When Team Montrail fell apart as we knew it (with greatly fast National level runners and somewhat good regional runner's team), I was picked up first by NUUN team, and then the Wasatch Mountains Speed Goat Team was comprised, lead by Scott Mason, a personal friend of Karl Meltzer (thus the name of the team, if you know Karl's nickname). A bunch of former Montrailee's accepted the invitation with pride and happiness - hey, we all loved the concept of the Team! At first, there was no promise for any gear, and we weren't asking for it - we just wanted to run and share our emotions and results. The email list we had was absolutely awesome and offered the best support ever on any team I had seen. Then sponsors stepped in, and slowly but surely we all settled in to something of a real deal - with a pair of La Sportiva shoes free and then others at discount, with a good discount of First Endurance drinks, with a coupon for Backcountry purchases, and some shirts that were provided by various outdoors companies (different from year to year). We got Drymax on board and were happy as clams.
This year the communication began to trickle thing, and while I will not go into any details, bottom line is - there was silence from "the top"...come to think about, there was silence from "the bottom" (or the middle, if you will) as well. Had the Team outlived itself? Is it because the sport is changing? Corporates behind, prize money, invitations, extreme professional level, fast and furious, and at the same time every one and their mother? I don't know...and we can speculate all we want, but it doesn't matter. I don't even want to touch this subject here.
Bottom line is, I am out. Whatever happens to the team in the future is something I am not willing to deal with. I am simply tired of a limbo "are we a team, or are we not". I am truly grateful for the relationships this team, and any other teams I ever participated in had allowed me to develop, and the exposure to various products helping me run with more ease (if it's possible, or at least with more fun). I have my favorite products I believe in and trust into - DryMax socks, La Sportiva shoes, UltrAspire and Nathan packs, UD bottles, Power Gels, Succeed! caps, Lululemon bottoms. I will keep using it, whether half-priced or not:)
And I will keep running. Running is my passion. Mountains are my life. Trails are my love. Nothing changes there, thank God. In a great scheme of things, being called a specific name is insignificant, being associated is not important. I am old enough (or mature enough) to stand my own ground. To hold on to my own integrity. T run for my own purpose. To race my heart out. To explore. To challenge. To keep searching, to keep building my better self - and hopefully never find it. Because I kind of like the state of moving forward:)