One of the beauties of running is how malleable it is to your needs. Some, for example, use it as a means of escape, while others as a means to connect. Last night’s Take the Bridge race was a prime example of the latter, and I was lucky enough to witness it in action. After what I can only describe as a flawlessly executed event, in her address to the post-race crowd at Bronx Brewery, the cofounder of Take the Bridge hit an important point about the structure of running culture. Speaking about her experience as a member of a running team, she mentioned at times feeling like no one crossed the boundaries between teams. How running in clubs could just feel...clubby.
What I took away from the evening, along with new friends and a flurry of new ideas for Bakline, was the importance of remembering that the malleability of running can be driven by both your own attitude—in the way that you choose to experience and engage with the sport—as well as by the far-reaching actions of trailblazers like Adam and Darcy, who actively tear down walls in the running community.
Last night wasn’t just about taking bridges—it was about building them as well. In continually thinking about how running affects me as an athlete and cofounder of Bakline, as well as how it affects the brand itself, I've been fortunate to be surrounded by those as passionate and nerdy about the sport as I am. And especially by people who give back to and shape the running community—among them the incredible folks of Take the Bridge as well as Mile High Run Club and NY Custom Performance, who sponsored last night's event. I hope, through Bakline, to give back in the same way.
Note: Runners, any photos you see in the album are free for reuse for any purpose. Last night was your night, and I hope these help you keep some awesome memories. I just kindly ask only that you credit @baklinerunning should you decide to use any shots.
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It's here! After months of research, design, and testing, we've launched Bakline's running line with the release of a spankin' new batch of athleisure apparel. Tees, tanks, and totes - all made to seamlessly transition from the track to the trails to brunch. Or to never leave the couch in the first place. You choose.
We have much more to come with performance apparel, a new site and expansion into new geographies (UK!!!). We have many people who have helped and supported us along the way. Two notable companies in this effort have been the guys over at Mile High Run Club and the entire staff at New York Custom PT.
As co-founder of Bakline and an avid runner for years, I couldn't be happier with our expansion into this dimension. So if you're out there and need inspiration to get involved in the running community, or just want to share in the conversation we hope to start and build over time, centering on that love for the open road -- give us a shot. Nothing will please us more than to reinvest the success of the brand back into the community.
Explore our range today!
We're not entirely sure the New York running community is aware of how comprehensively awesome it is - simply because there's so much to know about. At the very least, it's worth the occasional pause to consider major assets to the community with the presence of organisations like the Mile High Run Club, inspiring coaches like Vinnie Miliano, Stephanie Creaturo and Chris Forti, and running clubs of all skill sets, speeds and sizes like the Lost Boys Track Club, the Dashing Whippets and MRHC's own team, to name a few. The list of resources is endless and makes the city an oasis of opportunity for any type of runner who finds their way here either as a permanent abode or a temporary guest.
Importantly, New York City has the infrastructure to host major events like Tracktown USA's Summer Series, bringing with it the professional and elite athletes that inspire you to be better to just an arm's length away. Oh, and let's also not forget a special appearance by The Freeze himself, the new running superhero on the block.
These types of evenings, alongside the heavily numerous though far less "extraordinary" events, allow many of these elements to come together in one place. We are humbled to have had the ability to come into contact with every one of the resources we listed above in a direct and substantive way as part of our participation in MRCH's 8X400M relay team over a mere 4 hour period.
This isn't because we're a member of some exclusive club, but because this is the caliber of individuals that is available for you to engage with on a regular basis should you want to be a part of the community. All the community asks in return is that you simply show up.
We took a few photos during the night to chronicle some of these interactions in the name of sincere gratitude to those that made the evening what it was; just another relay with the Mile High Run Club at Tracktown USA.
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Breaking records and writing history often require being in the right place at the right time. At their core, these feats are also often targeting what has been seen as impossible—or rather, what just hasn't been done yet. Eliud Kipchoge must understand these concepts all too well, having come just seconds shy of breaking 2 hours in the marathon during Nike's endeavor to perfect the "right place, right time" requirements. Many of us watched, awestruck by his discipline, and understood that Eliud had stepped into a whole world of what is yet to be done. To some in NYC, this sparked the idea of breaking 2 in a whole new way—as a team, with 10 or more people connecting the loops of a track all the way up to 26.2 miles.
With that thought, the BREAKING2NYC experiment was born. The Lost Boys Track Club and Brooklyn Track Club pooled some of New York's fastest runners into a team, and a second group, who came to be known at the Other Guys, followed quickly after. Their mission: a marathon relay of 105.5 laps on a 400 meter track, averaging a rapidfire pace of 4:35 per mile or faster.
