New products, from gear to nutrition to skincare, pop up in the endurance sports market all the time. Though a change in formula or design could assist performance or reduce discomfort, testing everything available takes a substantial amount of time and money. Enter RunnerBox: a bimonthly subscription box filled with samples of products relevant to athletes.
“We describe it as a race bag on steroids,” co-owner Laura Jorgensen says. “When you go to expos, you get a trial piece. We only put things in there that we feel could fuel your training, and one bite-sized thing wouldn’t do you much good.”
The exact products in each RunnerBox vary from shipment to shipment, with items from familiar and new brands.
“We’re very cognizant of what you got in the past and want to keep introducing you to new things,” Jorgensen says. “We repeat brands if they have a new product or a cool new flavor, but you’re not going to get the same thing every time. The products are hand-picked and curated by our team of stuff we think would be good for you.”
RunnerBox has a small staff, but those involved with the company know what they’re doing. Co-owner and RunnerBox founder Staci Dietzel has run nearly a dozen marathons along with many other shorter races and has participated in duathlons and cycling tours as well. Jorgensen has run several half marathons as well and today competes as a professional cyclist.
“I travel a lot with racing,” Jorgensen says. “The synergy is great. I meet vendors, try products and am right in the forefront of everything.”
Working for RunnerBox also allows Jorgensen to maintain her professional cycling career: a venture that often proves difficult, particularly for women.
“The funding in women’s cycling is pretty horrendous,” Jorgensen says. “It’s getting much better and there’s been a big push for the sport, similar to what happened in tennis. The Women’s Cycling Association just started and is really pushing for equality and minimum salaries. Men have high minimum salaries that provide a liveable wage. With women, sometimes it’s just like, ‘Here’s a bike. You can keep it, and that’s what you get for the whole year.’ There’s a big wage gap there.”
RunnerBox also reaches the cycling market with its CycleBox and TriBox offerings.
“Endurance nutrition, in general, is endurance nutrition,” Jorgensen says. “It doesn’t matter whether you ride a bike or run or swim. That stays the same across all three boxes, and the accessories change: swim caps, bike grease.”
In addition to subscription boxes, RunnerBox also has one-time boxes for special occasions, including birthdays and the holidays. The 2015 holiday box comes in runner, triathlete and cyclist varieties and includes relevant gear and fun treats, such as a running shoe-shaped cookie cutter.
To learn more about RunnerBox or to place an order, visit www.therunnerbox.com.