This morning I was up early but it wasn’t for a run; I had to get myself across to Hertfordshire after being shortlisted to join the Ashmei ambassador programme. I don’t want to appear too keen but when you meet such an inspiring bunch of people it’s hard not to write about it!
After the recent disappointment of having to turn down an opportunity to become a Brooks Transcend trialist with the Running Bug due to day job commitments, my spirits had been buoyed when I received my invite to the Ashmei ambassadors’ day.
As the 20 hopefuls arrived it was an opportunity for us to meet each other and do what we all enjoy: talk about running! What was on everyone’s mind, however, was our first challenge – delivering a 60 second piece to camera about our personal goals and achievements. How on earth could you squeeze everything you want to say about running into just one minute?
It’s amazing the pressure a video camera can put on you, even when you’re talking about something you’re so passionate about. I wish I’d had my heart rate monitor on as my heart was racing, trying to deliver all my planned points without rushing. Fortunately, the practice with @MrsTWymer last night paid off and I crossed the line just under a minute with all the points covered. Phew! Now I could relax and go back to talking running at a more relaxed pace.
I love going to events where there is a mix of runners from all backgrounds because I am genuinely interested to hear their stories, their approaches and their aims – it’s inspirational.
From ultra runners, to triathletes, to club runners – one thing united all 20 of us: we’re passionate about running and love to talk about it. To anyone who’ll listen (or read)! Oh, and we were all hoping to do enough to impress the team at Ashmei to select us as brand ambassadors for 2014.
Ashmei is a brand I’ve been aware of for some time and whilst the products have sounded amazing, the price tags aren’t like other running brands. What became clear, very quickly, is that’s because they’re not like other running brands.
Ashmei’s founding father, Stuart Brooke, explained to the eager audience how, after noticing he was wearing his cycling kit for running, he saw a gap in the market for quality kit that performed to the highest standard, and with a little style to boot.
Stuart and his team have developed the best performing fabrics and combined them with top quality components and workmanship to create apparel that not only looks great but goes above and beyond the norm.
I must admit, as I did to Robert, another member of Ashmei’s close-knit team, that the price tag and a certain cynicism has prevented me from being brave enough to part with my hard earned cash but hearing just what goes into the products and the passion to be different has changed my opinion. I don’t shop at Aldi so why am I choosing cheap kit to run in?
With slight intrepidation I switched into my older trainers (we’d been warned it was a bit muddy) for the group run in the Ashridge Estate. Road running has been my focus since I started running seriously 4 years ago so tackling a muddy trail run was a little out of my comfort zone!
I needn’t have worried. I really enjoyed the 5 multi-terrain miles, chatting further with my fellow runners and smiling for the cameras at the appropriate points. It’s another thing to add to my running adventures and another thing where I’ve thought “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”. Don’t tell my wife but I think I need to buy some trail shoes!
After a post run cookie (or two) and some additional run chatter it was time for us to all go our separate ways with smiles on our faces. There were just 2 strange things:
1. I didn’t once consider that the 20 of us were competing against each other – even though all 20 of us are hoping to be one of the 4 Ashmei ambassadors
2. There wasn’t a Ferrero Rocher in sight – call that an ambassadors’ reception, Ashmei? (Although it was the only disappointing part of the day!)
PS. I linked the main Ashmei website at the top of this post but take a look at “Pursuit” (http://pursuit.ashmei.com/#home) – a new look Ashmei website. It’s pretty funky!
Have you heard of Ashmei? Do you have any of their kit? What convinced you to buy into the brand or alternatively, what has stopped you?