My journey to qualify for Alcatraz

My Nike Run Club adventure

Posted in Uncategorized by ottojungsf on January 5, 2010

I love running with others, but find group runs often cause people to abandon their training plans and transform an easy run into the 10k World Championships. Concerned about the fate of my future group running experiences, I was emboldened to cure this disease (you can thank me for my altruism later).

My first goal was to diagnosis this disease. Maybe I had been wrong in assuming a group run on a Sunday morning should be easy. From the Nike Running Club website they state, “Just lace up and join us at the Niketown Running Club. Runners and walkers of all levels meet to run 3, 5, and 7 miles-your choice, your pace, it’s fun, free, and a workout.” I suspected that the Nike Corporate author had mistakenly used “workout” when “race” would have been more appropriate. From an online dictionary I discovered workout means, “any trial or practice session”.

Something was amidst here, why would the website state the group run was a practice session, when clearly it was a race for the free fruit provided afterwards? Concerned that I had missed an important message from the run club, I checked my email from a popular service beginning with G and ending with mail. Unfortunately, the only emails I discovered were the opportunity to make $300/day for clicking my mouse and an email written in some Asian language.

By this point, I was obviously concerned that Nike was actively seeking to sabotage my group run experiences. Familiar with the concept of online behavioral targeting, I reset my “cookies”, yet this did not have the intended effect. The Nike Running Club website continued to state it was a workout instead of a race.

My options diverged at this point. I could take the well traveled path of creating a documentary exposing Nike ‘s attempts to sabotage my running club experiences (maybe Michael Moore could co-produce the “doc”) or except my fate. My cappuccino had become dangerously low at this point and aware of the time involved in creating a documentary, I decided for the latter option so that I could purchase a delicious cup of Italian coffee (for the low price of $3.22).

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