The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

Dylan Bowman in the Freetrail Newsletter posted here on LinkedIn for folks who aren’t subscribed:

Trail running is more like surfing than it is like track and field. While we admire the great athletes and performances in the sport, there is nothing more culturally celebrated than Golden Hour and the heroic final finishers. The FURTHER event made me feel like lululemon “gets it” from a brand level.

Even though it wasn’t technically a trail race, FURTHER felt in line with #TrailCulture. 

FURTHER was probably lululemon’s most important brand activation in many years and a seminal moment for women’s sports.

There’s no doubt that luluemon really broke the mold with this marketing effort. It really delivered and was very impressive all around.

In the comments on LinkedIn Ethan Veneklasen added a slight caveat to DBO’s observations which I feel is important to add:

… the one thing that did NOT feel consistent with the trail running culture to me was that it was not an open event. It was a closed event…put on by a corporate entity…solely to highlight their athletes and set up a record attempt. One of the things that make trail running so unique and, indeed, special is that regular schmos (like me) get to line up on the same course at the same time as fasties (like you).

Ethan’s not trying to knock lululemon here, but comment on DBO’s definition of the event being “trail culture”. Trail running clearly is inspirational, but beyond that, one of the defining criteria is that it is accessible. The inspiration in trail running doesn’t just come from folks watching world record shattering feats by professional athletes – we’ve had this in many sports before – but from the direct and open invitation for everyone to participate as well. And not just participation by buying the gear, but actually letting your feet touch dirt and experience this adventure for yourselves – that’s trail running.