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Discussion: Run for Wine 5K

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 17, 2017 12:44 PM # 
In the latest marketing permutation of "fun" 5K runs, this one has the concept of running for ... wine.

Scheduled on June 24 in a local city park, it is happening three weeks after a scheduled O-meet. Website showing marketing photos of teams of women wearing tutus. Already, noticing a huge following on social media, with comments such as "just signed up", mostly people that socially interacted with others they knew or tagged or brought into the social discussion. Being very familiar with the park, park personnel, the city office that reviews permits, the neighborhood, residential and commercial, and all the past year's marketing attempts to draw interest to the activity of map-based orienteering in this very popular city park, I am amazed at this sudden explosion of interest in participation.

We are in the wrong business. Who really wants to run for ... these quaint white-and-orange flags ?
Mar 17, 2017 4:08 PM # 
I see more people at the average 5K I attend than at the average orienteering meet, and the vast majority of them are running for.... nothing. Except fitness, fun, personal achievement, time with friends, etc. Most don't expect to win awards or prizes. I'm talking plain old races with no gimmicks involved.

Add colored powder or glow stuff or inflatables or mud pits or booze, and a big party at the end, and pull in thousands more people. At premium prices too. And many of these aren't even races, as they aren't timed and there are no awards aside from maybe a participation medal for everyone.

Yet, I don't think it translates that easily. I can't see thousands of people deciding to orienteer because we've suddenly added food trucks and wine. Or if we start chucking colored powder at people in the woods. It's the whole atmosphere. People seem to want to do brainless things in a giant throng (run and follow the crowd, no getting lost, no navigation necessary) possibly have a nice opportunity for selfies with their friends, then have a big festive party.

I can get friends who would never try orienteering to come to these kinds of races with me.
Mar 17, 2017 10:28 PM # 
Run for wine 5k is for those who don't want to use their brains. There seem to be a lot of those types around. If what you want is quantity, you have to dumb it down (literally).

Personally, I prefer the esoteric crowd to the masses.
Mar 20, 2017 12:43 AM # 
I'm not quite sure why we (as a group, not singling out individuals, particularly Janet), are so dismissive of those who just enjoy having a good time on their off hours. I have found that most people who run 5K's "want to use their brains" no more or no less than any other group. If adding a little twist makes it more fun for them, I see no problem in that. I've participated in a few tavern runs and found them to be a great time.

I'm also not quite sure why it is so hard for us (as a group) to grasp that most people don't find wandering through the woods looking for things a particularly interesting pursuit. Nor do I understand why we (as a group) feel so compelled to change that. Orienteering does not make the world a better place. The presence of orienteering events makes the world a better place for me. Therefore, I attend them and I help put them on. That is enough for me.
Mar 20, 2017 1:23 AM # 
Not trying to be dismissive (sometimes it IS just fun to run and not think so much, and I do many of these other events myself... 5Ks, Color Runs, Glow Runs, etc). Just attempting to illustrate that these are two different types of worlds, and while there's some participant crossover, just adding the gimmicky component to orienteering would probably not be enough to get the kind of draw you see at these other events. (Although Glow Night-O might be pretty sweet.)
Mar 22, 2017 9:51 AM # 
If running for wine isn't a brainless activity at the start, it will be at the end.
Mar 22, 2017 11:40 AM # 
If you want running for wine - this is the granddaddy -
Mar 22, 2017 2:33 PM # 
How about a Run for Endorphins? (Or orienteer for endorphins)
Mar 22, 2017 8:02 PM # 
Isn't all running for endorphins?
Mar 22, 2017 8:28 PM # 
Indeed. An inherent buzz, rather than an add on.

This discussion thread is closed.