I can’t tell you how excited I am to announce that Oiselle has renewed and expanded our contract with elite runner and 2015 indoor track champ Lauren Wallace, who trains with Drew Wartenburg’s standout group, the NorCal Distance Project in Sacramento.
We first met Lauren and the NorCal group at the 2013 USA Outdoors in Des Moines. The epic year of team-building, fan-girling, and swassing it in the stands.
It was our first year of “signing” athletes (following Fleshman’s on-boarding in January), which probably explains my awkward arm position in this pic (someone needed to tell me that “elbows out” was for the track). But as you can see, Lauren was a natural, and when she said she also spoke French, well, bien sur! It was a match.
Since then, it has been such an honor to see Lauren continue to evolve as a competitor. I got to watch her in January 2014, light up the Dempsey here in Seattle. And then I got to see her again at Payton Jordan and USA Outdoors in Sacramento where she PR’d in the 800 – in the broiling heat of her hometown!
The most exciting race in memory, however, has to be her recent win of the 1000m at the USA Indoor Track Champs where she snuck up on the front pack on the inside lane and surprised everyone, including herself. It was such a pure show of finishing strength and internal confidence – it was truly beautiful. Never, ever give up!
So I’m incredibly happy that we’re able to continue this journey together. And by “we,” I mean everyone at The Nest, but also and especially Kristin Metcalf and Bob Lesko who are the leaders of our athlete team.
When I caught up with Lauren this past week, I asked what the highlights have been for her this past +1.5 years and she said:
- Having USAs in Sacramento was exhilarating. I grew up in Northern California and a lot of my family still lives in the area. Combining the world of track and field with those closest to me was something entirely new and exciting. I PR’d in the 800m and finished 11th overall. Although I didn’t make the final, the experience was priceless.
- Racing in Europe for the first time. I learned so much and met so many great people. I came away with two wins of the three races I competed in.
- Altitude camp in October. Altitude gave me a new found respect for oxygen and running in the mountains. It laid down the ground work for my indoor season and set me up to PR in the 5k at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.
- Winning USA indoors. My season didn’t play out entirely how we had planned. We adapted, changed some things around and in the end, everything worked out in our favor.
Onward and upward! Thank you for believing in us, Lauren. We are your biggest fans, and will be there cheering -- loud and proud!