When Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ Goes Wrong.

30 07 2011

Nike Lunar Run - 8km Challenge

(You can read my previous post on the first round of the Nike Lunar Run here.)

I’ve just come back from the Nike Lunar 8k Run Challenge and I’m trying to find a word to describe it.

Weird. Weird is the word.

Good bits first. NikeHK managed to cook up an event with a great atmosphere – green neon lights everywhere, music to get you pumping, smiling Nike staff. In terms of marketing, I think Nike pretty much nailed it.

But as a race? Nah.

The runners at tonight’s 8k race were made up of the top 6 men and women from 15 separate heats, totaling about 180 finalists in all. You’d think that because they chose the top 6 men and women from each heat, this mindset of men and women’s categories being separate would follow through to the finals. Apparently not.

I had come to the race tonight thinking that there would be prizes for the top 3 men and top 3 women respectively. But it turns out that there aren’t separate categories – men and women were all competing together for the same prizes! (It didn’t come as a surprise, then, to see men bagging all the prizes.)

It’s a bit hard to believe that anyone could have come up with the idea that men and women were to compete at the same level. The genders are fundamentally different on every single aspect of our physiological make-up. The conversation probably sounded a bit like this when they planned out the race:

Manager: Men and women will all compete in the same category.

Worker: But sir, they’re usually separated in the spirit of creating an equal playing field.

Manager: Just do it.

As much as the race was a marketing triumph, I’d say that Nike should stick to what it does best, and stay away from organising races.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sprinting through the dark streets of HK

17 07 2011

Go! (I'm on the first row, 2nd from left)

10pm on a Sunday night. HK is a night owl – it’s alive, vibrant. Shoppers waltz around. Couples walk hand in hand. Flashy cars cruise on the roads….And a group of runners, sprinting through the crowded streets of HK.

I’ve just come back from the Nike Lunar Run race – a 5km run weaving through the heart of one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping districts, Causeway Bay.  I got the pacing just right – fast, pushing the limits, but not over doing it and finishing with a strong sprint in 20:33. (My 1km time felt faster than this though…perhaps the route was a little more than 5km.)

It was humid though. After running in the crisp air of Norway, tonight felt extremely hot and sticky. It didn’t help that we were running next to some major roads either – at one point I just had to give my chest a humongous whack!

Happily sprinting past the finish line!

Coming first in the women’s category and with only 5 men in front of me, I’ve now made it to the next round – an 8k run this time. And if I win that…it’s a trip to either the San Francisco or Chicago Marathon for me!

Still smiling...super happy!

Stretching it out...

For now, it’s time to go get a some zzz’s in my 2XU compression tights.