Washington Loves Runners. We carry products from 10 different companies that are all based out of Washington State. Everything from shoes to hydration, our state economy is supporting you, the runners and walkers of our community! So this Holiday season when you are thinking about shopping local, consider doubling up on your local factor and take a look at our Washington state brands. From now until the end of year, we'll be sharing Q&As with the leaders and visionaries of these companies. Today, we're talking to Jenn Hughes, Chief Dreamer of Run Pretty Far.
What is the Run Pretty Far story?
Run Pretty Far is about women, like me, who go outside to feel better inside. We don’t define running as track or trail, speedy or slow; it’s about the emotional shift when we lace up and start kicking. I started RPF when I was exploring just how far I could go with running and my own personal growth. That process was completely transformational and inspired me to create beautiful, happy gear the way I saw the run. But RPF is also just about the commonality of a simple weekday escape from the kids or a happy hour run after a hard day. Exotic or mundane, the run always takes us to the same place; feeling more alive, more charged up, yet more peaceful. I love speaking to that concept again and again.
If folks remember one thing about RPF, what would you want that to be?
Oh gosh, I am not good at committing to only one thing!! Well one thing is that pretty much everything we do is designed to make you smile; it has to make me smile (big) before I will print it. Because if it’s hip and trendy, but not happy inducing…why bother? Life is so dang serious already. And 2nd, I think the commonality of the journey we are all on. We’re on this big sexy, scary path trying to figure it out, do it right, be our best…and running is our common thread that helps us make it all make sense. If even one RPF piece makes you smile, resonates a little, then we’re sharing a commonality and I love that.
We currently have your Girls Gone Wild-erness shirt in-store. What's the story behind that?
Last summer I was fortunate to spend several days running in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado with 7 other badass women. Hailstorms, thunder, lightning, 14ers – it was incredible! One of the gals coined the name, ‘Girls Gone Wild-erness’ for our group and I thought it was a brilliant play on words, flipping that misogynistic show from the 90’s on its head. The extra cool thing is that it is also the name of our new nonprofit which will be launching in December, a longtime dream of mine that is finally coming to light thanks to collaborating with a few other rad women.
What's your running background and what gets you out there?
When I had my son, now 7, I decided a marathon was a great way to shed the extra baby weight. I ran the inaugural Seattle Rock n Roll as my first ever race. It was just awful, yet I immediately wanted more. That fall I ran my first trail 50k and then I was really hooked. Out in the woods in the freezing cold and pouring rain with a bunch of other weirdoes just felt pretty great to me. Since then I’ve done several self-supported multi-day stage races, 8 100milers, and a lot of amazing running adventures both here and internationally. What I’ve learned is that being outside, exploring our wild, beautiful world and finding my little place on its trail…that never gets boring for me.
What's the best part about being a Washington company?
The NW is best! We have a huge, supportive community of runners in WA and it’s incredible to be part of both personally and professionally. I am beyond grateful for the local support that has literally kept RPF chugging along, allowing me to keep dreaming up designs and bringing them to life. I think the culture of WA running is a great mix of fun, passionate, curious, tough, and silly. Plus, there is no end to the inspiration to be found in our outdoor playground. Every summer I fall in love with WA running more.
What's one thing on your holiday wish list?
Absolutely nothing. Just hoping for a relaxing holiday with my son where I get to soak in his excitement. Oh, and maybe a run in the snow…that would be fun!
Shop Local Series: Oiselle, Run Pretty Far