Straight from the gang at Brooks, the Brooks I.D. athletes program is for runners who are "active in their running community" and who "share a passion for the Brooks brand." Brooks I.D. members are "runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their own limits, and, by extension, encouraging others to do the same." I.D., in case you were wondering, stands for "inspire daily."
In other words, it isn't my mid-range times in the 5k and 10k that got me in...it is you, my readers. It was this blog and my story that caught their attention. It is an honor to have gotten all the positive feedback from everyone as we have made our way through Moira's cancer and my struggle with my own outlook and health. It is amazing that less than a year later I am able to continue running and racing and continue to aspire higher and higher, when a matter of months ago I wasn't fit enough to walk up stairs. Now I will have the support of Brooks Sports along the way, and it is a pretty big deal for me.
First off, they will set me up with some pretty fantastic gear, so from now on you'll see me lining up at races in a full-blown boy racer pro-athlete Brooks outfit. At least I will look like I mean business, right? They also have a serious network of support internally for sponsored athletes, so I will undoubtedly meet many new people that I can learn from and be inspired by myself. They have events with gear giveaways, training, and other support for I.D. members, and even an outside possibility of attending an annual camp at Brooks HQ in Washington, which they held last year.
On top of all of that, I'll get a steep discount on the stuff I buy in quantity, like shoes. When you run as many miles as I do these days, that means new shoes about every 8 weeks, which can add up. Also, winter running apparel, socks, accessories, training stuff, etc., all comes at a discount. This will be a big help, as we are always looking for ways to keep our expenses down. Brooks is making it possible for me to avoid compromise and have the best possible gear to keep me fit and healthy.
On top of their devotion to helping out grassroots running, Brooks is the most environmentally friendly running shoe company out there, which is basically what led me to buy their stuff on my own dime in the first place. The BioMoGo outsole on the majority of their products decomposes 50 times faster than a conventional athletic shoe outsole, and they commonly use recycled materials in shoe uppers and laces, as well as packaging. Read about their neat ideas here.
So it may not be a full ride scholarship or a six-figure endorsement deal, but becoming a member of the Brooks family is a huge step up for my little running career and will help me and motivate me to keep this crusade going. Team Average Guy is heading down to New Orleans in a few weeks and I will tell you all about that, for sure. I also registered for the famous Dexter-Ann Arbor Run (half marathon) and successfully registered for the Chicago Marathon in October. I hope to run either New Orleans or Dexter-AA in under 1:50:59, as that will get me into a seeded starting corral for Chicago, which would make life there much better from what I hear.
Thanks again for reading. I know that many of you are still keeping us in your thoughts and prayers and we are definitely reaping the benefits. Moira is doing fantastically, and even had a haircut the other day, if you can believe that! Leo is nearly one year old...wow...and he is starting to toddle around the house. I'm staying fit and injury-free and now this Brooks deal. We completed our fundraising challenge for the Wellness Community. It has been a good few weeks. So I will leave you with one last thing....many of you have still been asking about how you can help and what you can do for us...today just do me one favor and consider Brooks the next time you need a pair of running shoes!