The LoCo Experience

EXPERIENCE 91 | Mandy Mullen at the Intersection of Fitness & Community

November 28, 2022 Alisha Jeffers
The LoCo Experience
EXPERIENCE 91 | Mandy Mullen at the Intersection of Fitness & Community
Show Notes Transcript

Mandy Mullen is the Founder and Owner of the Run Windsor Race Series. She also founded and serves as  Executive Director of Windsor Gives, a non-profit extension providing fitness opportunities and education throughout the community. Mandy is a mom on a mission to be healthy and to encourage physical and mental fitness in youth and across entire communities.  

In this episode, we talk about the beginnings and evolution of Run Windsor, a costly and ultimately failed effort to develop a gym and fitness center - victim of the pandemic - and Mandy’s dreams of encouraging the union of fitness and community in towns and cities everywhere.  Mandy is smart, kind, transparent, and a whole lot of fun to have conversation with.  

And, for the runners and aspiring runners, Mandy shares descriptions of ultra-marathon races, including the Leadville 100 - which she recently completed.  800 runners registered, 700 started, and 300 finished - she's a beast!  (and she was still missing most of her toenails during our interview)

Finally, a correction - in our conversation Mandy shares the story of running her first 50 mile race as a 24-hour sub, when her business partner's wife had a baby early and her husband wanted a travel and running partner for the event.  In the lead-up she said that she had run 900 miles in the month of January, which would have made a 50-miler no big deal - that was an unintentional exaggeration - she actually ran 400 miles that January, before running the 50-miler on January 31.  Of course she crushed it, sprinting to the finish and feeling fine. 

Check out Run Windsor 

Episode Sponsor: InMotion, providing next-day delivery for local businesses. Contact InMotion at inmotionnoco@gmail.com

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Music By: A Brother's Fountain

Mandy Mullen is the founder and owner of Run Windsor Race series, and the founder of an executive director of Windsor gives a nonprofit extension she founded to provide fitness opportunities and education throughout the community. Mandy is a mom on a mission to be healthy and to encourage physical and mental fitness in youth and across entire communities. Today's episode is with a new member of Lo Think Tank, a fellow community builder and an inspiring business leader. We talk about the beginnings of an evolution of Run Windsor, a costly and ultimately failed effort to develop a gym and fitness center during the pandemic, her plans to grow and further develop the race series and about Mandy's dreams of encouraging the union of fitness and community in towns and communities everywhere. Make sure to tune into this episode to be inspired and entertained by my conversation with Mandy Mullin.

Curt:

Welcome back to the Loco Experience Podcast. I'm pleased today to be joined by Mandy Mul. And Mandy is the owner of Run Windsor Race series and the founder of Windsor Gibbs. And so let's just start off Mandy with, uh, what is the Run Windsor Race series and, and what does Windsor Gibbs do?

Mandy:

Yeah, well thanks for having me. I'm so happy to be here. So the Run Windsor Race series is the series of running endurance events in Windsor. So we kind of hold the market on all of the 5K races up to ultramarathon distance Oh. That are professionally timed and managed by myself and my team for

Curt:

a tight geographic area of Windsor. For

Mandy:

Windsor. We are, we're venturing out a little bit. We went to Severance last year. Okay. Next year. Uh, maybe into Tim. So we see some, some growth opportunity there. Yeah. But for the time being it's a Windsor Race series. Yeah. Yeah. Um, we hold seven events annually.

Curt:

Awesome. And then Windsor Gives,

Mandy:

so Windsor Gives is a new baby that came out of the Run Windsor Race series as being the event running people in Windsor. We were often approached by non-profits, schools, um, churches to put on the Run Windsor Race series experience. Mm-hmm. um, but planted more from that nonprofit stance. And we realized that there's a lot we can do to impact our community that isn't necessarily run Windsor. It's more of a different mission to offer access and opportunities to the benefits of running, working out endurance events to our community. And we're really excited about what we have going on this year. What neat thing,

Curt:

because. I think what I'm hearing is that there's a lot of people that want to encourage that healthy lifestyle that running can really be a, a major part of for anybody. You know, the beauty of running is anybody can run Absolutely. Just

Mandy:

about. Just about. Yeah. And if you can't run, you can walk. Yeah. And you know, we even work with partners who help people who can't run or walk like our friends with athletes in tandem. Yeah. And it's creating that whole community environment and that space to celebrate not only the physical benefits, but the mental and emotional benefits of just moving your body. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. And for kids getting 'em started early. We get a lot of fat kids. We do. We really need, not so many is in, in Colorado is in other places even, but it's in

Mandy:

plenty here. Yeah. And I think a lot of kids, if they don't get into organized sports, There's something lost there on that physical movement piece. And so with some of the program we're doing with Windsor Gives and the free kids fun runs that we offer at every Run Windsor event, it's just giving them access to that experience and something new and different that isn't competitive sports and organized, but it's just another opportunity to not only get them moving, but we've seen a lot of impacts how that trickles upward into the family. Um, I think today's world, our parents are really great about getting our kids into organized sports Right. And investing in their activities and their interests. But mom and dad get lost in that a lot. Yeah. And so if we expose kiddos to running and we get them excited, they're gonna bring that home and they realize it's a, it can be a full family event, an activity

Curt:

evangelized to their parents, like the pastor's hope at the church. Right. Absolutely. having the Bible study camp somewhere. Right, right, right. So, well that's really cool. I, I wanna unpack, um, how an enterprise like this gets put together a little bit. Uh, can you like, take me back to the, the days when this was just an idea when I assume run Windsor. Well in front of the Winsor gis, but talk to me about your stage in life at that time. Oh my gosh.

Mandy:

Well, I'll, I'll start with kind of why I got into endurance events and running. I think that plays a big part of the mission, why we do what we do. Yeah. Um, I, I went to running as a simple way to become fit and lose weight after the dpi do and keg stand days of college at csu. Love them and miss 'em. But, you know, we weren't the healthiest. My husband and I just realized we gotta start working out and we started running and that went from, you know, five K's to half marathons to my husband qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Oh, cool. And in that journey, you know, just started to discover a respect for the sport. And by the time we went to the Boston Marathon, by then we're, we're married and we had a nine month old son, my oldest Wow. Carter. And it was the year, it was 2013, it was the year of the bombing. And, um, luckily we are all safe. We're all okay. But being there for that experience was really pivotal in, you know, just opening our eyes to what running is and what it means to people on so many levels. And we left that experience safely, but got home and I, I kind of set this personal fire inside my soul of I wanna become a better runner. And I myself would one day like to become a Boston qualified runner so we can get back here. And I got home and started working on running more and becoming a fit mom and, and wanting to be in that endurance space. Yeah. And a fitness coach. And we lived in Fort Collins. And that's where I, I went to school at csu. Mm-hmm. And we found ourselves moving out to Windsor in 20 16, 20 17. Okay. And it just felt like a fresh start. Yeah.

Curt:

Well, and Windsor was really coming into its own at that time it really was. My wife and I lived there early in our marriage, so that would've been like 20 2003 through 2005, kind of. Yeah. And it was a neat little town at that time, and you could see the sprouts of what was to come, but with that lake and the amenities and the restaurants and the Pelican Lakes build out area, just an amazing community. It

Mandy:

was, and you and I felt this energy, and I think that comes from my entrepreneurial spirit. Right. I guess I see an opportunity and we moved there and I thought, this town is going to boom, and there's so much opportunity here. And I felt like I also had the chance to reinvent myself Right. Before then. I'm living in Fort Collins trying to pretend to be a runner and not feeling like I had a community here because I didn't feel good enough. Yeah. As a runner, as a female, as a mom pushing a jogging stroller. Yeah. And, you know, it was way too intimidated to maybe join some of the great local running groups here. Um, I remember I wouldn't even go shopping for shoes at Runners Roost because I felt like I'm not qualifi the of that's, they're for real runners. I'm not a real runner. Interesting. You know, I'm a mom who's pushing two kids in a jogging stroller at a 10 minute pace. You know, I have no business being there. And so when I went to Windsor, I realized a, you know, we didn't have that running community, and I thought I could start that. And so with another mom, we developed the idea of Run Windsor as a women's only running group. And we researched, tried to find something, model back it. Other examples, there were any, huh? That really modeled what we wanted to do and we just said, let's just go for it. You have a marketing degree and I, I'm a very creative social person. And so in that journey we became certified esca run coaches. Okay. So that we could not only create a running group, but write basic, provide value to your members. Training, training plans, whatever. Super affordable though, right? Not going after the athlete who wants to go to the Olympics or go to Boston even. It was just, let's provide basic training for women to get out and run safely and get motivated to, to take care of yourself and your body through whatever stage of life you are. Yeah. And in that realized, hey, there's a cool opportunity to also connect businesses and organizations with these runners and started hosting seminars where, you know, runners used for example, Would host us every season and bring in a sports bra rep from Brooks. Okay. And provide my runners with custom sports profiting. Like who knew that could even be a thing. Right. And so it just grew, it evolved. It was such a passion project. Um, I really look back on that time with such admiration because that's, that's really where the roots of run ones are started. So

Curt:

it sounds like you had a co-founder at the time. Is this somebody, uh, you can give a shout out to?

Mandy:

I did. Yeah. Her name was Daisy. Okay. And Daisy was another fellow mom. Stay-at-home mama with me. Yeah. And shortly after we started run Windsor, her family relocated to Wyoming. And so it no longer works. Shout out to Daisy. Hope you're listening. Daisy. I hope you're listening cuz we've, we did some incredible things there. And so she left and I thought, you know, I can just do this on my own. And, um, I did kind of pick up another business partner at the time, and as we've got the Run Windsor thing going, we're showing up to the two five Ks at the town of Windsor. Did put in, put on per year. And you know, we're showing up there excited to volunteer and help. And we're, we're runners at this point, we're real. Like, I'm so excited, like, yeah, yeah. Tara Lexi, I'm so excited you guys are putting on this race. And they're like, okay, we're stretched to the max. You guys love running. Do you just wanna take over these races? Hmm. And at the time, I think I had also

Curt:

opened a gym, a ton of windsor's. Like these races are a giant paint in our ass, but everybody's gonna be pissed if we drop

Mandy:

em. Totally. We have to do it. But I mean, you know, these race, these people that are putting on races, most of them aren't runners, so they don't appreciate the town clerk and the administrative Yeah. Like they have no business out there at 7:00 AM on a December day hosting a 5K round Windsor Lake, and they're freezing their asses off. And I'm like, this is the best ever. And so, you know, they, they gave us a chance to take over the races. I said, I have no idea what a race director does, but Absolutely. And I remember putting on my first 5K and just falling in love, and I'm sure you've had this experience in your career where you, it's like, this is what I was meant to do. Oh yeah. Like this, this lights me on fire.

Curt:

So every time I'm in a chapter meeting and you know, a great conclusion is reached or just a certain level of peace, or, or when I look back months later and this, this decision from this moment is what opened all these other doors. Like Yeah.

Mandy:

Yeah. It's that magic of, whoa, I have to do this. Yeah. Somewhere in there we decide we don't need to just do five K's, let's do 10 K's. You know, we see so many people traveling to Fort Collins in Boulder and Denver to run races. Right. We've got a market here where we can put on these races. And, um, somewhere in there I also opened a group fitness studio. Yeah. Uh, that's a side note. But, um, had Fusion Fit Windsor. So at the time, I'm, I'm. Putting on these races, being a gym owner, did you stop

Curt:

with two kids or you got more little too?

Mandy:

We did. Okay. I think I went to my husband and I was like, I really want a third baby, and I also wanna take over this lease and open a group fitness studio, and I wanna grow, run Windsor to like 10 races a year, not two. And he's like, oh. And you know, and I wanna run Ultras and I still wanna qualify for Boston. And he's like, okay, something has to

Curt:

go here. And let's give a holler, a shout out to your husband. What's, what's his name? His name is Nick.

Mandy:

Hi, Nick. Nick. Nick. Is Nick's also our timer now? Nice. He's my, he's my timing crew. High paid position, I'm sure. Oh, very lucrative. We are all in this for the cash. What,

Curt:

uh, what, what is Nick doing? Is he a working stooge? Is he a business person also? Is he a scientist, an

Mandy:

engineer? I mean, Nick is my number one supporter. He is the glue that holds the salt together, to be honest. He lets my dreaming entrepreneurial spirit run wild while he takes care of most of the household work. Makes sure that we've got laundry done, feed in the fridge. Oh, that's awesome. But he's in the Colorado Air National Guard full time. Oh wow. So he's an active duty service member. Oh, cool. Out in Greeley. Yeah. And

Curt:

yeah. And what's he, what's he do? Does he fly things

Mandy:

around? You were gonna ask me that really hard question. They he's technically a. I don't even know how to explain something with radio maintenance and communications. It's like communications operations.

Curt:

Make sure we can always talk to each

Mandy:

other. Yeah. He's gonna be really excited. I know how to answer this. It, it's a hard question. Um, I'm sure it's a very hard job too. Yeah. So they're like missile defense. Oh yeah,

Curt:

yeah. Kind of. Well, if the launched some stuff at us, we're gonna want some good coms.

Mandy:

Yeah. Right, right. We'll get into that later. Yeah.

Curt:

So so

Mandy:

shout out to Nick. So shout out to Nick and my two boys. Um, yeah. Anyways, we decided stop at two kids because

Curt:

Oh, you gave that instead of, instead of, uh, letting the dream of run Windsor get smaller. Yes. At

Mandy:

least for No, at least for now. Yeah. And it was, I mean, he, he would've, I I'd give him a hard time about it because I'm sure we could have done the gym and had a third baby, but I also have two

Curt:

boys. Sometimes when you keep packing things in though something squeezes out the side somewhere. Exactly.

Mandy:

And so we opened a gym, you know, spent hours remodeling this gym space Wow. With my kids, you know, eating dominoes, pizza under the table while I'm coaching all the classes, because again, Jim's not lucrative business. if you're listening and you're thinking about opening a gym, do your research. Yeah, so we, we decided to keep growing run Windsor and the gym and it was beautiful. And I did, I did pick up an official business partner for a little bit and we grew the Run Windsor Race series from two races a year all the way up to this year. We're about to complete our seventh race of the year. Awesome. Uh, we put on Windsor's first half marathon in October of 2020, and I don't know if you remember what you were doing in October of 2020. Yeah.

Curt:

Mostly bristling at all. The lock downy talk and stuff

Mandy:

like that. Yeah. Probably not in a group of 300

Curt:

people. Well, and I had just walked away from the Wild West relay, uh, that August, uh, because of kind of some of their stuff or whatever. And you're gonna be taking over that race next year. Is that still true? I do. It is true.

Mandy:

Oh, I love that race. Yeah. We have a meeting this Friday to, to firm that up. Get your ass over the past. Yep. We're gonna add, add to the workload

Curt:

here. So you did a half marathon in 2020. We did. And you had to navigate all of the masks And

Mandy:

We did. I probably, I think what I social distancing

Curt:

did you have to have bunch of little social distancing all over the place

Mandy:

on the concrete. I mean, looking back, I think if I hadn't owned the gym and, and someone told me from the town of Windsor and the state of Colorado, Hey, you can't put on a race, we're all social distancing. Race road races are not happening. I probably would've said, okay. But I had just gone through the horrors of trying to pay rent on a Jim a lot brick and mortar gym. You know that, I'm sure a lot of our listeners are gonna know

Curt:

this, but did that happen right before Covid that you acquired

Mandy:

this gym or one year? It was my one year anniversary. Okay. The day that p said gyms have to close, just finally started making it work. Yeah. Just, just was breaking even thinking maybe I can start paying myself here. And that

Curt:

which Rick was Nick, sorry, was all in favor

Mandy:

of Oh yeah. Yeah. And um, and, and to go from being in that place where you're like, all right, we're gonna start making money to, all of a sudden you have

Curt:

to close your doors. I need to run this race so I've got a few grand so I can pay rent next month. Totally.

Mandy:

So, I mean, I've got that tenacity behind me of not only do I have to keep paying rent, because if, if you weren't a business that had been open for two years, you didn't apply for any of these grants. Right. Because you had to show two years of tax returns. Yeah. And I'm like, here I am with one year of tax return. Yeah. On a business that's losing money. It's a new business. Yeah. Yeah. And we're. So there was a lot of tenacity. The mayor, I'm, I'm good friends with Paul Raney and, um, oh yeah,

Curt:

I went to a Pints with Paul one

Mandy:

time. Yeah, Michael, that was fun. Did get a, did you get a a

Curt:

I do. I a silicon pints with Paul. Actually, I, I've got a free box in front of my house. I gave it away. I didn't, I had 16 pint glasses already.

