The Nike Women´s Race Series is putting the female world in motion, through a series of unique races around Latin America and Asia.
After the series wraps up with a race in Seoul, Korea (May 26), Nike will have reached almost 50,000 women in 12 countries. From Mexico to Australia, Argentina to Singapore, the series, now in its second year, celebrates women who run with specialized race experiences designed just for her, from customized expos to iconic race courses to exclusive post-race events. And runners have shown strong support; in most cases the races sold out in hours or a few days. In Seoul, for example, all 7,000 slots were snapped up in a mere 11 minutes.
“The Nike Women’s Race Series offers a tremendous and multi-faceted experience for women to drive their passion for running,” says Arturo Nunez, Nike Emerging Markets Marketing Director. “It also gives Nike the opportunity to connect with the enthusiastic and growing female running communities around the world.”
The series kicked off March 4 in Santiago, Chile, with 3,000 runners and Paraguayan Olympic javelin thrower Leryn Franco hosting.
The customized race experience was designed to address the specific needs of women runners throughout the race day journey. Pre-race, each city offered an accompanying expo where event-goers received a full, female-focused Nike experience with product trials, Nike+ demonstrations, footscans, photo booths and henna tattoos with the race logo.
As the races kicked off, courses directed runners past scenic and iconic local landmarks, adding to the race appeal. In Singapore (April 14), runners ran along scenic Sentosa beaches; across the globe in Asuncion, Paraguay (April 15), the field passed through the Yatch Club, a scenic part of the city bordering the river. And in Buenos Aires (March 25), a full field of 5,000 women raced the Paseo Costero in the Vincente Lopez district, a brand new circuit bordering the Rio de la Plata.
Supporting the local community is another key element of the races. In Argentina, runners raised funds for Corazon y Mujer, a non-profit that works on heart disease awareness (a main cause of death among Argentinean women). Like many of the races, it also included sustainable elements such as enhanced recycling, rational use of water, and incentives for runners coming to the race by bike. In Mexico, Nike made a significant donation to the Rebecca de Alba Foundation, which offers services to children living with cancer.
At race finish lines, runners enjoyed pampering treatments such as manicures, foot massages and facials. In Panama City, Panama (May 20), runners enjoyed a special Art Zone and could post their caricatures to social media networks. Most cities also celebrated the conclusion of their races with a party-like atmosphere where DJs, singers and performers offering world class shows to runners. Post-race in Quito, Ecuador (May 12), runners were treated to a laser show activated by spinning bikes and a fireworks show that illuminated the cityscape.
Professional and Olympic athletes as well as local celebrities joined the runners in the race experience. In Mexico City, for example, diver Paola Espinosa, Mexico’s best hope for a medal in London, kicked off the race for the nearly 10,000 runners.
Other races had their own distinctive elements. Most races were 3k or 5k, but in Australia (May 3), more than 3,200 women took over the iconic grounds of Sydney’s Centennial Park for the 13k She Runs the Night. Nike athlete and Olympic 5,000m runner Sonia O’Sullivan joined the competition and interacted with the crowd. An indoor finish led the runners to an exclusive after-party. And the race winner and a friend will be heading to the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco this October.
After such a successful season in 2012, plans are already underway for next year. The 2013 Women’s Race series will kick off next spring. Runners can check local Nike Running websites for news and updates.
2012 Nike Women’s Race Series
Santiago, Chile: March 4
Mexico City, Mexico: March 11
Montevideo, Uruguay: March 24
Buenos Aires, Argentina: March 25
Singapore: April 14
Asuncion, Paraguay: April 15
Sydney, Australia: May 3
Caracas, Venezuela: May 6
Quito, Ecuador: May 12
Bogota, Colombia: May 13
Panama City, Panama: May 20
Seoul, Korea: May 26