Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A new adventure

TRT 50 mile, 2007. Photo by Scott Dunlap

The photo above was taken in my first year of ultrarunning, it was pre-sponsor days. In fact it was my very first 50 miler. Now looking at this picture, I see an immensely amount of foreshadowing about the course of my running and, more over, being sponsored. What you can't see in this picture is that I am wearing one of my beloved pair of Salomon running shoes. I wore the heck out of those shoes and finally in 2009 became a member of the Salomon running team. At that point in my running career, I was becoming very ultra focused and had my eyes on the 100 milers for 2010. Yes, I was still doing some road stuff, but it was secondary. I loved my time on the Salomon running team. They were amazing generous sponsors and I really loved my teammates.

Last year, I found myself as a runner. Deciding to try and run the Olympic Trials in the marathon was a turning point in my running career. I got back to the root of who I was as a runner and the way that I train best. No, I am not going to say that I found a road runner. Instead, I found an adventurer. And I found someone who can seek adventure within as much as I can seek adventure on a mountain or curving the line of some single track. I found balance, challenge and started to redefine myself. I am a hybrid runner. I love road, trail, combos, uphills, downhills, short and long distance. I just love to run, unabashedly and unbiased. My contract was up with Salomon at the end of last year and I decided not to renew it. I didn't have any other offers on the table at the time, but I could see that where I was going with my running, was not the proper fit for the Salomon team anymore. I am very thankful for my time at Salomon and the opportunities they gave me. 

After the Olympic Trials, I was feeling incredibly inspired in my running. I was choosing races according to my hearts desire alone. Dreaming big and setting some huge goals. I feel like I am exploring the possibilities of who I can be as a runner and as an adventurer. It is a really cool feeling.

When I started exploring the possibilities of potential other sponsors, I spent a good amount of time considering whether I would find a sponsor that would accept me for who I am as a runner. I made a firm decision that I would run for no one if it mean compromising the things I had learned about myself. 

I said the photo above was foreshadowing and looking at it now, I see it was. When I was unsponsored and new to the sport, I simply wore what I liked/loved, what felt comfortable, what made me feel like I could run like the wind. What was I rocking?


I am excited, humbled and absolutely overjoyed to announce that I am joining the North Face team. I am super stoked to be a part of such an amazing group of athletes and represent for a company that embodies the same spirit of adventure that I do. I have some great races lined up for the year and I can't wait to get started!





11 comments:

  1. Being unfamiliar with North Face as a brand, do they have a specific line of shoes that you will now be wearing? What about when you are on the roads? Congrats on the new sponsor!

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    1. The North Face does have several trail shoes (you can check them out at thenorthface.com). For now, I will continue to wear the same road shoes I've been wearing for the last couple years (which is a combination of several brands!).

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    2. That makes sense. Best wishes on 2012.

      BTW, my first sentence should have been I'm unfamiliar with North Face as a "shoe" brand. Of course I know them as an accessory brand. I've just never seen their shoes before.

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  2. How incredibly exciting! Just as I started reading this entry I was thinking, hmm, I wonder if Devon will ever run the North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, I'm sure she'd do well. I was so lucky to be on the course hiking during the race last year and got to see the women's leader run by the morning of our 6th day of hiking. My brother-in-law got in via the lottery this year and if Hood to Coast wasn't the exact same weekend I'd be going to watch again. I think they're a great company and you will make them proud. Congratulations!

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  3. Congratulations Devon! How wonderful for you. Enjoy your new team.

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  4. Sounds like a great fit! The Ladies of North Face are unstoppable.

    Hopefully this means you might make it to UTMB...we can get an update to that photo!

    Congrats!

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  5. You're certainly worthy (previous post) to join this great group of people on the team. Run on!

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  6. That's great, though I don't see an appreciable difference in the two companies as being a good or not "fit" since both are trail oriented. But I expect you have other reasons and it doesn't really much matter. Based on what little I know about NF, I wonder if choosing races by what you want to do will be as much of an option... I hope it works out well!

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  7. That's pretty awesome Devon. Kind of like dating right? Finding someone who accepts you for who you are. Good luck with the new sponsor. I like their apparel.

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  8. Now you need to update the banner on your blog from Salomon to TNF. Congrats!

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