Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Newton Running Receiving $20M Investment from Fireman Partners

Posted by on Friday, June 10, 2011 @ 2:55 pm | 3 Replies

 

Paul Fireman bought Reebok’s North American sales rights in 1979, then capitalized on the ’80s aerobics craze to build a mega-brand. (Boston Globe/File)

The rumors are true! Newton Running just signed a deal to receive a substantial investment from a Boston-based investment firm, Fireman Capital Partners.

“Combining FCP’s expertise in sales and marketing with our innovative technology will allows us to continue our rapid growth and maintain our position as the leader in natural running footwear and education,” says Newton Running CEO Jerry Lee, who retains a controlling interest in the company.

Read more about this new partnership in this article published in today’s Boston Globe.

 

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Broomball Night in Boulder

Posted by on Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 10:12 am | Leave a reply

Broom 004 Last night, the ice rink across the street from Newton Running HQ was the scene of a fun yet “fierce” broomball tournament to raise money for Boulder Community Food Share, Boulder County’s food bank.

Newton Running won the first round easily, beating their rival, real-estate firm WW Reynolds, 4 to 1, thanks in large part to the great goal-tending skills of Newton Running Regional Account Manager Tim McCulley, and the stick-handling skills of hockey star Hawk Wathen, the man who keeps the shoes moving out of the warehouse.

Newton fell in the title round to a bunch of smack-talking pros, but a good time was had by the rookies, and more importantly, no one incurred any injuries that would interfere with today’s run!

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Newton Retail Summit Recap

Posted by on Friday, August 13, 2010 @ 11:25 am | 5 Replies

If you happened to be around Pearl Street in Boulder at the beginning of this week, you probably noticed lots of neon green Newton bags on people’s shoulders. (A couple of people tweeted asking what was going on) Or perhaps you saw colorful armies of runners all wearing our new green or aqua trail shoes taking over the Boulder Creek bike path.

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Good looking group of runners!

At the start of this week around a hundred of Newton’s retailers descended on Boulder for three event-packed days. Amidst breakout sessions, form clinics, runs, and lunchtime discussions, the highlight of the week was definitely the Natural Running Industry Panel.

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The Panel included Irene Davis, Mark Cucuzzella, Danny Abshire, Zola Budd, Danny Dreyer, and Jay Dicharry and was moderated by Brian Metzler.

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Zola recounted her childhood where it was normal to walk barefoot to school, the mall, etc. She suggests keeping your kids out of shoes as long as possible so that their feet have time to develop correctly.

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The clinics involved plenty of barefoot drills on the track.

 

Thanks to all who attended this weeks events, it was even more of a success than we had hoped for!

 

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Newton Staff Spotlight: Erin Gehlsen

Posted by on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 @ 3:16 pm | 3 Replies

IMG_1273If you’ve ever called Newton Running’s customer service, there’s a good chance that you’ve talked to Erin Gehlsen. The next time you speak to her, offer your congratulations—at last weekend’s Colorado Marathon, running in the pink Universal Performance Racer, Erin posted a 3:39.27 marathon, a PR by over 45 minutes. This finish earned her a spot in the 2011 Boston Marathon (wearing the 2009 Motion All Weather)

Erin started running in high school, thanks in large part to her father Jeff. One day during a period that she calls her “out of shape” stage, her dad dragged her off the couch to go for a run. Though she felt winded and tired, the experience gave her the running bug. Her first marathon was three years ago in Chicago, where she ran with a group of friends to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Iowa.

In 2009 Erin joined Newton Running as an intern right after graduating from Iowa University. She quickly earned herself a full time job with her perennially upbeat nature, drive, and hard work. Today Erin manages the Newton Running wear test program and is a key member of the customer service and expo staff.

When asked to talk about what it is like to work for Newton, she flashes her signature smile. “It’s an amazing place and it’s like a family. Everyone works really hard, but everyone is so supportive.” She enjoys the fact that she is able to spend a lot of time with customers on an individual and personal level. “So often I’ll speak to people who call to tell me they just had a PR in the shoes or got rid of an injury. One of the best experiences is when I’m at an expo and someone I’ve helped on the phone introduces themselves and gives me a big hug!”

Outside of work, Erin likes to hike and snowboard, and she is an active member of the youth group at her church. So what’s next for Erin? Running the Chicago Marathon with her sister and father, and she will of course run Boston next spring. And then? “I don’t know…maybe a 50K?”

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Our First Retail Summit

Posted by on Thursday, August 20, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | 2 Replies

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Here we are, one year after beginning to sell through specialty running and multisport stores around the world. To celebrate this special milestone we hosted our top-performing retail accounts for the first ever Newton Retail Summit in Boulder, Colorado. Each morning began with group runs lead by some of our top pro athletes, including Josh Cox, Craig Alexander and Chris Legh, as well as form coaching from our co-founder Danny Abshire. We showed off the Newton Running Lab, presented Newton technology and held retailer feedback forums. During the general sessions a variety of running industry gurus shared their expertise, including injury prevention guru Mark Cucuzzella, M.D., four-time Olympian Lorraine Moller of The Lydiard Foundation and Brian Metzler of Running Times magazine. The highlight of the event was the debut of the Sir & Lady Isaac guidance trainer, with the entire group test driving the shoes in advance of the early September release. We look forward to making this an annual event!

Pictured above is the group just before a scenic run up Flagstaff Mountain.

