There’s a lot to be said about February here at SPIbelt HQ: we turned a year older, we ran a few miles, we hung out with epic people, and we continue to love our community day in and day out! Here are a few snippets of our month so far.
SPIbelt’s 12th Birthday!
February is always a busy month at SPIbelt HQ! Not only is it the time of the Austin Marathon – one of our favorite events of the year – but it’s also our Birthday Month! All month long we’ve been flashing back and going behind the scenes on our Instagram, as well as having a site-wide 12% sale! Over the last decade, we’ve been creating/finding incredible products tailored for people looking to live a healthier (and in our opinion, more fun) lifestyle! Since our launch 12 years ago, we’ve gone from being assembled and shipped from Kim’s apartment, to being available available across the globe in big box retailers to locally owned specialty running stores. We have also cultivated friendships and partnerships with several nonprofit organizations, donating more than 65,000 belts to those groups. We’re so grateful you’ve been along for the ride from our humble origins, and we hope to see you along for the next twelve years, from expos to marathons and beyond!
The 2019 Austin Marathon
SPIbelt’s debut came in 2007 at the Austin Marathon Expo, and we’ve been a longtime friend of the event ever since. We have been the Official Running Belt and a sponsor of the Austin Marathon for several years, and Kim has had the pleasure of holding the finisher’s tape for both the Male and Female elite runners. For a few of the SPIbelt team, this month also marked the culmination of training and preparation to run the race itself. This year we had two people – Kim’s brother Bobby and our Marketing Associate Andrew – running the full marathon and our Events Coordinator Ashley running the half marathon. Here’s what they had to say about that day after all was said and done:
Ashley | Events Coordinator | Half Marathon: 2:19:27
“I have only run the 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Half Marathon, and can say the Austin Half is my favorite out of the two. It’s definitely a more challenging course, and nothing compares to the scenic route you get to take through the city. This year was my second year getting to tackle the event and I felt better prepared since the route is relatively the same every year. The expo is a fun precursor and I was really happy with the race shirt material and design this year. I thought the complimentary Under Armor bag was a nice addition as well. I decided to wear the race shirt with my other typical gear (SPIbelt, Aftershokz, Hokas, and Balega socks) and was very happy with my choices.
I was relieved the weather turned out great race morning. I wasn’t too chilly waiting in anticipation to start the race. I enjoy getting out of my element and doing something I normally wouldn’t do or get to run on a route that I normally don’t get to run on. You would never catch me on Congress at 7 in the morning to run 13.1 miles. One of my favorite things about the course are the properly placed Nuun stations at every mile with a few restrooms so there is no need to worry about drinking too much to keep yourself hydrated. There is also a huge support system of spectators lined up along the route that motivate you with music and their own snacks to share!”
Andrew | Marketing Associate | Full Marathon: 3:49:39
“For me, this was my first marathon, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I had put in the time and miles leading up to race day. I had run the course – both mentally and physically – enough that I knew where I was going, but no one really knows what’s going to happen until they’re out there. Knowing my SPIbelt was packed with nutrition, I stuck to my plan and had a strong debut to marathon running. The weather ended up being perfect, the pacers kept us all motivated and on target, and I managed to finish ahead of my projected time. I’m not sure I’ll be doing another marathon any time soon, but I’m grateful to say that there is a 26.2 medal on my wall, and I’m quite grateful for my SPIbelt for having my back on both training runs and on race day.”
Bobby | SPIbelt Fan & Kim’s Brother | Full Marathon: 3:23:36
“This was my 11th time running the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon and my overall 29th marathon. I ran a 3:23 and I’m happy with that time. Of all the races I’ve done, I must say that this race is one of the more challenging because of the hills. The whole first half is hills and a brutal hill climb at mile 25.8 really makes you hate the race. However, once you get to the top of that hill, you’ve got 2 blocks til the finish line and it’s lined with hundreds of people cheering and yelling for you, giving one of the greatest feelings ever. It’s a great marathon because I get to run in the streets of the city I love, and get to see tons of familiar faces both in the race and on the sidelines cheering. Although I was passed by the Charity Chaser Lance Armstrong at mile 23, I’m happy to donate a dollar to his cause. The Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser involves having a local celebrity start as the last runner of the race and every Marathon runner passed, a dollar is donated to one of over 28 local Austin charities. My goal for next year is to not let the Charity Chaser pass me. I love the Austin Marathon even though it kicks my butt every year. It’s well organized, well supported, has a Texas unique finisher medal and is in the greatest city on the planet! See you next year!”
Kim Hangs With Dr. Ruth
It’s not every day one gets to hang out with an icon, let alone an icon in the realm of sex and sexuality. For those who may not be fully in the know, Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a world-renowned sex therapist, and one of the few people to openly discuss “taboo” topics of AIDS in the 80’s, when the world wasn’t entirely ready to have that talk. Now, at 90 years young, Dr. Ruth continues to be an advocate for honest and open talks regarding sexuality with a new show in the works, aimed more toward the college demographic, with a few visits to universities planned as well. How does this tie into Kim riding scooters and visiting Barton Springs with Dr. Ruth?
First off, at 4’6” and 90 years young, Dr. Ruth didn’t quite ride a scooter, but it was well worth it to post to Twitter for a few laughs! Being part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization community, Kim had the opportunity to pick up Dr. Ruth from the Austin airport and show Dr. Ruth around for a day before her speaking engagement with the Austin EO group. The three ladies – Dr. Ruth, Kim and Monika O – spent the day visiting iconic Austin sites and watching the vibrancy of the city preparing for its marathon. Dr. Ruth loves Austin, and said she would definitely consider moving here! We made sure she didn’t leave our fair city without a little SPIbelt parting gift, stuffed full of sundries as a thanks for spending time with Kim.
As you can see, February has blown by, and we’re so excited to see what the rest of 2019 will bring!