I’ve heard mixed reviews of New York’s infamous Nike Run Club, and as someone who (especially when it comes to athletics) will try anything once, I jumped at the chance to join a friend who wanted to give it a shot.
We showed up to our first run ten minutes late (Tuesdays and Thursdays they meet at the nike store at 6:30 pm… it’s called work, people?!) and I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the Yelp reviews about it being “cultish” which is exactly what I’d heard through friends. In fact, I experienced the opposite. There seemed to be a good mix of regulars and first timers, everyone was super friendly— before the run even started I’d struck up a conversation with a stranger.
(Above: The view from atop the Queensboro Bridge.)
The running benefits have been measurable as well. My first run with the club was paced faster than I’ve been running in months— and since then the varied weekend routes (routes in the past few weeks have included up and around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem and back and forth across the Queensboro Bridge— a snap from today’s run is pictured above) have progressively spurred my long-run mileage from 5k to 10k at race pace in just 2 weeks.
Not to mention, one of the pacers introduced me to the *FREE* Nike+GPS app for iphone and android, an incredible tool that maps your pace and time and will be a game changer for any runner with a competitive spirit (read: EVERYONE).
Overall, the club is a great drop-in motivator for those of us who like group running and are looking for a challenge but don’t want the commitment or expense of a full time club.