On the run: Exploring the new Nike GoBKK experience in Bangkok
Going all out
Earlier this year, Nike took on the challenge of giving runners a more elevated, well-rounded performance while addressing the typical running concerns — by launching the new Nike Epic React Flyknit. The first of its kind that offers support, flexibility and breathability, this lightweight shoe incorporates the Nike React foam, softer than any EVA-based foams and specially designed with an extended midsole to provide extra cushioning and stability — perfect for running enthusiasts, whether you are an everyday runner or elite athlete.
As a bid to draw attention to the Epic React Flyknit before its launch in February, Nike introduced a brand new running experience to Nike+ members with the "Instant Go Trialing Experience", an event where members could pre-order the shoes before its official drop in stores. The successful reception then brought on to the next activity in the #ChooseGO campaign — the GoBKK experience in Bangkok, Thailand.
Just two weeks ago, I hopped on a plane to the Land of Smiles to glean a firsthand account of what the GoBKK adventure was all about. After lacing up in a pair of black/grey Epic React Flyknit shoes, we kickstarted the day with a visit to the Nike store in Siam Square One, where a treadmill awaited us in the middle of the store, overlooking a couple of cameras attached overhead and at calf level, and a projector screen. Thanks to the live recording, I could actually watch myself run on the screen — this one's definitely not for shy runners (like yours truly). But evidently, Nike has upped the photobooth game with this ingenious way of capturing a candid moment while at the same time, drawing attention to your fly kicks. A 24-second video clip will be emailed to you post-running, made easy to upload on social media for the 'Grammers.
Shortly after, we had our first quick run (only 1km, but who's counting?) to the next spot on the itinerary, where a foam pool party was about to go down. Just when I was mentally preparing myself for a foam party — the ones that usually involve soapy foam and slippery floors, Nike proved me wrong by unveiling the next destination with aplomb. It definitely wasn't your conventional foam pool party: In plain sight was an inflatable pool filled with sizable foam blocks inside a drained concrete pool. Kind of like a pool-ception, really. The first game of the day fired up our competitive spirits, with us 1) circuit training, 2) dunking ourselves in the foam pool, and 3) picking out the correct foam blocks all under one minute. After a slew of Boomerang shots and countless video opportunities, we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up.
Lunch was an exciting fanfare to boot, aboard the Supanniga Cruise where we sampled a mouth-watering range of local delights while getting educated on notable landmarks situated along the Chao Phraya River. Later on, the team brought us to After You Dessert Cafe, Bangkok's most popular spot to indulge in Shibuya honey toast. But this time around, the star desserts were three exclusive toast flavours created in tribute to Nike Epic React Flyknit's colourways. It was an opportune time to refuel before the main highlight of the day: The GoBKK run.
Here's a little fun fact about Nike's GoBKK run: The mission was to transform the city into a running playground, where runners can "find" virtual tokens on Nike Thailand's Line account throughout their journey. There are nine routes and more than 500 beacons located across the city, and runners can unlock various experiences and surprises at each beacon. All routes lead to the same finish line in front of CentralWorld shopping mall, where more exciting activities await this April 22. The GoBKK activity officially kicks off 18 April, and runners can redeem their virtual tokens for special rewards and experiences at the Nike store in Siam Square One.
With that in mind, we embarked on our GoBKK run in Lumpini Park on the same evening. Our task was to collect as many virtual tokens as possible along our route in the park, similar to Pokémon Go where you can capture Pokémon wherever you go. But the beauty about this app is that you don't have to manually collect tokens as you run — the app automatically obtains it as it tracks your location (just be sure to turn on your Bluetooth and GPS). After a 3.5km run around the park, we convened at the finishing line to compare our token count. As mentioned previously, these tokens can be redeemed for amazing experiences, including exclusive Nike GoBKK merchandise, a chance to run with a celebrity athlete, and even After You's three exclusive toast flavours.
It's perhaps an understatement to say that we really chose to go that day, what with a string of adrenaline-pumping activities from day to night. Thanks to my foolproof Epic React Flyknit, my feet didn't feel sore as it typically would after running out and about the entire day. Below, check out the Nike Epic React Flyknit in all the available colourways: