500 runners joined marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe at the Nike+ FuelStation at Clapham Common – a digitally enabled sporting clubhouse designed to inspire London’s athlete community. Join it here. With the Olympics soon coming to a close, we at Y&Y feel it’s only right that we stay locked to what’s going on in the streets. When Paula Radcliffe had to pull out of the marathon due to a potentially career ending foot injury, the ever innovative Nike didn’t quiver under the turn of events but like everything they touch, turned it into marketing gold.
Just hours after the announcement the #LEGENDSRUNFOREVER campaign was born as an ode to celebrate Radcliffe’s astounding achievements thus far. Nike asked that all runs be dedicated to the word record holder in attempt to cushion what was clearly another devastating blow for the soon to be forty year old, mother of two.
But that wasn’t all, yesterday evening underneath the glorious sunset in Clapham Common, 500 selected runners gathered to hear not just one but two legends give advice about remaining at the top of your game, even if it is only mentally.
Media pass hung low and my customized t-shirt on, I watched in awe as CARL MUTHAFRIGGIN LEWIS, and Paula Radcliffe made their way to the stage.
Radcliffe was even more waif like than I expected. A glow seemed to seep from her pores. I found it hard to believe that even though her life as she knew it, hung in the balance, she could still remain so cheerful.
“Look at you, two kids and that body is looking TIGHT!” commented Carl.
Jokes aside, they both gave excellent sporting advice, which can be utilized in daily life also.
It was especially nice to be introduced to up and coming athletes who are also part of the Find Your Greatness campaign.
As the sun began to set, we all took off for a 5k run around the common. Settling in with Robin and Natty, after a mile and a half, I let Robin keep her pace up (plus running behind her in those booty shorts? I AINT GONNA SAY NO) while Nathaniel hung back to pace the tail end. Running around the pond gave me a chance to think about all the goals I’ve set myself this year. What has been achieved and what is to be achieved and how I was going to go about, finding my own greatness.
By the time, I made it back; the barbecue was in full swing. Burger in one hand and iPhone in the other, I took as many pictures as 12% battery life would allow. It was the end of another awesome chapter, not just for Nike but also for myself. It was Robin’s last night in LDN. I’ve decided to run an ultra. And I just met two living legends. I couldn’t have been more grateful. And in honor of them, and myself, I declare that I may not be ahead and I may not be behind but I will run forever.