Category Archives: INKNBURN Ambassador Profile

INKnBURN Ambassador: Jeremy Sanders & The Lucas Fund

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by Jade Belzberg

What do Dean Karnazes, Mike Wardian,  Scott Jurek and Jeremy Sanders have in common? They are all runners, but more importantly, they are all fathers first. Jeremy Sanders is also a proud INKnBURN Ambassador and author behind the popular blog, “Running Dad.” In October 2012, two years after Jeremy started running, he stumbled across the domain www.RunningDad.com for sale and something clicked: what if he started a blog documenting his running journey? It would be a site where fathers could find running tips and connect with other dads who ran. He started working on a logo; shortly after, he created his first blog post.
Sanders’ first few blog posts detailed the races he ran. He then went on to review shoes, at which point his blog started attracting visits. His most popular blog post to date is an informative post on the treadmill set-up he designed, complete with TV and wireless audio set-up.
Since 2012, Jeremy Sanders has amassed a following of runners, both male and female, looking to balance work, family and running. RunningDad.com uses fonts reminiscent of superhero strips, complete with comic hero-esque detailing. In many ways, RunningDad promotes the idea of a superhero’s lifestyle–saving the day while still leading a normal life; in layman’s terms, balancing work with family life, and balancing family life with running.

Though Sanders is known as The Running Dad now, he wasn’t always a runner. Long before he started the blog, and before he had his two sons, Cole and Connor, aged 10 and 4, Sanders was a father-to-be, excited to meet his son, Lucas. “We already had everything ready for him,” says Sanders. “His room, outfits, everything.” His wife, Jen, was 31 weeks pregnant when she complained of back pain. A regular baby appointment was set up on for mid-September, but with Jen’s typical work day totaling more than 13 hours, the majority of it on her feet, back pain was, as Sanders puts it, “nothing out of the ordinary.” On September 17, 2002, the day of Jen’s appointment, an ultrasound indicated that something was wrong. Fluid on the baby’s lungs and under the skin sent Sanders and his wife to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Viriginia. “The doctors decided that having Lucas by C-section was his best chance,” says Sanders. The appointment was scheduled for the next day. “We spent the night listening to his heartbeat on the monitor that the doctors had attached to Jen. It was strong,” he says. On September 18th, the C-section was performed and Lucas was born.

Unfortunately, Lucas lived only an hour in the NICU. He was born with Hydrops fetalis–a condition in which an abnormal amount of fluid is built up in two or more body areas. Lucas’ lungs weren’t strong enough to survive the condition, and he passed within the hour.

The entire Sanders family was in shock hearing the news that Lucas didn’t make it. “We all turned our attention to helping Jen recover from surgery,” Sanders says, “but we were all devastated. They brought Lucas to our room so we could spend a little time with him. We cherish that time and wish we could have had more with him.”
The hardest thing Sanders has ever had to is leave the hospital empty handed after he had planned to leave with Lucas. “It brought us closer as a family as we focused on physical and mental healing,” he says, although learning how to manage loss was a different experience entirely.
In the days following, Sanders focused on his wife’s recovery post-surgery. Once they returned home, Sanders turned to drawing, creating an illustration that, he says, captured the emotion of his loss. While art and graphic design were one outlet, another was food, and yet another drink. “I was spiraling into a bad pattern of self-destructive behavior,” he says.

It wasn’t until years later that Sanders decided to change his life–in more ways than he could have imagined. The birth of their son, Connor, in 2006 brought more activity than they had bargained for into their lives. As Connor grew older, his participation in sports increased. One day, while waiting in a gymnasium where Connor was playing basketball, Sanders looked around him. “I was surrounded by out-of-shape dads playing on their cellphones,” he says. “I decided I didn’t want that to be me.”
Sanders decided he wanted to lose weight, and to do so he would start running. After just one run, he was hooked. The weight came off quickly. “I lost 40 pounds over the course of the year,” he says. Sanders began coaching for all of the team sports that Connor played. “I became an involved dad, no longer on the sidelines.” With the addition of Cole, in 2012, Sanders became even more involved with his children’s activities. Additionally, his own running took off: since then, he’s completed 6 marathons (including two Boston Marathons), a 50-miler, and countless 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons.  One year ago, Sanders turned 40 and ran sub-3 hour marathon. “I’m not slowing down!” He says.  His most recent placement of 24th out of 5,445 runners at the Shamrock Half Marathon (3/18/17) and age group (40-45)  win with a 1:21:27 is proof that he has, indeed, sped up! 

