We’re excited to debut a new regular series here at Dispatch Radio … Profiles In Motion. Every month, we’ll bring you short profiles of interesting people along Colorado’s Front Range, interviewed in their element. And often panting.
Full transcript below of our running interview with La Sportiva Events and Athlete Manager Quinn Carrasco (@idressedmyselftoday), recorded during a community run up – and down – North Table Mountain with the Golden Mountain Runners. A big thanks to David Fox for the killer action photo!
- An overview of Golden Hell Week
- Why ultrarunner Jax Mariash sends Quinn dirty clothes
- Anton Krupicka rumors
- How to become a sponsored athlete (spoiler: do something first)
Enjoy the episode? We’d love your feedback – feel free to drop a review in Apple Podcasts (most helpful), share with a friend or track us down on the socials! Have a suggestion for someone for us to go running / hiking / climbing / padding / skiing / NAMEIT-ing? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. THANKS FOR TUNING IN!
Tuesday, October 23 – North Table Mountain, Golden, Colo.
Russ Rizzo: I am on North Table Mountain outside of Golden, Colorado doing a Profile in Motion with Quinn Carrasco from La Sportiva. Quinn, welcome to the show. Paint a picture. What are we doing?
Quinn Carrasco: Hey, we’re going up North Table right now. It’s just after six and it’s a kind of cruiser, straight up, kind of third class [climbing]. Getting a little backed up here as it gets a little more technical.
Russ Rizzo: We are literally rock climbing while podcasting. We’ve got a group of runners out here with the Golden Mountain Runners.
Quinn Carrasco: Yeah. This is part of the North Table Golden Hell Week route. We’re out here previewing the course. It’s a virtual race we created here with five of the most iconic trails out here in Jeffco [Jefferson County] that basically all surround Golden. … Watch out for that loose rock. … So we got to Lookout, Galbraith, North Table, South Table and Apex. All in all, it totals about 32 miles, 6,500 feet of elevation gain. You just go out and you run any of those five days and … I’m sorry I can’t breathe.
Russ Rizzo: We are catching up our breath at the top of North Table Mountain with Quinn Carrasco from La Sportiva. He’s telling us all about Golden Hell Week going on. So Quinn, this is a virtual race. So you got your Strava, you got the route, you can go right on your website, you can follow along and you can actually kind of compete with people on your own time. You go out and run the trail, and it logs it. What is the thinking behind that?
Quinn Carrasco: Well, basically you’ve got so many different people that love trail running and that are avid trail runners in our community. And actually it was something I realized after the first time we ran this, was that there were so many people – which happened to be 2016 two years ago – so many people that came out of the woodworks that I never met before. We have such a robust trail running community, but we’re all split up by our lifestyle. Our work, our families. And so this is really something that can bring us all together, because it encompasses everybody that can trail run for somewhere between six and 12 hours over Monday through Friday. So if that means you have to lose a little sleep because you work a normal nine to five or if maybe you have more flexibility, you can get out and run in the middle of the day. No big deal. So that’s what’s really cool. Meeting all those people that can’t run at the same hours as you may be in the service industry. And they work nights.
Russ Rizzo: Yeah, you got a pretty cool job. La Sportiva. You manage events and work with a lot of interesting athletes. Alright, so give us a fun story about an athlete you’ve worked with.
Quinn Carrasco: Well this is one one athlete who keeps sending me really dirty clothes. First one was a pair of shoes in this plastic box that I, you know, I think if you open the box it’d probably make that crshhhh sound. And the last one was a shirt in a shadow box. It was actually really nice. It was all pinned up and had a bib from the Grand to Grand Ultra. And the shoes were from Marathon de Sables, that stage race in the Sahara desert. Her name’s Jax Mariash and she lives out in Park City. She owns Stoke roasters, is her coffee company. So she’s an entrepreneur and business owner, she’s an ultra runner. We love doing things with her.
Russ Rizzo: We’ve got to get her on this show.
Quinn Carrasco: Oh yeah, she’d love it.
Russ Rizzo: What about the hordes of women that follow Tony Krupicka around? Is that, is that true? We are now scrambling down. What would you say this is class is?
Quinn Carrasco: Probably third class.
Russ Rizzo: Third class scrambling going on as Russ breaks his ankle. … So we’ve got a lot of folks, a lot of my listeners in the outdoor industry. Maybe they work in the outdoor industry. They might be the type of people that come knocking on your doors with requests. Do you have advice for people that are trying to engage with a brand like La Sportiva?
Quinn Carrasco: Yeah, definitely. I should have just put, I should make my own webpage and put this on like the FAQ section because people are always asking me this, what I, and what I tell people when, when I have the opportunity to directly is to create your own personal brand, you know, like as really partnerships don’t happen between brands and people. They happen between brands and personal brands. Tony – Anton Krupicka – is a good example. He has an incredible personal brand and he’s done a really good job putting together his media and the races he’s done. So, you know, until you’re really ready to go out there and put together your own product, whether your product is inspiration or media creation or whatever it is that you’re creating, and putting it out there and building community. Maybe it’s an event like Golden Hell Week. You know, these are all things that we are looking for.
Russ Rizzo: Say I maybe accomplish step one, I got something packaged up…
Quinn Carrasco: Let’s say you come to me with your first time you come, you email and it’s like, “Hey, I’m thinking about starting a blog. I just got into running. I think I should be sponsored.” And it’s kind of like, well maybe see if you like blogging. Try blogging for a year, see what happens, see what it does to your life and how you interact with it. And see how you like community building and sharing the sport with newcomers and with veterans alike.
Russ Rizzo: So then let’s say you come back after a year and you’re like, “Hey, I love blogging. I’ve been getting so much great feedback. I have a really high engagement rate on social media and through blogs, and when I go to events people recognize me and ask me about my latest adventure.” Or, “They’re reaching out to me on ways they can try the things I’ve done.” Or, “They tell me about ways that it’s inspired the lifestyle change that’s been a really positive impact on your life.” And that’s when I think people really get it. And when they were really psyched, you know, a lot of people say, “Oh, well I don’t want to do blatant self promotion.” And it’s really not. When you start getting that feedback that’s so positive, you’ll see right away that you’re really creating a positive impact by sharing stoke and creating inspiration. So, you know, once you’ve created that personal brand, what you really want to do is come up with some way that we can exchange services.
Russ Rizzo: We’re going down a steep, rocky inclines in the dark. All right, now we’re back … So where we left off was, I’ve got the package. I’m reaching out and you’re saying do it in a way that we can exchange services. What does that mean?
Quinn Carrasco: You know, it’s not free gear like we are looking for something in exchange and in that partnership and a lot of times that’s content is appearances at events. It’s asking for a little bit of product promotion here and there, because at the end of the day we’re still trying to keep the ledgers all balanced. But the best thing you can do is remember that the people in these small companies in the marketing team are getting so many emails every day. You really have to make yourself stand out. You have to reach out frequently. And I always say like, just keep delivering. Don’t ask what to do, just do something. Create a product and then send it over and provide a small thing and then say, “You know, if you like that I can do more. I like doing this and I can do it over and over again. And I think it would be a great partnership if we did.”
Quinn Carrasco: People come to me and they’re like, “Oh, well I don’t really like talking about myself. You know, sticking around after a race and talking with people and building community, or doing social media.” You know, then I totally support that. That’s how I like doing it too. But I’m not sponsored. So it’s really all that extra stuff. I mean, these people are also at the top of their sport. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not only looking for these community leaders, we’re looking for people that are pushing the levels of the sport.
Russ Rizzo: So Quinn, anything else you want to touch on before we get done with this run here?
Quinn Carrasco: I’d definitely come check out Golden Hell Week next week. It’s October 28 through November 2. Information can be found at GoldenHellweek.com. It’s going to be awesome. You can come to our info night at Bent Gate Mountaineering on Thursday, October 25th at 6:00 PM. Will be running the South Table Mountain loop from Bent Gate Mountaineering. And then afterwards I’ll be showing everybody how to upload their time to the website. See you guys out there and happy trails.
Russ Rizzo: Quinn Carrasco, our first Profile in Motion. Thanks buddy. Hey, we did it without any injuries.
Quinn Carrasco: Too early to call it safe.