Mandy:

Oh my gosh. Sorry Paul. Okay, now we know I just like glass better. If you need glasses, go to your

Curt:

house, Yeah, for sure. Yeah, if you want, if you wanted six pack of pint glasses of assorted Fort Collins breweries, I got 'em for

Mandy:

you. That's amazing. Anytime. Yeah. So Paul, Paul refers to it as Mandy with tenacity because I was not taking no for an answer. I'm, I'm fired up. I'm trying to keep my gym alive also. I've also, I'm, he's trying to keep his ass outta trouble. He's trying to keep his ass outta trouble. And I'm like, I don't care. I will, I will be here to ruffle feathers and it's probably not gonna be the last time. And more than anything, I'm looking at people that need to run. Right. They need purpose. They need a training plan. Well, in

Curt:

having a, having a race, I, I have, you know, Scotty Heppner, uh, he's with United Way here in Fort Collins. I don't think I know him. He's been. Uh, on our wild west, uh, group before, but he says, uh, I'm a cause based runner. If there's no cause for me to run and train for and get ready for it, then I'm a couch runner. Yeah. You know, and, uh, I, I have to confess I'm a little bit the

Mandy:

same. Okay. You need a reason. I need a reason. Yeah. And, and so much of that, I mean, that's another thing that I'll talk about is turning this into a reason. Like, I mean, for, at that time, for me, the reason was I just need people to have a reason to train and get up. And, you know, as a gym owner, I watched so many of my members gain weight, get depressed, stop lost all their fitness. Yeah. Because they're sitting at home in a mask. And I knew it's what our community needed. And so we pushed forward, we created diagrams to show that there were no more than a certain amount of people in the park, in Eastman Park at a given time. we created a traffic plan of where you had to park, what your start time was, when you needed to leave the race experience by. Um, but we did it, it was amazing. We had 300 runners. Awesome. Um, in October of a, of 2020 from 15 different states. I think it was 15. Whoa. We literally, I mean, and this is a race director. We've never put on a half marathon. So we people learn about us. They were that desperate to run that they traveled from 15 states. That's so cool. And so shortly after that we decided, well, we should add on a full marathon. So in 2021 we added on Windsor's first full marathon. Okay. Is that in the fall too? October? Yep, October. So the race series has, now it's built similar to like the Leadville Race series where it's the same race distance, theme day every year. Mm-hmm. so re recurring throughout the year. Um, so we put on do

Curt:

you wanna, for those that are thinking about, uh, jumping in to one or more of these races, do you guys have that right on the top of your head? Just like April is this then? Yeah.

Mandy:

Yeah. So it's a full year experience. Um, starting in March The Lucky Brew 5k 10 k I like it May, we did Windsor's first Ultra Marathon. Um, so we've done it once and it's coming back next year. It's the Welder metal. The welder metal and well Oh, weld County. Yeah. So this came out at Covid two. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, my husband, we might have drank a few beers after putting on the marathon in 2021. And we were like, weld County is resilient. We are strong. We we're Weld County. We need an ultra. And so we sent it to our designer, um, Casey Graphics, I'll drop her name. She's amazing. Our graphic designer. And we told her the spirit of it, right. We're strong, resilient, we can run ultra marathons here. And she came back with welder metal, M E T T L e and it's that grit determination. Yeah. Yeah. What do we have in us to get through something?

Curt:

And so what and and what is an ultra marathon? Sorry to

Mandy:

interrupt. No, you're good. An ultra is anything over 26.2 miles. Oh. And so we did a heavy full marathon. Okay. Which we, we made it like 27 miles and then a and a 50 K. Uh, heavy 50 k though. So I think it was supposed to be 34 miles. Okay. And the funny thing about that may race is the night before there was some weird tornado burst that happened in Greeley. Oh. It tore down power lines. And so my runners are out there running from Windsor to Greeley to back. Right. I get a call from Xcel Energy and they're like, you've got a race going on out here and you gotta pull 'em off course because there's down to power lines, it's not safe. And I'm like, of course that would happen at welder metal And then

here

Curt:

I am. So you have to design an alternative route. Yeah. So it was either get all the police to be okay with

Mandy:

it and all that. Yeah. Yeah. It was either cancel the race right now and send buses out there and pick up all these runners or quickly, right now your pilot car in front of the lead runner. Yeah. Quickly right now, like reconfigure the course. Oh. And, and you know, I'm like in tears and I'm like, what am I gonna do? And um, my whole crew was there, you know, my supporters and my team volunteers and they're like, okay, well that's what this race is about. We're not giving up, right? Like our runners out there aren't gonna give up. We gotta redesign the course. And um, Sean, who's my kind of business partner, he had c at the time, And so he's trying to like help us out a little bit in the morning and then go back to bed cuz the poor guy does not feel well. Yeah, yeah. And I call him, Sean, where are you? And he's like, I'm going, I gotta go sleep. And I was like, Nope, sorry. You gotta drive to Greeley and you have to help me reroute this course. Oh my. Keep your mask on, but we gotta reroute this. Anyways, welder medal is coming back. It's an awesome ultramarathon. So that's May. Awesome. Okay. June we have the red, white and brew 5k. 10 K. Uh, let's see, September. We do a one mile race in collaboration with green events. Oh, who puts on all Lisa Sinclair. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Amazing woman. I think she's the swell. My, my role model. So we do a one mile race in September with her, and then we have our October marathon. And the marathon is a big event, I'd call it, similar to what the Colorado does where it's lots of distances. 5k, 10 k half in full marathon. Okay. I feel like that was probably seven. I don't know, I lost count there. People can go to our website if there's a race out there

Curt:

feeling neglected. Now, do you then you have like corporate sponsors that'll sponsor the whole series and that kind of thing too, as well as like individual race

Mandy:

things. Yeah, so we're working on that. You know, when we first started this, it was, let's put on a race to put on a race, right? And let's also give back to a nonprofit, cuz that seems like a good thing to do, right? We quickly realized races do not make any money and you rely on sponsors to even pay the bills. Right. The permitting

Curt:

fees, you can charge about enough to cover all your costs, but if you don't have sponsorships, it's not a profitable endeavor at all.

Mandy:

Absolutely. You don't have money left over to pay a team or,

Curt:

and they're very visible and there's a good reason for sponsors to wanna align with your cause. I mean, yeah. To my eyes, you're bringing a, a, a spiderweb of connection to the citizens of Windsor, you know, in a way that no other organization can or, or

Mandy:

would. Absolutely. And you know, so getting out of c. I became very immersed in the community. I joined the board of directors for the Windsor Area Chamber of Commerce. Um, sat on the events committee for the Chamber. Really got out into the community and realized we're not gonna make it through this alone and we shouldn't. So I saw that, which, you know, you do this every day. The power of connecting our business owners together with our residents, with our nonprofits, with our governing agencies, and I came out the other end, determined to make a difference in our community through this power of connection and my love for running. And so today, the Run Windsor series really stands strong that we are creating community while making those connections between the businesses, the people, the organizations that make our community great. And just like what you said, I'm putting all of these runners right in front of our businesses, who, again, being a brick and mortar business owner Yeah, I know how important it is. They need marketing right now. They need the exposure and they can either benefit by doing, you know, financial sponsorships that make it all happen, or they can show up and volunt. And put their banner and their table out. Right. Because again, I know I need that too. They might not have the marketing dollars yet coming out of everything they've gone through, but they can set up for a

Curt:

day, man. Uh, this is a little bit sidebar, but I think it's relevant because like people need a reason not to push the Amazon button when they're, when they're buying a new backyard grill or things like that. You know, man, Weiler should sell that to them. And that's a reason to think of that. And, and I think about this because the other day I drove around and I did like, I just got a car wash, I got some chicken food, I got this and that. And I was like, you know, if you weren't such a stubborn jerk, you could probably order most of these things except for the car wash online. Yeah. But I just don't wanna, you know, I wanna be part of those other organizations and I don't want Amazon to control everybody's supply of all the things.

Mandy:

No, I mean, it's handy, but it should not be the bulk of how we're purchasing. Yeah.

Curt:

Because, and to me, I think that engagement with the small business community gives the rank and file. Yeah. You know, the people that, you know, it used to be Windsor used to be very much a bedroom community. They've gotten a lot more employers moving over into that realm now, I think. Oh yeah. But it used to be, In the morning, everybody left Windsor and went to work at their jobs in Fort Collins or Greeley. You know, that was like when people had a, a wife that worked in Fort Collins and a husband that worked in Greeley like that. Windsor was like, duh, we'll live in Windsor.

Mandy:

Right? And now, now we're growing. We have so many now it's own employers. Oh yeah. And we have to take care of each other for sure. And so we, um, you know, and then with that, the growth of the non-profits. And so I thought, I'm not just gonna send a hundred dollars, no, not a hundred dollars. We've always donated more than that, but I'm not gonna send a check to Yeah. Some random non-profit across the country. I'm actually going to, we're gonna think through and make connections here with the non-profits that are making a difference in the mental, emotional, and physical health of our community. And so as soon as we really put that mission out front, magic happened. I mean, we now are, I don't even see us as sponsors are donors or about running. Like I actually have these, we have these incredible partnerships and connections with North Range Behavioral Health. Imagine Year, world County, where it's not, they show up and set up their tent, send me their logo, gimme their money, and go home. Or I give them money and they say, thank you. We are collaborating on a daily basis. How do we impact, what do we do? How can we innovate? What are the problems our youth and our families are facing today? What's some of the

Curt:

messaging that we can use? How pull them outta their funk, you know, and get 'em into engage in this or that or

Mandy:

whatever. How do we fight suicide? Like we have this power, we have these runners. Let's, let's make a difference. And the magic that's come out of that from our runners and our volunteers, Watching these people connect together,

Curt:

man, I wonder, I wonder, like I haven't never been that close to suicide. You know, I've had ideations. I think most people here or there have, but I bet it's very rare for somebody that's getting regular physical fitness to, to follow through with it. I agree. I think that, that there's just something head clearing about a nice long run.

Mandy:

There really is. Yeah. And it's, it's not always gonna fix it, but it's gonna give you that time to think and reflect. Yeah. And naturally the chemicals in the body and your endorphins, everything's gonna elevate. When you're running, you're exercising, you're getting vitamin D, you're stretching your body a little bit. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, the, the runner's high is a real thing for sure. And anyone that's not running, that's listening to this and you're wondering, I hate running, I'll just give you tips. It's about walking, it's about moving your body and going at a pace that you can still carry on a conversation. Do do that for 30 minutes, whether that includes walking and running intervals, it can change your life. And so we work really closely with, um, the suicide prevention group. Imagine zero mm-hmm. and have done some cool things with them. And we've had a really exciting thing we're doing in December, January through Windsor gifts. Oh, great. But it's exactly that. It's providing them the resources and the statistics of knowing if you can get out and exercise and run or do yoga, whatever it might be. Right. Your chances of fighting. Mental and emotional depression and issues is, is gonna go down.

Curt:

Yeah. Chances go up Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what I meant. Your likelihood of

Mandy:

suffering will go down. Your likelihood of suffering will go down. That's

Curt:

what I did this morning. You ran and I did yoga. Wow. A double. Yeah. And I showed up to work 30 minutes late, but it was

Mandy:

so nice. Okay. So I wanna know, how do you run and then do yoga after when you know that yoga's gonna make you late? Like that's gotta be some mental work

Curt:

to slow, slow you down. Well know the bus. I know the bus and so must be an

Mandy:

understanding guy. Yeah.

Curt:

And, uh, yeah. I don't know. I just, I felt a little tight in my back, uh, during my run, and so I just decided to do a little 15 minute yoga. It wasn't that late. Yeah. But anyway. That's great.

Mandy:

And that's always a hard thing to overcome for people, right. Is feeling like you're wasting your time. It's just comfortable. Yeah. Because you're like, okay, I should be being productive right now.

Curt:

Yeah. Well, but there's nothing more productive than keeping your health. Okay. You know, if you want to have a 80 year or 90 year productive life, then do things to stay at least somewhat fit. Yeah, absolutely. If you don't, then that's fine. You can just stay busy until you have a heart attack when you're 56. Yeah. You know, that's your, your call.

Mandy:

But we just all would be so much healthier and more productive if we were moving our bodies. Yeah. And, and that's, that's really what we've learned and we've seen so many success stories. You know, I think the coolest thing for, for me personally, is putting on our kids fun runs at all the races. So we let kids run for free. And, you know, the distance varies. Sometimes it's a half mile, sometimes it's a mile and a half. Yeah. Sometimes I give them medals at the end. Sometimes I don't because it's free. Right. Not charging. And again, profit margin is struggling here, here's a ribbon. But we've seen so many kids, Kurt, since 2017 that showed up to run my kids' fun run. And now they're doing five Ks. Mm. Um, we've got a group of seven or uh, eight year olds who are doing 10 K's. Nice. Uh, we have a 10 year old who just did his first half marathon.

Curt:

Have you spotted some like chubby kids that are now skinny kids running long

Mandy:

ways? You know, I dunno. We've been doing it long enough to, to track that level. Yeah. But some of the initiatives of Windsor Gives is going to get into that. Mm. So we will be doing some research, you know, some, some strict data collection on the front end.

Curt:

I think I introduced you to Jenny from the Matthews house. Did you guys

Mandy:

connect? We did. I had a lovely coffee meeting with

Curt:

Jenny. Good. Because they're like experts at tracking outcomes in a nonprofit environment and stuff. And so, maybe not her specifically, but Yeah. Uh, because that's how you prove out so that you can get future grants and stuff. Hey, 14% of the kids in Windsor have been positively impacted by our stuff. Absolutely. Yeah. Money. Yeah,

Mandy:

exactly. Let it help, help us. Let's, lets fund this. Let's, and let's grow beyond Wal County. Right. Let, keep this going. Yeah. Yeah. So we, we have worked, uh, we have a great relationship with Kyle. With the World Trust Fund. Cool. And he's been so great to give us tips, advice on, you know, pre-activity surveys before you start an initiative and then collecting the data on the back end. Love it. But man, that non-profit world, that's, that's a whole other thing. It's, I got rid of the gym and I was like, right, I can free a little mental space. And then I'm like, entrepreneur, ID Mandy let start a non-profit. Um, but I, I'm so excited about the non-profit and what we're doing and to get that ball rolling, I think it's gonna be great. I want

Curt:

to like talk about your vision for the future of Run Windsor as well as Windsor Gibbs. But before we do that, I wanna jump in the time machine. Okay. We're gonna go back to first grade. Oh gosh. Do you remember your first grade teacher's name by chance?

Mandy:

Probably Mrs. Hughes. Mrs. Hughes. Hi Mrs. Hughes. I think she's first grade. Yes. And

Curt:

where were you brush? Colorado Brush. Oh man. I've been interviewing the Eastern Col. I've had a couple of Akrons and, uh, brush now we've got going on lately. There are a lot of

Mandy:

people from overachiever Eastern Colorado who were moving and shaken up here. Yeah. Yeah. Like I think we wanted to get past that stigma of we just, uh, harvest beats and raise cows.

Curt:

Right. Like, well, and I suspect that if your region is like mine, I grew up in North Dakota, but it's kind of similar culture-wise. you don't really know if you'll be able to make it in the big city, right. When you went off to csu. Oh, no way. Yeah. Yeah. Because that's where, as the smart kids go, that's where the smart kids go. Apparent. They think I'm smart, but you know, not not city smart.

Mandy:

Yeah. And I mean, we don't come from money out there. Like our parents are blue collar workers. Yeah. There's no HP headquarters out in Brush Colorado. Right. Like you've got Xcel Energy. They're a major employer. But our families farm, they work hard, they work all day long.

