#082 – How often do you think about safety on the road when stepping outside for a run? From bodybuilding to international running champion to creating a revolutionary product for runner safety, Simon Curran shares the inspiring story behind Noxgear and its positive impact on the running community.
Find out about the journey of Noxgear’s groundbreaking safety products, from inception to success
Learn about the key factors in maintaining running safety when faced with low visibility environments
Hear invaluable advice for runners to sidestep injuries and elevate the importance of safety
Simon is the CEO of Noxgear. He applied his studies of Artificial Intelligence and Humanoid Robotics at Moog, an Aerospace engineering firm in Buffalo NY. He led their R&D center and was the technical lead for the F-35 flight controls before moving back to Ohio and co-founding Noxgear in 2013. Simon holds a BS/MS Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering in 2007 from Ohio State.
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[00:00:00] Hey everyone. How often do you think about safety when you’re doing your outdoor runs? Well, if you’re like me, you just want to put on your shoes and get out there, but we really need to think about our safety. And we’re sitting down with Simon Curran, CEO of Noxgear, and he shares reasons why we need to think about safety.
Some really great tips on how to stay safe on the road. And cool gear that’s going to help us come home safely hope you enjoy
Richard Conner: Hi everyone. Welcome to Inspire to Run Podcast. [00:01:00] Today I’m here with Simon Curran, who is the CEO of Noxgear. Simon applied his studies of artificial intelligence and humanoid robotics and MOG and aerospace engineering firm in Buffalo, New York. He led their R&D center and was the technical lead for the F 35 flight controls before moving back to Ohio and co-founding Noxgear in 2013.
He holds a bachelor’s and masters in electrical, computer and mechanical engineering from Ohio State. Welcome to the show, Simon.
Simon Curran: Wow. Thanks, Richard. Glad to be here. You make that sound way cooler when you say it.
Richard Conner: Well, let me tell you something. You have an impressive background, so I’m sure. It’s, it’s impressive on its own. So, but I appreciate that and I appreciate you being here to share your amazing journey and story with our community. So, love to learn more about you, uh, the work that you’ve done, you as a runner and you know about your company and how you support, you know, the kind of the running and sports community.
So, you know, welcome.
Simon Curran: Glad to be here.[00:02:00]
Richard Conner: Yeah. So let, let’s kind of roll back the clock a little bit and just learn a little bit more about you in terms of how did thi, how did things begin for you, you know, let’s maybe wh where you started running and, you know, yeah. Take us back there.
Simon Curran: for me, running didn’t start until I got into my career after grad school. , I was a bodybuilder about 50 or 60 pounds heavier , , And when I got to that company, there were a lot of runners and they told me about this race coming up called the the Corporate Challenge, where , thousands of people show up in downtown Buffalo and people from each company run and the top four people, , from each company, , compete for a place in the international championship posted around the world.
So I heard about that after a few months of being there. And as was a big, bulky bodybuilder. And, uh, the, the guy that I had met there, his wife said, Simon, don’t even try. You’re gonna hurt yourself. You know, don’t overdo it. It’s, it’s a [00:03:00] hard race. People go out really hard. And that’s when I probably realized who I am is somebody who loves a challenge.
And so, basically she didn’t note at the time, but she challenged me. Um, and I took that challenge. And fast forward one or two years later. And I was the first place winner of the corporate challenge, um, which is a, it is a three and a half mile race in downtown Buffalo, but I was the first place male on a, on the male team.
And, uh, her husband was also on the team. And we, we ended up going to, that was Singapore for the international championship. And that really started the runner bug for me. I mean, you know, You’re going to an international championship, you sound like you’re really cool and really fast. But honestly, over there, I think the history of all corporate challenges around the country, there’s like 50 across E there’s 50 different cities I think that compete.
And uh, I think we were the slowest winning team maybe in history, but [00:04:00] we were still in, uh, we still earned our spot to go to Singapore. And from there I just looked at running as a new challenge that I’d never. I’d never really exercised that part of, of me, and I sure did like it more than being inside of a gym.
Uh, it, you know, running is a, we can really get into it, but there’s so many advantages to running and it’s also, it depends on how you look at it. It’s an easy thing to do. You just need a, need, a pair of sneakers.
