@Max Menning for Nike+ Run Club

@Max Menning for Nike+ Run Club

In exactly two months I will have completed my first ultra marathon. The 16th April 2016 at 9:00am marks the start of the 69 kilometres edition of the 100 Miles of Istria Ultra-Trail. Up to the sound of the starting gun, I have exactly 60 days left. 1440 hours to reach the top of my game, for the sake of running Croatian mountain trails from Buzet to Umag.

Away from the future, wind back just over a week, I happened to run the 79th edition of the Plänterwaldlauf in Berlin. It was an early Sunday morning, around 3:00am, when I found myself procrastinating work on Instagram. Just to be clear, I was working on our business and did not follow any dodgy work commitments, in case some were wondering, why I say ‘work’ at 3:00am. Anyways, back to Instagram. By now, most of you know that I do not just like running, but also like the things you put around your feet to run, walk, or solely protect your soles, i.e. shoes. Actually, I do like shoes a lot. I collect shoes, or sneakers, as others may say. So, I click myself through a couple of hashtags, double tap and press the ‘like’ button, write some comments and eventually end up on the account of Adidas’ brand-new Runbase Berlin. In the words of Adidas: “RUNBASE Berlin is holistically designed to enable your personal development in a multitude of areas: Running, Nutrition, Knowledge, Gear and Physical Health.

I watched a promo video and saw a couple of snaps of the space. It looked fire. They have daily schedules that are packed with events one can join for free, ranging from sprints to down facing dog postures (Yes, I do know my yoga). Do not get me wrong, I like the Three Stripes, but I always felt a bit more drawn to the Swoosh. Hence, I was thinking that surely Adidas’ big American rival must be offering something similar. Now, it is 3:30am, I left Instagram and check out I discover the Nike+ Run Club. I read ‘X-Country Local Run Special’. I think: “Yes this looks awesome.” I sign up. I go to bed. Four hours later my alarm rings and I get up. I shower, I have breakfast and drive towards Plänterwald. At 9:00am, I arrive at Plänterwald, but instead of finding myself at a casual cross-country run, it turns out that I had signed up to the infamous annual Plänterwaldlauf.

Nike had brought out their van, set up a tent, handed out jerseys, water, fruits, and blasted some music. Not to forget their crew that was running the show. This was my first encounter with the Nike+ Run Club, or in short, NRC. It looked like the Swoosh had it all figured out, as it felt like they created a community of like-minded individuals that had gathered to do what they like most - run. We warmed up together, mingled for a final battle cry, before lining up at the grid and connecting with our individual pace group. 15 kilometres later, at exactly 1:08:43 I crossed the finish line. I came 15th out of 139 and 1st in my age group (M20). I know that the majority of the good runners were competing in either the 10k or half marathon, yet it was a pleasing result to receive, considering that a couple of hours before I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I guess to sum up my Sunday’s experience there is no better way than to join the three key words of each sporting good giant into one phrase: Impossible is nothing, just do it.