Sponsorship ……this word is thrown around in the ultra running world like glitter in a high class strip club, like krispy in the crème, or orange cheese in my secret can of compressed whiz …….hidden deep in the fridge way back…..behind all the muscle milk, yogurt, and alfalfa sprouts! Cheese Whiz

In all the running groups I belong to, the members rant, rail, and whimper about the other members’ lack of disclosing their sponsorship status in a clear and plain matter.  “It must be clear to us if they work for the company.”  “We should be able to quickly tell if the runner receives gear from that brand!!!”  I, myself, to some degree, wholeheartedly agree with these valid concerns.  I would like to be absolutely certain that if my hero Cheryl Zwarkowski, starts carrying the new Bauer Supreme Total One NXG Senior Grip Hockey Stick, is it because she prefers the weight AND pivot when she turns tricky trails utilizing said stick as a modified trekking pole……. OR IS SHE SPONSORED???  (Cheryl Zwarkowski is only the greatest ultra runner EVER!!)  So in this context I can see where it is extremely important to develop some type of warning device or guide outline.

100 miles....IN MY SLEEP!!!!
100 miles….IN MY SLEEP!!!!

However, as with my example earlier, oftentimes a sponsored ultra runner is very difficult to spot……  One would imagine that an athlete of this caliber would look like an elite runner.  HUSH! It is imperative that we mere plodder-runners not miss a single sponsored runner…  They could even be lurking among the mere plodder-runners…..

For example, up north we plodder-runners occasionally become sponsored.  The effects of this type of sponsorship may cause poor decision making skills, uber-awful dancing, and the occasional Elvis chapel marriage……. I myself have occasionally been sponsored by Sir Patron and a lime or two…. Fortunately, the UN-paid sponsorship has a different look, feel, and normal smell to it altogether…. making it much easier to spot.  Look for gathering places in which these un-paid plodders will gather, typically post race.

Expect a different look from the plodder sponsorship runner verses the elite runner…..Bloody streaks near the nipple region, a large amount of expensive gear strapped to every part of the body after a color run (trail gators are not needed on a color run…), more than one medal around the plodders neck (there is no way to casually wear all your medals, from every race you have run, after the race… you will be teased, ridiculed, and publicly humiliated…… I suggest the bathroom as a safe quality place to cry). These un-paid sponsorship runners may be very loud and boisterous…. allow them their vocal training!! They must use this time to build their lung volume.  Lastly, on occasion, gastrointestinal distress results from this type of sponsorship and vomiting may occur.  I highly recommend that you ensure the race shirt this plodder is guaranteed to be wearing not obtain any said vomit on it…….

In the end, the line between the two types of runners can be tricky.  (Its tricky.. 1986 Run-D.M.C. Tricky level…and we all know how tricky that is!)  .…I understand the need for a cry to arms….but please be gentle to the occasionally sponsored plodder runner.  Help them up gently, as their lungs are full of colored powder, bellies full of cheap beer, necks are herniated from the weight of 5K medals, and all they REALLY want in life….is for TAILWIND  to call them and ask them to review their mix……just once…trust me I know.

<p>Original article: <a href=”{http://www.grittyglittergirl.com/sponsorship-sm…ip-nonsornship/running/ultra/marathon/mom}”>{Sponsorship….Smonorship…Nonsornship….}</a>.</p>

Classic example of a plodder...AKA Un-paid Sponsorship
Classic example of a plodder…AKA Un-paid Sponsorship
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