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  • Running Chronicles - Nike Era

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    Running Chronicles - Nike Era

    by Lionel Brahim Brodie III


    Admission: I Googled “songs with the word run in the title” before naming this new series from Philadelphia Runner. I was torn between a nameplay on Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” (the BEST song by The Boss) and “Take It On The Run” by REO Speedwagon (the second–best song by the group named after an actual speed wagon. The first is “Keep On Loving You”). As I’m mentally rambling, I think that this would be a great topic for what I used to call “Chronicles” on Instagram. And without further ado…..



    January 2, 2024. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I told a co–worker that I needed some new shoes. “Need.” I don’t. But I do. If that makes any sense whatsoever. I realize daily how truly blessed I am to be able to mix it up with my footwear brand rotation. But when I started this running journey in 2011, my first shoes were Nike. For simplicity sake (if you know me, this is actually funny), I’ll stay in that lane here.


    January 22, 2011. Washington, District Of Columbia. I hit the streets of Arlington, Virginia and crossed Francis Scott Key Bridge into Georgetown for my first yog (Anchorman anyone?). I was under the impression that the more expensive the product the better (admittingly I still shop this way sometimes. Most times…..) so I lace up a pair of Nike Air Max 2010s. Dating myself here, but there was a time when Air Max shoes were categorized under Running. So I go out and buy the most expensive pair I can get because they’re going to make me run faster, right?


    After progressing through those first few runs, and talking to a more experienced runner who happened to be an athletic trainer, it is decided that the Nike Structure is the weapon of choice for me, my shins, and my plantar fascia. Stability shoe, powerhouse, responsive.....game, set, match. Then, before my first race (Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, now DBA our very own Philadelphia Distance Run) I discover Lunar. The LunarGlide to be specific. Loved the LG. STILL LOVE the LG. This was my Everything Shoe: short runs, speed work, easy runs, long runs, race day.


    Lunar technology then goes away. Replaced by React technology. If you’re keeping score, I’m now on my 4th Nike proprietary technology: Air, Zoom (Structure), Lunar, React. And all sorts of uppers from Engineered Mesh to Flyknit. Love the React. I live here now.


    Then I became arrogant. I can run in ANYTHING. Don’t need to limit myself to the world of Stability. Give me the Pegasus. Give me the Vomero. Zoom Fly. Everything is fair game. I’m an “experienced runner”…..


    Somewhere in between 2011 and today the goalpost moved. It’s always moving in running, right? Marathons get replaced by ultras. Boston Qualifier was ousted by Olympic Trials Qualifier. We’ll discuss this in a future episode. But when I came into this game (listen to me haha who am I?), 1 shoe for everything. Today….. a shoe for short runs. Another for speed work. A different one for easy runs. Then there’s my long run shoe. And race day? Don’t get me started on race day? BTW, the new Nike Alphafly 3 has released…..and they are moving FAST (pun obviously intended)!



    Not–so–ashamedly, the aforementioned was the scenic route to what I’m currently running in (Nike Era, what up T–Swift):


    Short – Vomero 17 – BOUNCY. SPRINGY. Ran the last Rothman 8K in these.....




    Speed – Infinity 4 – one of the best support (read: stability) shoes I’ve ever worn. This is the shoe that was on my mind in the first paragraph when I told that co–worker I needed some new shoes. Wild comfortable cushioning. Lightweight. Springy. Pro Tip: order ½ size up.



    Easy – Pegasus 40 – you should just buy every Peg that releases and take them for a spin. I do.



    Long – Infinity 4


    Race – this is where the conversation truly begins. My answer is the Infinity 4. I’ve actually never run in or raced in a carbon–plated shoe. I do own pairs. And I wear them. In the wild. For FASHION! Partly because “I don’t think I’m fast enough for carbons.” Partly because I like to annoy the Running Purists who cringe when certain shoes aren’t worn for their intended purpose. Will you catch me in the Alphafly in a few hours? Pair of casual joggers and a button–down shirt? Or do I finally add them to the arsenal for the ever–growing race calendar I’m creating for myself in ‘24? Let’s discuss. Chronicles…..


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