April 24 2018
A reflection on the effect that 2018 Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden's win has on the American running community one week later.
I’m a relatively new runner on Strava, and I haven’t reached the point of syncing my watch to the app. So I’m old school and still jam my phone in my pocket to get kudos and miles on my account. But one thing I do always check out every month are the challenges that pop up. There’s the generic “run a half marathon,” or “finish a 10K” or “see how much you climb,” so why not? I’m going to be most likely be running those distances anyway.
Then there are some other challenges that seem to be popping up slowly—again, I’m a newbie, so this is strictly based on my non-researched user experience. A good friend, who’s making her case to be a lululemon ambassador, turned me onto the lululemon two-week 40/80 Strava challenge—the first one for the popular yoga and run brand. The tagline: Your goals are showing. It was easy enough since I’m already training for a race: finish 40K or 80K in two weeks, which basically boils down to 25 miles per week if you’re gutsy enough to grab for the 80. Simple, right? The bonus: you got some secret “prize” when the challenge was over, which you redeem at your local store.
A surprise? Eh, probably a headband or some other accessory. Well, I was insanely wrong and pleasantly surprised when I showed up at my local store to claim my winnings. I walked in with two “badges” for hitting both distances and walked out with a fresh pair of shorts and a brand-new T-shirt! The women behind the counter was impressed with my ability to cover the 80K distance in two weeks, which got me thinking, I bet there will be more of these types of things this year. More people hop on Strava to participate in their favorite brand’s challenge, that brand gets more people noticing them as a running brand and everyone walks away with some free gear they will actually use over and over. The best part: It gets people excited to move. It challenges them.
In a world where freebies motivate and being competitive with yourself is rapidly becoming the theme of everything, I would say every runner on Strava should keep their eyes peeled for “brand”-ed challenges. Ready, set, run!