We all know that time really seems to speed up as you grow older and take on more responsibilities in life. I’ve come to accept that, but I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around one specific fact. This month marks my 10 year anniversary at Seattle Running Company/Fleet Feet Sports Seattle.
I was just a wee little aspiring trail runner when Scott and Leslie McCoubrey and Eric Sach took me under their wings in May 2004. I had just finished the MacDonald Forest 50k when Scott McCoubrey, whom I had met on a couple of SRC Sunday runs, approached me and asked if I’d be interested in coming to work at the store. To say that I was ecstatic would be a gross understatement. I couldn’t believe that I was being asked to come work at what was arguably the premier trail running store in the nation. Eric was the manager at the time, and between he and Scott I learned the ins and outs of specialty retail.
Photo of MacDonald Forest 50k 2004
My own running flourished while I was working at Seattle Running Company. I was not only developing a passion for retail, but I was also training my tail off and running with some of the sport’s most accomplished athletes. All that hard work started to pay off, and before too long I was racing well from 50k to 100 miles. So well, in fact, that I caught the attention of Seattle’s most distinguished ultrarunner, Scott Jurek.
Scott won his 7th and final consecutive Western States in 2005. Only a couple of weeks before that final victory and on his final long training run, he told me that he believed I could win the race in 2006 and that he’d help me do so. Scott Jurek became an unbelievable mentor to me, and helped raise my training to an entirely different level. He whipped me into incredible shape and had me utterly convinced that I’d win the race in 2006. And, believe it or not, I nearly did. 8 years ago next month I came within 300 meters of winning the sport’s most coveted title. The story is too long to tell here (stop by and I’ll happily share it with you), but a tragic collapse at the Placer High School track prevented my name from being forever etched into the Wendell Robie Cup.
My own running has never quite matched that of 2006, but I still have a tremendous passion for running and trail running in particular. In 10 years I’ve learned so much about the specialty running industry, and I love it now more than ever. With two young kids and a business to run, my focus had shifted away from trail running, but it’s never been completely out of my thoughts, and I still have some lofty personal ambitions. Recently I’ve got the bug again, and I feel like there’s a real opportunity to introduce new runners to the sport. So now ten years from the day I began, I’m thrilled to be working with Scott McCoubrey again with Scott footwear and Ultimate Directions. Our trail offering is expanding, and we’ve got some exciting happenings on the horizon. Stay tuned…