For the last couple of months I’ve been playing around with my latest ipod and the nike+ gadget – it sticks neatly between my laces and seems to stay put. I haven’t really taken it too seriously: Mostly I listen to audibooks and they seem to be recorded at a lower volume than music (or maybe the nature of the content means that it just seems that way) so I have to listen on loud, the Nike+ voice owner, pleasant though she is, therefore shouts in my ear every mile or every time I press the centre button for an update. Usually, it freaks me out because I’m really not expecting to hear anything interrupt the book and I’m often lost in my own thoughts not really counting the miles.
Nike may have just changed that and made me want to take this thing more seriously. Today they sent me a mail inviting me to sign up to a group challenge. This is the first one:
RUN WITH LANCE
5,394 miles donated to date
Lance Armstrong is training for the marathon in NYC, and he’s raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation as he goes. Donate your miles to reach the goal by 11/5.
Lance is running the NY Marathon – November 5th – and is expected to do a near world-record time. So over the next 3 weeks I’m going to run for his cause and make sure I wear my ipod and nike+ for every run and I’ll just have to push myself a little harder to make it come good.
That said, I haven’t figured out how to sign up for the challenge so if you’ve figured it out already, I’d really like to know. The email links to the “sign up now” part of the site, but not to the “already a member, press this button to donate”. There’s no sign of a donate button on the site and nothing about “group challenges” which is how Nike refer to it. Maybe a screw up on Nike’s part here?
I think this is just a fantastic idea. Kudos to Nike for pursuing this in the week that the Independent’s front page carried a story noting how the Americans are eating themselves through the world’s resources and figures that show that 30-40% of Americans are obese. One way to make people exercise more is to make it worth their while; a far better way is to let them make it worth far more peoples’ while.