Curt:

And so tell me about that for you. What was, so BRUSH is a town of 10 or 15,000 people, or 20, I

Mandy:

mean, recently it was like 6,000. I don't even, it doesn't grow very fast. Really. You know, small businesses struggle there. Um, that's another thing that's interesting about this world now. It's not like we're surrounded by a thriving economy out there and watching brick and mortar stores do well. Right. They just, they come and go restaurants open and close on tiny little Main street. Yeah. Um, I don't know. I think it's different to looking at the way our kids grew up in the big cities, even Windsor, compared to how I grew up there. You know, when I grew up in Brush, there are three sports to play and you play them because you either play sports or you have nothing to do. Right. If you wanna be a cool kid and popular and socially accepted, you better play sport even if you suck. Right. And if you don't play sport, you're an outcast. Well then you can be in the band or the chorus. There you go. Yeah. And like those kids had no respect even though they were so talented. The Chos what I know

Curt:

here, or No, I was, I I had no respect. You had no. Okay. So I dropped outta sports. To focus on partying and, yes. There you go. Stayed in the

Mandy:

chorus. Anyway. Yeah. So, you know, kids weren't running there, there was no running. Right. We had, I think we had a 5K in brush, but a small town. What, what

Curt:

were your folks doing? You have siblings? I do

Mandy:

have two sisters. Um, they actually live in Fort Collins. Okay. My sister, sister's sister. Older or younger? Younger. Um, I'm the oldest, if you can imagine. That seems like it. The director of Lived of Life here, um, yeah. They both have lived in Fort Collins. They followed me up here. Okay. In my journey to cco. And were you

Curt:

farmers? Was your family farmers were you lived in town but

Mandy:

lived in town? My husband, we actually met in kindergarten. Oh,

Curt:

wow. So that's a new record for the local experience. I haven't met anybody that's married to a kindergarten. I And when did you

Mandy:

first kiss him? I loved him. I tried to kiss him in first grade on the playground and he shut me down. He said, I wanna go play kickball instead, or something. Tetherball. It was tetherball Um, so we grew up together. We knew each other. Yeah. We didn't date until college. Um, but his parents lived out on some land. I lived in town. Yeah. My dad worked for Exel Energy. He still does. Mm-hmm. Um, my mom worked in the school district as a paraprofessional so that she could be with us. Sure. So again, you know, we didn't come from Yeah, yeah. Big aspirations or anyone that was doing anything crazy there, um, in brush. Like it was just a sleepy little town and so, so beautiful. And it's grown so, so well. You know, we're still friends with people now who we watch them own their own farms and land. Sure. Um, but it's running to provide that experience for kids too, and families that we didn't really have Yeah. Of really championing getting outside and being physically active. Fair. Other than just getting a medal. Yeah. You know, or doing sports because you had to do it.

Curt:

What were the three sports that you did or did everybody do?

Mandy:

So I, I'm excited for my dad to hear this because he said it was painful to watch me as an athlete. Oh gosh. Really? Like, mind you, fast forward, I'm not tooting my own horn, but I just ran the Leadville 100 in August, so I like to think that I'm an athlete at this point. Right, right. But growing up it was painful because I couldn't shoot a free throw. I was a terrible runner. Didn't like it. But I, I played a little basketball, um, I played varsity softball and I was You're not, you're

Curt:

not a real tall, I'm not real tall lady. So basketballs hard. That's true. Softball. You

Mandy:

said softball. Okay. And I did run track. What position? Softball. Second base. Okay. And I was Okay. Yeah. I don't know. It was varsity, but there were, you know, 10 kids to choose from. Right. If

Curt:

you wanna be on the team, you can be on the team. Yeah. You're, you got varsity and, uh, and I did run track. And what, what did you do on track? Were you a sprinter longer? I ran

Mandy:

the 400. Okay. Which in today's world, I kind of relate to like a 10 K. It's terrible because you can't go super slow like a marathon. You don't sprint like a 5k. It's that somewhere in the middle distance. Yeah. Yeah. It just feels terrible and shitty and painful the whole time. and, um, my coach, Tyrone Whipple. Hi Tyrone. What's up? Hope you listen to this. I feel bad for him now because he watches me. Ultras. And he's like, what the hell, Chavez, where was that? you know, on the track. You were such a pain in my ass. You didn't wanna run and now you're running ultras. So hats off to him because

Curt:

Chavez is your, is my maiden name. Maiden name? Mm-hmm. So your folks are Hispanic? I, yeah. Half. Yeah.

Mandy:

Except for I took a DNA test. Oh. I'm like 30% French. Oh, wow. I'm gonna just walk around starting to say that I'm French now, I'm

Curt:

decided I don't have many French

Mandy:

chaves, but no. So we do come from Hispanic and Mexican background.

Curt:

I would assume that that's pretty common because of like, there's a lot of agriculture and there's probably both traveling through and permanent families that worked in the soy or not. The Yes. What's the, the sugar beet things and stuff like

Mandy:

that was pretty common. Yep. It's a big common and it still is. Sure. So there's still a big immigrant population. Yeah. So I think that that's where it came from, but I don't know, we gotta do some more digging on the family history there. Yeah. So Native American, Hispanic, Mexican, and French. Yeah. Very cool.

Curt:

I'm a, I'm a mixed pot. Yeah. And how about, uh, how about Nick Mullin seems like an Irish name or something. Irish,

Mandy:

yeah. But we decided, we found out with the DNA test. Yeah. Yeah. That I'm actually more French than he is Irish That's funny. I don't know. So he's, he's a mixture European Irish name German, yeah,

Curt:

yeah, yeah. You know all the things. There is a old English name. Um, but I can't be more than like 10. Yeah. Old English based on family trees and stuff as far as I, but I haven't done the thing cause I don't want the Chinese Communist Party to have my dna. Oh,

Mandy:

okay. Yeah. You know, that's, they're after you.

Curt:

I saw a meme the other day was the funniest one I've seen this week. It's, uh, how should you, uh, talk to your conspiracy for, uh, theory friends? Have you seen that one? I haven't. It is. I'm sorry, bro. You were right about everything.

Mandy:

all of it. We have an Alexa, so my husband's in the military. See? So he knows that everyone is listening all the time. Right, right. And I remember the day I brought my Alexa dot into the house, he's like, cool, now the Russians in the Chinese know everything they need to know about our life. Right. I'm like, but what, why do they care about her life? We that interesting. I can play music, whatever I want. That's great. I can tell Alexa dot what to do and now my kids use it to play the most annoying music

Curt:

in the world. So, um, so you're a moderately athletic academics or any other outside of school activities, big important for you as you're in middle school and beyond? I was in

Mandy:

Deca. Oh yeah. I And

Curt:

a young business persons kind of group, right? Yeah. F b

Mandy:

Future Business Leaders of America. Ooh. I mean,

Curt:

yeah. You're doubling up on the business stuff. Kind of, yeah. Okay. Yeah, that was it. Was that a popular thing or was that kind of unusual for your school?

Mandy:

It was popular again because it was something to do. Right. the same way basketball was. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah. We shouldn't have a lot to do there, so That's fair. Yeah. No, sports did sports. I worked at pizza. Um, I worked at Jewelry.

Curt:

That was the, that was the primetime days of pizza. Hu probably before the, they kind of fallen off. They're coming back now a little

Mandy:

bit. Yeah. I saw some new marketing that they're doing today actually. And it was like they're bringing Bookit back. Do you remember Bookit? I loved it.

Curt:

So many free personal

Mandy:

pen pizzas. Didn't we all like that's that was the issue back.

Curt:

That was why I read, that's why I'm smart today is from Pizza Hut Literally. Okay, but

Mandy:

don't, I mean, I'm not, I don't wanna dis Pizza Hut, but I worked at Pizza Hut. Yeah. Do you know how a Pan pizza is made

Curt:

you want? Do I wanna go? It's disgusting. I was just thinking to myself, is there anything finer almost than a hot, fresh and ready Meat lovers pan Pizza from Pizza Hu. It's

Mandy:

the best and so I probably would still eat it, but I couldn't eat it for a while. So if you love Pizza Hut and you don't want me to ruin this for you, just plug in. Just fast forward, fast forward seconds, 30 seconds. Pizza Hut sends in frozen discs that are like a centimeter thick. You put it in the bottom of the band, you pump in about 15 pumps of just the worst oil. Oh my. Cover it up, you put it in the fridge for, you know, 24 hours, then you open it and it's this nice big fluffy piece of dough. And then

Curt:

that's like, is these pub like a tablespoon? Oh,

Mandy:

it's huge. More than a tablespoon spoon. It's big, like huge giant tub that was big taller than

Curt:

me. That wine glass or that glass? Yes. Much of oil at

Mandy:

least. Oh, it's way more oil than that. I mean, I two for three of those, it's like eight ounces of canola oil

Curt:

or something. Oh my gosh. That sounds disturbingly wonderful. I worked at Pizza Hu though.

Mandy:

Um, so yeah, I was a hard worker always. I was determined to make my own way. Yeah. Also like, I think it just was expected of us then. Yeah. Yeah. My parents weren't

Curt:

gonna, when I was getting close to college, uh, cuz my dad had started a farm when I was in like, um, first grade-ish and he said, son, you know, the farm's finally big enough now. He still worked at the motorcycle shop as a mechanic the whole time. Uh, but farm's getting big enough now that we could, we could help you with your school in a little bit if, if we needed to. But I think you get a lot more out of it if you pay for it yourself. And it was right, like the kids that flunked out were the ones that weren't paying for it themselves. That I, in my experience

Mandy:

totally. You see no value in, in going. You don't understand the value. You, you didn't earn the money. Yeah. Um, and I feel like that a little bit like being a business owner now, I feel like that's translated. Yeah. Like I wanna be in the trench. for a while. Yeah. I do wanna scale and grow and higher, but for a while it feels good to put in that work. Mm-hmm. and know it's not all glamorous, it's not good and glory. No one's paying me a hundred grand a year to do this, but I'm, I'm working hard and there's, that's that self gratification

Curt:

piece. Yeah. Well in every, every piece of the machine that you can put into place, you know, creates something that, that creates ongoing and sustainable value. So that's the fun part. Yeah. So, yeah. Was it a foregone conclusion that you were gonna go to college then?

Mandy:

I left brush at eight o'clock in the morning the day after I graduated Oh really? started CSU very early. It was, and I think I remember even going to my parents, so they didn't, so I'm a first generation student. Okay. Um, my mom has, had, has 12 siblings. She's one of 12. Oh, wow. Her, her mother was one of 12. Oh. My large family. You got cousins coming out your ears? Oh, I think I have like 75 cousins. My dad has like 40 and counting, they're like rabbits. Like when I said 75 now I probably have like 80. Right. Still going, still going. So, yeah, most of them lived in Northern Colorado. Mm-hmm. and nobody had gone to college. Um, I think my dad's brother had done some schooling, some during this time, but I don't think he had graduated. I think he'd done like some trade school props to you. Um, yeah. So I, and what percentage

Curt:

of your high school graduating class went off to, to college trade or other school or. That's a really good, if

Mandy:

you had to guess. If I had to guess. And how many was there? I'd have, there were 85 of us. Oh, okay. If I had to guess, maybe 50 to 70% actually went to college or trade schools. Okay. Um, like I said, because it is a farming community, a lot of 'em stay back and take over or they go off to school. And then come back and take over the business. Right, right. Uh, yeah. No. So I, I think I remember going start school parents and saying, I need help with a scholarship application and like, bless their hearts, but they'd never done that before. Right. And they didn't know, you know, where to get started. So I actually had joined something called Talent Search, um, out of CSU and I'm sure it's still a thing. Yeah. Uh, shout out to Dan Barrows. He works at CSU and I'm sure he's still there. I hope he is. He is. Amazing. But it was this program that went into more rural schools and

Curt:

walk you through what it looks like to go off to csu.

Mandy:

Yeah. Yeah. You had to apply, you had to apply for, you had to meet some certain standards. I think it was mostly income based or minority based. Okay. So your family had to be under a certain income level or you were a minority, but they would come in and help you write your scholarship applications? We actually got a go tour around the country Yeah. And visit schools. Yeah. I remember going to, to San Diego State with them Wow. For a week, you know, to different schools in San Diego. And I called dad, like, I'm like, I'm moving to San Diego. My dad's like, no, you're not So I'm so glad I didn't, cuz I wouldn't be where I'm at today.

Curt:

I wasn't that impressed with San Diego. I just came back from there. Oh. I've been song. So I had my first viral Instagram post. Uh, I took a video of those little cutout, metal spinner things. There was a little shop in Old Town San Diego. Okay. And I took that little video and I was like, wow, that's kind of cool. And for three days nothing happened. And now I'm picking up like 4,000 likes a day and it continues to increase. I've got like 25,000 views in this thing. Okay.

Mandy:

How? I don't know. Just from being in San

Curt:

Diego? No, I don't. I don't know. It's my first viral post. I've never, cause like for three days, only three, two for two days, only three people liked my video thing. And then strangers started liking it and then it just, it's been increasing at an increasing rate of people from India and Pakistan and Australia and all around the world. Nobody I know Wow. Has seen this. Right. I gotta

Mandy:

see this video. I'm gonna have to look at it. Yeah. Okay. I'll show you.

Curt:

That

Mandy:

is, that is actually really cool. I think it's the skeleton face that did it. Yeah, it's totally Doing it on the skeleton face is what? That's what it is. That is cool. Isn't it funny when you stumble upon something like that Totally. And it just works and you're like, why did that work?

Curt:

let's do more of that. I now have more followers on my Instagram than I follow and I was down. I had like 400 followers and 1200 that I followed before, but now I'm caught

Mandy:

up. All right. So everyone finds something random and cool. Strangers video of, I mean, yeah. Are they actually gonna add value? But there's like one, one awesome connection in there that's gonna change your life. Maybe. Maybe there is. I

Curt:

better start going through 'em one by one. Speaking of

Mandy:

Instagram, did your Instagram account get deleted yesterday? No.

Curt:

Have you heard this? I haven't, but I saw, uh, Donald Trump Jr. Using like a random, weird account or something. I

Mandy:

got deactivated yesterday. Oh, and for the first time, you've been spreading some misinformation? Apparently I've not, I'm not political at all on my Instagram I was, I was tormented and talk about wasting time for 20 solid minutes. I tried to figure out how do you contact someone at Instagram to rebuttal their decision and

Curt:

20 didn't send you nothing. It was just gone. It just was,

Mandy:

it was, I slow, slowly started disappearing over time. I couldn't log in. I said, I, my user doesn't, account doesn't exist. I'm like, I do exist. So I have a lot of followers, you know, and finally 20 minutes later I'm like, okay, I have a lot of work to do Instagram for my, and it's my personal page. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm, it's a public profile page, but I don't need Instagram to do my work today, so I shut it down. Then today I heard it's like millions or a lot of us got hacked and deactivated yesterday. Oh, interesting. Yeah, but how would you know that it's, you know, a sy like a problem with Instagram if you can't log onto Instagram and see like, where else do we talk about things?

Curt:

I don't know. I don't really use it much. You don't? I don't know, just food pictures and occasionally a real like that or something. I don't

Mandy:

know. Yeah. I use it to connect with other runners.

Curt:

How many followers do you have? Instagram. Oh. Cause I have 1,290 now. I, this is the competition. Well, I only had 402 weeks ago.

Mandy:

You know, that's a really good question. Tell you the answer here. I, I should be more concerned about my business one. Probably. I have a thousand followers. See? And I'm following 1100.

Curt:

Oh, so you're almost caught up. I'm almost

Mandy:

caught

Curt:

up. That should be a goal. One viral post and you'll be rocking. Yeah. So we were talking about CSU and how much partying you did those first couple years you did Okay.

Mandy:

I don't know what fast food you had growing up, but I just remember getting to Fort Collins again. I left, I knew I was, I knew I was going to college. I was gonna go to marketing school and I was gonna graduate and carry around a briefcase and wear high heel stilettos. in some tall high rise, designing fancy ad campaigns. Nice. That was my goal. Okay. Far cry from what I'm doing now, but left, came to csu, discovered people will bring you food if you pay them. Right. It's so easy. And there's restaurants galore. and also like the boys down the hall will buy a cake. So I was mind blown. I'm like, deep will deliver like everything I need. Like we didn't have pizza delivery brush or you know, anything for that matter. right? Like silver mine,

Curt:

subs. Wow. Right. So I had, um, my first year, my first year, Kelly, uh, bless her heart, lived upstairs from, uh, me and Jessie Soup was my first college roommate. And Kelly had a little crush on Jessie, I think. I don't know if it was ever consummated. But anyway, um, and Kelly was sweet, but she worked at Subway and she usually was the closer. And so she would bring us a couple of 12 inch loaded up subs home at like two 30 in the morning after we were done partying the night. Jesse gain 26 pounds or something like that his first year of college. Totally. I didn't, I I was stayed fighting weight. But, uh, it was, yeah, he, it happens to the

Mandy:

best of us. It was, it was, it really does. Yeah. I remember my parents came up to visit me during winter break and they had to take me to Old Navy to buy new clothes. Cause I was like, oh, so you

Curt:

really did, I really did. The

Mandy:

freshman 15. I came like, the freshman 20 was bad. it was bad. I even remember my roommates and I in the dorms, like towards the end of the year, we realized how chunky we had gotten. Yeah, yeah. And I'm a small person. Like, you're sitting across me. I'm

Curt:

20 pounds on you. And it's what I show. Oh,

Mandy:

it's, it's noticeable. I'm built to be. And I remember we took, we even took pictures of each other from behind as motivation to like lose some weight and start working out. And I don't think it lasted very long. Love handles girl. Yeah. You gotta move your body, start eating salad instead of pizza at the dorm hall. Yeah. Yeah. CSU was great though.

