Here are some social media links from a pair of runners with Washington ties to get you through the middle of the week:
University of Washington pharmacy school student Phoebe Wright (left/photo by Paul Merca), who finished sixth at the US Olympic Track & Field trials last July, is a guest on the House of Run podcast, where she reveals publicly that she had been dropped by Nike.
To put this in personal context, I just happened to run into Phoebe at the end of my run at the Redmond Watershed Preserve on New Year’s Day (a day in which I should’ve been on the couch watching NFL games on TV, but for whatever mysterious reason, felt motivated enough to drive 30 minutes away from home to run the trails at the Watershed Preserve after being out New Year’s Eve).
After exchanging pleasantries with her and her friends, I was showing her the brand new running shoes that I got from Nike in Beaverton a few days earlier, then asked her when she was opening up her 2017 season, when she said, “Not sure. Nike booted me (swinging her leg in a kicking motion).”
In my haste to find a restroom after running, I didn’t think much of her comment about being dropped, and it really didn’t sink in until after I started driving back home.
One of the harsh realities of professional track & field is that sponsors drop athletes, particularly at the end of an Olympic cycle.
In this interview (which starts at about the 26 minute mark), she reveals how she was given the news about being dropped by Nike.
She goes on to say that “if I had an offer on the table that covered tuition and a part of my living expenses, I would break up my schooling to where I could fully focus on running and have the side gig of school.”
Wright, who is perhaps one of the most candid and personable athletes on the US circuit, goes into depth on how the business side of the sport works.
She does state in the interview that she plans to compete this season, but not until the outdoor season.
On the positive side, Western Washington alum Sarah Crouch revealed on her Instagram account that she had picked up a sponsorship deal with Chinese sportswear company 361°.
Crouch, who has moved her training base to Kentucky after a stint with the Reebok Zap Fitness group in North Carolina, finished fifth at the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday, running 2:38:37 on an uncomfortable day for marathoning.
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I have signed with athletic company 361° for sponsorship as I head into the next few years of my professional running career! Never heard of it? Neither had I when I was sent several pairs of shoes to test and I fell head over heels in love (literally, I tripped over a branch on my first run in them) turns out 361° has made a name for itself outside the USA and is just now moving into the market in the states. Beyond the shoes, the gear is gorgeous, comfortable, and a perfect fit (check out the shots below). This company will make waves in the next few years and I am incredibly honored to be a face for distance running as they do! @361usa
After the race, she wrote a blog post, but not about her race. Instead, she wrote about her sisters, Georgia and Shannon Porter, both of whom were NCAA Division II All-Americans last season, the latter at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.