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Apr. 30, 2010
The Boston Marathon: A Decade of Good Vibes
What a difference a decade makes – back in 2001 Google hadn’t made it in the dictionary yet, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist, and Rich Brothers, Clif Bar & Company Northeast Field Marketing Manager, was just a newbie on the job. A little older and perhaps wiser, Rich is still here at Clif Bar today to give us the lowdown on the last 10 years of Boston Marathon madness, plus a little Northeast sports history lesson, to boot! Read all about it below.

Boston Marathon - CLIF BARs down the table

Ahhhh, Spring in New England -- gotta love it! Excitement and optimism are in the air as people put away their snow shovels and winter boots, and start to file back into Fenway Park to see how this year’s Red Sox team will fare. And let’s not forget about the Celtics and Bruins playoff runs that are underway. The trees are bursting with buds along the Charles River, and runners who have bundled up and braved the elements all winter are now able to start shedding some of those layers. April is a great month to live in Boston for so many reasons, and one of my favorites is The Boston Marathon!

Every year, on the 3rd Monday in April, Bostonians and beyond celebrate Patriots Day. No, it is not named after our beloved football team. Patriots Day is a civic holiday, commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. There is a reenactment that takes place out in Concord each year, and I used to look forward to field trips out there every year when I was a kid. As I grew older and the years passed, I realized that the 3rd Monday in April is really all about the Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon - a look down the table

Before any of the 25,000+ runners can toe up to the start line in Hopkington, MA on Marathon Monday, they need to attend the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo to get their race chip and bib number. That is where I come in, and have for the past 10 years.

It is pretty crazy for me to think about how much has changed between then and now. At Expo 2001, Clif Bar & Co. had three products in its portfolio - CLIF BAR, LUNA Bar and CLIF SHOT gel – only two of which we sampled that weekend. The Red Sox were 83 years removed from their last championship and President George W. Bush was sworn into office. Oh, how times have changed!

Fast forward to today -- the Red Sox have now won 2 World Series, the Patriots are three-time Super Bowl Champions, a historic new president sits in the Oval Office, and Clif Bar & Co. has gone from 3 product lines to over 15. In 2001, I was getting questions like, “What is a Bar Clif?”, “What does Organic mean?”, or “Do you make a low-carb bar?” Today, people make a special point of finding the Clif and LUNA booths and greet our crew with, “I love CLIF BARs, I live off of them, I eat them every morning,” or “Your products helped me reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.” I have even had a few people tell me how a CLIF BAR saved them on their bike ride home after they got a flat and used the wrapper to patch their tube. Hundreds of stories, thousands of customers and Clif Bar fan interactions. And a million chopped bars later, the journey continues.

Boston Marathon - wicked fast runnah

This year’s John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo provided an opportunity to meet new people and share some of our new products including SHOT ROKS, LUNA Protein, and our delicious new flavor of SHOT BLOKS electrolyte chews, Tropical Punch. It was also great to catch up with old friends, like runners who I talked to 10 years ago when they were running their first Boston Marathon and are now wily veterans passing along tips to others.

It’s pretty cool to take time to reflect over these past 10 years, both for myself and Clif Bar. People are more educated about what they eat these days, fad diets are disappearing and my hair is starting to go a little grey. But along with the changes, I’m also reminded that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m certainly happy that, after 10 years, I’m still able to bring the Clif Bar good vibes to the Northeast and that Clif Bar & Co. continues to be the authentic, inspiring place it was when I was newbie. What a fun and interesting journey it has been, and I can’t wait to see what the next decade has to bring! Go Sox!
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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