how W+K owned the night

Unknown-1

Group account director Rachel Parker, who has come to London from our Portland office for a while (we've got people working out how to clone her so we can keep her AND return her to the States), was one of the sporty W+K ladies who ran Nike's We Own The Night race last weekend. Here are a few words from Rachel about what went down:

Saturday night, while most Londoners were cozy on their sofas, hiding from the pouring rain and whipping wind, 10,000 women took to Victoria Park for Nike’s We Own the Night 10k run. This was the second year for Nike's event, and this year, a handful of women from W+K’s Run Club were there to represent and take part in what was, for some, their first 10k.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.42.57

[from Nike Running's Instagram]

This wasn’t your typical organised run, but more akin to a park festival with thousands of women sporting the same turquoise Nike race shirt and setting off for a run together. Nike pulled out all the stops. There was music and even pre-race trainers who led a warm-up to keep up motivation on a chilly night.

There were Nike athletes, including Paula Radcliffe, fashion designers, and DJs. The race course was like none other, complete with a light forest, light tunnels, live music, and thousands of women encouraging one another along the way. Everyone who crossed the finish line received an exclusive Alex Monroe designed finisher necklace, and I, for one, haven’t taken mine off since.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.45.06

[from ELLE UK's Instagram]

Unfortunately, the wet weather meant that not many of us stuck around afterwards to enjoy the festivities. I think that means we’ll just have to do it again next year.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.38.17

[from W+Ker Hannah G's Instagram]

W+K girls are better than boys: official

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet .

Dan Hon has attempted to sweep something massive under the carpet. A monumental victory has taken place on Hanbury Street, something that Emmeline Pankhurst, her Suffragette friends and all 5 members of the Spice Girls would be high fiving about. But something than Dan Hon thinks should be stuffed into an email trail.

Nike GRID happened. You all know that.

Let it be known that the WK boys challenged the girls.

The boys were defeated monumentally.

4360 points to the boys plays a sparkling 9170 points to the girls.

W+K boys
W+k girls
Watch the events in gloriou
s technicolour here:

(Arguably the film belies the level of grit and determination displayed throughout the 2 week period)

 See the medals of honour and team lists here:

http://nikegrid.com/team/show/4

http://nikegrid.com/team/show/2

Top work, girls.

Laura x

W+K runs Loch Ness

Last weekend nine of us at W+K decided to run around Loch Ness.

Yes, that massive expanse of water up in the Highlands.

Picture 3

Three of us (Paul, Alex, Emma) ran a marathon from the southernmost point of the loch to the northernmost point.

Six of us (Sophie, Fern, Karla, Graeme, David and Nic) ran the 10k around Inverness.

We all survived.  Just.  

Sophie actually managed to wound herself in the process.  

But she is hardcore like that.

36056_435178001909_686981909_5748979_2466763_n

This is Paul and Emma at the start line of 26.2 miles.

Cold, wet, contemplative and in bin bags.


Picture 4

This is a local Scottish fisherman the girls wooed.

65097_435052316909_686981909_5745374_7519865_n

 And this is Paul finishing 26.2 miles, smoking a pipe.

Picture 5

But despite the injuries and nervous starts, it was well worth the effort.

All in all, we managed to raise over £1500 for Action Against Hunger for the flood victims in Pakistan.

Nice.

39604_435052926909_686981909_5745387_3753296_n

Emma

Blood, sweat and phone boxes.

After an intense, sweaty and nerve-wracking twenty-fours over the weekend, Nike GRID is complete. Challenges were set, personal-bests were beaten, phone calls were made and winners were crowned.


We’ve learnt a lot. Real-time communication and distributed events are very, very hard to control. Phone boxes don’t always work (but they’re fixable). Self-organising communities are remarkably helpful, efficient and powerful. And sometimes, the odd person will try to cheat (but the GRID always works it out).


40 postcodes were claimed. Over 2,700 people joined the Facebook community. Around 3,000 individual runs were logged at all times throughout the day and night. A few hardy players even ran marathon distances. We had requests from around the world asking if we could replicate GRID in other cities. And judging from most of the anecdotal feedback, lots of fun was had. But this is only the start.


Will we do it again? Let’s see what happens.


Below: Ben Satchwell, SW3 winner, basking in the glory of his very own phone box.

 

Grid winner 

more running

Map

Sophie writes:

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an email to the agency, appealing for runners. As part of that appeal, I mentioned ‘that great feeling when you receive a smile from fellow joggers passing by’. Stuart Smith (resident marathon runner) however, pointed out that in his long history of running, not once has he received a smile, wink, nod, not even vague, glazed acknowledgement from any passing runners. He’s suggested that long blonde hair, cycling shorts and a pair of new pink trainers could be the cause of the varying reactions we each receive. Of course my immediate response was to argue vehemently that people aren’t just being friendly because I’m female and that there’s a genuine feeling of empathy and comradeship within the urban jogging scene.