Curt:

And so when did you and Nick start the romance?

Mandy:

Um, so I dated a few gems, as you can imagine, through college freshman year. Yeah, yeah. Kind of leading into sophomore year. Um, first I had to dump my ex-boyfriend, my high school boyfriend, you know. Oh. He went off and joined the Marines. I decided I'm not quite ready to like be military girlfriend, wife. Yeah. Your level of commitment to life and maturity is waste of superb to mine. Right

Curt:

now I'm hearing Deepy do call

Mandy:

my name. I gotta like go smoke a pong down the hall, like have a keg stand, you know, you're off fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. This didn't work. So we break up. I date a few, you know, guys, I'm like, this is just college dating, you know? Yeah. Yeah. And so I ran into an old friend, um, Jason Radke. Okay. Um, I'm just, he's gonna probably with this, he lives with up Jay, he lives in Fort Collins actually. And

Curt:

I know Kurt Radke. Oh, is he from out there? No. No. Okay. Anyway,

Mandy:

so Jay, so I, um, ran to him. He said, Hey, we're having a Super Bowl party. This is sophomore year at this point, you should come over. I'm like, great. I haven't hung out with you since high school. And so I go over to this disgusting house because you know what your all your boys' houses were like back then? Yeah. Like beer soaked carpet, gross pictures all over the walls, playing beer pong. And we walk in and I see Nick and I'm like, oh my God, I'm with my best friend Olivia. And I'm like, that's Nick Mullen. Like I had a really big crush on him when we were little. And he's from Brush, is he same age as you or We're the exact same age. Okay. Yeah. Same high school, graduating class. And I just remember thinking like, he's a nice guy, right. And he comes from a nice family and he's really cute. And I never really, you know, senior

Curt:

year, like after he shut you down in first grade, you never really put the moves on him? No,

Mandy:

I gave up. I'm like, I'm way cooler than Tether Ball dude. Uh, so I went up to him and I remember having a conversation of just like, how have you been? And you know, I'm telling him like, oh, I broke up with Jeremy's and the Marines, blah, blah. And he's like, oh yeah, I'm in the Air Force. I'm like, oh, cool. Like I just said, I didn't wanna be involved in the military, but he joined the Guard and you know, was working at Stanley Steamer. Okay. Living at Ramble Hood. Oh, so he wasn't

Curt:

gonna school Ramblewood and moved here? Not for college.

Mandy:

Not for college, but he is taking classes at csu. Okay, cool. Because he is just in the guard. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so he asked if he could take me out to dinner. I'm like, yes, I love dinner, I love food. Like Right, I'm here for it. Can you tell Yeah, tell, yeah. Yeah. I definitely was. I can't, I'll show you pictures later of

Curt:

your sports bra from those days would not fit today. No, not at all. Sorry, that's probably a little bit crossing

Mandy:

a lot. No, no, it's not like, seriously, I could not fit in this clothes today. And he's like, where do I like to eat? I'm like the Texas Roadhouse because their ranch is to die for, and the butter rolls are really good. So we bought our first date, the Texas Roadhouse, and that was it. We've been together ever since. Just boom, boom. Yeah. We moved in together senior year. Um, yeah. Bought our first house in 20 s was condo in 2017. Nice. Yeah. Living the

Curt:

dream from there. Got married at kids. So, um, I think I've already heard kind of what he represented for you was, was kind of grown up kind, not jerk guy. Yes. That I've had a crush on, you know, here and there for a long time. What, what was it about you that drew his attentions in that time?

Mandy:

So I'll answer what it, what it is today and I'm guessing it's a little bit similar to back then. Okay. Um, so a few days ago I asked him, what would your life be like without me? Yeah. Because I think I'm throwing at him like all this probably my schedule. I'm probably telling him like, all this shit I have going on and the things we have to be to and be at and the parties we have to go to over the weekend and Halloween this. And I said, what would my life, what would your life be like without me? And he was like, quiet. And really boring Right. Something to that effect where Yeah. Yeah. He's, you know, he's the calm Yeah, yeah. Quiet introvert. And so I think what he loves about me, um, which is interesting, I should ask him that directly. What do you love about me, But I think he's always been drawn to the social part and the passion and the drive and the energy. You're excited to be

Curt:

around kind of

Mandy:

Yeah. Opposites attract

Curt:

though. Right? My, my wife is very much more like your husband than he is, uh, like you or me, or she is like you. Yeah. Cause what would

Mandy:

life be like if we were both Oh yeah. All these levels. Energy all the time. Oh, I would not work out

Curt:

Well, you know, focused energy, which can come really from being involved with and aligned with a partner that's got a, a similar values and vision, then it's really powerful. But otherwise you just, you're just chaos kind of, potentially. So, yes. You know. Same question to you. How about what would your life be like without Nick in these past few years?

Mandy:

Oh, it'd be chaos. I mean, he's, that, he's that, like you said, focused energy. Yeah. Where he supports, he guides from the back. He doesn't need. To be involved in all the things. The limelight is not to be the limelight. He doesn't need to be reinventing the wheel, but he will do anything it takes to support. So when I say we're opening a gym, right? Can you help me remodel and paint?

Curt:

And, and it's galvanizing, right? It's, yeah. Like he's proven his loyalty and desire to help you be the best you, you can be in a presume vice versa, right?

Mandy:

Yeah. And, and probably to a fault. I mean, we've had this, we've had this hard conversation recently of, I've probably like, you give me three feet and I take 10 because I just assume that you are fully supportive of anything I wanna do. Any decision I make, big or small, you fully trust me and you let me just run wild with whatever I wanna do. And like, sometimes I probably need the res held

Curt:

back a little, little imagine be a future conversation where you're like, uh, hey, by the way, I'm pregnant. I, I decided for us that we were ready,

Mandy:

oh, well I think shortly after the gym opened and Can I refill that for you? You know? Oh, sure. Okay. So shortly after the gym opened, because when I took over the gym and I pitched this idea, I was like, I'm already doing Run Windsor. The gym won't be that much more work, right? It's like that same thing that we're all like, it's not gonna be that bad. We're not gonna have to put that much time and effort into it. And so I think, you know, fast forward five months in where. The remodels done. Were open, we're fully functioning and I'm still living at the gym and he's joking with me, like, remember when you said it wasn't gonna be that much word Shortly after that, I think he scheduled his appointment and he went and took care of the vasectomy on his own. So there will be no more babies in the Mullin household.

Curt:

okay. Just for the record, I did not ask that question, but No, but I mean it's science.

Mandy:

Yeah. That's it's birth control

Curt:

It happens occasionally. Like what? In a million or something like that? Yeah. I mean, you know, so did he get the uh, the grapefruit style thing going on? I have had buddies that had that done and they didn't really like it. I dunno what the grapefruit style is. Like testicles that swell up to be the size of like oranges or

Mandy:

Probably, I mean, my, so Nick, Nick is comfortable. Nick is also an ultra runner. Oh. I would say he's far tougher than I am. And I, the guy's taken maybe like two sick days in the last 10 years hours. He doesn't sick. Doesn't, he doesn't, he doesn't, doesn't complain. Mm-hmm. No complaining. He's just gonna, even if he feels like shit, he's still gonna show up and do what It good soldier takes good soldier. That day we got home. I think he stayed in bed for like three solid days. Like he, he did get up to do the laundry and I remember this specifically thinking like, wow, you really are a badass dad, cuz you I know, don't feel good and you're doing laundry right now. But it took him down. Yeah. Yeah. So now when we joke about reversing it, and I'm like, he's like,

Curt:

so I wouldn't rolled that

Mandy:

bring must thing. He's like, fuck you. No, no, no. Never happening. I just kinda,

Curt:

whatever. I get the e thing on most of my podcast episodes cause I just end up cussing. Oh, that's fine. Can

Mandy:

you, can you cut it out? I could, but whatever. it's fine. Yeah. So no more babies. Yeah. Um, but business babies galore. Yeah. I mean, lots of responsibilities. And our kids are getting older. They're eight and 10, so they can be a little more self sufficient now.

Curt:

Yeah, yeah. Fair enough. Yeah. Um, so let's jump back to where we jumped off a little bit, if that makes sense. Yeah. I feel like there wasn't a lot of chapters in your career. Did you do any real, did you work for companies after you graduated and, and what was that like? I guess let's hit that chapter.

Mandy:

Yeah. I, I sometimes remember it. I'm like, there were times in my life where people gave me a check to do something and like, I'm reminded cause like sometimes I, I have friends and I'm like, oh yeah, someone pays you. What's that? Like? Yeah, you have to show up tomorrow. Like, they tell you what to do and you have to be there and they give you a check like, that sounds great and awful. All in the same. So yeah, I, um, my timing's always been really impeccable, which is kind. Maybe just part of this woven story, but I graduated in 2007. I worked in student housing at the time for, um, Rams point. If people here in Fort Collins were listening and you remember huge, big, all the best parties my team created that we are responsible for the first ever giant pool party that became the complete shit show. Right. So it was part of that crew all through college. That's where I worked as a leasing associate in a little bit of management marketing. Graduated in oh seven, thought it's a really cool time to get into real estate. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Went and worked for a new home builder in Denver.

Curt:

It was, it was sweet. You know, houses that were listed for four 50 were real listed for two 50. Yeah. It was a year

Mandy:

later. I mean, now I look back and I'm like, that was the same thing happened when I was like, I should open a gym right before Global Pandemic. Fuck this up. Sorry. Passing now. Um, so I, I went and worked for a new home builder in Denver for a couple years. Sold new homes, worked in that world, and as soon as we closed, because the market crashed. Yeah. I went back to work into student housing, quickly realized how much I do not relate to spoiled rich college kids. Right. Right. At all. I'm like, I can't do this. I went into staffing for a little bit. I worked for Robert H National. Oh yeah. Okay. Yep. That was cool. It was fun. Yeah. Not my gig, but

Curt:

a cool way to meet. Takes a special breed, but it's a, it's a fascinating information resource pool kind of space. Yeah. Cause you get to look underneath the hood of all these different industries that looking for people.

Mandy:

Yeah. And that's a good way to put it. I think it was like that eye opening, like oh, you can learn about different businesses. Mm-hmm. different people, uh, make new connections. Um, which is where I landed with high craft builders. Oh

Curt:

yeah, I do

Mandy:

remember that. So I met Brian and Dwight because I was trying to hire them. Interior designer. Yeah. And they were like, what's your history? And I was like, actually I kind of have a little history here because I worked for a home builder and I did some interior design. And so I went onto the high craft team and I was there for a couple of years just

Curt:

doing marketing kind of.

Mandy:

So I went into the interior design. Oh, sorry. And it was more like project management, like working with clients on how are we designing your bathroom? Right. How are we ordering your materials? When are they coming in? Does it meet the budget? Does it meet the scope of the project? So like project management, design side. Yeah. It's kind of

Curt:

almost like a account rep though, in some ways. Yes. Right. Because they already had the account and stuff and so you were just gonna help put the Yeah, the right materials. Get the husband and the wife to agree on what kind of stuff stuff's

Mandy:

gonna in the bathroom. Be a marriage counselor to actually be an interior designer because you're trying to like meet the budgets and the design wants of everybody. And I remember Dwight even telling me that, he's like, it's a lot of focus on just negotiations with personalities and making sure budgets

Curt:

align. Yeah. I was just thinking, and it's probably not appropriate to talk about, but this is that kind of podcast that being a fairly attractive young lady was probably a superpower in that because you just. Agree with the wife and then the husband agrees. Yes, you

Mandy:

have, you have a little power. Same with trade partners, right? Like if you're an electrician and you come in and you're like, it's gonna be 2000. I'm like, really? Is it, it needs to be like 1500. They're like, fine. 1500 Mandy. Um, it was amazing though. I mean, I.

Curt:

It. Houses are complicated. They're fun things to put together. They're so

Mandy:

fun. It was beautiful work. And more than anything, I don't know if you know Brian and Dwight,

Curt:

not very much. I had a great conversation. I'm thinking with Dwight when he learned about local think tank, he was like, oh, we're kind of in this different phase of life and stuff. And I've heard about, we've been in industry peer groups. Okay, but maybe I would like to be in one of your groups. And then I've been unable to rekindle that conversation. Yeah. But I would like to, I've got a lot of respect for what

Mandy:

they've built. They are amazing humans. Yeah. I mean, I, I've worked for a lot of different organizations. I mean, not a ton, but you know, through my, through my Little enough

Curt:

you did enough Boys who know Nick was a good one. There

Mandy:

you go. I date, I dated enough employers to know when I found a good one and they were impeccable. I mean, when I, when I think about how I wanna be as a business owner, as I grow my team, yeah. As a role model, as a leader, as an employer, I always go back to Brian and Dwight. It was very hard to leave. Their

Curt:

company. Well, Brian and Dwight, when you hear this episode, you should, uh, probably holler at me and we can tell your story at least in

Mandy:

the podcast. Yeah. I think they've got a cool story. I think so. Yeah. I mean they, they've grown something really incredible. I love to follow them and actually, um, Dwight helped me and my ex-business partner Oh. Kind of plot the original, sit down and plot our partnership and um, he was, he was such a great resource. So anyways, loved High craft. There have been times in my entrepreneurial career where I've thought I'm gonna throw in the tank and I'm gonna go back to High Craft. Cuz if I were gonna go some back, back to Somewhere work, I would be there. And yeah. So it was great. So I was there for a couple of years and then I, um, simply left because I had a one year old. Yeah. And it was really hard to leave him at home. Yeah. And we knew we wanted to have another and it was just Yeah. Time to be the stay at home mama for a couple years. So let's

Curt:

talk about, uh, I wanna talk about a couple things. One is, um, you talk, you brushed against it, but didn't really talk about too much, just the, the getting fit. Were you, were you carrying around your freshman 15 later on and then like you had a couple of kiddos and that's usually makes it easier to be higher than your ideal weight and stuff too. Was it about that, like, tell me about that health transition timeline a little bit for you. Yeah, so it

Mandy:

was more getting fit to get married. Okay, We, we decided, and we actually kind of made this joke about we're gonna put it in our wedding vows, that we're not gonna let each other get, get unhealthily fat ever again. Okay. And it was really, that was the drive. And so once I started running half marathons, like I look back at photos and I'm like, okay, you were healthy, hard to get fat

Curt:

again once you've been running half marathons. Yeah.

Mandy:

Like, I was like, okay. Even before the Boston Marathon dedicating a life towards running, I did gain my fitness back. And I, I kept it. But it was, you know, probably that, that motivation for me, like you said, you won't run without a purpose. For me, it was always this Boston Marathon goal that kept me going through pregnancy and through childbirth. So I actually ran quite a bit while I was pregnant and managed to keep the baby weight off. Yeah. Through pregnancy and after pregnancy. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but it's because I had that goal, right? Yeah. Yeah. And I think. Coming out of it, realized a lot of women don't have that goal. Yeah. So I wanna be that support. So in some

Curt:

ways, the, the Run Windsor has been an outs springing of the dedication to a healthy kind of lifestyle much earlier in like your relationship with Nick and your career and stuff. Yeah, absolutely. And that's kind of the, the, the evolution of that

Mandy:

precept. Yeah. It was that goal. It was that Boston Marathon and, you know, we're stubborn people. I am, I learned that in my personality test that I took. Yep. Um, once I have a goal or something I'm going to do, like come hell or high water, I am not giving up. Try to stop me. Like, don't try to stop me. I will, I will plow through anything to make it happen. And so it was always that Boston goal. Yeah. Yeah. And it was being a public figure at that point, right? Mm-hmm. like at this point I own Run Windsor, right? It's a women's run group with 50 women pre covid. Like, I've told the world my story, I've told the world I'm gonna qualify for the Boston Marathon. What am I gonna do? Like stop running and get fat. Like, no, I gotta keep going and I have to honor that, that goal I put in place. Yeah. So

Curt:

there's something to that positive peer pressure and, and doing what you've said you're gonna do. And there's also something honorable in saying, you know what, it's not a priority right now.

