a number of races i'd seen various runners (of all ages, shapes and sizes - so i knew that this wasn't just an 'elite runner' thing) sporting official Team Running Free gear, and that piqued my interest enough to want to find out more.

as my timing for the 2013 season was off, i was able to re-apply (as directed) last november and was subsequently notified late last week that i had been accepted into their 2014 cohort.

it's one step toward a dream come true.

i'm now a sponsored athlete.

from a certain distance that sounds all prestigious and glamourous.  but know this first:  the perks are basically a free running kit and some store discounts.  no race entries, no appearance fees, nothing crazy like that.  still enough to entice me to want to be part of Team Running Free.

more than that however sponsorship is about being a brand ambassador.  what i do very much appreciate about Running Free is that they endorse people simply getting outside.  they not only want to be active in the community but encourage an active community.  plus they have this really nifty recycle-your-shoes program that benefits countries like haiti and sierra leone through micro credit loans.  

these are all principles and programs that i'm happy to get behind.

the opportunities to promote Running Free are varied, and that's definitely an attractive piece to the program.  as the program offers 'points' for various levels of representation/involvement, sponsored athletes can choose from a variety of options such as:

  • wearing the Team Running Free apparel in races
  • conducting clinics
  • assisting with Running Free booths at specific competitions
  • contributing articles to the Team Running Free website
  • purchasing merchandise from Running Free
  • distributing the member discount coupon for use in Running Free retail locations.
go ahead - print it off and use it!

the bottom line is that i'm eager and excited to be able to give back to the running community in some small way.  i've benefited so much from those who have taken the time to make available the resources, races, equipment, training tips, running groups and other experiences that have enhanced the past few years of my life (and untold years of my future) that it's the very least that i can do.  i do hope that by participating in the Team Running Free program all 200 some-odd of us can help build on the running/health & fitness momentum in ontario and beyond.

if you're at all intrigued by this program, i encourage you to apply for the 2015 sponsorship program next fall - mark it on your calendars (like i did!) and check back here:  http://www.teamrunningfree.com/apply/



  1. I'll need to put it on my calendar too, sounds good! We'll need a reminder post in November too ;)
    Congrats on being big-time!

    1. thanks mike! slowly but surely i'm really coming to appreciate what kind of 'community' exists with other runners - you included. the support of the blog and my running endeavours is much appreciated!

  2. Congratulations! I bet you'll meet tons of other runners too!

    1. Totally a great way to connect with other runners!!! good onya sounds like a fun program

    2. thanks crystal and tina! i really am humbled by the opportunity to contribute to Team Running Free ... and excited to see what all comes as a result of it!