“The founders of Run Gum have had a lifelong commitment to the sport of running. As a coach, Sam Lapray has helped to develop some of USA's most elite running talent. As an athlete, Nick Symmonds has fought for the rights of professional runner's to operate as independent contractors and to be compensated fairly for their hard work. In keeping with their tradition of giving back to the sport that has given them so much...”
That is how the story of Run Gum’s commitment to this sport begins. It is not, however, where my story begins.
Nick and I met in September of 2006 in Oregon when Coach Frank Gagliano “Gags” recruited a dozen athletes to move to Eugene and start the Oregon Track Club Elite. Nick and I had the same agent, the same coach, and we were earning the same modest amount of money from a very small corporate contract. Nick would go on to become one of the greatest 800 meter runners in American history and is still writing his story today while my career as a professional athlete fizzled out as fast as Nick’s took off.
During my few years as a professional runner I was able to learn first hand that life can be very hard for the “little guys” in the sport of track and field. Nick’s story is an anomaly. Not many of today’s big time track and field stars begin their professional careers as one of the “little guys”. But Nick earned his status and eventually bigger contracts by winning races and making teams.
He was fortunate to have a lot of support coming from the OTC Elite and from Coach Sam. He and I learned how many resources it takes to excel in the sport of track and field and just how expensive these resources can be. An athlete may only get one shot at realizing their dream of making an Olympic team. In the pursuit of this goal, every single dollar counts
This is where Team Run Gum is born. As you know, five cents of every packet of Run Gum sold is earmarked for athlete sponsorship. Thanks to you, our loyal customers, we have been able to set aside enough money to form our very first Team Run Gum. We have chosen four athletes, two men and two women, each from very different backgrounds, but with a shared sense of purpose and love for running to make up our Team. Every Tuesday during the month of February we will announce one of the Team members via social media and here on our website so you can get to know them a little better.