It’s always a special treat to have Jonny Tornga — ultrarunner, MRG podcast producer, talented musician and all-around great guy — get behind the mic and join Heather on the show. And even better yet: Jonny and Heather catch up on location at the new Traverse City Lululemon “pop-up shop,” which just opened on Front Street downtown.
Jonny, who previously worked for the popular athletic and yoga wear retailer while living in New York City a little over a year ago, is serving as assistant manager of Lululemon’s first northern Michigan store. The company plans to run the 2,000 square-foot “pop-up” store at 204 East Front Street through at least the 2020 holiday season and possibly beyond.
Jonny talks about what it’s been like to open a store during a pandemic, how this assistant manager opportunity was “serendipitous” following a job loss this spring, how his training and running have changed throughout the quarantine and as summer got under way (“I had a full summer of ultras planned, and so that has obviously changed a lot”), why he loves trail running so much, and what he’s looking forward to this summer.
To listen to this episode, click on the player at the top of this post. Or, download the episode (and subscribe to the show!) using your favorite podcast app.
They also talk about the grief process related to races being canceled.
“I had a great ultra plan going when both of my races were canceled. One of them was the Marquette Trail 50 — it was a 50K and I was going to use it as a tune-up race for Ultra Trail Stokely Creek, my big one. It’s an 85K. That was cancelled as well and that was hard. The emotions I had … I am starting to come around and now I am just into planning an adventure. I just want to go and find a cool place to camp in the UP and go run for a day or so and get lost in the woods and get my 50-miler in that way.”
Of course, Heather and Jonny also talk about the latest and greatest Lululemon items ideal for summer running and outdoor fun.
In addition to online sales, Lululemon also operates 460 stores worldwide and 11 in Michigan, all in the southern part of the state. Traverse City’s store is the company’s first location north of Grand Rapids.
NOTE: You’ll notice a bit of audio quality issues in the first several minutes of the show, but please keep listening. We had a few on-location technical difficulties, but got them worked out!
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A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show.