Runners at the Nike Outpost got to hang out with middle-distance running star David Torrence (center, red t-shirt) on Wednesday for training tips and Q & A. (Photo: Geisel)
Nike Outpost tries pilot project in Mammoth
Time flies … almost as fast as the runners who called the Nike Outpost home for the month that the pilot project was in Mammoth. The Nike Outpost, which set up camp at 126 Old Mammoth Rd. in the Mammoth Mall, adjacent the Chart House and next to the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra Thrift Shop, opened its doors on July 18.
The promotional effort offered a communal “camp”-like atmosphere for runners and teams to try out the latest Nike gear … and, in Nike parlance, “get fit, get psyched and get altitude training in.” Outpost organizers cited Mammoth’s unofficial (or “official” if you ask the Nike crew) status as THE high-altitude training spot for distance runners as one of the chief reasons the town was selected for the pilot program.
Nike’s aim with the Outpost was to “understand” the athletes” and help “improve their performance.” The reciprocal part of that goal was also to better acquaint the athlete with Nike’s line of performance gear and apparel.
Athletes are free to try out the latest apparel and footwear, courtesy of retail partner A Snails Pace Running Shop, before they buy. In addition, athletes were free to test-drive Nike’s newest training and racing footwear.
Special treadmills were also on hand to provide individual gait analysis for runners looking to fine-tune their stride.
Suffice to say that in one month’s time, much running talent shuttled through. Officials at the Nike Outpost said teams numbered more than 40, and runners in the thousands.
One more stationary aspect of the Outpost: team bonding. The Nike Outpost also served as a sort of town hall, a meeting place for athletes to socialize with each other, have communal dinners, play foosball and hang with elite athletes, such as Mammoth Track Club’s Patrick Smyth and rising middle-distance star David Torrence, who participated in Q&A sessions. The Oakland-based Torrence, 24, is very well known in the track and running world for his world-class miles, and 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meter races.
“Having the Outpost here adds another great credit to Mammoth’s high-altitude athletic resume,” remarked Councilmember Matthew Lehman, who helped secure the location for Nike.
The Nike Outpost closes up shop on Friday, Aug. 19. Nike will evaluate the project, with tentative plans for a return visit.