A Warm Goodbye from Steph Bruce
It has been Oiselle’s absolute honor to sponsor Stephanie Rothstein Bruce since 2014. From her refreshing openness regarding her running (and momming) to her passion and involvement with our team, Steph has been a fantastic role model for all of us. We know Steph will continue to inspire and fly, and will always be part of our run family! We love you, Steph!
For the last 3 years of my professional running career, I have been fortunate to be part of 2 companies, 2 families. Oiselle and Hoka One One. I say fortunate because it is atypical to have 2 main running sponsors paying you very well. Both of these brands supported me 100% through a situation that is not very common in our sport. After I gave birth to my 1st son Riley, I signed with Oiselle with their belief that I could come back from pregnancy and return to competitive training and racing. Bob and Sarah Lesko supported me in a way that allowed me to not rush back, avoid getting hurt, and provide me with the time I needed. Shortly after, I began working with Ben Rosario as he guided me week by week in my post partum comeback. He was beginning to form a group of professional distance runners alongside his wife Jen, out of their own pockets. He had faith in each person he brought on the team, and within a short time, the team starting winning cross country titles and running huge PRs. HOKA ONE ONE came on and signed our group and thus Hoka Northern Arizona Elite was born in Flagstaff, AZ.
If you followed my career you'll know that as I was making my way back to fitness in 2015, we got a little surprise. I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd son Hudson. At a time when athletes were either not stopping their careers to have babies, or penalized for getting pregnant in the running world, both Oiselle and Hoka said "congrats once again" and "we can't wait for your return after baby #2". I have come to know and love both brands, beyond just the shoes on my feet and the singlet on my chest. Yet I have hit a cross roads and a choice was always on the horizon.
Starting in 2018, I will be partnering with HOKA ONE ONE as my exclusive footwear and apparel sponsor. I am grateful that for the last three years I have been able to represent two awesome companies, HOKA and Oiselle, in what was a unique situation. Once HOKA launched its apparel line, however, that situation was no longer viable. And since HOKA sponsors my team, it made the most sense for me to remain in my current training environment and with my current training partners. I am excited to begin wearing the HOKA NAZ Elite kit in races and HOKA apparel for all of my training and grateful for HOKA's support. I hope all that makes sense; I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't stay on the transparent course I've always committed to and share my decision with you.
I want to thank Sally and the Leskos. The last time we were together we shared a big hug and tears as they told me good luck and that they would always be superfan-ing me. Thank you to Heather, Meg Murray, Sarah Mac, Katie G, Lauren, Kara, all the crazy cowbellers, and all the Oiselle fans who have cheered and supported me so passionately and loudly over the last few years. It truly made a difference. I hope I gave back just a fraction of what you gave and left a piece of me with all of you.
Here's to a new and exciting chapter with the Hoka Team, coach Ben, and my NAZ Elite squad.