This is the second day of my one month long odyssey around the world to see the World Half Marathon Champs, Paris, London and Boston Marathons. Day two was spent in New York and then, in the evening, it was off to Zurich, then Copenhagen.
Wilson Kiprop and his many medals, photo by Justin Lagat, March 2014
My late flight from SFO to NYC put me into JFK early Tuesday morning. By the time I checked into my hotel and did some writing, it was two in the morning and I had a morning meeting at seven in the morning.
Part of my job, as a magazine publisher and editor of RunBlogRun is to check in with my various contacts from around the world. A day in NYC is no different. I met with a long time business associate and friend for breakfast, before his day started at 8 am. The good thing about this business is that, for the most part, the people I interact with in the sport are good people. Relationships are key. Working with people, even with different working styles, can be worked out over time, if both people want to make it work. Planning ahead has been a challenge for me, but to meet with some of my associates, meetings are set up months ahead.
The big discussions right now in the business revolve around what many of us see as the death of minimalism. Eighteen months ago, minimalism was everything. I believe that when someone tells you that you MUST do something one way, then, that new philosophy will fail. Fascism, in any endeavor, just does not work.
What minimalism has done for the sport is encourage lightweight training shoes to be even lighter, and more effective. Lightweight shoes and modern running shoes were forever changed when fans of minimalism asked the hard questions, and shoe making did change.
The other discussion has been over the level of security needed in major marathons. Boston will be extra special this year, as it is the first anniversary of the Boston bombings. Many who were affected want to have time to memorialize those lost and those maimed. While I worried about terrorism in our sport, I just did not even think about it at Boston. Perhaps, that is why it hit so hard. I found myself, while in London after the Boston marathon, checking on my son, Adam, who traveled with me, all of the time. Knowing he was nearby, I seemed to be able to nearly relax.
My short walk in New York, a daily ritual, reminded me why I left cold weather. The winds in Manhattan were cold and it was obvious that New Yorkers were just plain tired of the winter weather.
This day was quick and productive. ASICS invited me to their showroom to see Fall 2014 product in running, training and walking. I am still fascinated to see new product, new colors and how brands evolve product. ASICS is fantastic at evolving product; look at the Gel Kayano 20 and the multiple editions of various other ASICS product.
In the early days of running, shoes did not evolve, they just changed. Then, consumers were furious with the changed footwear each season. While some brands do that now, most get that the fans of various shoes want some change, but not much. Runners are creatures of habit.
The footwear and apparel review of ASICS product was done in their Showroom in mid-town. I ran into Jim Gerweck, the long time Running Times associate editor and good friend. We always take pictures to send to Paul Merca, the third part of Slap Central, which is what Gerweck, Merca and I call ourselves.
My trip on Swiss Air was a bit strange. On a flight of Italian students and member of the jewelry business (big show in Switzerland), every seat was taken, and students were standing up and joking as the plane left the gate. I enjoyed the Italian conversations and soon, all were in their seats.
My seat mate was pretty funny, but the poor guy was squashed. He was six foot, six and the small Swiss seats were tough enough. Then, the lovely German couple in front of us, put their seats back so far, I could see the gentleman's nose hairs. His wife did the say thing, and I was waiting to see my seat mate rub her hair and say something romantic. At least during meals, the couple sat up. But, seriously, what is that about? Common courtesy, in any language, is just not that common.
I am looking forward to Copenhagen. The World Half marathon champs will be fun, and seeing friends who will be there will be fun. Justin Lagat's article for RunBlogRun last week on Wilson Kiprop really has me thinking about how well he can do in Copenhagen!
Something to think about after watching a Michael Caine movie.