Above: Educator Kelly Ferraro, Guest Joanna Russo, Elyse Braner, Ultra-run Coach Bryon Powell, and Guest Cristina Burbach.
Recently at lululemon Logan Circle in Washington DC, we had our very own running meet and greet, called "Run into Runners". We invited several notable runners for our guests to interact with.
Runners are typically open and friendly people by nature, but I was struck with the ease in which the elite runners in our group and the beginner runners interacted. Time and experience didn't matter: we all had running in common, and that was enough. It was inspiring to see many first time lululemon guests at the event come out to our running club the following day.
Our run experts included:
- Melissa Tanner, an elite runner from Washington DC. She ran for Harvard University, and was third in the Marine Corp Marathon. Melissa brings a sense of balance to her training and racing, which is a huge part of the lululemon culture. Read more about Melissa's training: http://melissatanner.blogspot.com/
- Lance Breger, our phenomenal lululemon Logan Circle ambassador and head trainer at Mint Gym in Washington DC, discussed strength training for many of our guests and led core work demonstrations. Lance has an uncanny ability to make the beginner exerciser feel comfortable, so it was great to see him give some of our new runners advice on how to supplement their run program with strength work. Read more about Lance here: http://lancebreger.blogspot.com/
- It was also an honor to have one of my best friends and running/ life mentor at the event! Naoko Ishibe is truly an inspiration. She has twice qualified for Olympic Marathon trials, is a Harvard phD, and is one of the classiest women you will ever meet. Unlike many elite runners, Naoko did not start running until her senior year of college. Naoko is vice president of the Washington Run Club and recently led the club's women's team to a first place finish at the famous Cherry Blossom Ten Miler!
- Sean O'Brien, former pro-runner for Nike, and colleagues with Lance Breger at Mint Gym shared his amazing run stories. It was exciting to hear about his training and interactions with other elite athletes. Sean was definitely a fun run expert for our guests!
- Ultra-run Coach Bryon Powell, recently back from a 5 day race across the desert in Morocco was there to chat about very long distance running and his amazing adventures. Bryon is not only an inspiration in the running community, but he also really exemplifies the lululemon manifesto. Personally, he has inspired me to follow my passion for running and start a career in the running industry doing what I love. I think we are going to hear a lot more from Bryon in the upcoming months, and he will continue to inspire many more runners. You can read more about Bryon on his popular trail running website http://www.irunfar.com.
- Rick Amernick, president of the Capital Striders running club, brought many of his runners and shared a lot about his group and the upcoming race that the group is hosting on May 30th. Rick has grown his organization to over 1,200 members. You can get more information about Rick's group here: http://www.meetup.com/dccapitalstriders/.
During the event, we even had a surprise visit from elite runner Julie Cully, who was the first American finisher at the World Cross Country Championships! Julie is an inspiring athlete and it was an amazing treat for our guests to meet and interact with her.
lululemon is a hub of health and fitness and is a great resource for all athletes. Where else would you be able to interact with so many amazing runners in one place?
Above: Melissa Tanner (Elite Runner), Elyse Braner, and Julie Cully (elite Runner and first American finisher in the World Cross Country Championships.