Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nike Teaser Run

Well, I did a Nike Teaser run today at noon. I parked about 1 mile away, not knowing where else to park. Turns out I could have parked curbside in front of the corporate campus! Oh well.

I wore my homemade t-shirt that says, "It Takes BALLS to Run BAREFOOT!"

I passed oodles (or is it gaggles) of presumably corporate runners, some were coming, some were going. I wonder if they get bonus points for running on their lunch breaks? A few struck me as being fairly elite runners. You can just tell who they are. Others were just plodding along, huffing and puffing, maybe meeting some quota. One lady looked terribly anorexic, poor thing. I wished I had a cookie or something to give her.

Reactions were interesting. A lot of conversations suddenly stopped as I drew near. Shock? Awe? Dumbfoundedness?

A couple of guys came up from behind me and I moved over to let them pass. One of them said, "Nice day!" and they moved on ahead of me. I decided to pick up my pace and follow along behind them. A couple of hundred yards later one of them turned and looked at me with surprise. Either he didn't know I was shadowing them or he was surprised I had kept up with them. They turned and entered the campus and I kept going.

I actually got two smiles from other runners - both ladies. Was it my t-shirt? my bare feet? or my manly legs? Whatever, it was flattering.

Quite a few times I ran past cars waiting their turn to go. Lots of stares from drivers, some actually gawking. Lots of BMWs.

I made it around the campus one time and decided to give it another go for an additional two miles. Lots of the same reactions along the way.

On the satellite map I noticed a strange lighter-colored band going around the campus, obviously some kind of trail. Turned out to be a shredded bark running trail. Maybe it became cement in some places. I thought, now why would all these runners need a soft, cushy bark path to run on? Aren't their cushy shoe soles adequate? Is the corporation worried about its workers getting running injuries upon its property?
Think lawsuit here. Did some risk manager recommend a cushy bark running path? Hmmmm, makes one wonder!

The bark was pretty chunky and rough on my feet so I chose not to try it out this time. I'm pretty sure someone would have noticed me and called security. I found it would be a cinch to get on that trail and run their private corporate running path! Maybe I'll try it next time!

I'm thinking about making a t-shirt that says: "Really Free, Nike!" I'll wear it when I try this teaser run again.

Oh - No dobermans. No black limos following me. No serious folks in shades speaking into their wristwatches. I'm so disappointed!

Anyway, mission accomplished! I hope I rang a few mental bells, shattered some corporate paradigms, planted some seeds for thought, etc. It was fun and a pretty good run.


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