In October 2017 I sat across from Brian Hanson, Partner of Smithbilt Hats in his upscale Ramsay retail location. After telling him about me and what I was getting up to next summer I told him that every second 100 mile race I ran, I ran it wearing a cowboy hat. When asked why I told him it was a perfect running hat, it keeps you out of the sun, keeps you dry when raining/hailing and can store ice up top to aid in cooling. I told him that you’d be a fool not to wear a cowboy hat working out in the fields all day in hot conditions and that success in ultra racing comes from controlling the variables. If I can stay cooler then my competitors then I have an extreme advantage over the rest of the field. I shared with him that there is not one running specific cowboy hat in the world, not one. I said, “Brian I think we should build one.” A little smile brushed across his face and at that moment the Outrun hat was born.
Brian and I carefully went through materials and landed on a machine woven straw which is super lightweight and durable. We cranked up the wings for more of an aerodynamic feel and we increased the air flow to the upper. After all that we added an Outrun Rare branded band and a brilliant orange feather that represents the Rare Disease Foundation. Retailing at 60 dollars it’s a hell of a bargain and Smithbilt Hats will donate a portion of the sales to the Rare Disease Foundation.
It goes without saying that 7200 kms in 66 days will be a hell of a ride. With my Smithbilt Outrun hat on my head and the support of Canadians coast to coast, I know without a doubt I’ll get ‘er done!