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Conversations with Todd Barnett

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Barnett.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I had the initial idea to start a run club when I moved to SD in March of 2020, but the pandemic/quarantine delayed those plans. I’ve always had a passion for running and fitness and wanted to create a social community centered around just that. After contemplating for months, I finally started the club in October of 2020. What initially started as myself and any 2-3 people I could convince to join me for several weeks evolved into a true epicenter for those looking for community in the midst of a year of isolation. Since the beginning of 2021, we’ve consistently had double-digit attendance and anywhere between 20-40 attendees over the last three months. We’ve had over 140 different people come since the club’s inception. It’s been amazing seeing the relationships that have formed!!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Some of the biggest struggles have been consistency. Because I didn’t have a network in SD when I started it, I didn’t have many people to invite via word of mouth. I had to rely heavily on social media marketing – which can be tough to build organically in the early stages of an organization/club. It was also tough at times to stay motivated as a run club leader – having to show up every Saturday even if there was only a few attendees.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I currently work in partner operations for Strava! The best way to summarize my role is that I help run and organize our sponsored challenges on the app for North & South America/Australia. I’ve always worked in some form of sports/fitness marketing or events role throughout my career. I’ve worked with ESPN, collegiate and professional sports teams, and national gym chains – and now with a global sports brand in Strava. My specialization is connecting brands with consumers through various marketing channels. I’m most proud of the volunteer work I’ve done with youth throughout my career – that’s when I feel most fulfilled. That includes work with The Boys & Girls Club, Detroit Children’s Hospital, and Virtual Story Tent. I think what sets me apart is that I’m equally good at ideating and executing.

How do you think about luck?
If I’m being honest, there’s A TON of things that have gone in my favor throughout my life that I had no control over. I’m a Christian, so my faith has played a huge role in my decision-making and how I approach life personally and professionally. I attribute every good thing that has happened in my life to Christ.

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