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Jeremy conquering the Shamrock Half in his INKnBURN Lucky Singlet!

While Jen is not a runner, as Sanders puts it, she is equally active in obstacle racing and mud runs, in addition to staying fit with group classes. They’re both also active in the fundraiser, The Lucas Fund, that they created shoryl after Lucas passed. “When I started running, I decided that I would donate a dollar for every mile that I run to the Lucas Fund,” he says. The monthly donations have grown to over $200 as Sanders puts in his training mileage; additionally, several fundraisers and challenges on RunningDad.com have helped raise money. To date, the Lucas Fund has raised over $30,000 for babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UVA.
Outside of fundraising, Sanders has also become a coach. “I always have people asking me for advice on running since they had seen my steady improvement in health and running performance,” he says. “I wanted to make sure I was giving good advice.” Sanders completed the Road Runners Club of America’s Coaching Certification course and became a licensed coach. Sanders gives credit to his personal running coach who has helped him realize that everyone can use motivation to both exceed their comfort zone or pull in the reins when needed. “I love to help people reach their goals in a way that they stay injury free and still have time for their families.”
While running is Sanders’ passion, his first love his still his family. What makes Sanders’ family special, however, is that they’ve all embraced running in some form, whether through running, fundraising, or sharing the joy of movement. Connor, especially, has embraced running. “He isn’t hesitant at all to enter races and push himself, but at the same time he doesn’t beat himself up when he does not do as well as he was expecting.”
Most important to Sanders is that his children can see how much work he puts into training and how it pays out in the end by achieving his goals. “I hope they learn that they can set goals and reach them by working hard.” Sanders’ goals for the future include finding interesting destinations races where he ran bring his family, creating a fun trip for everyone. Eventually he hopes to be a full-time coach–“I just need a couple hundred more clients and a generous company to sponsor me!” In the meantime, he has a busy race schedule including the Boston Marathon and the Yeti 100 in September!

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Jeremy in a classic INKnBURN Run or Die Singlet. Make sure to never miss out on a design by subscribing to our Newsletter on www.INKnBURN.com.

For more information, check out the Sanders’ fundraising page, The Lucas Fund, here: http://getinvolved.uvahealth.com/site/TR?fr_id=1130&pg=entry

For great content on fitness, family and health, check out Jeremy Sanders’ blog RunningDad.com here: http://www.runningdad.com

Jeremy’s favorite INKnBURN design: INKnBURN’s Men’s Black and White Octopus Singlet: “It has a sinister and aggressive look–perfect for racing!”

Slaying Dragons by INKnBURN Ambassador Monica

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11953329_10155933087615109_780216497869348849_oI grew up loathing running. I think I always associated it with the awkwardness of middle school, when I had body image issues of being too tall, too thin, too flat – and too slow. I knew nothing about pace back then, and gym class always went the same way: when we had to run laps, I would gamely take off from the starting line, but would go out too fast and stagger to a breathless walk halfway around the track. Gym teachers’ harangues ringing in my ears, I grew up convinced I was slow, couldn’t run, hated exercise. I would watch neighborhood joggers and community 5K runners enviously: why couldn’t my body do what seemed so normal to everyone else? I embraced photography, horseback riding, gardening, and books, dismissing aerobic sports as unordained for me.

6” changed everything. Last May, I missed a step, crashing onto one kneecap. My daily commute became a dreaded, tearful experience. Stairs were petrifying. Riding or kneeling to garden were out of the question.

Though other activities remained challenging, after months of  physical therapy I could walk normally, and colleagues talked me into a 5K run/walk during our school’s homecoming festivities. In the spirit of office camaraderie, I agreed to walk, but when I got there, the idyllic course on a glorious October day made a little jogging irresistible. I anticipated soon quitting in pain, but to everyone’s surprise – most of all mine! – my knee didn’t hurt. Cautiously I continued, hypervigilant for the slightest twinge, discovering with surprise that slowing down allowed me to run farther than I expected. I jogged 2/3 of that race, floating the remainder on a euphoric cloud.

My physical therapist was supportive and said if I wanted to run, he would help me do it safely. He introduced a treadmill program, encouraging perseverance when newfound enthusiasm produced impatience with walking intervals – I wanted to run! The program taught me pace and built endurance, making running more enjoyable. Most importantly, it showed me I can run: not for teacher approval or stopwatch, but simply for joy.

