When I arrived in Boston at 11:30 pm Wednesday night, I really had no idea what to expect for the long weekend; but I was ready for anything!
All I knew was:
- I was running Ragnar Cape Cod, a 192 mile relay from Hull, Massachusetts to Provincetown, Massachusetts.
- I was invited by Reebok as their guest... meaning I didn't have to pay for anything. (What?! Is this for REAL?)
- My team would be comprised of other people in the media, and the runners in my van would be women.
- I was going to have FUN!
When I was met at the airport by a driver, I felt pretty special.
I've never traveled that way.. I'm the kind of girl who totes her own bags; but, I am also not opposed to a little spoiling, so, was not disappointed when I saw my hotel and found my room with a view overlooking the harbor.
|View from my window at 12 am, through the gauze, at the Envoy Hotel.|
I made myself at home and found a beautiful new Reebok gym bag in the corner of the room with my name on it. Inside was everything I would need to wear for the weekend!
Reebok capris, tights, sweatshirts, sports bras, singlets, t-shirts, socks, and a new pair of shoes! Really.. I see nothing to complain about... I took a few pics and messaged a couple of friends who were on my heart and had been particularly supportive of my adventure.
Like a kid at Christmas, I just kept finding new things to pull out of the bag and try on.
I definitely have some favorite Reebok items now!
The next morning I woke up and went to the lobby to meet the group. Little by little people drifted down and we started to chat about what our "jobs" are, and where everyone was from. Mostly, everyone worked for various fitness magazines or websites.
And then there was me and Audrey. I think she was just as surprised as I was to be invited along!
We had Canadians, British, and several from the US. Everyone was as excited as I was to meet new people and run a relay together. A little bit later we were delivered to Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Ma.
Having arrived safely, we were given a mini tour of the facility and then taken to the rooftop for a grilled lunch with the Ragnar Relay race organizers.
I passed by the employee store above several times, and hoped to go have a look, but we were too busy to get to shop!
After eating ravenously at lunch, we were shown to the locker rooms and given a few minutes to prepare for a little workout with Reebok master trainer, Nate Helming. I think HE thinks he took it easy on us, but I laughed at his attempt to disguise our workout as an educational seminar, and was sore in the upper body during our relay from doing push ups in positions I did not even think were possible!
Following that kind of strength training "fun", I took a few laps around the track-- simply because it was beautiful and beckoned me!
Next we were brought in for a review meeting where I learned MUCH about Reebok. For instance, did you know that Reebok's logo, the delta Δ , symbolizes the balance of Mental, Physical, and Social fitness?
Also, I learned that Reebok has recently shifted focused on fitness rather than professional team sports, which is why they are partners with Ragnar, Les Mills, UFC, Crossfit, and Spartan racing events. I was fascinated! (I know some people personally who really enjoy Spartan races. At some point I might even try an obstacle race. (I will read "Spartan Fit" before I do anything crazy like that though!).
I also learned of some new shoe technology that I cant wait to see released! (Eventually in trail shoes, but first in road shoes.). But, most impressive to me was that the speakers all appeared to genuinely believe in what Reebok stands for and the direction it is headed in as a company.
To wrap things up at the headquarters, we were taken to our relay vans and given some supplies to decorate with. It was a lot of fun to see what kind of ideas flowed from journalists!
The lovely Audrey, putting some creative touches to the team van.
|"Hey, when you are done writing about broccoli bread and pre-race yoga, check out these arms!"|
Even the Runner's World Guys got into the action, perfecting their stick figures. We didn't see them out on the course too much because I think they were running 5:30 miles- or something like that.
It started to get a little hot out there while we were decorating, and I started to wonder if we might be in for a HOT relay race the next day. In New England, you can never be sure about the weather..
With the vans spruced up to our satisfaction, the group was ushered off back to Boston for dinner at the Envoy and a good night's sleep. None of us knew yet quite what to expect for race day, but we had some good team bonding time, and were all ready for an unforgettable adventure.
(To be continued...)