While some might classify it as torture, for many running is a route to freedom and peace of mind. Yes, it can be physically grueling, but there's something about running that captures people around the world, including right here in Park City where local running culture thrives off the seemingly endless network of trails and numerous race series. That's why sports audio and technology pioneer Jaybird, headquartered right here in town, didn't have to look far when they set out to explore the intersections of running and sound through film. Together with the help of the award-winning Camp4 Collective (owned by Park City resident Renan Ozturk) Jaybird is taking us all along for the ride in the ongoing series “Run Wild."
This ambitious film project features two elite runners, Rory Bosio, two-time winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and Knox Robinson, a New York City-based runner, writer and coach. While hitting the trail in far flung destinations, from the city streets of New York and London to the famed Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France, and lesser known trails of Mount Hiei in Japan, the pair will tap into local running communities to discover how running culture and music come together from a global perspective, with the intended purpose of "exposing the rich, under-promoted, underground aspects of running culture."
Jaybird has already released the first installment, titled Breathe (watch here), of the "Run Wild" series. Shot right here in Park City, it centers on Jaybird's elite athlete camp where Dr. Andy Walshe, a globally recognized leader and expert in the field of elite human performance, put the athletes through rigorous mental and physical tasks (among them a surprise ice bath in the snowy outdoors and a grizzly bear encounter!) designed to push them beyond their limits and unlock the power of breathing. More episodes of "Run Wild" will be released between now and the end of the year and can viewed on jaybirdsport.com.
To find out a bit more about the project and how it came about, we chatted with Jaybird President Jamie Parker shortly after the release of the first episode.
What inspired this project?
We came up with "Run Wild" to capture different vantage points of why people love running and where running is going. It began as an internal conversation with out athletes and unanimously, for them, traveling the world and meeting people was the the most privileged thing about being part of the running community. That was really the genesis for trying to capture a variety of destinations to learn why people love running in that part of the world. The idea of adding sound in came in early, especially given our brand, and the connection between sport and music is obvious.
Why did you choose athletes Rory Bosio and Knox Robinson?
In addition to being part of the Jaybird family, Knox and Rory have complementary perspectives for this project. Both are very passionate about understanding new cultures and traveling, but have different backgrounds in the sport. Knox is into the city running and is already connected to the stories and players we wanted to tell in the cities, while Rory is a clear focal point for outdoorsy and mountainous destinations with her trail running experience and accolades.
Why did you choose to work with Camp4 Collective and what did they bring to the project?
They were the obvious and first choice. First, Tim Kemple, one of the directors, is a longtime friend and ambassador of our brand. Their team has such a wealth of experience working in the outdoors and providing an authentic perspective for that lifestyle, it was just a natural fit.
How long did it take the project to get off the ground?
The conversation happened six weeks before what ended up being the first chapter, just ahead of the first athlete camp in Park City. We decided to film the camp and the rest came together really quickly with the idea continuing to grow and build as we moved forward.
The camp involved some really strange tests, like the grizzly bear. Why?
This was our first athlete camp for high performance in Park City and Dr. Andy Walshe ran it. Lots of brands offer support for building peak performance, but we were looking for a unique approach that provides a more holistic experience to improve performance. Science is a big part, but breathing and stress management is also very important. The tests were designed scientifically, but meant to put the athletes out of their comfort zone, so they can perform even when they are under high levels of stress. Things like the grizzly bear were easily the most memorable (and fun) parts of the camp based on feedback from the athletes.
What are the plans for the long form film and can we expect a screening in Park City when it's completed?
The short episodes will be released in a monthly cadence and the London installment is set for July 12. While we're filming them simultaneously, the long form film is a separate project, though it will be connected thematically with the shorts. For us, since we draw so much inspiration from Park City, the idea of starting and ending here is really important to us. Nothing is certain yet, but we would love to share the work with the community in a more public venue.