However, I was still extremely self-conscious about the clothing that seemed to go with the sport. The adolescent body image issues had never completely dissipated; a sedentary lifestyle had eventually led to weight gain and different variety of dislike for the mirror. Though I lost a lot of that weight when I started running, a lifetime of self-criticism still made it nearly impossible to see anything in my reflection but heavy thighs and a lack of curves. Running clothing all seemed to draw attention to a physique I didn’t want anyone focusing on. Through the winter it was less of an issue, as months of freezing weather allowed me to cover everything with multiple layers of sweatshirts, jackets, and pants. But warming spring temperatures necessitated less gear, and then one day PT forced the issue. “We need to start working on that IT band, and I can’t work on it through capris. Please wear shorts next time.”

Uh oh. I hadn’t willingly worn gym shorts in public since I finished the last required day of high school phys. ed. When I dug through my dresser drawer, I found that the elastic on my only pair had dry rotted. Thus began my search for running clothes I could feel confident about.

At the same time, I had joined a running club, and one day someone commented that when you run your first half marathon, you’ll feel like you killed a dragon. For some reason, that image stuck with me, and when I stumbled upon INKnBURN’s Ryu line midway through training for my first half, I knew immediately that this had to be my race shirt! I was terrified when the day arrived, and I can’t begin to describe how much extra grit and determination it gave me to put on that beautiful blue tech shirt. I was going to slay this dragon!

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 It was an amazing race. I ran it exactly the way I trained it and finished almost a minute under my goal time. I was so happy the whole way that I think I’m smiling in every single photo. At the end, though, I was surprisingly unelated – and confused about why. This should have felt like the accomplishment of a lifetime! A year ago I couldn’t even run a mile, and I had just finished 13.1. Why wasn’t I ecstatic? I realized it was because I was stronger than I ever realized, and all the training I had done had prepared me so well for the distance that it didn’t seem like a big deal. It didn’t feel like killing a dragon because distance running just wasn’t that big and scary any more!
The InknBurn dragon has become a symbol to me, not just of mountains to be conquered, but of strength I never knew I had. He comes out on days when I’m discouraged and need to be reminded of what I can do, and on days when I am thrilled just to be able to run for the joy of it. He also reminds me that this strength is far more important than anyone else’s perception of what I look like, and in that regard my dragon is slaying demons that have haunted me most of my life.

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Click to see the Dragon Flower Shorts that carried Monica through PT & her “Dragon Slaying” Race!

 

INKnBURN Ambassador Joanna Williams

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Tell someone you’ve signed up for a virtual race and you might get a baffled response: What? How? Why?

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INKnBURN Ambassador Joanna Williams, 40, from California, MD, will be more than happy to fill you in. Her company, Race for Awareness, runs virtual races to raise money for non-profit charities. “A virtual race is a self-motivated competition that is organized online where you complete a specific distance by running, walking or cycling on a date and time of your choosing, anywhere in the world,” explains Joanna. A virtual race can be completed on a treadmill, around your neighborhood, with a group of friends, solo–or in any other combination.

Says Joanna, “Virtual races give you the power to own your race experience and make it personal.”

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Started in September of 2013, Race for Awareness (RFA) is a women-owned, family-owned and veteran-owned company that strives to give back as much as possible to the charities they work with.

“We display charity response letters on our website,” says Joanna, “because we believe transparency and open disclosure information is essential for maintaing the trust participants place in us. For each virtual race, at least 80% of net proceeds are donated to the featured charity.”

Participating in RFA’s Virtual Races is surprisingly simple: scroll through a list of virtual races, from Human Trafficking Awareness to Organic Farming Awareness, choose from the 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon options, complete the race at your preferred date, time and location, and receive your earned medal.

“The virtual race can be completed it many ways. I have mapped out my routes and dedicated the run to a cause. Others have organized small groups to meet up and run a distance together. Participants that travel complete their miles in a hotel treadmill or find new places to run where they are visiting.” Says Joanna, “That’s the beauty of virtual races–you are helping a charity by entering our races and rewarding yourself with a medal for the miles you completed.”

Joanna even runs her own races; every time she orders new medals for a race, she makes sure she tries out the race herself. Since 2009, she has run nearly 40 races, some of which include the Navy Air Force 5K, Navy Air Force Half-Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon–which makes sense. Joanna was in the United States Air Force for four years, during which running was, of course, required.

