The Way, Way Back

When you have a two-year-old and a six-month-old, you tire easily; you look for excuses to sit down.  And yes, that even means, for a guy, peeing like a lady.  Don’t judge.

So it was there, on the throne, that I first decided to try “adventure racing” — after reading about it in my wife’s copy of Conde Nast Women’s Sports + Fitness (now long, lamentedly gone).  The article talked about a “Hi-Tec Adventure Race,” something a reasonably fit adult could take on, something less brutalizing and impossible than the multi-day adventure races I’d heard about called the “Raid Gauloises” and the “Eco-Challenge.”

That was in December, 1997, and by the following June, I was on a hardtail Trek Antelope 930, bouncing around Folsom Lake with two buddies: Austin Murphy and Jeff Rowser.  

That race was a seminal moment.  I had owned my own PR firm for three years, yet was still stuck doing work for insurance companies and law firms.  But from the moment I finished my first, tiny adventure race, everything changed.  Within months, I had done my first (unpaid) work in the endurance field.  Very shortly after that, we had our first paying clients in the industry.

In another two years, our old agency name was gone — changed to OutsidePR.  I learned how to actually pronounce “Raid Gauloises” and became the media director of the Primal Quest.

By 2005, all of our clients save one were fitness and outdoor-related.


There’s a lot to laugh at in this photo — and please feel free to comment (who wears gloves in a multi-sport race?  Could my shorts get any shorter, or more purple?), but by 2003, Austin and I were competing in, and doing well in, multiday races of our own.

Now, my two babies are both teenagers — and one of them is in college.  OutsidePR has been around the block and represents some of the best brands in the outdoor industry.  But none of that would have happened without that first race, that first exposure to the endurance lifestyle.  It’s funny, what sneaks up on you and grabs your heart.  This race did — it changed my life — and I’ve never looked back.

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One thought on “The Way, Way Back

  1. Ginny

    I remember that race (fondly) — and those shorts (less affectionately). Beautifully written, as always. And further proof that some of our best decisions are made in the loo.

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