Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Marathon Motivation: Nike 26.2 Preview

Who's running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9? Who needs a little marathon motivation to get off the couch and start training? Who needs advice on how you're going to complete this event you mindlessly signed up for months ago, not thinking about training, fueling, clothing and everything else a marathon might involve? If you're nodding your head yes to any of these, you can get that jolt, knowledge, inspiration and more this Saturday, but you'll have to come to Chicago to get it.

If you're not within driving distance to the Windy City, start looking at weekend fare specials now because the Nike 26.2 Preview sounds too cool to miss. And if you can drive, bike or run your way to Soldier Field's south parking lot sometime between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. on June 18, you may have to do just that. Trust me, I already got excited about this event once--sharing it with Chicago at Time Out Chicago's The Rundown--but after I learned even more about it last night, my energy levels spiked again. And for an injured runner who's starting to really hate her leg for quitting on her when the running season couldn't be more perfect (minus the heat and thunderstorms), that's saying a lot. Here's why even injured me wants to make an appearance:
  • Saturday promises to offer a motivational start to whatever event you'll be training for this summer. The marathon is the focus but you could be running a 26.2 outside Chicago, a half marathon, your first race get the idea. Nike and the companies who are coming out to be a part of this special day really just want to get you excited about running.
  • Earl Bennett, a wide receiver on the Chicago Bears will be in attendance, offering training tips from an athlete's perspective. He's set to arrive at 11 a.m.
  • Rumor has it that Dathan Ritzenhein will also be on-site, maybe even running with a group or two. But don't quote me on it.
  • Group runs will be occurring throughout the morning, departing from Soldier Field's south parking lot and running along the Lakefront Path. Expect to run 8 miles--or pull off early or run twice. Runs start at 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.
  • Nike and marathon experts will be on-hand to talk nutrition, coaching and training advice.
  • Nike will be showcasing its latest running apparel and footwear. That could mean the opportunity to see the LunarGlide 3 before it's released to the world in July.
  • Fleet Feet Sports and Naperville Running Company will offer gear recommendations, in-depth running instruction and good form running tips. I can only guess that good form must mean a version of the Good Form Running that Fleet Feet offers weekly at its stores.
  • Though not related to Nike and more something that formed because of the Preview, there's a #FFCheer tweetup set to start around 9:15 a.m. Stay tuned for more details. 
  • And the event is tented, to a degree, so even if the predicted scattered thunderstorms roll in, you won't have to be entirely exposed to the elements.
Is that enough to crawl out of bed and run--or pretend to run by browsing--on a Saturday morning. I think so. But don't forget your wallet, you might find something you want to purchase to help you with that training. And who knows, maybe you'll find a training buddy. For more details about Saturday's Nike 26.2 Preview, check out And as Nike says, "Let the road to race day begin."

Photo grabbed from Nike and

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