Mandy:

Totally. And I respect that. And that's that. It's finding that balance of the up and down, but. and it's just like that from a business owner perspective, right? Mm-hmm. you pivot, but it's staying true to who you are and what your mission

Curt:

is. What are some of the big business lessons that you've learned? Like, cuz you started this as definitely a hobby business or a passion project or a side hustle right. Kind of thing. Right? And, but then I heard you saying things about, you know, to make it a sustainable business, we need to spot, like, so what are the key lessons? Uh, like if, whether it's a, a running group or a screen printing shop or a pizza restaurant. Like what are some of the principles that boil to that level that people would wanna reflect

Mandy:

on? So I think the biggest lessons I've learned is that it's, it's conditions are never gonna be perfect to do what you wanna do. And if you wait for all of the stars to align, this is just my personal opinion. Yeah. Cause I've, I've done a lot of things, but if you wait for literally all the stars to align, it's, it's never gonna happen. Yeah. Yeah. And that it is okay to take a leap of faith sometimes. Yeah. And think, you know, maybe I've got financing in place and a plan in place, but I don't have a team in place. Or, you know, whatever it might be. Like, nothing's gonna be perfect and it's okay to just jump in and go for it and, you know, take risks. Yeah. And calculate them. Okay. Yeah. No, no risk that won't kill you Right. All the way or bankrupt you. Right. Or avoid you from being able to put a roof over your family's head. But especially in my business and what we've done, Because it was able, I was able to do it as a hobby. Why not? Like, just go for it. Like, who knows you if you're sitting at home right now and you have this idea and you can afford your time without making money right away to go for it. It's been so rewarding for me. So I think that that's a really big one, and I'm sure you've been through that.

Curt:

Yeah, for sure. For sure. That's a lot of things you've done. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, anything else that came to mind? You said a couple and then you

Mandy:

said, yeah, so there was that one and then, um, gosh, I just, I lost it. What's the other, I think it's that tenacity piece and it's, you know, you look at me and I'm a minority, five foot two female. Yeah. And I've had a lot of doors closed in my face. I've been told no a lot. I, I feel that rejection,

Curt:

not because you're a minority, five foot two female or

Mandy:

some hope. Yeah. I mean, but sometimes people, the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is just no. But sometimes you can get into your own head about why am I being told no? Why is this so difficult? And it's just that you, you do have what it takes and you just have to stand firm behind your mission. As long as what you're doing always aligns with who you are and what that mission is. Yeah. And while you can pivot as a business owner, keeping true to that mission and your reason why is so important. Yeah. Like, I can't go out and sell flowers one day and then pivot and, you know, ask for support there, and then the next day be like a veterinarian. Like, I don't know those, those missions don't align. But I can create and foster respect and community. My mission is here and it's solid and it's steady. And I can give myself grace for when things don't work out. I like it,

Curt:

but I'm still moving forward. I use the term, uh, perseverance. Perseverance. My combination of perspiration and perseverance. It sounds like you're sweating. Yeah. But you gotta sweat for a while and perseverance and keep going, you know, and, and to your other note, my dad's got all these quotes that I share and I'm sure he picked 'em up from somewhere else too. But, uh, he would say, um, yeah, I understand you don't know exactly what to do next, but do something. Yes. You know? And if you find out that that one thing that you did was not the right thing, then do something different. But don't just sit there thinking about what you might ought to do someday. Maybe if the stars line Yeah. Do something.

Mandy:

You just gotta keep

Curt:

going. Yeah. So, um, do you need a break or anything? Are you happy? I'm good. I'm happy. Okay. So I think let's talk about the, the future vision. A little bit of, of run wins or, and, and especially Windsor gives, if you want to give that a little bit more, uh, process time, but I'm assuming kind of steady growth, you want to be a, a 10 run series eventually. Do you want to do. Geo more geographic expansion, like beyond the Wild West, is that just an opportunity that kind of fell in and it was just too good? Or do you wanna do more kind of, cause that seems to be your new love, like you love the community, you love that engagement, but you, you run long, you run far, you run long, far. I do

Mandy:

run long, far and often Uh, so I have so many big goals and it'll be fun to see where it, where it goes for the run wins or race series. A long term goal that I set in Mo not in motion, but I kinda put out to the universe about five years ago, was that someday we, we create something that can be coachable, that can be a franchise that I, I can go and teach someone else. You can run Eaton how to do this run, whatever other town. Yeah.

Curt:

And you,

Mandy:

have you been buying all those websites? No, but I should right? I mean they're probably like a dollar. Yeah.

Curt:

All these little towns, like you can't buy run Fort Collins or whatever, but you could buy like a lot of the towns between 15 and 40,000 in population. Yeah. Up around

Mandy:

the front range, right? Yeah. So that, that's been a goal is sets them out from under

Curt:

you now. I know.

Mandy:

Don't do it. Don't do it. I'm gonna go home and do it right now. I just bought a new website today, so I'm just gonna get back on Godad. They're only like $12 a year. Oh, I bought one day for like a dollar. Right. So, um, Yeah. I think it's to grow it to, to be something that I really understand it well and I have processes in place that I could easily just come and implant into another community. So that's, and I don't know that that'll ever come to fruition. Yeah. But it's a dream of mine that I, that I find someone else in another town that has the same love and passion and understanding for what this is. Yeah. And I go with them to the chamber and I understand the needs of the other businesses and organizations and we understand the culture running and we build

Curt:

up what, and they can pay you a small franchise fee to get established and then 7% off the top from now on. Yeah.

Mandy:

For some coaching. You know,

Curt:

it's cool how aligned we are in that, cuz I think local think tanks should be all over the place as well. Right. And so absolutely figuring out that kit because one of the things I've found is that I'm not, there's not enough of me to build enough relationships in Cheyenne or in Longmont or in Colorado Springs and probably, maybe not even in Greeley. No. Um, for me to start chapters over there, somebody else kind of has to do that work. Yeah. Um, ideally somebody that's already got relationships. Right. You know, and for you it's somebody that's got passion, community connectivity or desire even. Yeah.

Mandy:

The passion piece is important. Yeah. And, but, but I think it's, I think it's something that we could do. Yeah. So that, that's one

Curt:

mission. Prove the scale. So if you can prove that you can make a bunch of money with Run Windsor, be a lot easier to sell franchises of Run

Mandy:

Eaton and Run. Oh, absolutely. And I know it's possible. Which in part whatever. And that goes back to the scaling piece, right? Where if I had someone doing. My X, Y, and Z tasks that I don't need to be doing. That isn't my expertise. It's not actually the value I'm bringing to the table. Yep. I have more time connecting with our large sponsors that will fund this and make it profitable and allow me to

Curt:

grow. And maybe like, do you have to add more value to those large sponsors, which I guess comes from bringing more runners, right? Like it all, the bigger it gets, the bigger it can get. Yeah. In some ways, right? Bigger.

Mandy:

Yeah. And we talked about, you know, and I, and I think right now I'm giving myself Grace because we haven't gotten the big uc health or you know, we haven't gotten huge financial sponsors that are giving us 20,000 a year. I'm, I'm getting small sponsors. But what we've done really well the last couple of years is actually building something great. And that marketability our, advertising's great, our, you know, us being known in Windsor is, is fantastic. Our social media, our websites, everything is great. So now when I go to a large sponsor, I'm not pitching the blue sky, right. I actually have quantitative data and I can show them all of our races now. Bring in people from all over the United States. Wow. Um, I, we counted the other day, I think we're at like 80 states that have visited, or not 80 states, uh, 40 states that have visited to run a race all over Colorado consistently. Then we've also got that be like 40%. That's just Windsor.

Curt:

I got your idea. What is that? Um, I, I'm an idea generator. You probably are too. But, um, People that want to come cuz they want to know if they should retire to Windsor someday or live here or bring their family here. And because of that, Martin Lin is your obvious title sponsor. He wants to sell lots and properties. So Martin, if you're listening to this, uh, you give Mandy some time and you think hard about it young man. Okay.

Mandy:

So Martin and I have had a couple of meetings. Okay. Uh, Martin and I know each other and I actually rent office space Oh. In the W Club. Okay. In Water Valley. And so that is a nurturing relationship. Um, I think he

Curt:

has a lot to gain. Yeah. He has. By making an event that's a draw to people that might wanna move to Windsor. Totally. At least one event. Yeah. The Water Valley Classic or something like that. You could go all around the Pelican Hills. Pelican Lakes. So that's what the Windsor

Mandy:

Marathon does. Okay. And so I'm excited to have a follow up meeting with Martin's team, but they did sponsor the Windsor Marathon. Okay, thanks. Um, and the w Club Club, but we did step up a little bit. We're gonna have to step it up. We are gonna have to step up because right now it's more that kind of inkin sponsorship. Oh, come

Curt:

on Martin. You can do more

Mandy:

than Inkind. Martin is going to be a financial sponsor and a big one Um, because we are, we are adding so much value. And again, it's not that one off event. Right. It's, we've been doing this since 2017. I have. It's time after time and we are becoming a tourist destination. Totally. And not only are a resident

Curt:

Oh, a choice city. You know, to some extent Windsor is becoming more of a choice city to live in than Fort Collins. Cause Fort Collins has all the problems that come with sprawl

Mandy:

and crime. I mean, you run on like, nobody go, you guys can go, the runners can go there, but not, not the hood. Homeless population. right? Um, but like the Puter portrayal through Windsor, you guys, it is a hidden gem and nobody knows it's there. Or

Curt:

even the roads up by Liberty Road and some of those. So the big swooping

Mandy:

roads, the Windsor Marathon views is 26 miles through golf course. You know, Pelican Lakes, Martin's Rain Dance Golf course, which is a gem and beautiful, um, you know, the Puter Trail up County Road 13 down New Liberty, the new bridge that Martin and the town winds just put in next October. Yeah, next time. It's beautiful. It's incredible. Train. Belmont Ridge. We've got some like trail, single track, trail, open space, So yes, absolutely. And you need to sign up if you don't, be careful and we'll do that. I know by the end of day, we'll, I know you're gonna sign, I'm gonna give you a discount code at the end. Okay? And so when people come to run, you're not showing up for a day to run if you're coming from more than two hours away, right? You're bringing your family or your friends, your kids, your parents, whatever. And sweets makes another one, right? You're staying at hotels, you are eating at the restaurants, you're shopping, you're having drinks after. Like we are actually boosting the economy. Do you know,

Curt:

by hosting these events, anybody from the. Triple Crown Sports Organization by chance, not Triple Crown because they built amazing softball tournaments all around the country and the world. Um, I have an introduction for you for Craig Car. He used to be kind of their director of ops and hotel directions and stuff. He could probably give you a lot of tips on how to squeeze the hotel in a combination industry. Yeah. For not squeeze him to build some partnerships that are win-win, win. Yeah. Um, so remind me after this and uh, we'll get Craig on the radar.

Mandy:

Yeah, that'd be great. Have you heard of, uh, future legends? Yes. So we, I'm really great friends actually with Casey Kowski. I heard great

Curt:

things about him. Like he should be in my local next level three. He should,

Mandy:

yeah, you got, I can send you a connecting, I'll introduce you to him. We're like, so we have, we have great partnerships here. Why have an Yeah. camera. Yeah. We have great relationships with Casey and his team. And a goal to add race number nine to the Windsor Race series would be at Stadium Race. I love it. At future legends. And so that, that race is already in the works. It's coming. They just inflated the dome. Um, the stadiums out there, it's a hundred acre property. Wow. It is amazing. I love it. I love it. And so once that's done, we'll have a stadium style race up there. So I think going back to the goals though, sorry. No, no, you're good. I'm a world class. This was really scroll chaser. That was really important because the sponsorships are a big goal. Yeah. I need sponsors. We need large sponsors. I need to grow my team. Um,

Curt:

yeah, you can't really do much more than, maybe you could do 10 or a dozen or something with your existing, but you need some dedicated. teammates, not just volunteers. And, and Nick on the timer.

Mandy:

Absolutely. And Sean. Yeah, I mean, Sean, Sean's been a, a growth piece too because he's for sure he's invested a lot of time. It's kind of been like internship style, but now I'm actually like paying him and I'm so excited to pay him.

Curt:

Do you want shout out to Sean? Yeah. Cause he's been a key part of the last couple years of growth and development. Yeah. Yeah. He

Mandy:

has been. So we met Sean and Meg, Sean's wife. Okay. And Sean told, you know, she's like, oh, my husband's an ultra runner too. You should meet him. So we met Sean and I remember at the time he'd run, he's gonna kill me if I get this wrong, but I think he'd run a 62 mile race. Okay. He'd run a hundred K, but he hadn't run a hundred miles yet. Okay. And I remember being like, oh my gosh, you ran 62 miles. That's insane. Oh, can you do that? Fast forward two years later, Sean's running the level 100. Wow. And I'm pacing him and my husband and I both like, yep, we're doing this. Wow. And so then we ran it together this year, my husband and I. That's so cool. And Sean paced us. Um, so not only has he been a big part of Run Windsor, but also just our family's growth as runners. Yeah. And so, Sean's amazing. Um, so yeah, we are growing our team and he's taken a lot of lead on a lot of these things, but it. Be two full-time people. He's kinda

Curt:

ops and behind the scenes a little bit while you're the face and the rainmaker. As far as sales and stuff or what's that? How do you define your

Mandy:

roles? Yeah, it's a little bit, we, we dabble a lot in the same things right now, just from a learning perspective. Sure. I want Sean to be able to, at some point go to sell us a sponsor, go sell a sponsorship. I don't wanna go to all the meetings. You go to a networking event. But he's tackled very grace gracefully, the back end of permitting, approvals, licensing, sanitation, you know, race day.

Curt:

Not an easy position to fill if he moves away. Like your first

Mandy:

partner. No. Yeah. No, she's on your stand. Sean, you're, you're here for life. Um, so no, we wanna grow our team and Wild West, you know, we're talking about taking over the Wild West Relay and the Flaming Foliage relays. Oh, so is that

Curt:

a similar event?

Mandy:

The Flaming Foliage? So they're both owned by Paul. Okay. And, um, by, oh gosh, the Road Less Traveled is the name of his race organization. Okay. So he

Curt:

is just in a contract out to you to take over the operation

Mandy:

of it. We're not sure how it's gonna work until packs in. We're meeting on Friday. We'll figure it out, Paul. But, uh, we'll see how that goes. So Paul, Paul's just ready to be all done. Paul has done a beautiful job. Don't overpay him for that. Yeah, no. Uh, he's, he's been doing it for 20 years. Oh. And so he's ready to. To hand it on over. And so I'd really love to be able to focus my attention on those two overnight really races and have a race director who's more on the home front here. Yeah. Maybe handling, you know, a handful of the races we put on in Windsor. Cool. Um, and then there's the Windsor Gives thing, which is also a big time commitment. So I wanna be able to kind have this more trifecta business model.

Curt:

What would you envision Windsor gives being able to do, like, not counting any geographic things, but what's the experience, who's getting benefit from it and who wants to give to it? Especially,

Mandy:

so Windsor Gives is a 5 0 1 C three. Mm-hmm. and the mission is to provide access, um, and education to endurance events and the power of movement. Oh. And not just by saying, Hey, you should get out and move, but by actually giving them events to do. Yeah. Yeah. And so we're gonna do this a couple different ways. First off, is virtual or in person challenges or events that are free. Hmm. So we're eliminating the barriers, the cost of entry, so that we're really, truly just inviting. Just

Curt:

turn in your turn in the, how many times did I run in, in May? Yes. To your teacher

Mandy:

and get a prize. Yes. There you go. So, um, free events that also includes free kids, fun runs, and so we. Had our first experience this with this last year Lot. Your timing gear. Yeah. So we, Windsor Charter and Nick. Does it come with Nick? It comes with Nick. But we gotta pay Nick. Right, right, right. That's why we gotta get grants as the non-profit. Right. So we can like pay my team and we're not just volunteering our time. Right. So Windsor Charter came to us and said, we love run Windsor races. Can you bring that to the school for our kids'? Fun run. Yeah. Cause you know, a lot of kids' fun runs are like, there's a boombox and a teacher and a volunteer trying to pull resources

Curt:

and then everybody runs and

Mandy:

then it's done. And then kids are like, why are you punishing

Curt:

us? I wouldn't know that by the way, cuz I don't have any children. Okay. But kids,

Mandy:

kids really at fun runs sometimes at schools are like, why are you making me run? Like Right. No one's out here motivating me. And so we brought that into Windsor Charter. We bring in the big finish line arch, the music me on the mc, Nick on the timing equipment, the screen telling me the kids names as they pass each loop. So cool. Music, energy, right? So we bring that whole thing in professional, you know, race bibs that have the kids logo, those school logo on it. How old of you are delivering this product? There were three of us last year. And for how many? Oh, like six hours. I had no voice the next day. Yeah. And we're doing it all for free. That's what I'm, yeah. All from Run Windsor, because I love the kids and I wanna do this for the school. But we went away from that day and I was like, this is magic. Right? Like this. I want to be able to go to every single school, everywhere. Let's start with Weld County. Let's start with Windsor. Let's go to Weld County. And I wanna be able to come to a school and say, Hey, teachers, staff, admin, and parents. Yeah. You're dealing with so much more right now. Especially coming outta Covid that you don't have time or resource or passion. Yeah. To put on a school fund rent. So let me bring this package to your school and my whole team will do it at no cost to you.