Richard Conner: That’s for sure, and that’s an incredible story and. You know, I’d love to hear kind of these origin stories about how runners got into the sport and, and I love yours, and I think some of what you said around kind of. Being outside of the gym or being outdoors is definitely a draw for folks. And as well as it’s something that’s relatively easy to, to start with, right?
To get into. It’s not as expensive until you’re maybe getting more to the higher level races or more kind of elite level. But, um, but [00:05:00] yeah. I love what you said. And so tell me a little bit more about the, the experience in Singapore. So that’s you qualified for that race, and how was that for you?
Simon Curran: Um, well, you know, I was still just kind of exiting the bodybuilder scene, so I, every time I ran my RPMs were at the red line, you know, it was much harder for my body. And people were like, Simon, it looks like you’re gonna bust your head’s all bright red. But I have a hard time not operating near that red line.
Um, and almost en enjoying it. But when we got there, I mean, it was 99% humidity. We, we didn’t have any thought of being part of the, uh, fastest team in the world, so we just had a good time the night before we met up with other teams who were in the similar situation from around the world. Um, a great team from South Africa still, still stay connected with them, and we just had a, a good time with it.
We didn’t take it seriously. Um, Yeah, but [00:06:00] I, to your point about running and you know how easy it, it is or, you know, it’s just outdoors. There was this line I came up with, I’m gonna forget it, but to me it’s like, um, what is it when we run, is it endorphins are released, right? Um, uh, an enormous amount of endorphins are released when we run and, and when we’re done.
And some of the, the, the chemicals that are released in our brain are the same ones that are released for people who. Smoke, do cocaine, do all the drugs, but you know what we get to do? We don’t have to pay for it. We can get that same release by putting on some sneakers, going out for 30 minutes and coming back and it’s like, uh, it’s an never ending, you know, source of endorphins as long as you can, you know, put those sneakers on and get out there.
Richard Conner: I love that. I love that. And you’re absolutely right. And you know, it’s something that I enjoy doing, um, as far back as high school. So it’s a, it is a sport that I felt like I could [00:07:00] do. Uh, wasn’t very coordinated to do some of the other sports like basketball or baseball, but running, I really got into, and I.
You know, I didn’t do it for a number of years, like through college and after college, other than maybe just as part as working out, and I got back into it just a few years ago doing 5K back at my old high school, and I started to realize what I had been missing all this time. And then around 2018, I think it was, I started to get into obstacle course racing.
And then for me that was the challenge. That was a way to really kind of get back into sports and get back into running and, you know, challenge accepted. I have a whole story of what ensued after that, but, um, but definitely missed or realized what I had missed all those years by not, you know, kind of sticking with the running.
Simon Curran: And it’s hard to put your finger on what that is that, that, that you miss. Because you know, I look at it two ways. When I got into running and started to do well in these local races, there was certainly the 5k, the 10 k. Race that when you finish it, you [00:08:00] just feel so happy. The rest of the day, you, you know, you’re, you’re floating.
No matter how well you do at the race at all, you got to be with other people. You meet new people, you got that exercise in. So there was that element to it. And then lately, you know, with the, with my two daughters and C O V I, I just found that, um, running in and of itself, Was nearly as good as the race.
Not quite as good as the race, but just the, the, just the process of going out for that daily, uh, run is, um, you know, it’s almost like, well, please don’t, uh, find me on a day that I didn’t get the run, you know, because there was something missing. And, and it’s become, uh, an easy way to deal with stresses in life and, and everything that comes at you.
As long as you can lace up and get out there for sure. But there, yeah, there’s those two things. It’s either the, there’s both the race side of it and then there’s just the pure joy of having [00:09:00] done something. It’s kinda like making your bed in the morning, right? It’s one, you can’t start the day right, unless you’ve made your bed.
Everything’s a little messy there, but once you’ve made your bed, you’ve ac already accomplished something for the day. But if you can get that run out of the way, you may not have been productive at work or gotten everything done that you wanted, but you can always say, I got that run done. It’s nice.
Richard Conner: For sure, for sure. Well, I love your story, Simon. I appreciate you sharing that with us. And you know, I know there’s a strong connection with, with running with the work that you’re doing now, but love to hear a little bit about your professional journey and what led you to, you know, be a co-founder for Noxgear.
So if you could share a little bit about that story.
