Yes, this is my excellent adventure, Day 26. My journeys through Copenhagen (March 29), Paris (April 6), London (April 13) and Boston (April 21) are now, well chronicled. I write a daily journal entry about each and every day on my journey. I hope that you enjoy.
As Boston Marathon week has been my litmus test for the health of the industry, I can tell you the following: Running is robustly healthy. During the worst of the economic slumps, many shoe companies continued to see growth. Why? Running is about not only the physical health but mental health. And, when your house value has dropped by half, the only thing you can do is get in that run or walk in the morning.
Minimalism is as dead as a doornail. Measured minimalist influences can be seen in many products, however, brands, such as HOKA ONE ONE, totally contrarian to what is supposed to be hot in running, are thriving. The cult favorite, Newton, under new leadership, and with better colors, is continuing to build users.
Nice to see brands like adidas, with their best product in three decades. The boost system is being seen by many run specialty retailers as a game changer. Brands like Brooks and Saucony continue to develop and improve consistently, bringing in more and more consumers and consumers. NB has returned to its focus on high end performance running product, with more attention to detail and better product, is complementing the amazing activation program that they did in Boston.
But on Sunday night, after a week in Boston, I was beat. My walk in Boston Commons was quiet and relaxed. Listening to the Cars, Graham Parker, Iggy Pop, I started to focus on the coverage of the Boston marathon, my longest day of the year.
At the end of my walk, I took the picture in this piece, noting a moment of near quiet for the finish line that has had so many visitors this week.
The last few nights, I have been fortunate to spend some time with three of the Boston marathon volunteers, Kim, Stephanie and Veronica. They take time off work to work with the elite athletes in the transportation group. They introduced me to John Ball,who, as KIm so aptly called, “the hands of God”, works as a physical therapist on the likes of Ryan Hall, Des Davila, Shalane Flanagan. As Kim and Veronica are flight attendants, they swear by John and his magic hands.
After my walk, I grabbed dinner in the Lenox, again, trying to get my final thoughts on the computer and my notes together for race day. I joined my dream team (the noted above) and a friend for a birthday drink for Veronica. All three were beat, from the long week.
The day that this is all about is on Monday, April 21, 2014. A day of vindication for some, a day of remembrance for others, a day to celebrate the sport and take back the Boston marathon for others.
It will be an emotional day, and I am happy to be here.