31 January 2018

"S" Marks The Spot - Again!

Timing is such a funny thing.

At the end of last year I made the difficult but satisfying decision to not renew my contract as an athlete ambassador for Skechers Performance Canada.  It was my hope that in doing so that would provide an opportunity for someone else to take my spot on the squad and experience the joy and amazing support that comes with being sponsored by (in my humble opinion) one of the very best running brands on the planet.

It also left me to be a 'free agent' of sorts for the first time in over four years.

I'll be honest and say that there was a part of me that was eager and excited to try out different brands of running shoes again ... for instance, I'd heard that Hoka One One was starting to build their shoes on a wider last (the narrow fit had been a deal-breaker for every pair of Hokas I'd ever tried on), and that Swiss manufacturer ON puts out a pretty sweet product.  I was also eager to perhaps try out a running shoe designed and assembled in the land of the Kalenjin, Kenya's own Enda Iten.

And then there was the fateful evening where my wife and I were Christmas shopping at our local Winners store.

We were trying to finish up getting gifts for our kids when I received a message from my friend and fellow running enthusiast Stefan Albinsson.  Stefan and I had first gotten to know each other as Skechers Performance ambassadors, but I also tracked with Stefan as he is an outstanding athlete and shoe/gear reviewer.  A little over three years ago Stefan became affiliated with the Swedish athletic brand Salming (best known for their floorball, handball and squash products) as they were branching out into the running industry and exploring the North American market.  He's since become one of the preeminent voices on social media elevating the visibility of the Salming brand, and his text to me was an exploratory message to find out whether or not I might be interested in joining their small but mighty troupe of ambassadors.

While I hadn't really had any intentions of signing on with another sponsor, Salming had definitely caught my attention over the past couple of years - between some very positive reviews of their running shoes, Stefan's high praise of the company (but hey, they're Swedish and he's Swedish) and my own intrigue at the organization bearing the name of one of my childhood hockey heroes (Toronto Maple Leafs hall-of-famer Borje Salming), this was a tantalizing opportunity.  We exchanged several notes back and forth, clarifying expectations involved with an amabassador position (as Stefan is the lead ambassador for Salming's US team), and eventually I submitted an application as part of their 2018 ambassador search.

Well lo and behold ...

So here I am again familiarizing myself with a whole new set of hashtags, a brand new tribe of amazing athletes and fascinating human beings, as well as a new array of shoes and technical running gear.  It's like being a kid in the candy store again.

I look forward to hopefully being able to enhance the visibility and reputation of this European brand here on Canadian tundra/soil.  I also hope that a pair of Salming Speed 6 will propel me over the Mississauga Marathon finish line in under three hours!

#nononsense #SalmingRunning #runswedish

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