Go nocturnal! Run London! <br /><br />Nike’s relentless cheerfulness about their Run London events is infectious. The promotional material looks so good. It’s all fun and smiles and you start to think about lots of happy people working out together, loving the fresh (ha – it’s London – fooled you) air and eating sensibly and you think “Yes, I want some of that”.<br /><br />For just �25 you get: A GoNocturnalRunLondon t-shirt (worth �30 – you’re quids-in already!). And 10% off any running kit in the month or so leading up to the race. And you get to be part of it. Take part! Do it! Don’t be so lazy! Give us the money!<br /><br />So you do. Or, at least, I did. As did several others. 30,000, in fact. That’s �750,000 straight to the corporate Mammon that is Nike. OK, so they have to put the race on, which must cost a bit. They have to close the roads, pay for stewarding and staff, promote and generally sort it all out. But let’s not be fooled by that t-shirt you get “free”. It costs them next to nothing. And another thing. It is NOT fashionwear. We were given the brightest neon day-glo yellow item. Horrid, just horrid. Never wear that again. It went straight in the bin after the race.<br /><br />The start was simply awful. Imagine shuffling about in a wet car park on a November evening with 6,000 other people while on a stage two utter morons “miked-up” and wearing black Nike top-to-toe plus some dappy girl jump about shouting at you to keep warm to shitty dance music. “Let’s clap those hands. Knee’s up! This side, shout YEAH!”. Christ. The crowd drift about, looking for leadership. It feels like we are about to be borded onto trains and shunted off to hell. We are all branded, after all.<br /><br />Finally, when the run starts after going through several holding areas, it feels like a prison break. Run away! Thousands of yellow lemmings dashing towards a cliff. 1k goes by in a flash. 2, 3, no problem. Near Tower Bridge they pump out music which lift the spirits. Or it could, if they weren’t playing Oasis – a band that really have that fitness ethos. Fags and booze, anyone? Then they play Radiohead. I love Radiohead, but it’s hardly workout music, now, is it? <br /><br />7, 8, and 9 Ks are fine. Then it’s the finish straight. Over the line, and… oh. We all seem to be standing in a dark, muddy field with no direction. No-one knows where to go. I find myself in the obligatory foil nappy with a tacky medal around my neck. There are some burger stalls in the distance, but I think those are for the spectators (or the lazy fat people, whichever you prefer). There are two people in a feeble protest holding signs: “Nike Sweat-shop run”. <br /><br />The signs to the tube are terrible. It’s as if after giving you all the help in the world to get you on this damn run, Nike want you to get utterly lost and demotivated. Go home. No foil nappies on the tube. See you next year. On the tube, a man asks “So, which charity was the run for?”. A woman looks back at him. “It wasn’t for charity. It was for Nike.” I could feel the shame.