When I got the invite to try out the Samsung 837 Run Club, I was dubious, but intrigued. It promised major motivational vibes over a three-mile course along New York City's Hudson River, plus post-run snacks and the opportunity to test out the new Samsung Gear Fit2.
But would it be worth the early morning wake-up call and the trek downtown from my Midtown East apartment? I decided to try it and find out.
Additional disclaimer: Indoor cycling and HIIT workouts are my jam. Running, not so much. But like the good workout buddy I am, I recently agreed to support my roommate in her race training by running with her once a week, so the Run Club seemed like the perfect fit for us.
Bright and early on a cloudy Saturday morning, we headed to the meet-up point at Samsung 837 in the Meatpacking District. I was still a bit nervous about what I was getting myself into, but figured my brand-new running shoes and I could handle just three miles.
Scroll down for my Run Club takeaways—and find out whether it was worth waking up for.
They weren't kidding about the motivational vibes
Turns out, I picked the weekend the course changed from the usual three miles to 4.6. Fortunately, the Run Club still offered the option of a three-mile course along the new route.
Three coaches led the approximately 50-person group at three different paces, so you'd have someone to run with no matter your experience level. On top of their speed accommodations, you could tell the coaches were really enthusiastic and happy to be there, and they actually made an effort to get to know me (no easy feat while in motion).
My roommate and I fell somewhere in between the group crushing eight-minute miles and the group keeping a steady 9:30 pace—but trailing the leaders gave us something to strive for, while feeling the encouragement from the group behind us pushed us to keep going.
The Gear Fit2 was an awesome running companion
True life: I never saw the appeal of fitness trackers, since I've never been a runner and I'm not really interested in tracking how many steps I take. But the Gear Fit2 made me reconsider.
The design was sleek, not clunky, and it was light enough that I barely noticed it on my wrist during the run. With a quick glance down, I could see my time, heart rate, and the progress bar to my goal. It also buzzed every mile, which was a nice reminder of my progress while removing the temptation to check it every five seconds.
Despite my previous skepticism of fitness trackers, after trying the Gear Fit2 I was definitely tempted to snag one—especially if I'm going to be doing this running thing more often.
The run was a great way to see the city
I've lived in New York for two years now, but still constantly stumble upon places I've never seen before (I blame spending so much time on the subway). Running through SoHo and Greenwich Village was an awesome way to tour the city above ground. Plus, apparently it's a good way to serendipitously see friends from college—I (almost literally) ran into two.
The Samsung 837 headquarters was worth checking out
At the end of the run, we all met back up at Samsung 837, where we were given raffle tickets to win lululemon goodies and vouchers for the 837 cafe (and I wasn't even wearing a "Will run for coffee and free lulu" shirt).
Ultimately, I didn't score the raffle prize, but three lucky runners did leave with vouchers for tanks they could pick out at the lululemon store around the corner. The rest of us were free to explore the 837 space, which includes an immersive virtual-reality tunnel, interactive artwork, and of course, opportunities to test out all the latest Samsung gadgets.
My overall review? One hundred percent worth waking up for. My roommate and I ended up running a total of 4.1 miles, which is further than I gave myself credit for originally. I guess I underestimated myself and my new running shoes.
Top photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio
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