Full Name: Brian "Speedy" McCollor
Age (optional): 43
GW Position: Run Manager, Ski Fitter
Weight (optional): 159lbs.
Height (optional): 5' 9"
Athletic Ability: Gifted, just under trained and under appreciated.
Under Appreciated? Do you have some hidden talent that no one is aware of?
I have under appreciated my own god given ability. I believe you can do most anything you put your mind to. The hard part is deciding what you want and then being willing to work for a long enough time to achieve the goal. Finding the right coach, mentor or training group is also very important to reaching your potential.
Where did you grow up? Hometown?
So you had a hard knock life in South MPLS?
I don’t like to say it, but I did come from a broken home in the inner city. This is a little misleading; I think I had a great childhood experience. Both of my parents are close to me and have been very supportive through out my life. They showed me how to work hard for what I want and stay true to my values. I have two older brothers that set a high standard for me and I have rarely reached their level. So some would say I was disadvantaged but as I said before I thought I had a great childhood.
It seems that your family is important to you. How does your family influence your career or goals in life?
My family got me started, my dad would take us to the track sometimes and my older brother paved the way into high school track and cross country. They have been super supportive. My wife and I met through running and we have already introduced our kids to track and road racing. I don’t compete at the same level but the family keeps everything in perspective.
What childhood sports did you or did not you do?
Tried - Soccer, Softball, Basketball
Loved - Running, Biking, Swimming, Skiing (Both kinds).
Any particular reason why you prefer individual sports over team sports?
I felt I had control of the outcomes. In team sports you were at the mercy of your teammates or worse they were depending on you. In individual sports you can control level of effort and it is easier to see progression. I have always liked the idea of a personal best and then getting better.
Any sweet sports achievements or personal victories?Some think Top H.S. Runner 3rd in CC, 2nd in 3200, 6th in 1600 at State as a senior. Some think a 31:43 10K in college that placed 2nd in MIAC or a 2:24:43 Marathoner, or 16:09:47 for 100 miles that was a state record at the time. What could have been achieved with proper training and diet we'll never know…?
Sounds like you have some hidden resentment or regrets. What were your major goals during this time period?
I think I was pushed hard in high school and reached a high level and just stayed at that level through college and beyond. I think with a little different type of coach I may have run a little faster, on the other hand I may have gotten injured and quit competing a lot earlier. I would not say resentment or regret but I do sometimes wonder what would have happened had I done things differently. Don’t we all?
Attended The University of St. Thomas, graduated with a degree in math and secondary education. Soon learned that I didn't like "judging" kids. I didn't do my student teaching, started selling running shoes and enjoying retail. I have coached H.S. Track and CC for 11 years and really enjoy sharing my enjoyment of running.
So you just did not show up for student teaching?
More or less. I just did not see myself teaching in an effective manner. So I chose not to do my student teaching.
Through your life experiences, how did you find your way to Gear West?
I first became aware of G.W. while I was working at Runners Edge in Long Lake and when Jan and Brian decided to get into running shoes I became part of the G.W. team.
Was there something different about Jan & BK that took you away from Runners Edge?At runners edge there were three main employees and it seemed a little over staffed. Also it was a little stagnant, the same thing year round. At Gear West there is all of the ski stuff, as well Brian and Jan are always looking for new ways to improve so I would say it is much more fluid.
How long have you been working at Gear West?
I started in spring of 1997. But took a Rep. job for a year and a half.
Who was your rep. job with?
I was the Saucony shoe and Hind clothing sales rep.
What is the most interesting aspect of working at Gear West?
At Gear West we keep trying to stay on top of what's going on in the industry whether it's running or skiing. I really enjoy working with the new skiers and new runners especially H.S. students. They are just getting started and I want to give information but not overwhelm them.
What drives you in this business?
My enjoyment of both running and skiing and wanting to share it with others.
What do you do at Gear West?
Pure and simple, move product. I order running shoes. I sell running shoes and skis and clothes and wax and accessories and watches and sandals and anything else we carry.
So…bottom line…it’s all about profit?
I did not say anything about profit. Everyone knows that we need to sell a certain amount to stay in business. I try to meet and exceed that level every day. This is what allows us to try new things and keep growing.
Do you have any strengths/weaknesses?
I have lots of strengths and weaknesses; biggest strength is enjoyment of sports and wanting to share that with people. Biggest weaknesses lack of organization, this hinders me in all aspects of life.
Would you say that this is an important qualification for working at GW?