Simon Curran: Sure. Yeah. So when I was, um, my, my business partner who became my friend at Moog, him and I actually attended grad school together at Ohio State, but didn’t know it. And I was asked to help recruit him up to Mogue and Buffalo.
And when we were there, we quickly found [00:10:00] ourself, um, Doing things that people thought couldn’t be done inside of that company for, uh, research and development. And that had us rub Bonobos with executives and, uh, the C-suite, you know, it’s like, hey, these young guys, they’re, they’re solving these problems that we didn’t think we could solve.
And, and that got me, um, interface with the site of business. You know, I’m doing the engineering, the research and development, creating a product that then goes on a helicopter or an aircraft and. Then I would start to question, you know, a little bit what they were, the business decisions they were making, or just want to be around them when they were making the business decision.
So my, my friend Tom and I said, Hey, why don’t we take some of this time? The, the guy who uh, created the research development lab said, you know, if you have other pet projects, go for it. You know, just take your spare time and, and go with it. So why don’t we come up with an idea, Tom, he’s my business partner, uh, that.
That we can just create, create [00:11:00] something that will be our own eventually. And we toyed around night after night, you know, portable desktop blender for your smoothie, all these crazy ideas. Um, and then without thinking one night we realized, um, we had a. We really wanted to play ultimate Frisbee the next day at night with all of our engineers.
We were big on ultimate Frisbee, but they wanted to do a night game, and they’d always been using these glow sticks, which just did not work. So we wanted to surprise ’em the next day and come up with something. So we went to my apartment, got my old fiber optic Christmas tree that my ex-girlfriend left me and cut it up and spent the whole night and the next day in the lab producing these.
These, uh, you know, duct taped on fiber optics that were red and green. And, you know, I remember one guy came to the lab and he is like, Hey, um, what are you guys doing? I’m like, Hey, we’re shutting the lab down today. We got this important work we gotta do and it’s building these fiber optic vests. The next night.
Rolled around and, um, yeah, Richard, we put these [00:12:00] vests on, everybody duct taped them on, and the sun went down. We went out there and it was like, I turned to Tom. I’m like, dude, this, there’s something special here. It was like Tron in real life, right? And cars were pulling over watching us play. Kids were coming out just watching us play.
I’m like, there’s something here. And. Tom’s like, well, maybe this is it. So fast forward a year, Tom’s moved back to Ohio to be with his girlfriend and start the, the business end of the company. I follow him about six months later back to Ohio. And, uh, we launch on Kickstarter, uh, pretty much 10 years ago.
And Kickstarter is where we offered both a version. Um, you know, obviously as, so as a side story, I saw this and said, holy crap, I can use this for running, because at that time, 10 years ago, there was absolutely nothing that would allow me to be seen while I’m running, uh, when it’s dark out, would allow me to be seen in the really the most important [00:13:00] situations, not when you’re right in front of a car.
That’s usually where they can see you with a little bit of reflectivity. The, the, the point of where cars are turning or where you’re not directly in the, in front of the headlights. So I needed something to light me up from every direction. So I said, Tom, I’m gonna take this. And it adapted for me as a runner.
Uh, you do the, the nighttime ultimate side of things. And we merged those into two products that’s went on Kickstarter, and that’s where Kickstarter spoke. You know, a lot of people gravitated towards the, what we call the Tracer 360, the, the vest for runners. And, um, and rightly so, because there was nothing else out there that really solved that problem, illumination in different directions.
We did dig into the science of it all too. There’s a lot of visual science that goes behind multicolor illumination because for the longest time until we, until we changed it, um, the trend was red. Red lights. Red lights are actually one of the hardest colors for your eyes to see at night, unless [00:14:00] you’re, you’re looking directly at that light.
So again, that’s not the best situation. For a driver, they’re not looking directly at you. You need to catch their attention in your peripheral vision. So depending on what they’re looking at inside of their car or their phone and they glance up, their eyes are adapting to different colors. So you really need that multicolor illumination that we brought to the table from every direction.
Um, and that was it. People saw this as, as that solution, I think because they had been frustrated just like me, out there running and a car just turned right by you and didn’t see you. Well, yeah, maybe you did have a light, but it was only pointing in one direction or you had reflectivity and you weren’t in front of their headlights, which is, you know, it’s a bad place to be.
Anyways, so that, that was it. That was the start of, of NOS gear and from there we formed a community and, you know, we listened to our community and we’ve been really creating products around with the community, um, what we call NOx, gear Nation has been asking.
Richard Conner: I love it. What an [00:15:00] incredible story. And I love how you applied the engineering knowledge and skills that you had to solve, you know, a problem kind of in this sports and the athletic world. And you’re absolutely right, and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to bring you on the show is to talk about this important topic of run our safety, because you’re not always running on a treadmill or don’t have the opportunity to run.
During the day, if you work full-time, you have a family. Like sometimes running in the evening or at night is the only time that you can run. And that’s the situation that I found myself in, where I was running more outdoors. I was running at night. And uh, I I, so just for our listeners to know, I have a Tracer 360.
Absolutely love it. And I remember going out one night, it wasn’t quite sunset, but I was about to go out the door for my run, and my wife said to me, wait a minute, aren’t you gonna wear your lights? So like, it’s just, it’s just been an incredible product for me to use and gives me a lot more flexibility in terms of when I could do my runs and being out in the road.
[00:16:00] I will say that I don’t necessarily love running at night, but I don’t always have a choice. So this gives me that option to be out there when I have to, especially you know, in the northeast where I am in the winter when it gets dark early and you, you get outta work and hey, that’s, that’s it. It may not be too late, but it’s already dark outside, so, Wanted to bring you on the, on the, on this, um, on this podcast to talk number one about runner safety, but also number two, about how wonderful your products are.
And I just had a, you know, great experience with them.
Simon Curran: Appreciate that, Richard. Thanks. I think that’s the, the common thread that we always see in with our customers and with Noxgear Nation is that there’s something about the tracer that they, that, that they gravitate to. You know, you, you have that sense of safety that you feel with it, but then it forms a sense of community.
It’s when, when the tracer got into a running group, It just kind of proliferates in the running group. And, and it, I get it. Like I, when I go out with the group, I, I want to be part of that group. We [00:17:00] choose our color for the day. Everyone’s maybe a different color depending on how they’re feeling. So there’s that different, uh, it gives you something else to kind of spice up the run.
But I, I look at running safety, you know, in the totality of it. There’s so much involved in runner safety. We put on fresh shoes when they get old so that we don’t get injuries. You know, you gotta keep an eye on the mileage for your sneakers. So it starts with, you know, good sneakers so you don’t get injured and you don’t want to be in physical therapy all the time because you’re wearing a bad pair of shoes.
So, you know, it starts with, with good shoes and keeping those up to date. And then it goes all the way to when you head out for a run, you wanna make sure you come back without, you know, being injured. And that’s, that’s our Tracer 360 s. There’s all kinds of little things that you do, whether you, you run at night or not.
You know, I, I, I really tell people, Daytime, make sure when you’re coming up to an intersection and there’s a car turning right, nine times out of 10, they’re not gonna look right before they turn. So don’t go in front of ’em. And [00:18:00] if you ever have to go front in front of a car, whether it’s backing out of a driveway or something, you have to make eye contact with that driver.
You know, in that situation you’ve gotta make eye contact with the driver, especially when they’re doing the right hand turn. Um, I’m still seeing folks running with traffic. Um, And I really recommend that people on areas that there’s no sidewalks run against traffic. That’s usually the law in most states.
But yeah, I highly recommend that. It’s, um, it’s a funny thing, why do we run, you know, we run to be happy and healthy. And, uh, it’s a prayer that I say at night for my family, you know, uh, help us be happy, healthy, and safe. And so then I’m thinking, well, what can I, what can I bring to the running community? I, I hope to bring safety.
And in some sense, the tracers bringing health to the running community, you know, because it’s keeping you healthy. So, yeah, I think, uh, look at the, the running as a whole totality. It’s not just get out there and brute force. Get through it, [00:19:00] enjoy it. Make sure you come back safe.
Richard Conner: Yeah, that’s very, very important. And you brought up a lot of great tips and important tips in terms of, you know, rules for the road and, and that, that’s really important. I have a, a personal story. I’m sure a lot of the runners, uh, listening to this podcast have these stories as well. I. I was running on the road, which, you know, in the past I never really did.
I ran, I did a lot of my runs on the treadmill unless I was, um, running a race. So, you know, through the course of the pandemic, this is when I really started to run outdoors a lot more than I had done in the past. And I remember I was going to cross a street where a car was coming to a stop sign and the car.
