We Are Not Joggers, part II

So, like so many others, I sent off my letter to Pearl Izumi. And, if they respond, I'll let my reader(s) know whether or not it is the same form letter they have been sending out, or if it is a new draft. For the record, I told the group I run with on Saturdays about the ad, and no one was supportive. They aren't fast runners (with a couple of exceptions), but that doesn't make their effort any less significant. As Bill Rodgers said "I can't even imagine what it's like to run for 5 or 6 hours."

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my concern with, and dislike for, your recent ad campaign ("We Are Not Joggers"). Although I suspect that you are hoping to spur people on to discovering their inner "runner" (so to speak), I feel that your approach is needlessly hostile, and comes across as demeaning and condescending.

For example, the ad campaign states that running on a treadmill is merely joging. I suspect that Christine Clark would disagree with that assessment. (In case the name does not ring any bells, she won the women's US Olympic Time Trials in 2000, and did almost all of her training on a treadmill.) For some of us, especially those with young children, the choices are often running on a treadmill, running well after dark, or worse, not running at all. I hate running (excuse me, "jogging") on the treadmill, but it sure beats the alternatives.

You also stated that anything you do at the helm of a tricked-out baby stroller is jogging. Aside from the fact that it is actually pretty difficult to push 50+ pounds of toddler and stroller along a road or path (even on a gentrified stretch of pedestrian walkway), you're only a short step away from saying that Dick Hoyt (of Team Hoyt) is merely a jogger. I'd love to be half the "jogger" that he is; anyone who can push a wheelchair and manage a 2:40:47 marathon deserves to be called something better than "jogger".

And running with an MP3 player makes me a "jogger"? Aside from the fact that it's on my treadmill runs (which apparently make me a jogger in your eyes anyway), if it takes music to get me through a 10 mile run on a glorified hamster pad, I'll use it. I may not use it on my runs outside, and you'll never see me wear one on a race, but apparently that doesn't matter.

Although I may not be the fastest runner, I do go through about 4 or 5 pairs of shoes per year. And, as I add more marathons to the schedule, that number is only going to increase. But, in no small part to the "We Are Not Joggers" campaign, I suspect that a pair of your shoes will not be part of that lineup.

Richard Grady

Anyway, on a running note, I did a time trial yesterday (disappointing only because I didn't start it as a time trial until I was 3-4 minutes in, and I never quite sped up enough to make up for that slow start), and a nice, relaxed 7 miles this morning. With any luck, I'll get in 12 tomorrow, and since my quad is almost back to normal, I should get in hills or a speed workout next week.


Blogger Wes said...

Joggers of the world unite! LOL. I'm not really sure they planned on this kind of response. We are all runners! Rock on!!!

6:44 PM  
Blogger The 311 Boys Mom said...

Hey--wow, you really do run & keep track---seriously....I have this vision of what a better person I'll be, i.e., happier, more relaxed, fit(actually, I mean HOT, when I say fit). lol

I walked for 2 miles tonight & I didn't time it, but I did speed up, about every 1/4 mile, for a 1/4 mile.

I am a "Penguin" fan. Read 3 of his books since last Friday---very inspirational. Truthfully, this is the worst weight I've ever been, but I"ve never even played T-ball; I'm an EXCELLENT spectator, but no athlete.
My 15 yr old knows I plan to run in races, 1/2 and (hopefully) a full marathon; but I can't tell anyone else. They not only don't believe, but discourage it. Anyway------I can't get to the WDW this yr (Jan 08); BUT I will be there in 2009. AND I WILL BE at the Detroit Free Press. I'm going for the 5K but hope to do the 10K come October. Will you be there?

Any words of wisdom???

8:28 PM  
Blogger Bogdana said...

May I also show off what I wrote to them as well ( I sent a similar one to Runner's WOrld stating that the choice of running those ads in a mag that touts its versatility for all types of runners is insensitive):
To whom it may concern:
I am disappointed and feel alienated by the choice to put an ad in magazines and make an entire web site devoted to insinuating that joggers are not 'real' runners but are merely lollygagging around the sidewalk. I was originally under the impression that running was for everyone, almost all runners or joggers of all talents were friendly and supportive folks, and that runners and joggers treated people with respect.
I run a painfully slow 12 minute mile, but it sure beats the 20 minute mile fast walking I was doing when there was 200 pounds on my 5'5" frame. Are you not aware of the obesity epidemic in the USA? Many first time runners purchase magazines like "Runners World" to help get them started, not to immediately tear them down with elitist advertising.
I lost 50 pounds 'jogging' and it certainly wasn't a walk in the park with a "snow cone" as you said in runner's world's August issue. To allude to joggers as not working hard enough or being 'adventurous' enough is insensitive and the OPPOSITE of successful marketing... unless I'm the only jogger that buys Runner's world for motivation. Maybe it's just me.
As a sidenote, will Izumi sell me sneakers, or is my money also inferior? Last time I checked, joggers bought running gear, too.

Baltimore Maryland


2:50 PM  

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