Joanna sporting INKnBURN and posing with her medal collection.
Joanna sporting INKnBURN and posing with her medal collection.

“My introduction into running,” she explains, “was to pass the military fitness test.”  But it wasn’t until years later that she developed a love for the sport. “A friend of mine invited me to join her on a 5k race. I was nervous because I thought races were for “real runners.” Joanna finished, realized she had loved the race and finally saw herself as a runner. Soon, she was signing up for another, and another after that.

Since her first 5K, Joanna has run 17 more 5Ks, several 10Ks, and one dozen half-marathons. Along with a bevy of shorter distances planned for this year, Joanna will be running her first ultramarathon, a 50K, early next year.

Earlier this year, Joanna, in addition to her role at Race for Awareness (Programmer/Graphic Artist/IT Instructor), became an INKnBURN Ambassador.

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“I was first introduced to the brand when I saw the Steam Punk Tech Shirt online in 2013,” she says. “ I love the artistic designs of INKnBURN and how anyone can distance themselves from the norm and stand out in a crowd while being comfortable.”

Some of Joanna’s favorite designs include the Women’s Dragonfly and Wildflower designs. “I love the meaning of “Bravely growing wild and free in a world plagued by conformity.” I get the most complements from complete strangers when I wear these designs.”

Interested in trying a virtual race? Check out Race for Awareness here: http://www.racesforawareness.com

If you like the INKnBURN apparel in this story, check out our website: www.INKnBURN.com
All of our designs are limited edition pieces, and we frequently add new pieces. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter in the lower right corner of our website–that way you’ll be informed as soon as new designs launch!

INKnBURN Ambassador: Colby Wentlandt

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Colby Wentlandt, our youngest INKnBURN Ambassador, made a goal for himself when he was 12: by the end of that year, he wanted to run a marathon, by the age of 13, a 50-miler, and by 14, a 100-miler. So far, he’s completed all three goals and is constantly checking off more.

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Wentlandt, now 14, from Warner, California, may, in fact, be the youngest person to run 100-miles–ever. The vivacious and determined boy has been enamored with the sport for a few years, but began to take the sport more seriously at the age of 12. “When I saw my dad run his first 100, I knew in my heart that one day I was going to run them, too,” says Wentlandt.

His mother and father, Shawn and Brady Wentlandt, are avid ultrarunners themselves. Shawna, 39, started running shorter distances in 2008, working her way up to her first 100-mile race in 2012. “I had no idea that people ran further than a marathon,” says Shawna. “Then we met Ed Ettinghausen, [known more commonly as The Jester], and a whole new crazy world opened up to us.” Shawna has now run 12 100-milers, while Brady, a US Marine, has finished 6. “My flexible schedule [as an online college professor] allows me to race more than he does,” she says.

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Shawna ran Colby’s first official race, a half marathon, with him. “I made him stay with me every step of the way,” she says, but explains that it can be difficult balancing her role as a runner along with a mother. “I’ve found it a lot easier to focus on one thing at a time,” she says. “It’s emotionally draining to think about him when I’m exhausted myself.” That said, Shawna is insistent that she wants Colby to follow his dreams–not hers or anyone else’s.

When asked if she has difficulty supporting him in his ambitions and keeping him safe and secure as a mother, she explains that she lets Colby dictate how he feels. “He is really, really good about telling me if something is wrong if it’s just normal ‘ultra stuff’ he is dealing with.”

Colby Wentlandt considers his first race the Turkey Trot, when he was in grade three. “I didn’t train and I went into it wanting to win,” he says. “I was wearing my speedy crocs so how could I not win?” He jokes. Several years later, Wentlandt had the urge to begin pursuing his passion, and aimed for his first ultramarathon,  Across the Years, in Phoenix, Arizona. With a few months of 30-mile training weeks under his feet, he completed more than 55 miles in the 24-hour period–at the age of 12.

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This week, I had the chance to ask INKnBURN Ambassador Colby some questions about his favorite running fuel, his favorite training runs and where he plans to go in the future.

Who do you like to run with?  I usually run with my dog Emily, however when I can I like to run with my mom and/or Dad.

What is your favorite place to run? I don’t really have a favorite place to run when I’m training, I just run where I feel like going.

