This isn't so much an advertisement as it is a testament to how, every once in a while, a small company, or more importantly a man running a small company, makes you have slightly more faith in the human race than if you had not met them. On the surface we're talking about running shoes; some crappy synthetics glued onto some equally crappy pieces of foam and rubber. There is nothing mystical or even particularly significant about them except for the fact that, in my case, they allow me to do something that I love, keep me within shouting distance of sanity and relative health, and keep the majority of the human race, which I have a distaste for, at a distance.
In the last year and a half Stacy at Wilderness Running Company has sent countless emails helping me to purchase anything from shoes to socks, to hydration packs; never once did he seem annoyed or make me feel like I was being a pain in the ass. I was. I've put more time and effort into buying running gear than I have buying cars or houses. He replied to no less than 4 (FOUR!) emails before I finally bought a pair of La Sportiva Crosslites and his recommendation was dead on. Four lengthy emails for a pair of shoes that didn't even cost $100! When I placed a large, ridiculously discounted order with him before Christmas, I found a free pair of Sugoi socks and gloves in the box. Fast forward to Monday... It was a shitty day. I found out that I won't be able to start school in June and may have to wait until either September or next year. Work was an absolute clusterfuck, and I was not pleasant company. So I came home from work to find the box with the shoes that Stacy had special ordered for me, ripped it open like a kid on Christmas morning, and was stunned to see a pair of used (but in great condition) La Sportiva Raptors along with my shiny new shoes. Stacy reads my blog, saw pictures of some of the trails I run on, and thought that the shoes might be just what I needed to protect my aching knees from the technical trails I run. Where the fuck are you ever going to get service like that? It turned my shitty day around.
If this all sounds like I'm gushing over Wilderness Running Company, let's be clear; I am. I don't hand out praise like cheap candy and I place great value in honesty and integrity. I've gotten nothing but that from Stacy. Who the fuck else will put up with my crazy rambling emails about stress fractures, rocks and roots, and headlamps??? No one. The crazy thing is that Stacy treats all of his customers this way. I've heard stories of people opening boxes and finding extra goodies inside and I get the feeling that he has (or should have) other customers as fanatical as myself. Now go and buy something from him. Please.
The Wilderness Running Company link is at the bottom of my blog list. Why is it at the bottom, you ask? Because I'm too stupid to figure out how to move it to the top.
IN THE RAINY SEASON:
MY NEW/USED LA SPORTIVA RAPTORS: