Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Run For's the name, motivation's the game

The name of the company, at first, can seem a little awkward.

Run For.

Yet there it is, emblazoned on the front of blue shirts, grey shirts, white shirts, pink, green, indigo and red shirts: Run For. Oh, and it's on hats, too.

The question, of course, is "Run For" ... what, exactly? But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Since founding the company in January, Tara Setzer, 33, has been selling men's and women's "Run For" gear, which includes an extensive line of moisture-wicking performance shirts and American Apparel tri-blend tees.

The Charlotte native (who now lives in the Lake Norman area) also moderates online forums and blogs at RunForWhat.com, described as a "global social networking community" where "runners can share their story, race photos, ask questions, answer questions, connect with other runners, read inspirational stories, profiles."

Setzer, who started running after college to get in shape and is now an avid runner, created Run For out of love and dedication to her father, a sufferer of Alzheimer's Disease.

"Running really helped me ... deal with my Dad’s illness. I was so happy to challenge myself and dedicate my runs to him," she recalls in a press release. "I literally wanted to write it across my chest ... . That’s when I realized that many others do the same thing every day: They use running as a way to gain strength physically and mentally."

What Setzer wants her company and its brand to do, she says, is challenge runners to recognize and celebrate what they run for. "I've created that through the shirts and my online community -- where runners can share, celebrate and inspire others -- supports the shirts."

Eventually, the stay-at-home mom of two young children plans to give a portion of profits to Alzheimer's research, and hopes to organize a Run For race that benefits and creates awareness of the disease.

The shirts ($20-$23 apiece for most) themselves are remarkably comfy. The cotton blends are lightweight and ultrasoft, and -- if the one I have is indicative of the whole collection -- they have a much more tailored fit than your typical blocky, cheapie 5K freebie. (She also sells 100% polyester tech tees.)

On the back of each shirt is the slogan "What Do You Run For," along with the URL for the site. On the front? Simply, Run For. But like I suggested at the top, the obvious question is "Run For" ... what, exactly?

If you want to spell it out, you can special-order custom shirts with a name printed underneath the Run For logo. But Setzer says there are two reasons for the simple two-word moniker:

"1. Everyone runs for a reason, and everyone's reason is valuable. The fact we all run for a reason is what ties the running community together and makes us extraordinary. We have a passion and motivation to put our body through an enduring challenge that not all people have or can understand.

"2. Running is a lifelong sport, and what you run for can change. Why I started running 13 years ago is not what I run for today. For me, it started as a form of exercise, but most days it ends up being my support system and what I lean on to get me through the day. Run For is a celebration of what you run for and the motivation that moves you."

Adds Setzer: "Half the fun of the Run For shirts is it can intrigue people and become the topic of conversation."

To join the Run For community and browse Setzer's line of running gear, click over to www.runforwhat.com.


Anonymous said...

Love this! Definitely going to be ordering these!

Anonymous said...

Very Good post on Motivations.

karim - Positive thinking