That's right - someone finally did what I was talking about on day one. (Although I didn't blog about that particular thought, shucks. Ask my co-workers though).
Arien O'Connell (the would-be first place winner of the Nike Women's Marathon) received a surprise award ceremony at the school where she teaches... but not from Nike. From Reebok! That's right. A competitor finally stepped up and decided to throw Nike's decision in their face. Arien was awarded a trophy inscribed with "Winner and Heroine of Non-Elite Runners Everywhere." along with a free pair of Reebok shoes every month for a year, T-shirts for everyone in her class, and a $2,500 donation to her school. Not too shabby. (Full story on SFGate.com)
Now let's get back to the "I called it!" that I should be writing about right now. There was so much detail in the events that happened that the blog was getting too lengthy for me to insert a thought I had. I shared with some friends, but unfortunately didn't post anything regarding it. I thought Nike should have sponsored Arien for at least a year - whether they awarded her first place or not. Get her a coach, put her on an advanced training program and help her become a better runner. To me that is worth more than some trophy, a title, and one events' prize money. She already was a sub-3 hour runner, throw some Nike apparel and shoes on her for a year, put her in a commercial to promote the Nike Marathon 2009 to help fund raise for Leukemia and let's get Arien into the 2:30 range. Nike missed a huge opportunity to introduce the world what could have been the next face of long distance running. At least a company did good by finally giving her some recognition along with something she can use to become a better runner.
Previous Posts regarding Arien O'Connell:
SIDE NOTE: Can we get someone to take a better picture of her? Everything that I have seen has been some weird angled shot with bad lighting... almost as if it was taken from a cell phone across the room. Help the girl out.
Alright - throw the comments below and let us know what you think...