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Want to know what’s new in running and obstacle course racing? The best place to find out is at a conference and trade show that caters to running specialty stores. So goes the thinking behind the 10th annual The Running Event (TRE) conference and trade show, Dec. 1 to 4, 2015, at the Austin Convention Center.
Why a running specialty-specific trade show like this? Because it’s within specialty stores that true innovation comes to light. To be truly “special,” running stores are offering “special” products that cannot be purchased everywhere, as opposed to big box sporting goods stores where the merchandise mix tends to be similar. In fact, big box buyers are prohibited from attending TRE.
For the tenth year, over 300-plus running and obstacle course racing industry manufacturers and service providers will exhibit the latest in footwear, gear, apparel and accessories to an estimated 800-plus specialty store buyers. In all, approximately 2,800-plus industry professionals will attend the four-day show, the largest running specialty trade show in North America, according to show organizers Formula4 Media, based in Great Neck, N.Y.
Running stores derive 65 percent of their revenue from sales of footwear. Thus, no surprise that running shoes constitute the largest product category at TRE this year with exhibitors including adidas, ASICS, Brooks, Hoka One One, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike and Saucony.
Still, it’s not just about shoes any longer. While footwear is the most vital piece of gear to runners, consumers are walking into running stores seeking head-to-toe solutions.
“There are reflective hats and lights they can wear on their heads to keep them safe. Lightweight breathable jackets and shirts to keep them warm and dry, and socks and insoles to keep them comfortable and injury free,” said Mark Sullivan, executive editor of Running Insight magazine published by Formula4 Media.
“We’re also seeing an emphasis on nutritional products that give runners the fuel they need to run a 5K or a marathon.”
What’s New for 2016
Specialty store buyers will be trolling the aisles of TRE looking for innovative products that will allow them to declare, “we have the newest, the latest, and the greatest and you’re not going to find that anywhere else.”
The official show publication, Running Insight magazine, polled exhibitors in October to determine the newest of the new coming to Austin this year. Highlights include:
• CW-X calls its Generator Revolution running tight the most comprehensive muscle and joint support system available for athletes. Made from new four-way stretch Coolmax fabric featuring laser-cut Support Web technology, the CW-X Generator Revolution tight, with Mt. Fuji print, represents the state-of-the-art in seamless engineered endurance apparel (CW-X.com).
• MBT, the Swiss-born brand that helped create the rocker shoe trend, is introducing a line of running shoes. The three-shoe collection represents a major step for the brand in re-building its American business (mbt.com).
• ON’s all-new Cloudflyer brings extra cushioning and stability to running, while still retaining the lightness of a fast running shoe. Its patented CloudTec system is engineered with Zero-Gravity foam, so it weighs less than 10 ounces (On-running.com).
Accessories to Watch
Special hangers for technical shirts and footwear called After Ur Run Hang’R from Show Ur Passion (showurpassion.com) … Ambiorun is a rechargeable, clip-on pod with 9-axis sensors that attach to any shoe to record running style and instantaneously translate data into actionable, personalized instructions (ambiorun.com) … The Būband is an athletic band worn across the top of women’s breasts to effectively prevent bounce while they exercise (buband.ca) … Paper fiber socks from C3fit Compression Wear (C3fit.com) … Decibullz Custom Fit Wireless Earphones are the first DIY wireless custom molded earphones (decibullz.com) …The first organizational system for inside the gym bag, Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport, is designed and built specifically for athletes. Locker width with vertical hanging, Pack-It Sport contains and mitigates moisture and odor with Agion treated fabric (eaglecreek.com) … EnergyDNA fibers from 1st Round Athletics are clinically proven to expand the capillaries, increase circulation, and increase oxygen to muscles. The fibers are embedded with thermo-conductive minerals including graphene, titanium, and silver, that use infrared energy from body heat (1stRound.com) … EzyDog Road Runner Leash is the ultimate hands-free dog running leash (ezydog.com) … The Klitch footwear clip easily and securely hangs extra shoes to the outside of gym bags, or at home to air out (klitchit.com) … Thigh-High Rebound Compression Socks from McDavid usesTargeted Compression Technology from thigh to foot. This graduated tension allows better blood flow for faster re-oxygenation and reduction of lactic acid (mcdavidinc.com) … The new minoFLEX Shoe Life Tracker features a newly designed light panel that’s easy to track the life of running shoes (runmino.com) … The Moji Foot Pro is a travel-foot massager that alleviates plantar fasciitis, heel and toe pain. It digs deep into muscle and tissue using six stainless steel massage spheres (gomoji.com) … Myo-Vent Performance Hoodie uses targeted muscle grid compression to deliver anatomical support with a full range of motion (myogrid.com) … Night Runner270 Degree Shoe Lights safely light the way from dusk till dawn without the hassles of headbands, belts, or straps (NightRunner270.com) … Qore Performance Hydration Sleeves combine performance apparel with heat absorbing inserts to maximize performance and increase hydration by 40 percent (qoreperformance.com) … RunPhones headphones call themselves the world’s most secure headphones for running and exercising. The product features ultra-slim headphones embedded inside a moisture-wicking, machine-washable headband (runphones.com) … Sweat X from Sweat X Sport is a specially formulated high performance laundry detergent that removes even the nastiest funk and odors from technical fabrics and active wear (sweatxsport.com) … the Noxgear Tracer360 vest delivers ultra-bright illumination using an advanced fiber optic/LED lighting system. The lightweight, no-bounce design grabs the attention of distracted drivers with multicolor flashing modes inspired by visual science and 3M retroreflectivity (noxgear.com) … Zensah is adding a plantar fasciitis sleeve to its product assortment. T-Band Compression stretches over the foot in strategic areas to lift and stabilize the arch and heel. 3D Geo Technology offers raised ribbing and support over the T-Band area for additional comfort and support (zensah.com).
Fuel for the Body
BASE Salt provides athletes a superior blend of all the electrolytes plus 84 trace elements the body requires during prolonged or intense activities (baseperformance.com) … ENERGYbits improve endurance and running performance naturally without caffeine, chemicals, sugar, gluten or stomach distress (energybits.com) … Fruit Drops from Skratchlabs use simple ingredients flavored with real fruit to create an energy chew with a clean bite that isn’t coated in wax (skratchlabs.com) … Tailwind Nutrition introduces two new flavors, Tropical Buzz and Caffeinated Green Tea, to its Caffeinated Endurance Fuel line. Containing 35 mg of caffeine per 100 calorie serving, both flavors combine fuel, hydration, and electrolytes in a tasty drink that won’t turn your stomach into a brick (tailwindnutrition.com).
Running Celebrities Add Sizzle
The professional running athletes expected to attend this year are:
Lauren Fleshman – Pro runner Lauren Fleshman will appear at Picky Bars to sign the 2016 edition of her Believe Training Journal.
Jeff Galloway – Olympian Jeff Galloway, appearing at BFF Miracle Body Buffer, is one of the nation’s leading running coaches and authors.
Stephanie Howe – Winner ofthe famed Western States 100 and second-place finisher in the Ultra Race of Champions 100K, Howe will lead the Sunrise Train Run on Dec. 2 for The North Face.
Rob Krar – Another leader of the Sunrise Trail Run for The North Face, Krar was named Male Ultrarunner of the Year by UltraRunning magazine.
Amy Manson – All-American runner Amy Manson is appearing at MBT. Manson was an All-American in 3K and 10K distances at Indiana University in 1992, and a three-time Olympic Trials Qualifier in 5K and Marathon Distances.
For more information about the 2015 The Running Event, log onto: therunningevent.com