The Wigwam Blog

Find stories from our athletes, our customers, our athletes and the latest from Wigwam HQ!

 

We’re headed back to Colorado for the next event in the Endurance Race Series! On Saturday, August 9th, runners will flock to Beaver Creek, hitting the trails for either a 10k or half marathon course. Participants should expect a more challenging route than the Keystone, CO event in July (endurance officials rate Beaver Creek an 8 out of 10 in terms of difficulty), but the course promises equally scenic views.

The Route Through Beaver CreekBeaver Creek Scenery

The race begins in the middle of stunning Beaver Creek, a town that boasts fantastic potential for outdoor adventure. The race route is a circuit that, when completed, makes a boomerang shape. Runners first head east and navigate through the trees along the base of the surrounding mountains. After about a mile, the trail leads deeper into a forest and the elevation continually rises. On the way, runners will get sporadic breathtaking views of the town between the trees. Several miles in, the trail shifts back south, heading deep into the forest for a steady climb alongside the mountains.

Getting to the Finish Line

The 10k finishes with a big downhill stretch back into the heart of the town. The half marathoners will circle back to run that route once more, then complete an additional leg through the streets of Beaver Creek Village. Both routes include about 80% single track and 20% dirt road. The half marathon route has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet, the 10k has 700; both promise unforgettable views to get you to the finish line.

Come Out and Cheer

Each event in the Endurance Race Series is family-friendly. At Beaver Creek, there is even a kids race that starts at 10am. Bring everyone out for a fun-filled day to participate or cheer on these amazing athletes. Wigwam will be there too, so make sure to stop by our booth and check out our latest trail running styles. We’re excited to see you there!

Written by Wigwam at 12:30

 

Looking for a trail race event fit for the entire family? The Endurance Race Series is Colorado’s largest trail racing series and offers some of the most scenic mountain views. It has caught the attention of runners, athletes and nature lovers of all skill levels. On July 19th, Keystone will host the next event in the series, offering Half Marathon, 10k and 5k options!

Keystone Endurance Race Series

What to Expect at Keystone

Athletes will gather by picturesque Lake Keystone, a beautiful body of water tucked away between pine-covered mountains in the quaint ski resort town of Keystone, Colorado. It’s a wonderful environment to set your mind free and let your legs carry you around the lollipop-shaped course.  The series rates Keystone as a level 5 difficulty (on a scale of 1 to 10) with approximately 50% of the trail being bike path and 50% being single track. Half marathoners will complete two loops of the 10k course, with both uphill and downhill stretches included. Participants will get to run along the river, through the scenic Keystone Golf Course and under winding trees. For more information on Keystone, click here

The Endurance Race Series

If the weekend of July 19th looks a little busy, no worries! The Colorado Endurance Race Series offers nine different events throughout the year, ranging from April to October. At all events, runners can expect a variety of distance options, diligent course support and kid-friendly races. The beautiful Colorado landscape also offers stunning spots for post-race festivities, which include music, raffles, great local food and refreshments.

A Glimpse of the Action

The Endurance Race Series promises well-organized events which have proven time and time again to provide runners with a refreshing, competitive and authentic day in nature. You don’t have to take our word for it either, watch a snapshot from the 2013 series.

Keystone Endurance Race Runners 

Stop By and Say Hi!

Wigwam will be at several Endurance Race events this summer, including Keystone on July 19th. Be sure to stop by our booth where we’ll be demoing our latest trail running styles. We can’t wait to celebrate with participants and their families at the finish line!

Written by Wigwam at 14:00

The Salvation Ride
Wigwam Socks and The Salvation Army of Sheboygan have joined forces to organize the first annual Salvation Ride, a charitable bike ride taking place on July 12th. Philanthropy has always been at the heart of Wigwam, and it was Wigwam's forecast analyst, Bob Radzins, who had the original vision for the Salvation Ride. As a new Salvation Army board member and an avid cyclist, Bob decided to combine his drive for giving back with his passion for being active. Together, the two organizations have built a new kind of charity event that everyone in the community will enjoy.

Want to Ride?
The pedals will be turning July 12th so be sure to register you or your group here! All levels are welcome as Salvation Ride participants have the option to choose a 10, 25, 50, 62.5 or 100-mile ride. “We hope to attract hundreds of riders, including individuals, teams and families,” remarks Radzins. “The ride will include rest stops along the course, a sag wagon to pick up riders that are tired or who have experienced equipment problems, and a big post-ride meal.” Additionally, participants will receive a free pair of Wigwam socks! The five marked bike routes are carefully mapped out and clearly labeled to make for a fun, safe day.

