After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

On December 22, I got this very exciting and wonderful email from Pearl Izumi - that said.

“Yay! You’ve been selected to be part of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Run Champions team.”

Very cool!!!

When I got the email telling me that I had been selected to the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team, I was stunned.

This kind of stuff doesn’t usually happen to me and did the double-fist pump and got one of those big shit eating grins you get when something you really want happens unexpectedly - yep that was me.

What is so cool about that 

Over all the years I have been a runner, I have never felt any brand loyalty and usually use what is on sale or available. I've come close a couple of times, but something always seems to happen that causes me to go in a different direction. Just the way it has worked out.

When it comes to the Pearl Izumi brand, I ran in PI running shoes for a good part of 2014 and then for many reasons (you can read more about the why here) tried different brands, but in the end I kept comparing everything to how I ran in Pearl Izumi shoes.

So I finally got smart and decided to go back to what had worked great for me.

In October I started running in my Pearl Izumi N2 Roads again and guess what -- they just felt right! I have bought two more pair of PI running shoes and have run almost exclusively in Pearl Izumi since then. 

Yeah, I haven't bothered to look back.

Bennie even bought me a pair of Pearl Izumi N1 Road V2 for Christmas, so needless to say, I have pretty much gone all in with PI running shoes, which means that I had planned to keep running in Pearl Izumi gear even before I got selected to the team.

The Pact

Shortly after I started running in their shoes again, Pearl Izumi came out with The Pact, which really, really struck a cord with me and what they shared there is how I feel about running. So I signed the pledge and shared it with others on my social media sites, because I thought it said how I felt about running, better than I could.


Then when I saw the application for the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team, I was tempted to apply.

I hemmed and hawed on whether to make the application or not.

What stopped me as much as anything was the word “Champions” in the name of the team. I am not a champion runner by any stretch of the imagination and the idea of being on a team that used that terminology to describe their runners - to be frank about it - well it was a little intimidating and still is.

I am not really a podium runner (although sometimes I get lucky), but at the same time I run a lot, am not afraid to laugh at myself when I screw up (which believe it or not does happen with some regularity) and I do like connecting with other runners.

When I read and re-read the application more than a few times, everything else seemed to describe me as a runner and that I might fit what they were looking for as someone to represent Pearl Izumi in 2016.

The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to do submit the application.

That is even though I have gotten out of the world social media marketing - this was different to me.

Applying to the team wasn’t about getting the swag, free stuff, discounts or other perks that PI published about being a member of their Champions Team. I already was buying their apparel and running shoes on my own and would have continued to anyway.

No, it was more about the direction that I see Pearl Izumi going as a company and my personal experiences with their products that I use and have used, which work better for me than other brands have over the past few years.

The litmus test was - could I without hesitation recommend to a friend or family member to use Pearl Izumi products and not be concerned about whether I did the right thing or not. My conscience needed to be clean, if I was representing a brand in person and online.

When I thought about it that way, there was no doubt that I would recommend PI products to my family or friends.

Finally, I said what to hell and filled out the app and submitted it on November 1st.

Then promptly proceeded to forget about it.

How will this affect my reviews going forward...

Well I have to disclose that I have a connection to Pearl Izumi whenever I do a post, where I mention their products and that I will put the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team logo prominently on my sidebar to show that I am connected to them. 

Yes, I know that it does mean that I will be pre-disposed to accentuating the positive attributes of Pearl Izumi gear, but it doesn't mean that I won't be honest and if something doesn't work for me that I won't say that. 

I strongly believe that PI would rather have me be open and honest about how I see and use their products than to have some corporate shill, making puffed-up claims and crap about their stuff that ain't the truth or just various shades of it.

In other words I still plan to be me and be honest when I write about Pearl Izumi gear on my blog.

The Reality Is That

Sometimes things just seem to come together at the right time, for the right reasons and this was one of those cases.

I know that I am honored, privileged and humbled by being chosen to become a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team.

Does this mean that I am going to get back into Social Media Marketing - nope. That is not the direction I am going with my life.

Nope, being selected to be a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team is my opportunity to represent a brand I believe in and would use even if I hadn’t been selected.

I have a feeling that it will be a fun year, where I get to learn a lot more about Pearl Izumi, get to meet the other team members either in person or through social media.

I can’t wait.


  1. Great story. I wish you well in 2016. Run far, run fast and run strong. #Run365

    1. Thank you, I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be a very good year! :-)


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