We were in the right place at the right time to be a part of such a great event. When asked to join the team of 10 by the captain of the Other Guys, New York Custom PT's own Greg Laraia, we were too excited to stay back.
Both teams were successful in their attempts, setting an unofficial world record on Saturday, June 10, at the East River Park Track. The Lost Boys/Brooklyn TC finished in 1:54:07.36, and the Other Guys clocked in at 1:54:29.37. For us, it was an incredible demonstration of the power of the NYC running community. Moreover, it was a demonstration of how one runner's achievements—in this case, Eliud's—can spark others to seek and achieve what hasn't been done before.
While Eliud may not have broken the physical sub-2 barrier, he did something that is arguably more valuable: he shattered the mental barrier that such a feat was not possible. Perhaps this condition—the belief in what can be done—was the single detail that Nike could not have possibly controlled in its experiment, and perhaps this will push the next person to cross the finish line before the clock strikes 2:00:00.
Below is a chronicle of our day at BREAKING2NYC.
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Continuing on a tradition we love doing each year, we present the Official 2015 New York Sevens Tournament Tee. Available on game day and whatever tees are left over we sell them exclusively through Bakline. Check 'em out and hope to see you on Randall's Island this year for another stellar sevens tournament!
To learn more about the New York Sevens, click here.
In South Africa the equivalent of our Sports Center in America is their Super Sport. They cover all under the sun there and Bakline friend, fan and TV presenter Elma Smit listed off Dan Carter's highly anticipated autobiography, a Nigel Owens mug and our threads on their Christmas wish list. Thank you Elma, much appreciated!
One evening a tag alerted us to a post involving our All Blacks with Attitude tee. Seems the US Correspondent for TVNZ, Jack Tame was downtown Manhattan and spotted the names of recent iconic All Blacks. No fern. No logo. The names spoke to him and many Kiwi ex pats around the world. The NZ Herald picked up the lifestyle moment and since then, fans prepping for the RWC got their colors just in time!
Another rugby Vegas weekend come and gone. Another week spent in one of the busiest and loneliest places on earth. A city that truly doesn't sleep. Sometimes, Las Vegas reminds us New Yorkers that we are mortal with it's 24 hour capitalist drive to make us rich, poor, ecstatic or lost searching for the meaning of the life. Vegas is where the world parties and it's where some of the best rugby is to be had each year. This year was no exception as Fiji triumphed and the American faithful (with the help of the Kenyans and Pacific Islanders) came in force again to ensure the atmosphere at Sam Boyd Stadium was electric. If you haven't been yet, make it a priority. If you're an American contemplating rugby as your new passion, this should help convert you. Fans from all over gather and share the same enthusiasm for the game they love to play and follow.
After the last whistle, everyone hustles back to the strip to nap through their newly acquired sunburn, continue drinking and put on the fancy clothes to impress and impregnate the town with their colors and spirit. Vegas can make normal people do odd things. Vegas can turn angels into devils and with little guidance from the promoters it isn't hard to find a drink to share with friends or strangers. Again, this year with no exception.
Following the rugby weekend we Bakliners stayed behind for another week. It was weird - one night you're sharing beers with Todd Clever and the French team and the next you're contemplating the emptiness left when the ruggers hit the airport. It's like when the school year is over and all your dorm mates have left one day early and you're stuck on campus without a soul around. Even the dining staff are off and the dining hall is eerily desolate. Except in Vegas, when the ruggers leave you can always hit up the amazing buffet at Aria hotel and indulge in the crab legs and decadent rice krispie treats.
When the rugby was over the biggest week in fashion retail was to be had all around at what is known as MAGIC. Nothing to do with magic tricks, the week following rugby is where some of the most established clothing brands mix and showcase their latest wears amongst the unknowns (i.e. Bakline!) From Diesel to Obey, Tigerlily to Angry Blossom: an overwhelming amount of talent packed into Mandalay Bay to promote their creations. Normally, this 3 day event is not for the public but it feels like all walks of people come in to see what's new. Promoters, buyers, lawyers, wholesalers, shirt makers and dancers come to hang and see what you're all about. We can say that with confidence that as America's interest in rugby grows, so does the curiosity for it's lifestyle image. Bakline is not just about rugby - we live to play hard and party harder and finding many in Vegas with a similar attitude wasn't hard to find. We are proud to say that Bakline will be available soon in Japan and here in New York in some unexpected places. More to come when it's official.
Until then, be well friends.