In less than three weeks, JackRabbit Sports will host the first-ever New York City Running Show, a gathering of running gear brands, running clubs, coaches, physical therapists, marathoners, and every other representative of the multi-faceted beast that is the New York City running scene.
Although there are thousands of marathoners, plus committed and casual runners in New York, “no one has ever done a running show for consumers like this in the United States as far as I can tell,” says Lee Silverman, the owner of JackRabbit Sports, and the mastermind behind the show on April 22 and 23.
We hit up Silverman to score some insider details on the show:
W+G: If it’s never been done before, why do you feel now’s the time to introduce 30,000 square feet of running regalia?
From a shopping perspective, there’s not a lot of reason to buy something at a marathon expo [which are typically held the same weekend as the race]. You’re done, you already have all of your gear and have finished your training. But this is the beginning of the season, the opening day for running. This is where you’ll get everything you need to have a great running season.
How many people are you expecting?
Somewhere between 0 and 5,000. What’s encouraging is that in March we had 10,000 unique visitors to the website, and the expo isn’t even until the end of April.
We heard there’s a line-up of rock-star runners and experts speaking. Who’s coming?
If you’re a running geek, you’ll probably gravitate to the panel discussion on the trend towards minimalist running. We haven’t announced the big-deal panelists yet, but it’s a combination of a barefoot runner, a podiatrist who has seen people get hurt, and product designers from Saucony and New Balance.
But I can tell you that Scott Jurek is the lead-off speaker on Saturday. He’s an ultra-marathoner who has literally won every record ever. He’s 100 percent vegan and an amazing athlete.
I want his autograph! Will the running gear sold at the show be different than what’s sold in the JackRabbit stores?
A handful of new products are launching at the show—Saucony is debuting their new minimalist shoe, for example. CEP will be launching a new compression product for serious athletes that helps the body recover from workouts. They’ll take a dozen measurements of you to custom-make a compression product made specifically for you.
And if you’re not a serious athlete?
If you’re aspiring to do your first marathon, there will be clinics where you can talk to coaches or do an assessment with a physical therapist. And on Saturday afternoon, all of the NYC running clubs will be there. You can meet them to find a group of people you’ll like running with depending on where they run, if they’re competitive vs. social, what else they do or offer, etc. It’s a really great way to get a feel for the running community in New York.
A lot of Well+Good readers applied for your Run for the Rabbit reality-fitness contest earlier this year. Did any get selected for the half-marathon training and sponsorship?
You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll be announcing the six winners at the show who’ll be training for the Hamptons Marathon, sponsored by JackRabbit, and supporting a charity of their choice. They’re totally inspiring people—did you see the video teaser?
Why is there a need for a running show in New York?
New York City is the running capital of the country. There are so many runners and so many places to run—it’s just a phenomenal environment for running. As much as JackRabbit does a great job in the stores, there’s only so much we can do at one time given the space limits. Having everything at the show all in one place lets us get to a scale we just can’t accomplish in the stores. —Lisa Elaine Held
JackRabbit NYC Running Show, is Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St, btwn Sixth and Seventh Aves. Click here for a map. Tickets are $10, and are redeemable in $15 worth of show merchandise. To purchase, visit www.nycrunshow.com