In the past months, running has been a lifeline to people around the world. Ahead of the rescheduled London Marathon this weekend (4th Oct), New Balance is celebrating running’s power to build determination and grit – something we all need more than ever. New Balance and VMLY&R are launching a new film series showing the mental and physical impact that running offers for athletes of all levels.
The film series features stories of real runners: Georgie, Reon and Jade. A run isn’t always just a run; it can be the start of something new and inspiring, and a support for mental health. The campaign is based on the insight that running is tough, but the payoff is worth it. The films highlight runners of different journeys, who have different relationships to the sport, but who all exemplify New Balance’s fearlessly independent ethos.
Each film was shot in locations based on where the runners would typically run, and each were filmed differently based on the runner story or location. The tone was meant to feel intimate and raw. Shot to feel more like it’s coming from the point of view from the runners—what they see and what they hear—their breath, the beat of their footsteps. We wanted it to feel like the runners were taking us on a journey of not just their run, but also their inner monologue.
For Reon, someone who was new to running and hadn’t ever run a race, running was about changing his perspective. Using running, something he doesn’t typically do, as a means for goal setting. For seeing new perspectives of his city, his work, and his plan for himself and his life.
Jade’s running story differs in terms of her relationship with running as she had recently ran six marathons in six weeks to raise money for a charity close to her family, but it also served as a catalyst to build her confidence and courage in not only her running abilities but in her personal and professional life as well.
VMLY&R also featured an ultra-marathon runner, Georgie. Her story is a captivating, hauntingly beautiful and up close view of how running saved her from destructive addiction and actually, as she says, saved her life.
Each film goes beyond just the physicality of running and tells the personal and transformational stories of each runner. All on very different running journeys, but they are all linked by their desire to use running as a form of liberation, or as a means to push them through to the other side of something in their life.
The London Marathon will be limited to elite runners on a limited course, with all original marathon registrants invited to participate in a virtual 26.2. It’s the 40th anniversary of the race, and is one of the only major marathons in the world that will be run in 2020.