By Mathias Eichler
Winter, trails, darkness, and all the weather.
One last hurrah before the end of the year. Runners, get ready for a fun and festive holiday treat along the trails of Squaxin Park.
Matt Walsh in his Substack ‘Trailmix’ ponders the same questions I have:
…if anyone has a contact at UTMB that actually knows how the business is run AND responds to emails, do get in touch…
Yes, same here.
Matt thinks the UTMB expansion model might be more of a franchise model, rather than an outright purchase of the races. Which might sense if the races are new, but for the ones UTMB partners/takes over that might not work? Perhaps the franchise part is only a portion of the race. The areas where UTBM feels they can contribute the most… and get the most out financially? Surely, providing staffing for aid stations won’t be one of the areas that will be franchised.
Matt also points to the endless ‘dunking on UTMB’ of the social media verse, so much that editors of Outside compared their announced partnership with UTMB internally akin to:
… a poison chalice and that limiting the damage UTMB’s brand could have on Outside’s reputation would be a ‘big challenge’.
And finally, Buzz Burrell, in the comments, points out the misconception in the articles headline, insinuating that the UTMB brand currently doesn’t matter to races or racers:
Yes, joining the bandwagon and becoming “(trail race) by UTMB” has bumped every race that has signed on from hanging in there to selling out, so becoming a UTMB franchise has been a win for every race owner.