What We Are Supporting
Since December 5, 1895, The Salvation Army has been serving the greater Sheboygan area. In 2013 alone, The Sheboygan Area Salvation Army’s 45-bed Emergency Lodge provided 14,216 nights of shelter to the homeless and the food pantry distributed 10,872 bags of food. The free clinic, which offers medical, dental and vision care, served 953 individuals with 1,182 medical tests and prescriptions given. The Salvation Army serves those who are in serious need and budget their services thoughtfully and efficiently.

The need for all of these services continues to grow rapidly, but the revenue to fund these programs continues to get harder to secure. Recognizing this, we have come up with a fun, community building way to gain a new revenue stream, a charity bike ride.” – Sheboygan Area Salvation Army

Come out and join us!Biking Wisconsin
The Wigwam team is proud to be the primary sponsor of the first Salvation Ride. With your help and participation, we’ll make this a success story and another timeless Sheboygan tradition. Grab your friends and families or organize a corporate group for a fun, community-charged day that will leave you feeling fit and fulfilled. To register or donate, click here.  Also, check out www.thesalvationride.org for more details and Like their page on Facebook!

Written by Wigwam at 11:00

The American Dream Lives On

 

From the BeginningHand Knit Hosiery Company 1909

In 1905, three men opened a factory in Sheboygan, Wisconsin called Hand Knit Hoisery Company. The company was created to knit high quality wool socks and headwear for hunters, lumberman and residents of the chilly Midwest. Founders Herbert Chesebro, Robert Ehany and Lawrence Bentz had no way of knowing the humble company they started would eventually become a major name in activewear, across America and around the world.

The Evolution

In 1924, Herbert’s son Robert Chesebro Sr. entered the business at the young age of 21. About a decade later, he took the helm as President and brought the company under the sole ownership of the Chesebro family. Robert’s vision made it the family-run operation we know today.

Robert Chesebro Sr. brought several new ideas to Hand Knit Hosiery Company and ensured it adapted well with the times. Under his supervision in the 1930s, he saw that Hand Knit Hosiery start focusing on products solely of its own manufacturing. In 1945, under the War Production Order, he obliged to produce goods exclusively for the military. A decade later, he made a bold decision spurring another change - a name change.

Wigwam Mills, Inc.Robert And Herbert Chesebro

From the very beginning, Herbert Chesebro wanted the company to evolve with its customers. In 1957, Robert Chesebro Sr. took that concept one step further with his official company announcement. Robert reflected, “It has been thrilling and gratifying to watch the popularity of our product grow to a point where its trademark –WIGWAM– has become the symbol of comfort and quality in socks for every sport.

After half a century in business, the Chesebro family welcomed the fact that their Wigwam sock line had become their colloquial namesake. They adopted the name Wigwam and officially changed their corporate name to Wigwam Mills, Inc. Robert closed his announcement in true Midwest fashion assuring their customers, “Only our name changes. Our people, our quality, our sales policies - and above all, our desire to work with you – remain the same.”

Wigwam Today

Wigwam remains in the Chesebro family today, under the leadership of Bob Chesebro (Robert Chesebro Jr). Serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board, Bob has continued to strengthen Wigwam's commitment to American manufacturing. The company prides itself on sourcing wool almost exclusively from American yarn spinners, who buy from American wool growers. Wigwam’s Made in the USA promise is engrained in their history and today every package of Wigwam Socks proudly boasts a Made in the USA emblem.

Making Footwear a TechnologyWigwam Ultimax 1990S

Now, the name of the game is technology. Not only is Wigwam’s factory in Sheboygan working to embrace green efficiencies, but their socks continue to evolve in fiber and fabric as well. Wigwam was one of the first companies to utilize DuPont nylon in the 1940s to make stretch socks and they continue to pioneer the athletic industry. In the 1990s, they patented their ULTIMAX® technology, revolutionizing moisture management in footwear. Today, the majority of Wigwam sport socks, including those licensed under the IRONMAN® name, utilize ULTIMAX® technology.

Almost 110 years after its founding, Wigwam socks support some of the premier adventure athletes around the world. Just this year, Wigwam has gone to the North Pole on the feet of Polar Explorer Eric Larsen and to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games on the feet of ice climber Gordon McArthur. From its humble beginnings in Wisconsin, to a brand with global appeal, Wigwam is proud to be celebrating its 110th anniversary next year and remaining part of the American Dream that began 238 years ago.

