Thursday, October 6, 2011

Niketown Pep Rally to #OwnChicago with Robbie Gould and Elite Athletes

I spotted my first visiting runner this morning. The giveaway: a rolling suitcase, running shoes, capri leggings and a wandering eye. Banners are dotting the streets, hotel keys read Let's Run Together, the kick-off press conference occurred this morning and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon expo opens tomorrow. Chicago is most definitely embracing marathon fever all the way down to our Twitter accounts shouting #ownchicago.

But maybe you're like me and know this race is happening on Sunday yet you're not totally fired up about it yet. My excuse? I wish I could be basking in this Indian Summer sun, desperately seeking my tan that faded in our September chill. Silly, yes. But there is a sure-fire way to turn the dial on my excitement meter from a one to a 10--it's an event that does it every year. The Niketown Pep Rally, happening tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Niketown Chicago, 669 N. Michigan Ave. And each year only improves upon the last. Here's why this one will top them all:

  • Chicago Bear Robbie Gould will join renowned Nike athletes to inspire and motivate local runners. He'll be sharing some of his motivational tips and secrets to his success.
  • Sarah Spain from ESPN will host an interactive Q&A session for runners and local high schoolers competing in the 2011 Nike Northside/Southside Challenge (a site to see unfold at the finish line). Now's the time to ask those questions that started racing in your head as the nerves piled up.
  • Moses Mosop, Jason Hartmann, Trenier Moses and Bridget Franek complete the star-studded line-up and will definitely have some good tips for helping you score that PR. Mosop could potentially take it all home on Sunday, Hartmann was the top American finisher in the 2010 race, and Moses and Franek are Nike Elite athletes.
  • Have you found yourself tweeting or following #ownchicago today? See a huge interactive mosaic unveiled onsite tonight. This mosaic is comprised of Chicagoans' tweets and Facebook messages, showcasing their #ownchicago goals for the marathon.
  • You needed to go for a run tonight, last tempo one to shake out the legs before Sunday, so you'll be in good company. 
  • Score marathon gear before it becomes a mob scene at the expo. Niketown has plenty of it (that's only a selection in the slideshow) and then you can start sporting it--or hording it in a bag until you cross the finish line on Sunday if you're fretting over bad karma.
Who's ready to get running?

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