Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Better Than Baseball: Freeing Is Believing

What's better than baseball, beer, and brats on Opening Day? Adding a little run to that season opening mix. No, it's not an April Fool's joke, only some creative planning that Chicago runners have come to expect when Nike is involved (remember Run Lucky and the Freedom Run?). Whether you've been looking forward to baseball's season to start or you just need a reason to run Friday morning, you're in luck.

NIKETOWN Chicago and Fleet Feet Chicago are teaming up once again to bring on the running fun.  This time it's all about Freeing Is Believing with the opportunity to test drive the latest Nike Free Run+ 2, get an early start to your Opening Day plans and run through the "baseball-inspired revelry of Wrigleyville." You don't need tickets to the home opener to get excited for the 162 games your favorite team, just your running buds. Right? I think so, especially since my favorite team is hundreds of miles away.

And it even seems like April 1's weather will be on their side--sorry, I'm remembering the snow that covered Chicago mere hours before the Lunar Eclipse run took off in December--with warmer temps and sunshine in the forecast. Granted you may not feel that warmth when the runs gets underway at 6:30 a.m.--7 a.m. if you're taking off from Fleet Feet--but do you really care when you're running? Not me, especially when I factor in the other bonuses that I wouldn't get if I ran alone. Running to a surprise Wrigleyville location, the chance to win prizes, a light breakfast and refreshments (but remember to bring your ID), gear check, and special T-shirts (while supplies last). And you can choose to run from three locations--Niketown, Fleet Feet Piper's Alley or Fleet Feet Lincoln Square--all based on your desired mileage for the morning and convenience.

Planning to run from NIKETOWN Chicago, at Erie and Michigan along the Magnificent Mile? You'll want to check in at 6:15 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. departure. And expect to run roughly 6 miles.

Planning to run from Fleet Feet, either Piper's Alley (1620 N. Wells) or Lincoln Square (4762 N. Lincoln)? You can check in at both locations at 6:45 a.m. for a 7 a.m. departure. It's about a 4-mile run from Piper's Alley and a 3-mile run from Lincoln Square. For more info and to RSVP, visit this event page.

Consider it your excuse to skip out on work for the day and one that your boss can't blame completely on Opening Day. Even if you can't have a completely free day as Nike has deemed this April 1, the event should wrap up before you have to be at the office. And just think: your workout will be done before the baseball games even begin. I'll have to remind myself of that Friday morning when my alarm goes off and I want to hit snooze.

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