But after last week, I may just be inclined to agree with him. Which was a little disillusioning. Once again, we were 3. But this time an all-female, all-blonde 3. And it would be naïve to deny the different responses we received to running with Tony and Jason last week. Not only from fellow joggers, but from passers-by, lorry drivers, car drivers, shop owners, curry house waiters… To be honest, it became a little tedious.

But then I realised; if we were spreading a little aesthetic happiness in the

East London

area, whilst enjoying our jog – surely that’s no bad thing. So Stuart, perhaps you’re right. Perhaps urban runners aren’t as inclusive and community spirited as I initially believed.  But then again, maybe I’ll just carry on pretending that they are and that they’re smiling because they understand. Because that’s a nicer way to look at it.

Last week was extremely enjoyable. We went at a manageable pace and made it to 7.4km. Which we were all very chuffed with. I’m not going to bother with the street by street lowdown (we got horribly lost), but these are the things we learnt/noticed along the way:

          All of

East London

smells of Curry (even the parks).

          Running with your arms not only gives you greater momentum, but it’s a highly effective workout for the biceps.

Emmaandbecs

          Running with your arms whilst looking at your feet helps you go further. Especially if you’re looking at pink trainers.

          Someone needs to invent a portable, jogging-friendly music speaker system / an i-pod device ensuring everyone’s listening to the same thing at the same time.

          Victoria Park is underrated.

Running

          It’s fun to save a bit of energy for the final 3 minutes, and have a little race home with yourself / fellow joggers.

Until tomorrow, 1pm, reception. Hope to see you there.

starting to run

With Run London coming up, everyone in the agency is becoming more running conscious. Sophie D, one of our account managers, writes:

So despite an all-agency drinking binge on Wednesday afternoon, lunch time running proceeded (although delayed by 24hrs).

It all started when I decided to run home from work about a month ago, just to see if I could. I’d done a couple of light jogs before, but nothing this far (about 12K). The great thing was, not only did I do it, but my eyes were suddenly opened to this fantastic world of running. And I loved it.

People around the agency keep bringing up the question, what keeps people going when they’re running? How does one go the distance they’re aiming for? (Something to do with Nike I think). What I’d say, with my limited brief experience, is that it’s not about concentrating on the distance or the finishing line. It’s about embracing the journey. What I love about running is the sense of discovery. Whether it’s self-discovery (how far you can push yourself/whether your left ankle’s weaker than your right/how your thoughts/conversations deteriorate after an hour), or just discovering the little things going on around you – the pavement cracks, people’s living rooms, grumpy pedestrians, your own feet. The distance and where you’re getting to is just a happy outcome of that journey.

So I bought a pair of special purple trainers and an i-pod arm band, and I got running.

Running_shoes

Then, during a drunken conversation with Tony, our Creative Director, I agreed that getting other people to join in could be a very positive thing. It’s just too easy to sit in front of a computer all day and go stale in your thoughts. If we were to make it a weekly occurrence, getting people out of the office, clearing their heads for an hour and exploring a bit of the area, no doubt we’d all feel much more positive for the afternoon/week ahead.

Lots of people responded to the initial invitation, however few appeared keen when the day arrived. In fact, at one point it was just going to be me and Tony. But in the end we were three. Jason (one of our freelance Creatives), Tony D and me. 

Two would have been less of an event. But I would argue that three was a perfect number to begin with. It meant that one of us could run ahead (Tony), whilst we followed in blissful ignorance of where we were. It also meant that 2 of us could talk (Tony and Jason), whilst one of us listened to our i-pod.

In retrospect, we went quite far. Almost 10K in fact. We didn’t anticipate running that distance (or I didn’t), but just kind of got into it. Plus we were following Tony and had no idea where we were.  Running_map

I suppose the best way to document our run is to go through our journey, picking out those little discoveries and conversations that were shared. I’ll do it by street name:

Haggerston Park to Old Ford Rd: Agreed to ditch the map and follow Tony.

Hanbury St to Columbia Rd: Considered possibility of portable sat nav systems. Suggested my services as a personal sat nav system (bit like a personal trainer), but was ignored. We got lost.
Victoria Park: Admired the lake and its fountains. Talked about breasts and the fact that the Organic pub on the corner had been bought out. Tony pointed out a converted brewery that he’d regrettably failed to purchase back in the old days.

Mile End Rd: Consideration of whether we could run far enough to give ourselves a heart murmur. Concluded it was worth taking the risk. Jason taught me that looking at your feet whilst running actually helps you go further.

Sewardstone Rd to end of canal: Admired the architecture. Reminisced about days gone by, when buildings were where they should be and how Tony should have invested more in property by the canal.
Sainsburys to Hanbury St: Last leg. Head down (watching purple trainers). Very little conversation. Tony pointed out some handbag shops in an attempt to keep me going. Worked. Congratulations all round.

And that was that.

Going to tick off the street names each week, until we’ve conquered East London. Then we’ll move South. Next run: this Wednesday, 1pm.Won’t be going quite so far next time in case you’re put off – definitely come along! Will take some pics.

As a wise man once said, “you never feel worse after a run.”