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Sally Bergesen: Founder of Oiselle Running Company

January 25th, 2008 · 3 Comments

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Sally Bergesen
Proud Owner of Oiselle Running Company
and
Marathoner and Mother
Running has been a priority for me for many years. It has just felt right. My husband is a cyclist and I tried that as well but I couldn’t get comfortable. Running means a lot more to me than fitness. Before my children, I had success in running at all distances from the 5km to the marathon (17:06 for a 5km to a 1:22 for a half-marathon to 3:02 for a marathon). I took some time off competitively when my girls were small (they are 5 and 9 now) but continued running to stay fit. In 2003, I started racing again seriously and I just achieved my lifetime goal of running a marathon in under 3 hours. It was a perfect race, perfect conditions where everything feels right.
RM-Women get faster!!! We don’t slow down when we get older- fitness, health and speed get better as we get older. Joan Benoit Samuelson is still running this fast at 50. To me this is one of the most interesting and motivating things to learn about women athletes.
The story of Oiselle Running Company
In 2003, when I was ready to get serious again, and I went to the local running store to buy some new shorts. This trip was the kickoff. I was not satisfied with the availabilty or lack thereof for women. They were either too baggy, too high waisted, or the wrong color. Many long runs later, I decided to start my own running company for women.
After a lot of trial and error, I found a pattern maker and a sewer to make a pair of shorts. I ran in them, my friends ran in them, we tweaked them until we were completely satisfied with the product. Then, I started going to all the running stores in the area and ask if they’d carry the shorts in their store.
What is the meaning of the name Oiselle?

Running for me has always been more than just running fast. It’s more than staying fit. Personally running has been more about my mental health. From my running, I’ve gained a new level of confidence that I might not have had without it. It’s been my sanity, my girl time, and my time to create the vision of Oiselle today.

“Oiselle (pronounced wa-zell) alludes to the feeling of weightlessness that most runner’s know and love. That sense of flight- when your legs go fast and your heart goes free.”

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