Nike’s Dream Run in Iceland Ends Badly

The sportswear brand Nike is being sued by Kate Freeman, a long-distance runner and coach from Los Angeles, CA. Freeman is suing for damages she sustained on a Nike-sponsored running event in Iceland, which took place in 2013. The suit calls for 1.3 million USD and is based on the argument that the conditions of the event were unsafe.

Freeman was invited to Iceland along with 30 other runners for the event, marketed as the “Dream Run,” or #RunViking, by Nike. There were three different runs, which took participants over various types of terrain, much of which was rather treacherous, according to Freeman.

It was on the second run that Freeman lost her footing and fell, dislocating her ankle and fracturing her fibula and tibia. The injury required several surgeries. The lawsuit not only demands that Nike reimburse Freeman for the physical injury she experienced, but also for emotional and psychological losses suffered. The run on which Freeman broke her leg occurred at night due to delays in scheduling.

The main issue was that participants were prohibited from wearing any gear that was not made by Nike. According to Freeman, the Icelandic terrain, characterized by rocks, ice, and snow, was dangerous and should have been approached with better equipment, such as poles, spikes, and lights.