Who do we look to in our running community for advice on what gear to use? We look to our elite athletes, our friends whose opinion we trust, ambassadors of the brands... But who knows the products better than anyone? The employees! So we thought we would highlight a few of our staff favorites and the reasons why. You can comment with questions below. What is your favorite NATHAN product?
Name: Greg Brantner
Position at United Sports Brands: Marketing Manager
Years at the company: 3
Years running: 23
Favorite distance: 25k
Favorite surface: Trails
Go-to NATHAN product: Zephyr 300 Runners’ Flashlight
Why: I love the control you have with a handheld lighting option – the ability to check for animal night eyes without getting whiplash. If there’s not a full moon, I’ll sometimes bring a Neutron RX headlamp for additional light.
Featured photo: Greg shows his NATHAN pride at Lake Tahoe. Photo by: Sablle Scheppmann
Name: Jim Frazier
Position at United Sports Brands: VP of Product
Years at the company: 6
Years running: 43
Favorite distance: Everything up 50K
Favorite surface: Packed Snow & Dirt Roads
Go-to NATHAN product: Insulated Peak
Why: You don’t even know that it is with you when run and it carries just the right amount of gear, fuel and hydration that I need for most of my runs and races. Plus, the insulated flask keeps my hydration either warm or cold depending on the season.
Jim Frazier kicking butt and taking names.
Name: Erin Hunt
Position at USB: Customer Service-East Coast Nathan retailers
Years at the company: it’ll be 1 in January (Editor's note: She was a NATHAN Pro at her local run shop in MI)
Years running: I “ran track” in middle/high school, but I didn’t start enjoying it until about 6 years ago
Favorite distance: 50 mile as of a couple of weeks ago!
Favorite surface: Trails, preferably ones with lots of shade
Go-to NATHAN product: VaporKrar Waist Belt
Why: Lightweight, tons of storage, and super comfortable
Sablle Scheppmann and Erin Hunt: pacer and runner have some fun!
Name: Sablle Scheppmann
Position at United Sports Brands: Western Regional Sales Manager
Years at the company: going on 4
Years running: 15
Favorite distance: 50k
Favorite surface: Trail/Mountains- more specially Marin Headlands or Tahoe! There is also a really cool trail system by me called Skeggs point that is fun to mountain bike and run.
Go-to NATHAN product: VaporHowe 4L
Why: You can make it as lightweight or as beefed up as you want it to depending the distance! It fits like a glove and has no chaffing and lastly- who doesn’t love trying to emulate Steph!? I mean come on!
Name: Clarke Babcock
Position at United Sports Brands: NATHAN Tech Rep, West Region
Years at the company: 1.5
Years running: 8
Favorite distance: 15-30k in execution, 26.2m-50k in my brain
Favorite surface: dirt. The muddier the better
Go-to NATHAN product: VaporKrar 4L
Why: I like getting being hands-free. I love bombing down hills, and I use my arms a lot to balance and say I’m “using my wings” because I always feel like I’m flapping my hands around a lot. I also currently don’t run quite long enough to justify a higher capacity pack, so I can put a bladder in the 4L and have enough storage, water, and calories for everything I’d need. Bonus reason: It comfortably allows me to revisit one of my childhood passions- climbing trees.
Clarke loves trees.
Name: Cole "Kami-Crosby"
Position at United Sports Brands: NATHAN Tech Rep Eastern Region
Years at company : 2
Years running: 20
Favorite Distance: 50 miles!
Favorite Surface: Grass & Roots
Go-to Nathan Product: VaporKrar 12L
Why: I love the versatility of having on a running vest and the 12 L has become my go-to training vest. I can throw all of my Essentials in there: (Hydration, gels, hotel key, car key, wallet for shopping, and even something like baby wolverines that I find out on the trails). As one of our lightest running vests out there, this is a must-have product! Light enough for the short runs around town and rugged for the most grueling mountain ultra marathons!
Cole doing what he loves.
Name: Chris Miller
Position at United Sports Brands: Director of Sales
Years at the company: 10 years with USB, 2 years with Nathan
Years running: Off and on for 15 years, but on right now!
Favorite distance: 15-20k
Favorite surface: Trails!
Go-to NATHAN product: SpeedDraw Plus Insulated
Why: Living in Arizona, a trusty handheld is an absolute must-have, even during the cooler winter months. The 18oz capacity of the SpeedDraw Plus is ideal for most runs, and the zippered pocket allows me to easily carry gels, keys, etc. When additional water is needed, I can double-fist the handhelds. Also, the SpeedDraw Plus provides ample hand protection when I take a spill on the trails (often).
Chris finishes like its NBD.
Name: Diana '#RunDMZ' Martinez
Position at United Sports Brands: Social Media Specialist
Years at the company: 1.5
Years running: 3ish [First half at the end of October and then *fingers-crossed* onto the LA Marathon!]
Favorite distance: 10k
Favorite surface: Road. It allows me to scout my neighborhood's fruit trees to forage during my post-run cooldowns.
Go-to NATHAN product: All the reflective gear!
Why: During the week, I do most of my running either after work or at night with BlacklistLA- whose Monday Night Art Runs don't kick-off until 10 PM(!!). And since I'm running through pretty active streets and neighborhoods, I have to take extra precaution to be seen. I make sure to always keep my Bandolier Vest and few StrobeLights in my run bag. I might look obnoxious, but that's the goal! And thankfully my accident-free run-streak is solid.
Diana does her thing! Photo Cred: Hans Meckler / Delia Guarneros (BlacklistLA)
Name: Maggie Guterl aka Maggatron
Position at United Sports Brands: NATHAN Marketing Coordinator/Athlete Team Manager
Years at the company: 2.5
Years running: 10
Favorite distance: 100 miles
Favorite surface: Any trail, preferably with epic views
Go-to NATHAN product: Neutron Fire Headlamp
Why: Good things come in small packages. This super small headlamp is perfect for my early, pre-dawn runs. Daylight comes at some point and then I can easliy just stash the Neutron in my pocket. I also keep one near the door for taking the dog out at night. That way I have my hands free for cleaning up poop!
Perfect headlamp for a predawn race start! PC: Myke Hermsmeyer courtesy of Trail Racing Over Texas
Name: Jeff (Fun Governor) Burnett
Position at United Sports: Vice President Operations
Years at the Company: 11.5 years…12 in February…my how time flies and things change!
Years Running: 13
Favorite Distance: Half Marathon…aspiring to say Marathon
Favorite Surface: Asphalt Trail or Road
Go-to NATHAN Product: ExoShot / VaporKrar 4L; McDavid 10K Runners Socks
Why: Depending on the distance I go ExoShot or VaporKar 4L for my hydration. I love the soft flask and the way it reduces the sloshing feeling as the water level reduces. I don’t run without my McDavid 10K Runners Socks. For me it started as just in cold weather but has become a go-to year-round product for me as a way to help my legs warm up, run and cool down.
The "Fun Governor" before some real fun at the Chicago Marathon.