I don’t remember if the car just didn’t stop or just started to go again when I was crossing the street. Either way it was not a good situation. So from then on, exactly like you said, I never run in front of a car again. Even if they see me and stop, I still run behind them cause I just can’t be sure that that’s the case.
So I appreciate you sharing that tip, and I’m sure a lot of folks, you know, listening can relate to that.[00:20:00]
Simon Curran: Absolutely. Yep.
Richard Conner: So. I know you have, so you have the Tracer 360. Oh, another quick story. Uh, running with the Tracer 360. I can’t tell you how many times someone has stopped me either sitting out on their front porch or driving in their car. Oh, nice lights, or What is that? What are you wearing? Or Nice jacket. I’m like, no, it’s, it’s not my jacket.
It’s, it’s the light. So, you know, I think what you’re talking about, like that community. It really draws attention from others, which from a safety perspective is, is great, but also just from a broader, you know, kind of community perspective and awareness that that’s pretty cool too.
Simon Curran: I mean, that’s there. Okay. So there’s all kinds of stores we get. That’s definitely one. And, and to, to one up that one because it seems like. We hear that all the time and um, and of course we always think about the name Noxgear, and it’s like, wow, we, we might have come up with a terrible name because someone stops and it’s like, wow, what is that?
Or they’re driving by and they roll [00:21:00] down the window and you try to say, Noxgear. They don’t understand what you’re saying. Half the time. The, the, the story behind Noxgear though, where there were a couple different names, but, uh, Nox is Latin for nocturnal, also the Greek goddess of the night. So that’s the, the nocturnal gear.
Um, but yeah, so everyone’s like, um, People stop and ask, what is that? Where can I get that? That’s really cool. We’ve had one cup, one, one person say that they met their wife. That way. They, they said, wow, I keep seeing you run by, what is that? And that was the, uh, icebreaker that started that conversation that ended up starting a marriage.
So got one for, uh, 1, 1, 1 for a marriage here. But also, what else did we do? We’ve, we’ve had stories from car See me, I feel safe. They see me well in advance to, um, at least one story. Someone slipped on the ice, fell, couldn’t get [00:22:00] back up. Was on a dark country road and it only because they’re wearing the tracer and it was flashing to the car.
Driving by see them and get them to the hospital you, so you just never know why you need it.
Richard Conner: Yeah, I love you. Sh I love the fact that you’re sharing these stories, um, because it’s important, you know, for all of us to be safe and we don’t know. What could happen, right? We’re thinking, you know, just like you get in the car and you go to work, or you do what you’re gonna do on a daily basis, you’re gonna go out, put your sneakers on, and go out for your run.
You assume that you’re gonna be safe and hopefully everybody is right, but you don’t know the situations that are gonna happen. So, ha. Being prepared and having those tools with you to help you is certainly going to help, you know. Ensure your safety. So those are really cool stories that, that you shared.
And I know you have other products more than the Tracer 360 to help, um, with the runs. Uh, I know I picked up a couple, um, over the last year, but, you know, tell us a little bit more about kind of what, what [00:23:00] accessories are, kind of what goes with the 360.
Simon Curran: Yeah, the, uh, the tracer customers told us, you gotta make one for the dogs. And, and they were right. So we. Tom and I don’t do anything, you know, lightly. So we engineered it for over a year to make sure that it pro produced actual illumination around the entire dog. Versus there were some just check the box, uh, cheap versions on Amazon that looked okay on Amazon from one image.
But you actually look at the solution and you’re like, well, I can’t see the dog from every angle. That’s not gonna work. So we, we spent some time, came up with a light hound that’s our, our dog illuminated vest. Same. Visual science technology went in into that. Um, and then, um, over the past six years, I’ve been working on refining this, um, speaker that we have.
It’s called the 39 G. So the story there is, um, you know, I do a lot of my long runs actually daylight, and I’m, I’m out there for two, three hours for a long run on a, on a weekend, and, I [00:24:00] can’t stand having anything in my ear for that long. Um, it just gets uncomfortable, it get sweaty. I don’t really feel like I’m, I’m part of the bike path or the streets, and you lose that situational awareness of the cars when you’re really out there.