Curt:

There's a, there's a new charter academy just north of Targon. What is that? Yes. Ascent. Yeah. I think that's probably in Laer County.

Mandy:

I think it is. You're

Curt:

right. Well, I guess it doesn't matter. I was thinking about, oh, it doesn't matter. Community foundations is what I'm thinking is that seems like an organization that should give you $25,000 a year. One from Weld County, one from Larimer County to do these kind. Things. Yes.

Mandy:

So that, that, that's, that's exactly it. That's if

Curt:

you're listening out there at Community Foundation, uh, Hala.

Mandy:

Okay. Community Foundation. We're submitting an application. Yeah.

Curt:

Sounds good. So we wanna be able to win in, in my rotary club. Um, I can get you two grand. We're way behind on issuing community service grants. Oh my gosh, that would be awesome. Um, so two grand. You know, Nick can show up like 200 times for

Mandy:

that. I mean, that's great. Yeah. And I mean, it's pretty basic. Like we can go into a school with a race bib and not do shirts, and that's like for bibs in the day of timing. And to pay my, to pay a team, a nominal, nominal amount, $2,000, and we can give the school a fun run. We can have a photographer and, and then the school, like what Windsor Charter did is they did their own fundraising separate from a fun run. They raised like $60,000 for their new turf. Oh wow. But they can focus their efforts there. Yeah. Let me bring the party, let me bring the fun. I set up, I clean up. We're done. So I'm, I'm so excited about that piece and we need sponsors for that. And it's a 5 0 1 C three. So anyone else behind on your giving? Yeah,

Curt:

hit us up. Well, and, and recognize I guess something to, like, in that case you just described, they used your event to help raise awareness and, and momentum to raise a bunch of money. They could pay you too. Like, just so you know, you can't ask them to pay you. Totally. Um, because if they, how many kids participated in that? Charter,

Mandy:

uh, I think we had 800

Curt:

So if for a dollar, $2 a kid, you could basically cover the cost. Yeah. You know, and, and then they, they 30 folded that on their fundraising. So just know that you're adding a ton of value and it's okay to ask for part of that back even if it is a school of kids. Yeah. And, and you don't wanna set up a barrier, right. You, you know, obviously if a kid doesn't have the, and probably don't even get it from the kids. You just get two grand from the school like,

Mandy:

hey, yeah. Here's what, here's what we're doing. Yeah. And, and parents are more likely to give back if it's a fun thing that their kids are getting involved in. Totally. And the kids are excited about it. Yeah. Um, you know, I was at lunch with one of my girlfriends today and her kid ran it last year. Yeah. And so I'm pitching to my chamber events committee about how we're a beneficiary for an upcoming chamber event. And Candace is like, hands down, absolutely us no need to talk anymore because my daughter is still talking about how much fun that was. Oh, that's so cool. And how many kids don't think running is fun, but we make it fun. We bring that energy and so kids fun run, that's another initiative. We wanna do scholarships for those that maybe have gotten into running, but financially either don't see the value or don't have the resources to buy a race entry. And so just a peer scholarship, you apply, you tell us about your journey, we'll fund you to go run well. And even the Colorado Marathon, the peer running shoes, And a pair running shoes. Right. So we're partnering

Curt:

have that kind of a, because kids could like, through some of these contests and engagements, could win a gift certificate at the runner's roost.

Mandy:

Totally. For your new shoes, like Runner's Roos gives away a pair of shoes a year and Shields gives away two garments to someone that's taking off in their running career, but doesn't, doesn't have $200 to spend on a gar. Right.

Curt:

Or shes actually gives away 25 pairs of running shoes a year or something, you know, some number. Yeah. That's more than it. They're actually a good sponsor candidate for

Mandy:

you as well. So they do sponsor us right now. Shes Love you. Thanks for sponsoring Run Windsor, but you're gonna have to step up on Windsor Gs, but shes does sponsor Run Windsor and all of our race prizes. Awesome. Um, yeah, so there's a lot with, with Windsor gifts, right's, so many opportunities out there. I was so excited about that because to me that's, that's feeding it from the bottom up and that's just really getting into the heart of our community and getting people excited to move. Yeah. For all the good

Curt:

causes you're trying to create new ru new Runners. Yeah, we are. Why, why not, why not Do you have any, uh, negative things to say about ultra running events and stuff? Like, have you had, you're pretty young yet, so you probably haven't had like bad knees or different things, but it seems grueling and kind of miserable to the, out from the outside looking in, but that's what I thought about even a 5k, you know, 15 years ago. So I

Mandy:

have nothing bad to say. I mean, I. I've run five or six 50 mile races. Oh, wow. And never felt more alive really, than I came out of the Leadville 100. And it's just, it's hard to describe how it, it literally changes you. I did finish.

Curt:

Okay. Cause only like half or something finished. Right. I think this

Mandy:

year was 40%. Whoa. There were 800 ish registered, 700 started, and less than 300 of us finished.

Curt:

So some, some people have heard about the Leadville 100, but a lot of people haven't. Can you give a quick, like 32nd or a minute synopsis of what that race is like?

Mandy:

So the Leadville 100 is the hardest ultra in the United States. I'm pretty sure that it holds that classification because of the elevation that it starts at and the gain and the distance and the time cutoff. So, so you start really high run up hill? Yeah. Yeah. You're, you're already at like almost 11,000 feet in Leadville and you're running out and back. So you run out 50 miles. It's about 15, 16,000 feet of elevation gain. Wow. And there's two major climbs.

Curt:

So it's not just run downhill all the way back. You're running up and

Mandy:

down, up and down, up and down, back up and down out. And you turn around at Winfield and you're like, oh God, kill me. And then you turn around and you do the whole thing all over again. Um, you. It's the most beautiful, but that the terrain is hellish. I mean it is brutal and the like, not really a

Curt:

trail, barely kind of

Mandy:

thing, you mean? I mean, it's just the climbing, you know, and you, you run through a river at one point, you're going up two different passes that if you've climbed a fourteener before, it feels very similar to that. Mm-hmm. like the end is never going to come. You're just climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing. And then when you get to the top, now you've gotta run downhill, but not too fast cuz you can't print out your quads. Right. But also you're trying to meet all of these cutoffs and um, it's wild. So if you have to meet cutoffs along the course Yeah. And if you don't, you get pulled from the course. So you're always battling against time. There's no, you know, the question I get is, did you get sleep during it? I'm like, no, you have to finish in less than 30 hours. You get stop and use the restroom or shove a peanut butter and jelly in your mouth or switch out your clothes really fast. Or your shoes or your socks. But you're not resting, you're running for 29 hours

Curt:

straight. Is your, have your feet calloused up enough and stuff like that that you don't risk like tearing them up on that kind of a thing? Or do you come back with a bunch of blisters and

Mandy:

stuff? Oh, blisters my left foot. I'll show you another picture. I'll show you if you wanna see like fat Mandy from college now I'll show you. Fat foot from Leadville 100 Right. I thought my foot was broken. Oh wow. Um, not so much blisters cuz you callous them through training. Yeah. But lost toenails. Oh. I have four missing toenails currently still right now that they're starting to like kind of regrow back. But your toenails fall off. You

Curt:

don't really need 'em that much. We got shoes these

Mandy:

days. They're fine. It's brutal. But it is a life changing experience. I, I mean, I'm just gonna go back to, I told you all I didn't run when I was 20, 21. Yeah. And to now be under 40 and I've done the level 100, I firmly believe that 99.9% of us can do a hundred mile race.

Curt:

99. You

Mandy:

can if you can run, you can walk. It's, it's mental. It's so mental. All right. It's, uh, the first 50 miles really physical. After 50. It's all mental. All right. All right. I don't know. It's something ultra runners say. I dunno if you've heard of other ultra ultra runners say Anyone can do it. Yeah. Yeah. I think anyone can.

Curt:

Yeah. No, I'd actually agree. Um, because of my experience doing the Wild West, doing the horse tooth half, you know, doing some, some longer runs just in a training. I know I can run a marathon. You know, I've only ever run a one half marathon, but I know I can run a marathon. It's only twice as much as a half marathon. Absolutely.

Mandy:

What about some walk breaks? What if you took some walk breaks done,

Curt:

then a 50 mile race is only twice as long as a marathon. Yeah. And then a hundred miles is only twice as long as that. So, you

Mandy:

know, it's, you get there, you just, you, it's the training. I mean, at some point, I feel like if you don't hit a certain mileage by some point in your life Yeah. Like that's gonna be a barrier. Well, and I definitely, you don't wait until you're 90 to try it. Okay. But

Curt:

and people get slower right? As you age after somewhere around what, mid thirties or something is kind of the peak speed. Yeah, the peak depending. I mean, I'm faster actually now than I was back in my mid thirties cause I didn't run back in my mid thirties. I had never Yeah. Um, so, but but there's still a declining trend that you're fighting against, period. There

Mandy:

is, but you can still do it. I mean, in so many of these races, the cutoffs are generous enough that you, you can do it if you walk and run or hike, you know, power hike. A lot of it.

Curt:

Well I'm 48 now. I'll be 50 pretty soon. And so I'm feeling like once I'm 50 I might be competitive in that 50 to 60 class. Yeah. Starting to weed out some of the oldies.

Mandy:

Well, and I think for men peak out a lot sooner than women do. Is that right? And so women are crushing it in general in the, in the ultra world right now. Yeah. Like they, I mean, Courtney Dew Walter is my, another one of my idols. Yeah. And so she's out there cheering everyone on the, at the level 100 and recognizes me slightly I think. Cuz most of I'm like, Hey Cord. But I've seen her several times out in Leadville running and it just, you know, another cool thing, she wasn't in the race or she was already finished, so No, she wasn't in the race. Oh no. I think she had, I don't know what she did after that. She had another big ultra coming up and Gotcha, gotcha. I don't think she's done the level 100, but she's such a supporter and Oh, that's cool. You know, it's. It's not unlikely to see, I mean those, there are elite runners that win these races, that run them in under 20 hours. Okay. They are the super humans.

Curt:

And how long was your

Mandy:

race? It was a hundred, but I ran in 29. 29, 29 hours. Okay. So there are people that are far more athletically inclined who train. Yeah. It's almost a third

Curt:

faster. Yeah,

Mandy:

they are

Curt:

fast. How fast did uh, Nick accomplish the

Mandy:

uh, he was about 28 hours. About an hour before me.

Curt:

Yeah. Was that competitive between you guys or No, not really. He's just kind of tougher,

Mandy:

bigger, stronger. No, I hurt my foot Oh. And did stop for a tape break to tape my foot up and it was kinda a David Goggins moment. Right. And I'm crying. A lot of people would've quit cuz I'm like foot 20,

Curt:

30, 40 miles left

Mandy:

so bad. I think when I got it taped, I probably had 30 left when it hurt. When I heard it, I was about mile 60. So I ran with a very hurt foot for 40 miles. Wow.

Curt:

Did you hurt it? Like physically like or it just, it it

Mandy:

gave out. No, I fell. Oh really? So I kind of tripped. Coming downhill, coming down. Hope pass. Yeah. So Hope Pass is so, so beautiful. Wicked. But, but wicked. But on the way back down it starts to get a little dark back there. The time that I was coming through. Right. The winters came through at like noon. Right. They're good. They've got all the daylight we're coming back through. It started to get dark and I didn't have my headlamp with me, which is rookie mistake. Yeah. And tripped hit the top of my foot into a rock. Mm. Started to hurt thinking the pain didn't go away. And actually it didn't, it just got worse and worse and worse and worse. Oh. So

Curt:

that's where those, it didn't, it wasn't just the stress of running that caused the, it was hitting the top of your foot is what broke your nails off.

Mandy:

And in part the foot, the toenails just fall off. You just happened. You got no chance there. Yeah. Your toenails are gone. Sorry. If you were looking out for hope of keeping your toenails. I don't, I don't

Curt:

wanna lose my coats. That's, they're fine.

Mandy:

When you get a pedicure, they can just paint over your skin. It's fine. I've learned this.

Curt:

Do it. Freak 'em out. It

Mandy:

does. They've seen it before. Yeah. They're like, why are your toenails all black Don't worry about it out. Um, yeah. Anyways, that's Leadville. It's amazing. Cool. You should do it if you've never, all I'll tell people do is I can't do it justice describing it. Go to YouTube, watch some of those, watch some videos. Watch some 15, 20 minute videos on the level 100 and you'll either be inspired or terrified. Yeah,

Curt:

I'm both. Yeah, I both. If you wanna to go into the closing segments. You ready to go? You're good? All right. Let's rock. Um, We always talk about faith, family, and politics. Um, we've talked a fair bit about family already, but I figure we give a chance to talk about what you wanna talk about. What do you wanna start

Mandy:

on the family side

Curt:

Um, tell me about your boys. Uh, how old are they

Mandy:

now? Oh man, my boys, they're eight and they're 10. Okay. And

Curt:

names Carter and Alex. And, uh, I don't know if you've been listening, but we always do a one word description of each boy.

Mandy:

Alex is observant.

Curt:

Observant. Oh, useful. Um, and he's, he the older, he's the youngest.

Mandy:

He's the youngest. He's eight year old. All right. He really likes to sit back and observe. Yeah. And then he's not afraid to give you his observation back. No. And let you know how he truly feels about something. Yeah. So he's strong willed, opinionated. Yeah. Carter is imaginative. Ooh, sweet boy. He's 10. And one of my biggest hopes for humanity is when I watch him as a 10 year old go outside dressed up like an army guy with a Nerf gun shooting. Pretend zombies are bad guys take care of business. And he's 10, like he's really held onto this imaginative piece and it gets him in trouble. Yeah. Because he's in school and a challenging school and it's hard for him to focus, but he's so imaginative and he sees all the good in the.

Curt:

Very cool. So he's, is that the Windsor Charter Academy or, yeah. Okay. And what is, what is the Windsor, is that a, a non-traditional, or is that a you, you gotta pay privately and whatever kind of thing? It's

Mandy:

state funded. State funded, okay. Yeah. So it's a pretty traditional charter or whatever. Yeah. No, no. I'd have to be making a, a lot of money, you know, or I, my husband's in the military Right. I follow and I direct races, so, yeah. No, it's a great school, but it is challenging as a charter. Yeah. Good. You know, but it's

Curt:

good. So it'd be more like comparable to Liberty Commons or those kind of things around Fort Collins? Absolutely. Compass

Mandy:

School or whatever. Yeah. Very cool. They've been amazing. They're a good school. Yeah. And I think it's, um, you know, we're we on the growing pains of that family? Like, I think I told you that conversation with my husband of feeling like I take, you give me three feet, I take 10, and Yeah. It's, you know, it's working through how we all grow and learn together with the new demands of schedules in life. And when you have an eight and a 10 year old, you don't just have kids who you can just throw snacks at on the TV in there. All good. Like, they're humans, right. They have feelings

Curt:

and pretty soon they're gonna need to be trucked all over the place for various things. Yeah. Don, my, before they have driver's license, but after they have needs.

Mandy:

Yeah. Yeah. So, and, and just like their emotional needs are so heavy right now. Mm-hmm. And so for me as a business owner, it has been a few months of. Okay. My family has given me so much and they've given so much to Fusion fit and run Windsor and everything I wanted to do. I gotta start giving back to them a little bit. Yeah. And giving back time and sitting down every night and doing homework. Yeah. And making the school lunches together. Yeah. And being a part of dinner, it's a, it's hard because you lose sight of that. Right. You start to look at what's on fire. Right. And for a business owner, it's the businesses sometimes. Yeah.

Curt:

I mean, kids are getting bs. Yeah. It's down for MAs, but they're fine. Fine.

