Friday, April 15, 2011

Running Excellence Happens

You've scored the elusive qualifying time. You've put in the training miles. You've slogged through the cold winter hours to get in those runs. You've tried to rest, eat well and maybe even pamper yourself a bit in this final week leading up to the Boston Marathon. New Balance, headquartered in Boston, wants to celebrate those accomplishments at its home base's race and wants this weekend to be excellent. For marketers, it's a new marketing campaign titled "Let's Make Excellent Happen." For runners, it's the chance to run excellent come Monday, whether it be making it to the finish line, enjoying all the aspects of the race, improving upon a PR or beating those Newton Hills. Those are my thoughts on excellence anyways.

Some of those taglines you might catch include "Excellent is Made in Boston," "Excellent Loves Heartbreak," "Excellent Makes Molehills Out of Newton Hills," and "Excellent Screams Through Wellesley." If you've run Boston before, you know exactly what it means to hit these points of the course and either achieve excellence through them, or die trying. Well, not exactly die, but you catch my drift.

According to a press release, the idea behind this excellent theme is to inspire and motivate runners while showing runners that New Balance is there to support them. It doesn't stop with T-shirts at the expo displaying these excellent taglines though. There's way more that goes along with the "Let's Make Excellent Happen" theme and during the course of marathon weekend.
  • "Let's Make Excellent Happen" includes imagery from the new New Balance 890, a lightest-in-class neutral running shoe, plus Boston landmarks like the Charles River, Fenway Park and the Zakim Bridge.
  • You'll spot New Balance decking the city with media on the T, buses and bus shelters, light pole banners, T-station stairwells, barricades and the Copley ticket booth.
  • Want some last-minute running tips? Check out, which offers race and spectator tips for the weekend and allows visitors to leave suggestions.
  • If you thought winter was rough in your hometown, check out the "Trained Tough?" section where you can enter your zip code to find out how difficult your training was from a weather perspective as compared to other registered runners. I definitely need to see how easy my Palo Alto cousin had his training as compared to Chicago me, where my runs seemed to be curtailed by snow or cold far too many times.
  • The new 890 high performance running shoe is available in a Boston edition (retails for $100), where Boston is screened onto the outside ankle area. These limited editions are available for a limited time at Boston-based retailers like Marathon Sports, City Sports, The Tannery, NB Burlington, NB Dedhm Legacy Place, MB Mashpee, Runner's Alley, New England Running Company and Sound Runner.
  • Make your running form excellent all weekend at New Balance's expo booth where, in addition to marveling at the fall 2011 line, you can try the Good Form Running experience. Booth visitors receive a diagnosis of their running form and takeaway about how to improve. The premise behind Good Form Running, founded by Curt Munson who owns Playmakers in Okemos, Mich., is that runners are taught how to run with proper mechanics, which help with speed, efficiency and keeping them injury-free.
  • Your Boston hotel, go-to restaurants or transportation (Old Town Trolley) might be partnered with New Balance. It's another way for New Balance to reach out, but I have to admit that I'm not exactly sure what to expect from it.
Photo grabbed from

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