Do you have any mentors in the ultra running world? Killian Jornet, Nickademus Hollon, Ed Ettinghausen, Joe Fejes and my parents, of course. My non-running idols are my Uncle Trevor and Judge Greg Mathis.

How are you training at the moment? I just recently started to run again after being sick for a while so I am currently only doing around 40 miles a week. When I first started training for races I only ran around 30 miles a week. I probably trained the most last summer when I ran around 50-70 miles a week.

What races are you looking forward to this year? I am currently looking forward to the Run Around Palmer Lake 24 Hour and the Nanny Goat 100.

Do you have any dream races? My main “one-day” races would have to be the Arrowhead 135, Hard Rock 100, The Barkley Marathons and HURT 100. The difficulty and prestigousness of these races attract me to them.

What’s your favorite post-run food? Buffalo wings and steak. I crave them when I’m around mile 90.

What’s your favorite thing to eat/drink during an ultramarathon? My favorite drink during a 100-mile is Mountain Dew and my favorite food would have to be pumpkin pie.

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Check out Colby’s favorite training and racing gear here! 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Jade Belzberg

INKnBURN Ambassador: Where in the World is Kristy Woodward!?

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INKnBURN Ambassador Kristy Woodward, 36 years old from Burbank, California, has been running for more than 10 years but it’s the traveling she does that sets her apart! An INKnBURN Ambassador for one year, Woodward travels for both pleasure and work, although it’s the work travel that is tedious and tiresome to many–but not to Woodward.

As the executive director and business development for Yellowpages.com, Woodward visits more than 13 cities in the US–including places like Anchorage, Alaska, Honolulu, Hawaii and Lacrosse, WI– to conduct Sales Training.

“To work out on the road really takes discipline,” she says. “Business travel means long hours spent in airports, sitting on planes and going between different time zones.” However, not one to make excuses, Woodward takes advantage of long waits at airport terminals by walking with a heavy backpack.

While the amount of travel can sometimes be tiring, Woodward loves it. “When traveling for work I think it’s easy and comfortable to just want to stay in your hotel room, but I really make an effort to get out and explore the city I am in.  I try to eat at local, non-chain restaurants.  And I have found walking or running is the best way to explore new places.”

When not working, Woodward’s choice of travel apparel is INKnBURN due to its lightweight and functionality. “It’s durable for outdoor activities, looks good for trips into town and cleans easily in a sink and dries fast,” she says.

Woodward has worn her INKnBURN gear for a variety of training runs and races, but it’s the places she’s taken her InB that’s the most inspiring. Check out some of Woodward’s great photos below.

Woodward wearing her Sugar Skull tee with Mt. Fitz Roy in the background. Argentina.
Woodward wearing her Sugar Skull tee with Mt. Fitz Roy in the background. Argentina.

“My favorite trip thus far was my recent trip to Patagonia (the Southern tip of Argentina & Chile).  It’s absolutely beautiful there.  The scenery often looked like something out of a painting.  Too beautiful to be real.  And the W-Trek in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile was a top bucket list item that I’d been dying to do since I first learned about it.  It definitely lived up to my expectations.”

Woodward on a reverse canyoning expedition outside of Quito, Ecuador.
Woodward on a reverse canyoning expedition outside of Quito, Ecuador.

“The benefits of travel are infinite and cannot be fully described in words, but I do know it has made me: more independent, more tolerant, more appreciative, more joyful, less fearful, and a better problem solver.”

Woodward and her boyfriend at Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon, Arizona.
Woodward and her boyfriend at Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

” My philosophy for personal travel/vacations is that I do not want to go sit on a beach during my time off.  Right now, while I’m young, I value extremely active vacations.  I want to save those beach vacations for later in life when I have just exhausted myself with climbing mountains (or even better…hopefully I’m still climbing mountains)!”

On the W-Trek in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile.
On the W-Trek in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile.

“I travel A LOT (within the US, including Alaska and Hawaii) for work.  To many work travel becomes tedious and tiring, but I love it.  I get bored if I am forced to sit at a desk in the same place for too long.  When traveling for work I think it’s easy and comfortable to just want to stay in your hotel room, but I really make an effort to get out and explore the city I am in.  I try to eat at local, non-chain restaurants.  And I have found walking/running is the best way to explore new places.”

Woodward enjoying all that Argentina has to offer.
Woodward enjoying all that Argentina has to offer.

