The reasons for the success of Tracksmith are many. I have observed them over the years and believe that they understand the classic running interest. Bill Rodgers is the Jack Nicklaus of running, always has, always will.
His BR clothing line sold well for some time, was licensed by his manufacturer, and during the 1990s, my company, American Track & Field magazine printed and delivered his catalog to his school track & cross country teams.
Tracksmith understands that runners want something special, and BR clothing by Tracksmith is a classic look and classic feel.
One would say that the use of one’s imagination is what keeps people going in everyday life.
With runners, imagination can lead to inspiration!
For a few years now, the folks at the running apparel company TRACKSMITH have without a doubt used this concept to help perpetuate successful sales of their many and diverse products.
Now they have upped it to include America’s Road Racing Legend.
In 1979, “Boston Billy Rodgers” was the most successful Marathoner in the world. Coming out of relative obscurity in 1975, then down to earth & workingman’s runner (known for his high mileage and strange nutritional approaches) had won multiple victories from distances of 5K up to the Marathon, setting many records along the way.
His personality and victories made many feel included with Rodgers, as though they were participating in it with him and indeed they were, as the first “Running Boom” of that era brought in thousands of runners of all abilities.
Rodgers capitalized on that era with a clothing line designed to help runners achieve their best as they pioneered many of the refinements found in the running clothing of the era, from silhouettes cut differently for men and women to materials selected with the marathon in mind.
Judging by the sales, the clothing line was immensely popular, as quite a few runners could no doubt be inspired by wearing them and toeing the line, whether at a local neighborhood road race or the Boston & NYC Marathons.
In 1979, Rodgers, competing in his trademark running apparel, was a marked man, as the best in the world tried to take him on on his home turfs of Boston and New York, where he had already won 3 titles each. Rodgers didn’t let anyone down in the 1979 editions, as he chased down front runners in both races and continued to inspire as he won both of these races once again.
Bill Rodgers 1979 Boston Marathon Link –
Bill Rodgers 1979 NYC Marathon Link –
We have not seen the likes of Rodgers’ performances since.
But that doesn’t mean one cannot still be inspired by them!
Tracksmith recently released “The Bill Rodgers Collection” and as it says on their website –
“The Tracksmith Bill Rodgers Collection builds on these innovations and celebrates the spirit of Bill’s Boston heyday, an era in which running was as fun as it was fast.”
In classic 1979 style, the products are replete with that classic BR singlet, shorts, jacket, Winter Hat (!) and Gloves, personifying the legacy of Rodgers and the time!
To use one’s imagination and to be inspired by Rodgers’ performances can still resonate today, whether one remembers vividly those days in 1979 or were to young to have experienced it. It also doesn’t matter if one is looking to break 2:30 or 4 hours for the 26.2 Mile distance either, as Rodgers was (and is to this day) all inclusive of runners of all abilities.
Yet when using one’s imagination, wearing this apparel can lead many to remember those days in Boston toeing the line at Hopkinton against Toshihiko Seko, or trying to catch Kirk Peffer in Central Park.
For the younger runners out there, imagination and inspiration can happen for them as well, as they can feel what it’s like when American Marathoners truly dominated, an era which the youth now hold in their hands and feet!