Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Branding the experience

Warning: all views in this post are my own.

I have had a lot of problems with this post. I wrote it and deleted it about 3 times already. I want to tell all of you how my experience was being the Brand Specialist for DICK'S Sporting Good during the Pittsburgh Marathon. Here is the problem, when I first started this blog I promised myself that I would not try to influence any of my readers when it comes to a product or company. I may suggest that you try a product because it works for me, but I would never say a product is bad. Simply I would say that it just wasn't for me. The same goes in this case as well, I do not want to influence you in anyway towards the company of DICK'S. I will try to sum up my experience in a nut shell just so you have a better understanding of where I stand.

First you need to know that when I was hired to be the Brand Specialist it was through a marketing company from Chicago. I originally never knew DICK'S was the company involved until right before I got hired. I also was being told that I would be the Running Specialist for the marathon, and my job would be to act as the face of the marathon. I was going to be the go to guy for newbie runners that may need some training advice. I was excited to do this because I have been around the running community for over 20 years and I do feel that I have a lot of knowledge that can be useful to a new runner. Unfortunately I was never given the chance to help anyone because I was there to brand DICK'S. If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that at the beginning of this campaign I was telling everyone where I would be for events, and later on I quit posting where I would be. The reason for this is I did not want to push product on people that I knew. Most of the people that follow my on Twitter are seasoned vets and they already know what works for them. Once I figured out that the people from DICK'S didn't care about the runners it rubbed me the wrong way. I don't mind pushing product if it is done classy and your company truly is trying to help out the runner. Sara, the other Brand Specialist and myself tried to give many different ways that we could get in contact with more runners and every time it was swept under the rug. The communication was very poor and most of the time we had no clue about any of the events that were coming up. This made it extremely hard to talk to anyone because we couldn't answer questions, since we didn't know any information. At times it was very frustrating. Someone has already said "well you were being paid, so you can't complain." First I am very grateful that I was lucky enough to be put in a position to get paid. However I never got involved for the money. I truly love the sport of running, it means a lot more to me than just going to a race and running. For me it means FAMILY. I was raised on running and have gotten to see all the great things that come with it.  So yes, I was getting paid good money but I would rather help a person cross a finish line that thought they couldn't over taking money any day.
I think the main reason things went wrong with this whole campaign was whoever designed it obviously was not a runner and didn't understand how runners think. It is a shame because I honestly believe with Sara's and my own knowledge we could of done great things. 

Now that the campaign is over this is what I walked away with. I do want to work in the running field for a company like Medi-Dyne. A company that will go out of there way to help a runner out and still tell you about their product in a classy way. The first time I ever heard of them they went out of their way to help me out. They never asked me to buy the product or anything like that, they were more interested in me running a good, safe race. There are so many small companies that are trying to get their product out on social media. So many of them are willing to let you sample the product and so many of them are ran by fellow athletes. I would say please consider giving these small companies a try, they are the ones that really care about you and they are the ones that want to see you succeed. Those are the types of companies I would love to eventually get a role in, a company that lets you help runners while selling the product. As for DICK'S I just can't look at them as a store for running. I would rather give my money to the small family owned running companies in the area. The ones that have training runs and when you are in there are really trying to help you out. Your money is your money and I can not tell you how to spend it or where. Instead I can just give you my reasons. 

On a side note I would just like to say all of the employees that we met while at DICK'S Sporting Good stores were very nice and went out of their way to make us feel more comfortable in a uncomfortable situation.


  1. Sorry to hear your experience with Dicks wasn't as you had hoped, but knowing you, and your love for the sport, you'll apply your passion elsewhere!

    1. Thanks, ya hopefully I can apply it somewhere good

  2. Great post. Seriously. When I saw that you was doing that, I was really wondering where it will go and skeptical about the connection with the community. Such things are directed by communication office that do not know anything about running, such is mostly a disaster.
    You are really honest in your post and if this post does not elect you for a second year, it shows your integrity towards the community, which is priceless. Thanks for being honest.

  3. Sorry this wasn't what you signed up for. I interviewed with Dick's at their corporate office last year. From an organizational perspective, they seemed like a great company. Employees stay there forever because they like it so much, and everyone seems very dedicated and passionate about the company. However, it was obvious when I was in their offices that they are very focused on team sports. Everything from the decorations on the walls to the promos they were playing on TV were about basketball, baseball, etc. there was not a single thing that mentioned running. So while they may want to branch out to try to attract the running market, you are right that they are not a running store.

    1. They are def. not a running store, Infact they have gotten rid of all the major running brands of clothing because they want TRU Runner to be the store that carries it. As for the corporate office I know some people that work there and they love it. So I don't think they are a bad company or anything I just think that they should of consulted with runners to find out what works and what they could do to actually help the runner