THE POWER OF THE TRAIL

CLIENT: Merrell

Overview

Not all heroes wear capes, as the saying goes. Sometimes it’s an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. Quietly inspiring and pushing for change.

Our outdoor and sport PR team have been working with our friends at Merrell to uncover these incredible stories from the trail and shine a spotlight on those doing things differently in the great outdoors. Through content and storytelling, our outdoor and sports PR team have uncovered Merrell’s Real Stories series has so far shared the narratives of four inspirational people – pushing, challenging, and breaking down boundaries for the better.

Executing an integrated approach, the content of these stories is distributed across PR, social media, email, e-commerce and retail to tell one consistent narrative that connects with and inspires the Merrell audience.

Take a look at a couple of the below stories for a shot of outdoors motivation.

SIMON WHEATCROFT

They say that seeing is believing. But what if you can no longer see? How can you believe in anything then, and do others still believe in you?

Simon Wheatcroft was just 17 when he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa – a rare genetic condition where sight degrades over time. The diagnosis and recognition that he was losing all contact with the visual world left him questioning his future.

Battling against people’s preconceptions of his now limited capabilities, Simon needed something to give him a focus and to prove them wrong. That something was ultrarunning.

Undeterred by the most difficult and unpredictable terrains, Simon started trail running with the help of guides. In the face of adversity – where every footstrike could spell danger – trail running made Simon feel alive and connected.

Conquering the challenge of trail running and tackling large distances such as 83 miles in the Cotswolds and 155 mile Four Deserts Marathon in Namibia without his sight, restored Simon’s belief in his own potential, making his incredible achievements plain for all to see.

ELI BISHOP

Meet the woman who has used the outdoors to change her life and help manage her battle with anxiety and depression.

In modern times, it can sometimes feel as though we are hardwired to meet societal tick boxes. It’s easy to lose perspective on what really matters when focusing so hard on the high expectations we set ourselves to achieve and thrive – from work to relationships.

For Eli Bishop, the stresses of a pressurised job and relationship difficulties boiled over – leading to a mental breakdown. Having suffered from anxiety from a young age, this marked a turning point in Eli’s life, understanding that a fundamental lifestyle change could offer her a way out.

That’s when Eli turned to the outdoors – the place where she felt most at peace. Eli packed in her job, moved to the idyllic Wye Valley and became an outdoors instructor. The move had a transformative impact – providing a lifestyle balance that put her mental health first.

Spending time outdoors or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing – that’s why Merrell has partnered with Mind, the mental health charity, to raise awareness of ways that people can support their own mental health.

Eli has become an active mental health advocate, educating people on how the outdoors can help them manage their mental health.