 

Wigwam Employees on Wigwam…

The Wigwam family culture is ever present in all of its employees and it makes work that much more rewarding.” - Margaret (Chesebro) Newhard,Director of Product Management, Web and E-Commerce

I continue to be inspired by the drive for quality and pride in their jobs that our employees exhibit everyday.” - Jerry L Vogel, President & COO

It’s the kind of company, where you get to know everyone, and when you see them in the community you can say hi. They’re more than a face.” - Chris Chesebro, Director of Operations 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Wigwam at 15:42

Her Next Feat is Truly "Marvelous"

 

Life at the moment seems to be on the fast forward button—everything is happening so quickly that sometimes I feel as though I won’t be able to catch up with myself!

I’m building up to the biggest challenge of my running career: A 2,350km run along the Freedom Trail in South Africa over 32 days. So, perhaps you can understand why my life is moving at such a fast pace!

The Physical Toll of Being an Ultra RunnerMarvelous Mimi

In January of this year, I took part in a 268 mile non-stop race along the length of the Pennine Way National Trail in England where I unfortunately got my foot caught between two slabs causing my knee to go the wrong way—OUCH! 150 miles later I pulled myself out of the race, feeling positive and strong, but it would have been stupid for me to have continued.  Unfortunately, the injury meant I wasn’t able to run for at least two months and even when I was given the go ahead to start training it was still causing me issues.

Thankfully, all that is behind me now and training has been going well.  But I hear you ask, how do you train for such a huge event?

Foremost, my World Records and previous long distances races have helped enormously, giving me a very good base line to work from and I know that my body, with the right training, is capable of achieving a lot more than I give it credit for. 

Over the last few months my distances have been slowly increasing, building up from running five sessions a week (two of which are 2-3 hours in length), to running six days a week, including three long sessions that are between 4-6 hours in duration, together with medium length, shorter but faster runs of 15 miles and some speed work.  My longer training runs give me a chance to experiment with different types of food as my tastes always change the longer the event—I tend to go off sweet things and crave salty foods.  My favorite foods at the moment are baby bell cheese and pepperoni (weird combination!).  Every four weeks I enjoy a recovery week; this gives my body time to recuperate both physically and mentally for the next hard cycle.

Most of my training tends to be done on my own, which can be a bit lonely on occasions, so you can imagine my delight when I joined a group of fellow runners doing 80 miles non-stop along the last section of the Pennine Way. I jumped at the chance, great training!

Mentally I feel I’m very strong because of all the other big events I have done. Before each race I spend time talking to people who have taken part in the race or something similar and look at photos to build a picture in my mind of what lies ahead.  When things get really tough I have an image in my mind of the finish line with my family there cheering me on. That really keeps me motivated.  I never think of the whole distance (otherwise, I sometimes may not get out of bed!) but will break it up into manageable chunks, usually to the next check point or, if I’m really struggling, it could be the next tree or lamp post—anything to keep me moving forward.

There will always be bad moments both in training and races; I try to think about these scenarios before hand and work out ways of how I’m going to cope. People will often hear me getting cross and talking to myself. I know, a “sign of madness”, but it works for me!

Preparing for the Run of a LifetimeMarvelous Mimi Crosses Stream

My run across the Freedom Trail in South Africa with fellow Ultra runner Samantha Gash is going to keep me focused over the next few months, not just in terms of the training but the motivation for running this ridiculously long distance in the first place.

Our plan is to run 64 back-to-back marathons over 32 days, approximately 50 miles per day.  Samantha and I are no strangers to long distance running; to date the furthest I have run is from John O’Groats to Lands End (850 miles) when I set the Female World Record and Samantha has run across the Simpson Desert in Australia (234 miles), but for both of us this will be the toughest and longest challenge either of us have undertaken.

The purpose for the run is to raise awareness of an issue that is often overlooked and a subject that people find embarrassing to talk about.  Girls in South Africa miss between four to five days of schooling each month once they reach puberty because they cannot afford sanitary pads.  Instead, they remain at home using anything from old rags, rolled up newspapers, or sometimes nothing at all, eventually dropping out of education altogether. This is just unacceptable.

We are working with Save the Children South Africa and Australia to raise funds to establish a social enterprise business in the Free State where we will employ and train women to manufacture affordable reusable sanitary pads that will be distributed to the girls in the community. In addition, the creation of an education program covering subjects such as health, hygiene, sex education, puberty, and HIV.

I’m so lucky and absolutely love what I do.  I consider myself extremely fortunate that I can put one foot in front of the other and run. That is why I feel it’s important to help and support other people where I can; everyone deserves a chance to improve their lives.

For more information, please visit www.freedomrunners.org.

 

We at Wigwam want to thank Marvelous Mimi for taking the time to share her experience and thoughts with us and wish her great success on such a daunting and worthwhile endeavor as the Freedom Runners Project!

Written by Marvelous Mimi at 13:32

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