Mandy:

He might, he might have an F but he's in second grade, whatever. Like that betters on your trans Yeah. It doesn't matter. So we're, we're refocusing right now a little bit as a family and it feels good.

Curt:

And as far as Nick goes, is his career likely international guard? Um, is he looking to expand beyond that in future chapters? What's his, uh,

Mandy:

he's got a calendar and he's counting down the days to retirement Really? Yeah. Yeah. He is. I mean, he's served his time. Yeah. He's, he's dabbled a lot in what he's done with the International Guard, but he's retiring in about six years and very much looking forward to it. And

Curt:

what do you think he'll do with his, cuz that'll be basically the time when the boys don't need too much more anymore

Mandy:

too. Yeah. Right. Absolutely. So we wanna travel. Yeah. Um, you know, he'll have his choice of how involved he wants to be with Run Windsor and Fair at that point. Hopefully it's just he could be a paid timekeeper by that time. Oh, he could? Yeah. I mean, he could just time the relays and then the rest of the year. Ride his bike around town and run Ultras is my dream for him. Okay. So we'll see. You know, there's a longstanding joke that he's also a great UPS driver because he wants to work alone by himself in silence, but maybe some music and get him, move his body all day. I know a guy with an

Curt:

Amazon business, if you want a lead there. Is it the, they probably don't pay as good as UPS though. Yeah.

Mandy:

Probably not. Probably not. Um, the delivery service, so the job is pretty similar. What's the delivery? I listened to your podcast. Oh, Eric Everett. Yeah. Yes, yes. He, we listened to that and it was like, oh, interesting. I could do that for a career when I retire.

Curt:

That's awesome. You guys listened

Mandy:

together. Yeah, we listened to it. Oh, that's great. I, we were driving somewhere. Oh, that's great. I don't remember where we were driving to, but we listened to it together. Nice to know.

Curt:

Yeah, it was great. Um, what else would you wanna tell me about family You wanna shout out to your folks or his for supporting along the way

Mandy:

or things like that? Absolutely. They've been a huge support. They, so my, my mom still lives in brush. Mm-hmm. Brush Beat Diggers. Um, she is a lot like me and that she's. Really community involved. I remember years ago she told me she's going to a rotary meeting and a chamber meeting. And I was like, what is that? I don't know what you're talking about. And now it's funny cause I'll be like, oh, I'm headed to my chamber board meeting. Yeah. Yeah. So I think we're a lot alike in those ways that I never really gave her enough credit for. Mm-hmm. Uh, but she's a go-getter and really wants to make an impact in her community. Cool. So coming full circle, I'm like, Hey, I'm a lot like my mom. Yeah. Uh, my dad lives in Windsor. Okay. Hard worker, awesome guy. Still works for Xcel Energy. Yeah. Um, they're Do they split

Curt:

up after you were off to college or, uh, in college they, yep. Again, it's kind of not unusual either. It's like, oh, the kids don't need us anymore. I guess. Guess we're gonna, I'm

Mandy:

bored of you. Yeah. Yeah. I guess it's time to rock things. I dunno. Well, that was a hard time in life, so it goes, um, it was a hard time, but we've come full circle very beautifully as a family and, um, yeah, they're, they're amazing. Nick's parents own a State Farm agency Oh. In brush as well. And they're, they're great. So they're all huge supporters. I think there have been a lot of times through our life where they're like, what are you doing Right. Between owning a business and running ultras, like, huh. But they all, as much as they don't get it right, right, right. They don't like, relate to us on some of these things. They've all been super supportive.

Curt:

So tell me about, uh, fusion Fit, because we kind of left that chapter out a little bit because that was a failed experiment, if I remember. Or maybe not a field experiment you learned. I mean, I learned, spent a lot of time and effort on some things

Mandy:

that Yeah, we, you know, I, we came down to winter this past year, so 20, like December, January, 2021, where we're looking at the promise and the opportunities with Run Windsor. Mm-hmm. and we can grow this, we can add on more events. We'd been offered to take over Wild West Relay in flaming foliage. I wanted, you know, we're having these ideas of this nonprofit. Yeah. And then we got fusion fit over here. Like sucking, sucking all, all your money, your time, all my time, all my energy. And you know, I think Nick and I had a conversation of some, we

adopted

Curt:

you and we're over it.

Mandy:

And we're over it. something's gotta give. And I made a really hard decision of closing the doors and it was great because Martin Lin, I sat down with Martin, you're like, Hey, like Martin,

Curt:

hey, you could sue me if you want too, but it's gonna like wreck this town and I'll trash your notes. So

Mandy:

No, no I didn't, I didn't own anything with Martin. Oh. So Martin had just opened up the W Club. Oh, in Water Valley. Okay. And they were in need of group fitness instructors and equip. Oh, right. And classes. Okay. And so I kind of went to Martin and was like, I've got this beautiful fusion fit thing that I've built. And it was op, I mean yeah. Outside of me not doing well financially with it, my members loved each other.

Curt:

Right. They had a community, a culture.

Mandy:

Great. Oh, we had such a great community culture. My instructors, my members, our babies are hard. Like they're all molding so well together. And I'm like, this is great, except for I'm losing money every month. And so I was able to go to Water Valley and we kind of essentially moved Fusion fit into the W Club. Oh, wow. And Martin was amazing. Like I have to give him Cool. Some, some kudos. I said

Curt:

I actually, Martin was a cowboy, like early stage developer when I lived and worked in Windsor back in oh two to oh five, I guess. Okay. And at that time I, you know, I was a banker, very conservative, and he was very, he was much more flamboyant and things in those days too. He's, he's settled down a little bit, but I've, he's been through some things. He's been through some things and, and he's one of the people that, one of the relative, you know, I didn't have a real strong high opinion of him at one point in my life, but he's completely turned it around. Good. Maybe not completely, but I, I have a, a fairly significant amount of respect and appreciation for what he's done, uh, over time and so

Mandy:

kudos. Yeah. He's done a lot. And I mean, I did have a, a meeting with Martin and it was funny because I said, Here's, and he knew who I was from Run Windsor. Sure. And I'm on the chamber board and you know, so he's super receptive to, to talking with me. But I, you know, sat down and kind of told him, here's Run Windsor, here's fusion fit. And at first I remember he offered, he's like, okay, I'll buy Run Windsor from you. And I'm like dancing in my seat, like, Uhuh, uh, it's not for sale. He's like, okay, so you're uncomfortable. You're not trying to sell me. Run Windsor. And I'm like, no. Like run Windsor's my baby. Like this, this baby is time growing, but if you adopt this, but if you could adopt my stepchild, vision fit, she is all yours. And so he, you know, interviewed my whole team. Hired almost all of them. Wow. Like, I think all of them that wanted a job, he hired me to be a trainer. Um, we brought, you know, our, our equipment into the gym. We got a hand in helping with the schedule, naming the classes. Wow. So now the cat's outta the bag. From a PR perspective, fusion Fit was now offered at the W Club. But from a, from a true perspective, I just got out of the gym ownership world Sure. And became an employee of Water Valley. Interesting. Cause

Curt:

Fusion Fit wasn't just a place, it was also a lifestyle.

Mandy:

It was, it was a community. I mean, I won small business of the year in 2020. Sure. Like people knew Fusion fit. Yeah. They didn't know the finances. And that Ron Windsor was

Curt:

financing. You probably helped the W Club get to the corner a lot faster. Cuz that's the thing about gyms is once you hit the break even point, then after that it, it's great. It just takes a long time to get to break even.

Mandy:

Yeah. And coming outta c Right, right. When that's part too, that, that was hard for me. We were breaking even, but out of covid, we just were losing money. Yeah. So Fusion fit is no longer. Yep. But I love my community, what I've built. And, and they're all still friends, you know? I see there are groups of them now that work out at other gyms in Windsor

Curt:

Right. Little clumps of

Mandy:

fusion fit. Yeah. And I love it. I'm like, that was our mark on it. And it's really hard not to sees them every day and be with their babies and have my gym, daycare, but also it's really nice not to Right. Own a

Curt:

gym. Yeah. Yeah. Understand. So, um, family is where we departed onto a squirrel. Chase, is there more things that you would like to say about family?

Mandy:

I don't think so. Okay. I think that it's, it's so important. Yeah.

Curt:

Agreed. You've done a great job's.

Mandy:

We've, uh, yeah, we're growing together. It's, it's never perfect though.

Curt:

Yeah. Yeah. Um, do you wanna talk about faith or politics or both?

Mandy:

Um, I'm gonna go with politics. Okay. What you say. So, I think before being a business owner, I wasn't sure of how I felt or why I felt that way. Okay. And coming out of mostly just Covid stuff, I've, I've started to develop my own view Okay. On what's right, what's not Right. Seeing the discrepancies and how our government supports us. Okay. There were a lot of gaps for me personally that I had no idea what exist.

Curt:

Um, just as far as like programs to access

Mandy:

and things like programs to ask access, support. Yeah. Um, I don't know. I think, I think we can do. I think we can do better to support small businesses in good times and in bad times. And I think it's a, from my perspective where I'm at, I see a lot of the large businesses get catered to get the attention. And we ignore the small guys, the little guys that need the help and the support. And that's where, you know, I feel like hopefully my impact with the Chamber and being a board member there and active Yeah. With them can help, help to support, just be aware of that kind of thing. Yeah. So I mean, I would say growing up like very liberal. Okay. And just because I don't, that's the way my parents voted for sure. Like we voted for Bill Clinton. That's, yeah. That's what we do. We, you know, support gay rights. We support everyone. We love everyone. Yeah. And it was all for the social issues. Sure. That's where my stance came from. Yeah. Yeah. And now as a business owner, I'm realizing there's some discrepancies there on policy and government outreach, overreach and, and, and that, so I won't say a whole lot about it's, but

Curt:

you're, it's a, you're a closet libertarian. Just like

Mandy:

most, I'm a closet libertarian, but I didn't realize it until I owned a business. And so that's been pretty eye opening to me. And so I'm still navigating that. Is there,

Curt:

like, we got an election coming up, uh, one week from today. We do. And what, uh, what's your sense of what way is the wind blowing.

Mandy:

I don't know. That's a, that's a hard one to

Curt:

gain. Predictions. Do you pay, you

Mandy:

don't pay that much attention. I don't pay that. I don't pay that much attention to it. Um, in Windsor, I know it's a hot topic with our school bond. Okay. We know that the bond has to pass. Okay. That we need, need that money

Curt:

to build the, we need that money to build the schools, kids getting overcrowded in schools

Mandy:

and whatever. Yeah. But I also understand the perspectives of those, and I'm friends with a lot of them who are voting now. Right. Because we're overtaxed because they haven't felt enough support Yeah. From the government for their businesses. But now they're expected to support the schools. Yeah. And it's hard cause they're not evil mean people. They love children, but it's, it's more their plea of is there a better way to do this? Is there a better way to fund it than taxing small businesses? Double? Or businesses in general and commercial property, double what? Oh wow. That's a

Curt:

big tax. It's huge. And commercial property is already taxed pretty

Mandy:

high. Absolutely. And so you look at someone that owns the storefront and they're paying, why would they wanna do that

Curt:

higher tax rate? So Well, and that's where democracy sometimes comes in, right? It's like, well if you don't own a snow front, then why wouldn't you vote for this? Yeah. Right. And so you got a small minority of people that do, and you're like, well, but I have to carry the load for everybody, you know? Yeah. Well, yeah.

Mandy:

It's tricky. And so from a, a Chamber member, I support the bond. Um, the chamber is supporting the bond. I as a mom,

Curt:

education

Mandy:

is clutch. Right? I, I support the bond, but I'm, I'm only bringing that up because I see that polarizing effect of, we all have so many different opinions. Right. Really, I think it'll pass. I think it has to pass, and I think Martin has gotten behind it. I know. Oh, yes. He didn't, he wasn't behind it at the last election. Oh, really? For a variety of reasons. He's behind it this year. I feel like whatever the issues were kind of got worked out, and so I think it'll pass, but I don't know. I think all I'll say is that it's been, it's been really eye opening and I, I always judged the other side of the street until I was in a position where policy impacted me Right. In taxes impacted me, and so now I'm like, okay, there is a different viewpoint here. Well, and if

Curt:

you, I mean, if you're gonna be a real closet libertarian, you have to be willing for the government just to do less. You absolutely like those, the ppp, the I, the bailouts from the 2008, nine financial crises, things like that. You just kind of have to be willing to let the pieces fall sometimes. Yeah. But we never will. We're, we're well beyond, no

Mandy:

those policies, but to watch people get like double unemployment during covid and then to like me to pay rent still on the gym and get nothing. Right. I'm like, this is so ass backwards. But I, two years ago, or it's four years before, when it was time to vote, I would've had no idea how to make that decision

Curt:

in eviction, moratoriums, you know, all those. In some, in some cases, like your parents that came out of a very blue collar, never educated, but they were able to shrimp and save and, and bought two rental properties. Yeah. Over time, you know, and then they just get to go without rent for a year.

Mandy:

Even though the rent is just paying, it's just covering, it's not, you're not renting cause you're millionaire, you don't cash flow in. Like you're just, you're breaking,

Curt:

got the mortgage and some maintenance expense. Yeah, yeah,

Mandy:

yeah. So yeah, it's been eye opening. So my, my views have changed a little bit there. I'm, I appreciate I the government to do a little bit less. That's for those that aren't willing to

Curt:

work hard, that's, uh, you don't see people owning a change of heart very often anymore. Yeah. Like, it seems like a confession of weakness I used, you know, but I, to me it's like a, a reflection of growth. I used to think this thing and now I think different. Yeah. Congratulations. Yeah.

Mandy:

And it's so cool how your life experiences can Totally can do that. And like, let's do that. Let's do things that challenge our thoughts. Yeah. And put something to the test more often.

Curt:

Fair enough. Better not perfect is the, uh, one of the slogans of the Libertarian party. Cause we can't make it perfect. No. Life is too complicated. Yeah. We want different things. Too often it's better. Yeah. Just better. Yeah. Um, did you read my blog from last month? I did it than the other day. It's, uh, it's scary times. Is the title okay? I think I saw it. Yeah. Cause I was looking You might enjoy it actually. All right. Do you know that by 2040 on kind of the trajectory we're on now, um, interest on the national debt will be the largest expenditure surpassing military in 2029 and social security in 2036. Just interest, just interest expense. Yeah. It's filed It seems like, like to me, I'd rather have my government do other things than pay interest on the debt of Yeah. Why are we here? Years joys

Mandy:

anyway. Oh, sale. And I, and I sometimes live in like my little blinders world where I'm like, oh, I don't wanna know too much of this. It's gonna make me sad and depressed. No, you're good. Some reality. No, no, it's fine. The reality is good. And I, my all my chamber friends too, they, they're all very, very political, politically charged and have strong opinions. And so they've, I've been this fun science experiment for them. Cause they're like, they're, oh, she knows nothing. Still a good teacher. So banding now what do you think about that? And I'm like, this is bullshit. No one's helping me. And they're like, Uhhuh. So that's how the done, like this is all working. And I'm like, okay, this is interesting, funny. I didn't learn this in brush. No one taught us politics really on that level. So it's all. Um, yeah. And I, going back to the faith piece, um, just quickly ending on that, I, I grew up Catholic. Okay.

Curt:

I figured With 12 kids. Behind the 12 kids.

Mandy:

Yeah. I mean that's a, that's a, that's a no birth control type of family dynamic there. Uh, I do have a, a big belief in a higher power Uhhuh, and I don't know what that exactly looks like. We call

Curt:

you a lapsed Catholic. There you go. Or maybe not ca you probably wouldn't even claim the Catholic

Mandy:

title. I don't even know if I'm Catholic anymore.

Curt:

But you haven't been anyplace else

Mandy:

yet. I haven't, no. So non-denominational, one of my dearest friends, um, Matt, he's a pastor. Okay. And so adore listening to like his take on life and he's a big influence in our life. Yeah. But I would say today, my time spent with my higher power and the universe is running. Yeah. Fair

Curt:

enough. No, I mean, I think that's, and he's

Mandy:

there. I think everyone needs, he's there when you're there. I think everyone needs that outlet. And I don't think it has to be in a church or in a building. Yeah. But it can be your way and you have to give back somehow. And it doesn't have to be monetarily always, I don't think. Yeah. I think, I think having that connection with him in higher power and the universe and whatever it is for you, you will find a way to give back. I think

Curt:

probably for your life and place in life. The biggest value of a checking out a church might be your boys, like have somebody else reinforcing what. Morality looks like what ethics are, how values could decipher, how the, the inherent conflict of human life of sometimes not doing the thing that's easy, not doing the things that's expedient.