But, but also, I just can’t stand having stuff in my ear. So I’d have my phone on speaker phone. Um, I get really sweaty. I either run with just a tank top or no shirt, so I’m like, I, I need to be able to listen to my speaker phone just too far away. So that gave the genesis to our. Wearable Bluetooth speaker, which in order to pull that off, we had to make it extremely light.
But we were aerospace, you know, in the aerospace world. So we knew how to engineer the crap out of like reducing weight. So that’s where we came up with a 39 gram wearable Bluetooth speaker. I wanted to be able to use it, you know, around the house in the shower where I can blast it really loud or really quiet out on a run where it can last forever because I’m wearing it maybe up by my chest.
I wanted to be able to answer a phone call and talk through [00:25:00] it. Like if my wife called and I was out on a run. So that was, you know, that, that was just my baby for the longest time. And then we had to come up with a unique way to, to clip it on. Um, so you could wear it, you know, on a collared shirt or, um, you know, with what we call magnet modes.
You can wear it through a shirt and zip up a zip up a collared shirt so that, you know, it can keep your neck warm, but you never wanna clip something on and have it like, Poke into your neck. So we came up with this patented, um, clip, which, uh, is just been, it’s awesome because you can wear it with just about, well, you can wear it with anything, not just about anything.
Um, and that for me, it was like, I just want to make this, I really want to make it. And then it took about a year for me to realize, well, this is totally within Noxgear brand and ethos of. Of safety because I can hear everything around me. I can hear the birds, I can hear the cars, my music and my podcasts are just like a part of me.
You know, they’re just part of my, my run or, , my daily life. So that, [00:26:00] that product for me is just, it’s my go-to product now these days. And as you probably know with the tracer, we’ve added on a, a chest lamp that clips on at the front of the tracer. People are loving that. Um, what we’re doing with that is accessories and the heck out of that lamp.
So we’ve got all kinds of different accessories that can, uh, have that lamp clip onto your wrist. So if you’re out for a walk, uh, you know, you can become a, a, a light that’s on your wrist. You don’t have to hold a flashlight and you’re out on a nice walk with a dog. And you can, uh, hold the leash. Uh, we’ve got a universal clip.
We can clip that on to anything, you know, a wall corner of a desk. Um, We’ve got one product coming out. Uh, I’m not giving away in saying that it’s a phone holder, but for me it seems like the simplest product. Um, but it’s my baby. Over the past six months, almost, uh, maybe a year now. I’ve been working on it.
It’s gonna come out soon, and that one is just gonna be great because I [00:27:00] think. Folks who just need to leave, take their phone with them, and, you know, they just have to do it for either work safety reasons. There’s not a good way to get your phone in a nice spot that’s accessible. Um, it’s not, you know, chaffing and uncomfortable.
So I think we solved that problem, but that, that I can share with folks in a few more months when it’s out there.
Richard Conner: Well, I’m looking forward to that. And I’m in that situation too. I mean, my, I have non-standard work hours, I would say, and there’s a lot of times where I’m taking calls, you know, a lot later, uh, in the day or in the evening. So those are the times where I need to do my run, right. I need to get out and do my run.
So I. I carry two phones, which is quite inefficient, but it’s just what I do, my personal and my work phone. So I’ll be looking out for that. I’m sure that will solve kind of my two phone problem and help me, you know, have a better way of holding it or carrying it with me.
Simon Curran: I’ll let you know when it’s coming out. You’ll get, you’ll get first access, Richard.
Richard Conner: I appreciate that. [00:28:00] Oh, I’m loving this conversation. I love that you know, you sharing your journey and how you started, founded the company, co-founded the company, as well as, you know, your, the products that you have offering the running community and sports community in general, the accessories that you’re making when you’re not necessarily running, but you still get that convenience, uh, as well as safety.
So I, I love the work that you’re doing there and all the safety tips that you mentioned. Above and beyond even the gear, right? So just kind of the situational awareness and the rules of the road as, as I would call them. So, you know, really thank you for sharing all that. And I’d love to know, you know, what’s next for you, uh, as a runner and what’s next for Noxgear.
Simon Curran: As a runner is a good question. I’m, I’m currently finding. Injured after three years of, of healthy running, um, I finally got a slight labrum tear in the hip, um, which was not the problem. And the problem was, and this is maybe good advice for folks, was that I started to walk differently because of it. To [00:29:00] kind of nurse the hip, walking differently to nurse the hip ultimately flared up the knee in a way that the hip’s fine now the knee.
