14 December 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Event Review: Nike We Own The Night

May 23, 2013
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Last weekend Sportsister’s Bianca Fermi joined nearly 7000 other women for the  Nike event – We Own The Night, a women’s only 10k run held in Victoria Park, East London.

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The purpose of We Own The Night? Nike wanted to inspire women to catch the running bug and get women racing together at a fun event which ended up being part party – part running event! And the fun was not confined to London, there were also events held in cities across Europe – Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Milan.

Pre-Race

We Own the Night wasn’t just about the race itself; it included a 6-week build-up and training programme for all participating. You could check-in to the race online and follow a training programme (with the Nike+ app), plus there were free training sessions held in London in the weeks leading up to the race. I managed to get down to two of the training nights which were held from Niketown in Oxford Street.

These events proved to be a very good first impression! The training sessions were well-organised and catered for, the Nike trainers were supportive and motivational, and being a foreigner in London, I still get a kick out of running through one of London’s landmarks: Regent’s Park.

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I also got the chance to chat with British 400m hurdler, Perri Shakes-Drayton, and Paula Radcliffe, women’s world record holder for the marathon, before the race to get their tips on running a good race.

Perri’s advice:

‘Keep your goals in mind, whether you just want to finish the race, or set a PB, and at the end of the day enjoy it. It’s not like any other 10k run, Nike has put on a good show. But when you see that finish line, push! If you’ve got more in that tank, you go for it!’

Paula’s advice:

‘Pace yourself well, it’s really easy in such a great atmosphere like this, to get carried away and start too fast. So stick to your pace goals, and finish faster in the second half. Use the atmosphere and let it motivate and push you along. And don’t forget to warm-up!

Plus they both agree running has given them a lot – from great confidence and feeling good about themselves, to ‘A lot of pleasure. A lot of fun. A lot of experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I think it teaches you a lot about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses’ (Paula Radcliffe).

The Race

Race day arrived and armed with the good advice I had received, I donned my bright orange Nike dry-fit t-shirt, and headed off to the ‘events village’. Think boutique festival: DJs on the main stage, tipi tents with Nike gear, and a nail-bar for some fun nail designs, a photo area to get some snapshots with your mates and all sorts of food and drink stands. Oh, and lots and lots of brightly coloured bean bags to lounge on pre-race. Everything was well-organised and easy to get to. Paula Radcliffe gave a little pre-race motivational intro, some of the Nike trainers got us all warmed up (imagine a sea of orange women bobbing around!), and as dusk descended on London we were off to the starting line.

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The route included 2 laps around the leafy, green Victoria Park, with Run Dem Crew DJs playing pumping music, cool lighting, and even a giant big screen with motivational messages (Nike does it well!) to keep you feeling in the spirit of things. All things which make for a fun run, but also get you running at your best pace. And before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line.

Post-Race

On this warm night, feeling breathless and with the endorphins kicking in, it was a pretty euphoric feeling finishing the race and going back into the events village to see all the racers dancing in front of the main stage drinking their coconut water (and some prosecco!). Darkness had fallen and all the luminous colours lit the place up like an awesome neon open-air club.

Would I do it again? Definitely. And I will make sure all my girlfriends join me for a fun girls-night out!

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Good points:

– Great pre-race training programme and race kit.

– Well-organised event, all the practicalities catered for (loos, bag drop, food stalls) with not too much queuing.

– Fantastic vibe, especially the music and ‘festival-style’ village.

Bad points:

– Spectators aren’t allowed into the events village, so it is very much a just-participators event (so leave your boyfriend at home and get your girlfriends involved!).

– It was sometimes quite a narrow course on the run, which meant it could be a bit difficult to do a PB, unless you get in front of the masses early.

More info: www.nike.com/weownthenight

It is worth checking out the top floor at Niketown London as the entire floor is dedicated to We Own The Night apparel to help give you some London swag on your runs!

London – we owned it! And for all those still to participate in our We Own The Night sister cities: Viel Gluck, Buona Fortuna, Bonne Chance!

Bianca Fermi, Sportsister

The Women’s Sport Magazine

 

 

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