“Each time I travel to a new place, my bucket list only gets longer.  I meet new people with amazing stories of places I have never heard of.  These places slowly turn to obsessions until I can see them for myself. Next on my bucket list, the South Island of New Zealand and Nepal.”

Looking for a great travel company?  Check out: ActiveAdventures.com  Kristy has gone on several amazing trips with this group and highly recommends them!

You can check out more of Woodward wearing INKnBURN in cool places on her instagram, @thisoneshortlife  

Written by Jade Belzberg

INKnBURN Ambassador Profile: Laurie Nakauchi

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Name: Laurie Nakauchi

Age: 44

Hometown: Arvada, CO

Day Job: Kindergarten & First Grade Teacher

INKNBURN Ambassador Laurie Nakauchi
INKNBURN Ambassador Laurie Nakauchi

“When you run 100 miles, every extra bit of pep makes a huge difference,” says Nakauchi, who has been running for more than 30 years, with 20 of those being dedicated to marathons and ultras.
“These past five months I’ve been running almost exclusively in INKnBURN apparel. There’ s something completely energizing about clothing that makes you stand out, even after running through mud and dirt.”

Nakauchi was introduced to INKnBURN through her fiancé, Kurt. He gave her the Cherry Blossom Skirt and Camisole and, as she says, “got me hooked.” Since then, Nakauchi has acquired a wide variety of InB gear, including those with one of her favorite designs: Dragonfly.
“It symbolizes power, agility and luck,” she explains. “And 11 years ago, when I ran the Colorado Trail with my two friends, Maria and Beth, I first saw the dragonfly print on Maria’s shirt. I remember wanting that shirt, but I couldn’t find the dragonfly design until I discovered INKnBURN.” Nakauchi wore her Dragonfly Skirt and Tank Top during the Zion Traverse and, she says, “it was a constant reminder of inner strength.”

While INKnBURN acts as a reminder of Nakauchi’s strength, running is her way of finding balance in her life. “When I run with friends, it’s my time to socialize and challenge myself. When I run alone, it’s like meditation, sightseeing and fitness all in one,” she explains.
Nakauchi has run races in Alaska, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Wyoming and will soon be turning back to her home state for her 10th time running the Leadville 100. “Leadville was my first 100-mile race and I never imagined I’d be doing it 10 times. I’m excited to earn my 1,000-mile silver buckle,” she says. We can’t wait, either!

You can find Laurie Nakauchi’s favorite items here:

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Women’s Dragonfly Sport Skirt

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Women’s Dragonfly Tank Top

Written by Jade Belzberg

INKnBURN Ambassador Profile: Melissa Fryback

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Name: Melissa Fryback
Age: 43

Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon

Day Job: Retail Strategist/Customer Experience Designer/Mom

INKBURN Ambassador Melissa Fryback wearing her Wave Tech Tee
INKBURN Ambassador Melissa Fryback wearing her Wave Tech Tee

“I love it when people do a double-take when I’m running,” says Fryback, referring to her INKnBURN True Blue Denim Capris. “I can’t tell you how many times I’m told that I’m crazy for running in jeans!”

Fryback is no stranger to the double-takes or running. As an INKnBURN Ambassador for what she says are “two happy years!” the 43-year-old mother of two participates in a wide range of running pursuits, from 5Ks, 10Ks, countless half-marathons, relays and 15 marathons, including the Boston Marathon, twice.

Fryback has been running for 10 years and, she says, “my entire life has changed because of it–relationships, social life, career, emotional well-being, spirituality and health.” While these personal benefits are admirable, Fryback believes her ability to exemplify the “never give up” attitude to her children is the best side affect. This same relentlessness that Fryback demonstrates in her running is also found on one of her favorite INKnBURN designs: the Wave.

“Not only is the design special because of the iconic Japanese image,” she says, mentioning that she attended high school and university in Japan, “but it also represents the strength and resilience of the Japanese people following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.” Fryback’s fondness for Japan and its culture is also what drew her to INKnBURN in the first place. “I think someone tagged me on Facebook,” she says, “suggesting that I’d like their gear because of the Asian-influenced designs.” Luckily, for both Fryback and Ink n Burn, they were right!

You can find Melissa Fryback’s favorite INKnBURN apparel here:

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Women’s True Blue INB Performance Denim Capris

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Women’s Wave Tech Shirt

Written by Jade Belzberg