Mandy:

Yes, absolutely. Finding those, those guiders

Curt:

in their, or doing that yourself. Right. Like you can, you can do that, but it's kind of sometimes especially complex chewy stuff like that. Mm-hmm. kids don't want hear that shit from their parents. No, they

Mandy:

don't. No. And we have so much, and we have a lot of really good influences in the boys' life. So, like Sean and, and our friend Matt, who I firmly believe they need to have other role models and friends and family influences that can not only be there in the good times, but discipline them. Right. And help guide them and tell them when they're messing up Yeah. Or saying something disrespectful or not being polite. And we all need that community. Yeah. Wherever you get that from. That's one

Curt:

of our, uh, one of our phrases we've adopted is, uh, it takes a good friend to be a front stabber. Yeah. Yes. At the local thing, tank chapters, you know, and just being willing to say, Hey, yeah, you are being a dumb ass right now. There you go. And sometimes your kids need that too. Not from you. Yes. Sometimes they need it from you. Yeah. But sometimes outside. So, um, anything else that you'd like to reflect on from a faith perspective? No, I think that's it.

Mandy:

Okay. You gotta have some Have

Curt:

a little faith. Have a little faith. Just like Michael Bolton. There you go. George. George got fake. Fake. Um, so the loco experiences are closing segment. Um, it could have probably been the Leadville run, uh, if you chose it to be, but the local experience is the craziest experience of your life that you'd care to describe to our listening audience.

Mandy:

Oh, man. It was Leadville. I feel like we did that.

Curt:

do you wanna talk more about like

Mandy:

No, I, you know what? The foot, the crash. I have another one. Okay. Let's hear it. So this goes back to my lesson learned that things don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have the stars aligned. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. to do something crazy. Yeah. Or bold or great. Right? Yeah. So my first ultra run was on accident Okay. And I signed up for it 24 hours before. Okay. So this goes back to our Sean and May. You're like, I thought this was a Ted K though. Yeah, no. So we, December comes around of 2020. Okay. And we're mad at the world, right. Like, stop shutting down races, stop telling us what we can and can't do. We're gonna travel this year, we're gonna take the bull by the horns, and maybe it, what it would've been 2020. So we decided to plan our whole year. The vaccine

Curt:

wasn't out yet in December, 2020. It was just starting to get into old people about

Mandy:

January. That's right. Yeah. So we still thought like, the world is our oyster. We can travel if we want. Right? Yeah. Yeah. But it's, we have to be creative. So my crew. Um, we call it the mo, the Moer Gar crew. So the Mullins and the Grams and the Wearies. We just took charge of life at this time. Okay. And we're like, we're gonna plan out our whole year of travel of races that are actually happening. Oh, right. So Leadville and Moab were putting on ultra races, and so Nick and Sean signed up for the Arches 50 mile race mm-hmm. in early March. And so we were all excited about their training and they were getting off and going, and I was feeling like I really need to train. Like, you're coming outta the holidays, I wanna start running. I gained three pounds over Christmas. I gained three pounds over Christmas, like we all did. I drink all the eggnog and I wanna run. So I'm, but I'm not gonna run this race in spring because they're training and we've got, we've all got kids, right? Right. So one spouse can run at a time. So I decided I'm going to just set a number of miles that I want to run in January. So I decided that number was somewhere like 900 miles, I think is what it was. Okay. I'm gonna run 900 miles in January, and so I decide my whole plan, I get January out and I write down the number of miles every single day, and that becomes a priority. Mind you, at the time I've got a family and the gym and run Windsor. But number one goal of the day is if it's set eight miles on the plan, you do eight miles on the plan and it's January. Doesn't matter what the temperature is, how much ice you, you make me seem

Curt:

like such a wimp in my own mind.

Mandy:

Again, anyone can do it, but you just have to in your mind, choose. Yeah. Commit. Mm-hmm. Nope. Today it says eight miles, and the only slot in my day is 5:00 AM So at 5:00 AM my ass is out of bed and I'm running eight miles in the snow, in the ice. So we go through all of January and we get to the last week, and I think I have 60 miles left or something, you know, in that last week. And so it's actually like the race was like January 31st. Okay. Is the day of the race. Now that I'm thinking back. And we're at the brewery with Sean and my husband Nick. And we're talking about them departing. Yeah, they're, they're making their last plans. It's like three days until the race, and they're talking about what they're gonna pack, what they're gonna do. Meanwhile, Meg is super pregnant. Okay. But she's not due for like another two or three weeks. Right? Right. So we think we're good. Meg calls me and she's like, I think my water broke. Oh. I'm like, oh wait, what? And she's like, don't say anything to Sean. Don't freak him out.

Curt:

Like right now, like, like right now,

Mandy:

like, like three days before this race. Yeah. Three days where the boys are gonna head to mow out to run a 50 mile ultra. Okay. And I'm like, okay, call your doctor. Go to the doctor. You keep a really important secret. She's like, don't, don't freak Sean out. I'm like, yeah, right now, literally the boys are like making their list of what they're gonna pack to take to Moap, like go to the hospital. So we all depart and I try not to say anything. I think I tell Nick Meg's water might have broke. Like he might not be able to. And a couple hours later Sean calls and he's like, Hey, I need you to go to the house and get our bags because we're at the hospital, right? And Mike's water broke and we're having a baby and I'm not sure I can head out to Moab tomorrow. It was actually was the next day. Oh my God, I don't think I can head out to Moab tomorrow. And I was like, okay, reframe that. You're actually not going to Moab tomorrow if her water broke. Like I know you might be having a hard time coming her, but like you're gonna have a baby you're having a baby, and no, you're not going to Moab tomorrow, so yes, I'll bring your back to you. Let me know when to come. And then he's like, okay, but you're running this race. I'm like, I'm not, no. What? No. To this point, I've never run more than a marathon. 26 miles is the furthest distance I've ever run. Right? Ever. And so I get to the hospital to bring the bag and I meet him in the lobby and he's like, Mandy, you have to go and run arches. Nick can't go by himself. He's not gonna go run 50 miles by himself in Moab.

Curt:

Megan doesn't need

Mandy:

you. She's got me here. Yeah. Like, I got I, I'm gonna stay here cuz I'm having a baby. Apparently you're gonna take my race entry and go run in Moab. And I'm like, Sean, I've never run more than a marathon. So now the rules are reversing. Right. And he's like coaching me, giving me the motivation, telling me I can do this. And is 50 miles or how far?

Curt:

50 miles. Okay. So it's just twice as far as marathon.

Mandy:

Just twice as far as a marathon. Yeah. And I'm like, there's no way. And you know, he's telling me you've run almost 900 miles. Like, sure you haven't done more than 26 miles in one effort, but you are crushing the miles. You are good to go. Yeah, you're ready. All right. So I email the race directors a Mad Moose, Denise and Rick. They're so, so sweet. And I'm like, Hey Denise. I'm coming to Moow tomorrow with Nick. Slight change of plans. Sean's having a baby and not running 50 miles, but he wants to gimme his race bib. Can I just run it? But also like I'm not sure if I wanna run 50 miles. Do you have a 25 mile? Can I do the 50 K? Cause there's a 50 K. Oh, okay. Or maybe it was a hundred K, it was a hundred K, whatever it was, it was a different distance. And so I'm saying like, can I run the shorter distance? And she's um, oh yeah, it would've been the 50 K. And she's like, she never writes me. It's what like a bottom less than a marathon. It's like 36, 32 miles. Gotcha. 32 miles. And I'm doing all the math in marathon. A heavy marathon basically. Yeah. Basically a heavy marathon. And so it was a 50 K. And I'm like, can I just do that one? It said she never writes me back. And I go home and I tell Nick, like, Sean thinks I should just run this. And Nick's like, absolutely, let's go. I'll call my parents right now, have them come watch the kids. We'll leave from Moab in the morning. And I'm like, are you shitting me? Like what? This is crazy. I love it. And I'm like checking my email, right? Like stalker style. Like, Denise, please tell me I can switch the 50 K, I wanna do the 50 K, I wanna do the 50 K. And she never writes me back. We had demo mov the next. We get there for packet pickup and I'm like, fine. I guess I'm doing the 50 miler, cuz she never wrote me back. So this whole time I'm talking myself up, like, you can do it. And we get to pack pickup. She's like, Mandy, I'm so sorry I saw your email. I never got back to you. Absolutely. Do you want me to switch you down to the 50 K? I'm like, well no Denise, I just spent the last nine hour drive, boost myself that I, I can do 50 miles. So let's just do the damn thing. And so we did it and it was amazing. Awesome. Crushed it. Yeah. Like I won't say that I've crushed many races. That one you did. I crushed it. Love it. We get to the finish line and Nick looks at me and he's like, what the hell was that I'm like, what do you mean? What was that? And he's like, why do you feel so good? Why were you like sprinting at the end? Like, have you and Sean been out like secretly running ultramarathons without me knowing? I'm like, no, I've never run more than that. But I just felt so good. That's awesome. And so I debunked all the myths about proper training for a 50 mile race. Right. Um, I mean, I placed, it's a small race, so to say. I placed his not a huge statement. Yeah. Because there were only like 50 women, but I was like sixth or something. Or third. Yeah. I'd been third. That's impressive. Anyways, that was the crazy thing off over here because I think it's a cool thing. I, I never thought I'd run 50 miles. Yeah. And not with a 24 hour notice. Right. Right. And I think it was back, I think like shit doesn't have to be perfect. Like sometimes you can just go for it. Yeah. And see what happens. I love it. Anyways, that's how I got an ultra running and then I was hooked. I was like done. I'm doing all the ultra running, not even

Curt:

doing marathons anymore. That's too easy.

Mandy:

And then I got my ass handed to me with some 50 mile races. Since then, I've been humbled. Yeah. Which is good. Yeah,

Curt:

for sure. It's good for a person. Um, I had you take that halls, uh, assessment and then, uh, we didn't talk about it, this whole thing, but, uh, you mentioned that you thought it pretty much nailed you. You are a, your orange is the achiever entrepreneur. Mm-hmm. the blue, quite organized. Mm-hmm. and, and people and, and pretty fairly tolerant ideas and things like that. So you were saying it felt, felt pretty good. Uh, pretty accurate to, to your who. And one thing I've noticed is that my, my women business owners have more orange to them. Yeah. What is that? Why? You know, and I wanted to get on that a little bit more when you were talking about, uh, being a five foot, two Hispanic girl with a chip on her shoulder in the business world and stuff. that's it. But I think that's part of it. Mm-hmm. like it's, it, it maybe is a little, I think it is a little harder sometimes and, and sometimes easier, you know, uh, depending on the industry, the situation, things like that. But, um, that would be my suspicion is that it takes a little bit more. Grunt and oom and perseverance for some, for women sometimes to get it off the ground on a, on a venture than, than the male counterparts. Have you felt, um, like discriminated against, uh, in that realm and which do you think is, like, this is a fucking awkward question, but do you think your, your Hispanic kind of background and, and you do present, I I didn't really think about it before, frankly. You mentioned Chavez, but you do have a, have a Hispanic appearance about you. Mm-hmm. Do you think that's been more of a, a challenging thing or the, the girl slash mom? Cuz I think even there's some, a little bit of that seems to me, seems possible to me that that's even the, the most, uh, disrespected thing is the mom, aside from the female, but the mom is actually, people don't take you serious cuz you got these ankle biters at home.

Mandy:

Absolutely. I, I would agree. I have a chip on my shoulder on the Hispanic piece that goes back from my time waitressing and I've never been able to let that go. Yeah. I had my first customers at droves, which is like the sale barn restaurant I worked at. Yeah. Yeah. Like there's literally, they do the cattle sale and the whole ranchers. There's stuff like that cow shit on the ground in this restaurant that you're eating at Beautiful drivers, but it's gross. Yeah. It's disgusting. Smelly, terrible. Droves. I go up to serve my first table and it's an elderly couple. Mm-hmm. I ask them what they want to drink my first night on the job, they say, we want a new server. Oh. And I'm like, oh, okay. What? Why? And they're like, I just need a new server. So I go tell my manager, wow. They want a new server. I know it's my first night, but all I literally did was ask what they wanted to drink. Yeah. Don't know what I did wrong. She goes and talks to 'em. She returns and says, no big deal. They just want someone that's not brown. Gosh. It's like, cool. All right. Guess I'm moving on to the next table. Like I didn't quit. I didn't throw a fit. Yeah. I just was like, all right, it is what it is. I live in Brush Colorado, I guess. And these people don't want a brown server. I guess so. Yeah. But right. Like I, and I go back to that and I'm like, not really. I don't even think I went home and told my parents about that. Wow. Like, I think I just was

Curt:

like fascinating. I don't think I've witnessed an incidence of blatant racism like that in my life. Yeah. Isn't that wild? I didn't really know. It still was a thing. Yeah.

Mandy:

And I mean, this was in two, 2001. Yeah. Probably 2002. Yeah. Well, yeah, but so much like I didn't quit. Right. And then I'm like, what does that say about me? I don't know. I've never dissected that like, or I didn't, I didn't get mad at the manager for not having my back. That's what I should have done. Probably she had. She just was like, they want someone else, I'm gonna send Carrie over to take care of them, do it on the next table. And I was like, okay, cool. I'll do that. And I just moved on with my day. Yeah. Yeah. And I do remember feeling really refreshed when I quit that job. Yeah. And I got hired at Pizza Hut. Right. You know, the next step up to go pub canola oil. Right. But I don't know. So I mean, that happened, so I've probably always worn that chip a little bit. Yeah. Knowing that like, I am a minority. I, I'm gonna face these obstacles, but I think from a business standpoint, it's more been this role of a mom and a female. Yeah. Because I do think maybe sponsors don't take me seriously. Yeah. They don't think that I am actually working my ass off all day, every day. I'm building

Curt:

a movement here. What have you done?

Mandy:

Yeah. Like, do they think that I'm like asking them for sponsorship dollars so I can clock out at four and go do like cookie cutter peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my kids' snacks when I'm like, actually I'm not. And Nick's holding down the home front. Yeah. So we can build our empire, make a difference in our community. Yeah. So I think I, I, I know that that's probably happening more, more than not, but I also really believe strongly in the Windsor community and the female community everywhere globally, there is a lot of girl power going. There is a lot of girl power. Like there is a lot of like, don't mess with. Yeah, we are strong. And here, here are the deliverables. Here is what we are doing. Is it Michelle?

Curt:

Michelle. Vince? Yeah. She's the head of the chamber now. Oh.

Mandy:

She's like stalker calling me right now.

Curt:

Mm-hmm. I love her. She's, uh, she's amazing. She's a pretty cool gal. And the, the few Windsor Chamber events I've engaged with, I've been really pleased with the, just the character and the vibe that you got going on is definitely a, a growth abundance mentality. And, and so yeah. Kudos on

Mandy:

that. Yeah. Thank you. But yeah, we're, we're orange. We're orange. I mean, my tribe I hang out with, I call 'em, we call 'em the tribe. We are that orange description that you've read there, the Orange Fitness. So we don't know if it's good or if it's bad, but we're making stuff happen. Yeah. Yeah. And we're, we're championing not just what each other's doing or not what we're doing ourselves, but what each other's doing. Yeah. On that whole global front. Cool. And the community mission. Well,

Curt:

I am super proud to, I haven't even mentioned it yet, but super proud to have you as a brand new local think tank member. We booked the podcast even before that was official, but I just love what you're doing and wanted to be able to share, uh, an inspiring journey with, uh, the brilliant Unlimit. So

Mandy:

Well, thank you for coming me. It's been a pleasure. Awesome.

Curt:

I see you next time. Oh, how do people find you? If people, yeah, like you use the Google. I'm sure they can figured out. You can gts give 'em, give 'em your, give your handles and

Mandy:

stuff. So, so the best way to get in touch with us is to visit run windsor co.com to get the full vision of our website, all of our event. You can find us on Instagram Run Windsor Co. And Facebook and Windsor Gifts is new. I mean, pretty soon Windsor gives that org. We'll be up in line. We'll, it's not yet, but yeah, we'll have a website. It's, it's being built and

Curt:

if you're listening out there and you have a community that needs more cohesion, you know, Manny's working on it. She, we'll have something for you here, not too long. Or if you wanna sponsor or if you wanna sponsor, that's great too. Shameless plug. Agree.

Mandy:

All right. Thanks for being here. Thank you.