Uh, needs some care and attention to, to recover. So, um, and that goes with a lot of folks who get, um, maybe stress fractures and have to put on the boot. Another bit of advice. My wife, when she had that leading up to Boston, it was not the boot and the stress fracture that got her down. It was the uneven walking.
So put on a lifter on the other foot. Big advice, cuz it seems like someone’s gonna wear a boot at some point. Whether it’s plantar fasciitis or, or what have you, um, put a lifter, you know, on the other foot. So as I get healthy, um, my running, you know, I, here’s a, here’s a little fact that’s coming out of Ohio State research recently, is when you get into your forties, um, you know, your, your VO2 max, your ability to, uh, really perform well and.
Um, you know, push your thresholds and get better every year. It keeps going up and [00:30:00] up and up and it, the research is showing around little bit in the early forties. It’s, it doesn’t roll down slowly. It drops off a cliff. So I’m waiting for my VO2 max to drop off a cliff, in which case I need to set new, uh, expectations out of myself, um, because I’m continually setting, you know, personal records and getting faster.
And, and, and this injury has actually helped me to realize that I don’t care if I’m not as fast as I used to be. I just want to be able to run. It solves my problems. Something’s not right at home or in the office. That, that run will reset my mindset. So I don’t need to be faster, I just want to stay fast running.
If you would’ve asked me maybe a year ago, just as I set my last pr, I’d say I want to be. An elite runner, you know, by next year I want to hit that, I need to shave 10 more minutes off. I’m an elite runner. No, no way, man. I just want to be able to run, to be healthy so that, you know, I can [00:31:00] continue to, to serve, you know, him all my responsibilities.
So that’s my running for, for Knox gear. Man, that is a great question. I think the products come up naturally. There’s problems to, to solve right now in the, in the. Running community. One problem that we keep looking at, because I have that artificial intelligence background, um, is how to let folks know when they’re out running that they, they might be close to an injury, but they don’t know it.
You know, what, what can you do? So there’s a lot of ways to collect data from people while they’re running and give them advanced warning. Hey, listen, your hip is dropping a lot. You keep this up and you’re probably gonna get posterior tip syndrome or plantar fasciitis, having early indications so you don’t actually cross into that threshold and get that acute injury flare up and, and pull it back.
That would be one of my next, my next goals is to, to, so it’s a long-term goal. There’s a lot of data collection there that has to [00:32:00] happen, but I think a lot of us can, as long as we listen to it, can really take advantage of, uh, technology like that. And in the meantime, there’s just gonna be a lot of, you know, accessories and, uh, um, and other products that show up that seem like they’re in our con, in our wheelhouse, you know, in the, uh, in the safety bracket.
Richard Conner: I love it. I love it. You’re speaking my language. First on the AI and technology side on one side, but also how are you helping us as runners in the, in the running communities that, you know, not only stay safe, but stay healthy and, and, uh, not get injured? So, Thank you so much, Simon. I really appreciate you being gracious with your time coming on the show, sharing all this great information.
How can our community find you, find your company, and, and follow you online?
Simon Curran: Yeah. So, um, we’re on all those social platforms, um, and if you send us a message, we will respond back almost immediately. So, uh, look for Noki, N O X G E A [00:33:00] R, um, just about wherever. And I think we’ve, we’ve tried to find all the domains that also. Would be, uh, very similar. Like you could do that light up thing.
That light up thing. isol.com. We, we got all those too, so you can find us that way. Um, send us a message. We’re happy to, uh, just even chit chat This, uh, I say that our. Our fifth product has always been customer service, and that’s absolutely true. You know, my best friend runs customer service from elementary school.
Uh, you call it our number. You get a real person on the other end of the, the phone every single time. So that’s us. We’re we’re real people, um, making real products, but this is fun. I love talking about things that matter to me, Richard. So thanks for giving me this opportunity and, and, uh, I love the, the, the whole theme behind your podcast.
So this has been good. Thank you.
Richard Conner: Thank you so much Simon, so I appreciate you saying that. And I’ll also put this information in the show notes to make it easy for our, our listeners to find you. You [00:34:00] and follow you online. Once again, Simon, thanks for coming on the show and you know, with that, have a great day.