After 14 years of organising press trips, there is still an element of doubt, fear and nervousness heading into a new one. In fact, organising a press trip is terrifying! There are so many things that can go wrong, and in my time I have experienced one or two of them. But with this latest press trip with On, there was something new to factor in. The fact that I was away with nine journalists – nine super fit journalists with six of them running a marathon this year – I knew I had to step up for this one.
I felt in pretty good shape after doing R.E.D (run every day in January) and squeezing in a couple of five mile runs after work here and there. But it wasn’t until the group met at Gatwick and they started discussing their marathon goals and PB’s that I realised I might be a little out of my depth. A few days prior to departure, On shared the programme with me. Straight away I noticed the group needed to be up both mornings at 6am for runs along the beach and coastal paths of Mallorca. Would they wake up in time I thought? Yes, of course they would. What I was really asking myself was; would I want to wake up and leave my child-free luxury hotel suite?
Every year, On head out to the island with their European dealers to test out the innovations that On have made that year ahead of launch date. This year On decided to increase the amount of places and open it up to media as well. We secured a great bunch of journalists to join in the fun. The group of journalists included: Nick Harris Fry (@www.coachmag.co.uk), Tom Wheatley (@All Rounder & Shortlist Media), Alice Head (@Women’s Health), Amy Curtis (@Outdoor Fitness), Tom Rowley (@Healthy for Men), Michael Sawh (@Wareable and freelancers), Kieran Alger and Claire Maxted.
First on the agenda after landing on the sunny isle was a welcome briefing from two of the three On founders, Olivier Bernhard and Casper Coppetti, followed by an easy-going sunset run. It felt amazing to run in the sunshine along deserted beaches, and to hear the sound of waves crashing along the coast. This was a great opportunity for the group to mingle, chat and bond over the love of one thing – running.
After a delicious meal and plenty of welcome cocktails in the hotel bar, it was time to hit the hay ahead of the early start. We were given some of On’s latest apparel ‘essentials’ to test and On’s latest shoe model (sadly I can’t reveal the name as this info is under embargo until 21 June) and all set off just as the sun was rising. It was simply stunning, I can’t actually remember the last time I saw a sunrise over the ocean but it felt very special. Some of the group got separated and headed off in different directions and my group ended up getting a little lost, which was only a good thing. We went inland and hit some trails putting the new shoe through its paces. I have never run on a trail terrain before, and I really liked it!
For someone as clumsy as me, I did notice it required a lot more concentration. Luckily Michael’s watch managed to get us back to the hotel, 1.5 hours later and in time for an amazing hotel breakfast banquet – double helping, I must add. I am a huge fan of a hotel breakfast buffet… We then put the journalists to work and did a couple of workshops with the retailers, which we all found super interesting. Their knowledge and experience was literally something else. After the workshops we had a very informal coffee briefing with Oliver, who gave the media a wonderful insight of how the brand first started out and where they are today.
We noticed the On team started setting up stations for the functional training session outside on the hotel’s picturesque gardens. The sun was out, music was pumping and boy did they put us through it; burpees, squats, press-ups and crunches to name just a few of the exercises. After the 1.5 hour run that morning my body was really feeling it, but myself and the group stayed focused and completed it with ease! After more delicious food at lunch, (there was no food shortage on this trip let me tell you) it was time to hike the local mountain – 1,352ft of climbing.
On gave us the option to walk it or run it. The walking group left 30 minutes before the runners. I decided I was going to walk it, take in the scenic views and enjoy it. Of course the media all sped off in the running group but I was happy to make new friends and stay back with some UK retailers.
Guided by On flags in the ground, It took us ladies just over an hour to reach the top, although we did stop on a number of occasions to take video clips. When I was reunited with my group, we all felt very blessed we made it to the top and soaked up the views. Back at the ranch, some of us headed straight to the spa and enjoyed the facilities, while some others hit the bar! I enjoyed a dip in the pool and a long soak in the Jacuzzi.
That night, we spent the evening looking back over the highlights of the trip. It was great to experience such wonderful scenery alongside testing new kit and taking part in some fun workouts. I met some great new faces too, and I’m certain all nine of us will keep in touch and meet again soon.