Monday, August 14, 2006

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

Every August and January, about 1,000 outdoor sporting goods gear manufacturers gather in Salt Lake City for an industry-only trade show called Outdoor Retailer. The August show is Summer Market, and the January show is Winter Market. I just got home from Summer Market, and what an experience it was!

On assignment for Checkpoint Zero, North America's leading source for adventure racing news, my job was to find gear of interest to adventure racers. The show is so massive, it's not easy to whittle down all the good stuff to just great stuff. I'm eager to return next summer and do it again, though.

While there, I got to see Rich Brezeau and Gordon Wright of the Primal Quest expedition adventure race. I also saw people from SOLE Custom Footbeds, Merrell shoes and Backpacker Magazine that I'd met at Primal Quest in Moab about a month ago. Several adventure racers were at the show nurturing relationships with sponsors. I spent time with members of teams DART-nuun, Salomon-Crested Butte, Silly Rabbits, Gerber Gear, Adventure Racing Concepts,, Bulleit and Jen's Men (now called Men for Hire, as Jen has retired). What a treat to see all these people again! They all inspire me to train harder and enter more races.