What started as a simple joke on social media has now gained traction as a comedy page about running. Jordan Kutzer, boyfriend and proud supporter of Rebecca Mehra, who runs for Oiselle’s Run Little Wing elite team, thought it was funny when he tried on her gear and shared a photo under the alias @boyfriendsofoiselle on Instagram.
“I’m 6’7”. So her jacket was a women’s medium, and I’m an XXL,” he laughs. “She didn’t know I was [posting] it. She just took the photo and thought it was funny. We posted it on a Sunday, then Oiselle re-posted it on Monday. And all of this traffic started coming to the page, people asking if we would share photos of their significant others in Oiselle gear.”
Ah, the internet.
Since then, Kutzer has shared dozens of photos sent to him from other Oiselle fans and athletes. “It’s been hysterical every single day.”
The page has no official ties to the running apparel company, but according to Kutzer, Oiselle thinks it’s funny, as well. “I don’t work for the brand or anything like that. I just thought it was funny and wanted to share my love for the brand.”
Kutzer never anticipated that the page, which now has more than 3,000 followers after just one month, would gain so much traction so quickly. “I just wanted another outlet where we can support the women of Oiselle,” he said.
Perhaps the most popular question people have when stumbling across “BOO” on Instagram has been: Will there be a men’s apparel line coming from Oiselle? Kutzer says there’s definitely no current plans or expectations from him for that—although he’d love to collaborate if the company shows interest in doing so. “I’d love to do whatever is appropriate for the brand and their messaging. But for now, I just want to support Rebecca and other women,” he said.
Driven by his goal to showcase the lives of runners’ supporters on social media, Kutzer hopes to curate more relatable content for his @boyfriendsofoiselle page, and he makes it clear that the handle is more an alias than anything else. The page is meant to be inclusive of all supporters, not just boyfriends of the flock.
“I respect everyone’s opinion, and I totally understand it,” he says, when asked about negative feedback on his page—a page that some feel excludes other communities. “This page is really for anyone wanting to support a runner. And I hope to maybe inspire Oiselle and show there’s a market for supporters.”
While Kutzer lives in Palo Alto, Calif., near where he and Mehra both graduated from Stanford University, Mehra now lives in Bend, Ore., and trains with Run Little Wing under Lauren Fleshman. Kutzer explained that he really didn’t see the world runners live in on social media until he created @boyfriendsofoiselle. And being in a long-distance relationship with a runner himself, he believes it’s extra important to be able to show support for runners he supports—Mehra especially—in any way he can.
“There’s a tendency to showcase your best self on the internet. But it’s also important to share the times you needed support. Being able to tell those stories has been more and more important. Those would be the things I’d do going forward.”
Kutzer’s future aspirations for the growing BOO community involve sharing more videos showing spectators’ behind-the-scenes experiences; in fact, Kutzer says that Adam Goucher, husband of Olympian Kara Goucher, fully endorses the idea. Another idea Kutzer has is to launch a podcast that would showcase what it’s like to be in a relationship with a runner. But on most days, Kutzer simply says, “I don’t know,” when asked what the page is and what he wants it to become. “There’s a broad spectrum of what can be done. If it’s something that I think it will make a positive impact on your day, I will probably post it,” he said.
Regardless of what the future holds, Kutzer hopes that the page will continue to grow and share the moving stories of not only the runners behind the clothes, but also the supporters behind the runners. And maybe a men’s yeti will be created down the line that fits Kutzer’s 6’7” frame.
“It has to be a yeti,” he chuckles, when asked for his must-have piece of gear. “It’s such a signature of Oiselle.”