Q&A with Run Gum Co-Founder and Two-Time Olympian Nick Symmonds

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Run Gum, the caffeine energy gum, is now available through Running Warehouse! As a way to learn more about this invigorating new product as well as one of the stars of US Track and Field, we sat down with Run Gum Co-Founder and professional athlete Nick Symmonds for a quick Q&A.

What is your favorite flavor of Run Gum?

I like them all, but I would say I typically reach for cinnamon.

Do you have a favorite customer testimonial or personal story about Run Gum?

My all time favorite story came from one of our ambassadors. She was a pacer for her local marathon trying to help a group of women get their Boston Marathon qualifiers. One of her athletes was on pace but started hitting the wall at mile 22. Our ambassador offered the struggling runner a pack of Run Gum. Through the help of Run Gum’s proprietary energy blend (and a lot of mental resiliency!) that runner went on to achieve her dream of running the Boston Marathon.

When did you first have the idea for Run Gum?

To get energized for training, races, and work, I was drinking a lot of energy drinks in my twenties. I loved the way they made me feel, but they tore my stomach apart. I didn’t understand why we (consumers) were being asked to drink a heavy, sugary, liquid to get our energy. I thought, “I WANT ENERGY, I’M NOT THIRSTY!” That’s when it hit me that we could take the active ingredients out of an energy drink and use chewing gum as the delivery vehicle to get the stimulants into the body more effectively.

Run Gum includes a number of ingredients other than caffeine. How did you choose what to include in Run Gum?

There are four functional ingredients in Run Gum. Our energy blend is comprised of caffeine, taurine, and b-vitamins. These are ingredients that are found in many energy drinks and they are ingredients that I wanted in me when I was competing at the highest level. The fourth functional ingredient is the gum base itself. Multiple studies have shown that just the act of chewing causes one to feel more alert. Not so with the act of drinking a liquid.

Who have you looked to for advice and inspiration in business?

My long time mentor and business partner, Sam Lapray, has taught me the most about business. However, over the course of the last decade I have had the privilege of getting to know many of the top investors and CEOs in the country. People I talk to regularly to get advice from include Josh Goldin (Founder, ACG Capital), Jeff Church (CEO, Suja) and John Legere (CEO, T-Mobile).

Run Gum is sponsoring a number of up-and-coming athletes. Other than directly supporting athletes, how do you see Run Gum developing and adapting as a company in the coming years with regards to both product and messaging?

From the very first day we launched Run Gum (Oct 14, 2014), our goal was two-fold: to fuel AND inspire people to make the most of their busy days. Athletes love our product and brand because it fuels and inspires them to get out the door and train. But our mission here at Run Gum is to fuel and inspire all people. From the exhausted nurse working a 48 hour shift to the office worker running into a meeting to make a presentation. Americans work HARD and sometimes we all need a little boost. At Run Gum, we understand that and it affects everything we do from formulation, to packaging and marketing.

Changing lanes, is this is really the last summer we get to watch Nick Symmonds burn down the home stretch?

Unfortunately, yes. My engine is as good as ever, but after 20 years on the track my left ankle is nearly shot. I just can’t run circles anymore! So unless everyone agrees to run 800s on the roads, then I’m afraid my track career is nearly complete.

How has your training been going thus far?

I tore a tendon in my knee back in January. That was a very frustrating injury as I had just announced that 2017 would be my final season. I rehabbed the knee and am 100% healthy now. I’m training at full mileage and hope to open up this last outdoor season in a few weeks.

Do you have any specific goals for this outdoor season?

I’m a pragmatist and never have been one to over or under promote my fitness. I’m in ok shape right now, but not the kind of shape it takes to make a World Team. My goal today is to run a 1:47.5 before June 18 so I can race at the USATF Outdoor Championships one last time.

Can you share some of your goals for life after track, or are you focused on the season for now?

I am totally focused on the outdoor season at the moment, but I have some BIG goals for the fall and for life after pro running. I typically release all of my big announcements via my blog at RunGum.com. If you want to be the first to hear the news, go to RunGum.com and sign up to receive emails.

Looking back at your running career thus far, are there any lessons or insights that racing and training have given you that you think younger athletes or non-athletes would benefit from knowing?

Those kinds of questions are always tough for me because most of the time I would encourage my younger self, and/or other young athletes, to stop stressing so much and just enjoy the ride. However, being tough on myself and working hard every day is what made me so successful. The reality is, to be great at anything takes a ton of hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance and sometimes those three things suck!

Thank you for your time. We wish you the best of luck in the upcoming season!

Thank YOU! Running Warehouse has done a tremendous job recognizing and adjusting to the general consumer trend towards e-commerce. Run Gum is extremely excited to be partnered with Running Warehouse.

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Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.

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