Adidas is trying to be more conscious about the environment and therefore it has teamed up with Parley, to recycle some of the plastic that would have normally ended up in the plastic soup in the ocean. It uses Parley plastic in several of their shoes and apparel. And to support the environment even more, Adidas has vowed to donate 1 USD for every km run through the Runtastic App (with a max of 1 million dollars) between 8th of June and the 8th of July. This money will be donated to Parley (so they can get more plastic out of the ocean and Adidas can make more shoes). They have also launched a new version of the Ultra Boost together with Parley. Eleven plastic bottles are recycled into a pair of Ultra Boost shoes.
In order to reach the million kilometers, Adidas has organised Run for the Ocean runs in lots of cities all over the world. I’d seen photos of these events on Instagram from runs in New York and Milan and it looked like a lot of fun. So when I found out there was a run in Amsterdam I decided I wanted to take part.
Did I have fun? Yes, I did.
Do I regret going? No, I do not.
Was I a bit disappointed however? Yes, I was.
Let me explain: Based on the photos I’d seen from events at other cities, it looked really well organised. In most cities they got Run for the Oceans t-shirts, drinks and food and sometimes even a wooden medal and they had the opportunity to try the Adidas x Parley Ultra Boost shoes. In New York City they even got to run close to the water and with Manhattan as a backdrop. What more could you want?
The Run for the Oceans in Amsterdam was organised together with a few running stores and it seemed that each store was allowed to bring a certain number of runners. I signed up with Perrysport and showed up at their store on time. I was surprised to see that only a handful of other runners were there and even though we needed to sign up they didn’t have a list to check any names so didn’t even know if everyone showed up.
We then went to the Sarphatipark where Adidas had put up some flags and some banners and they’d put some water on a table since it would be at least 25 degrees today. We all got a Run for the Oceans sweatband for around your wrist and they showed us the 1 km loop we were supposed to run through the park. The route wasn’t closed off, there were some banners to point you in the right direction and that was it. They’d hired a film crew to film us throughout the park. Some photos were snapped before we started and off we went. We had a little under 1.5 hours to run as many loops as we could. Given that it was already 23 degrees that wasn’t always easy, but since you keep passing one another it was pretty good fun.
In the end I ran 9 laps. I wanted to do more, but the heat didn’t help. In total we ran 239 loops with roughly 20-25 people or so. I didn’t mind that the route wasn’t closed off and that there wasn’t any food or anything. Slightly surprised that we didn’t get t-shirts since they did seem to get those in other cities and considering we weren’t with that many people they could have managed that (NYC had a couple hundred runners taking part and they all got shirts). But most of all I was surprised that we couldn’t try the shoes or even see them. The people from Adidas weren’t even wearing them, since they were wearing the Solar Boost. So I couldn’t even ask any questions about the shoes. Which is really too bad since I was curious about how it would feel to run in recycled plastic. Is that comfortable? Is it breathable? They hardly even mentioned the shoes, they were more interested if we had downloaded the Runtastic App (which is now owned by Adidas I suppose).
So in short, I did have fun and a good run. I even got to meet Jorn, which was great and who managed to run 16 laps! But as a promotional event Adidas could have organised it better.