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Newton Staffer Gets Wet on Colorado’s Clear Creek River

Posted by on Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 4:26 pm | 3 Replies

Yesterday, Newton’s queen of customer service, Tory Oakland, celebrated her birthday with a little whitewater rafting trip on Colorado’s Clear Creek. Of course, Tory wore her Newton Distance race shoes – I mean, the mesh upper drains water really quickly and the four actuator lugs on the outsole would provide terrific impact reduction from rocks in the river if you and the rest of the crew just happened to get tossed out of boat.

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Way to assume the whitewater float position and show off those fancy river shoes Tory (click photo to enlarge). Happy Birthday!

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Just Another Day at the Newton Office

Posted by on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 @ 8:15 am | 1 Reply

Here at Newton Running, we like to perform rigorous product testing. Last week, we were testing the stickiness of the rubber on our shoe outsoles.

Anne and Rich testing the grip on Newton's outsoles

Newton VP Anne and money man Rich testing the grip on Newton's outsoles.

(Ok, not really. We had a team building day at the office that ended with a rappel off the top of our building in downtown Boulder, CO. I guess this is what happens when your product development director is also a world-champion adventure racer).

Ian setting the rig for Erica and ???

Ian setting the rig for Newton's international/legal pro Erica and Newton's president, Stephen.

Ian and Danny - Newton's product design mad scientists

Ian and Danny - Newton's product designers/mad scientists

Newton co-founder Jerry Lee and ???

Newton co-founder Jerry Lee and warehouse king, Hawk

??? and Erica

Danny and Customer Service Queen, Tory

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Newton co-founder Jerry Lee Inducted into Business Hall of Fame

Posted by on Friday, May 1, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Leave a reply

The 2009 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame inductees. Jerry is front left. Photo Lewis Geyer/Times-Call

(The 2009 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame inductees. Jerry is front left. Photo: Lewis Geyer/Times-Call)

We’re incredibly proud of Newton’s co-founder and CEO, Jerry Lee, who was inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame yesterday. Over 400 people attended the event, which inducted seven new members who, “who exemplify business, cultural and philanthropic achievements that serve as the foundation of communities in the county.”

From the Boulder County Business Report:

Jerry Lee

For real estate developer/entrepreneur Jerry Lee, the first important fork in his road of life came when he chose take a job with W.W. Reynolds and move to Boulder from Illinois, leaving behind not only his parents, but 14 brothers and sisters as well.

“Our family is very close, so it was difficult,” he said.

Working as an accountant for the company, Lee took lessons in real estate development from his boss and mentor, William Reynolds, and was named company president in 1983. As a continuation of his partnership in real estate development with Reynolds, Lee created his own company, Lee Real Estate, in 2000.

In recent years, Lee took another road by assisting local entrepreneur Danny Abshire in designing and marketing a new athletic shoe. First marketed in 2007, the Newton is an ergonomic, lightweight running show that mimics barefoot running while providing greater cushioning on impact. The Newton is a culmination of Lee’s passion for running, which has led him to compete in 15 marathons.

Lee’s philanthropic work includes serving on numerous committees for the city of Boulder, including serving more than a decade on the Boulder Urban Renewal Board.

Today, Lee runs Lee Real Estate and serves as chief executive of Newton Running Company. He also continues to partner in real estate projects with Reynolds.

Lee lives in Boulder with his wife, Donna. The couple has two children.

“I believe in the old adage of treating people the way you want to be treated. It’s super important and has been a key to my career,” Lee said. “And in order to be successful, sometimes you have to find out the hard way that there are things you think you know – but you really don’t.”

Read more about the yesterday’s event on the Longmont Daily Times-Call website.

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M.I.T. Students Reinvent Running Shoe Lab Testing

Posted by on Monday, February 23, 2009 @ 1:18 pm | Leave a reply

Standardized shoe testingScience and innovation are cornerstones of our business at Newton Running. Over ten years ago, when Newton Running co-founder Danny Abshire first started testing radically different running shoe prototypes, he recognized  the importance of a quantitative, scientific results to prove Newton technology designs worked.

However, Danny soon learned that current lab testing is  antiquated and frustrating ‘science’ at best. For years now, the standardized running shoe lab test has consisted of a piston that hammers down on the heel of a shoe to test cushioning. There are numerous problems with this testing method, but first and most obviously, it only evaluates the heel – not very useful for Newton shoes, which focus technology in the forefoot of the shoe.

Enter: MIT graduate students.

For their 200 level engineering class, a team of MIT engineering students spent the last semester developing a new running shoe lab test. Here’s the abstract from their presentation:

“Current ASTM tests on running shoes are insufficient because they do not reliably capture the loads and displacements applied to shoes during running. This team will discuss a 3-axis machine that can be used to test running shoes that mimic’s natural running more accurately than conventional tests.

The design is comprised of a phantom foot that replicates the passive properties of a human foot and an actuated base that can impose the relevant kinematics to the running shoe. The shoe is mounted on motor to give a rotational degree of freedom. The shoe and the base are instrumented to measure force and displacement dynamically during the running cycle.

The machine can be calibrated to emulate different types of runners by adjusting the trajectories of the base. As a proof of concept we have collected force, displacement and energy data from the machine.”

Click here to watch a presentation of the innovative testing machine the students designed. We’re thoroughly impressed with the results that the test has yielded so far. The design is patent pending and we’re excited about the possibilities to use a machine like this for our future testing.

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