Blog

gps-art-of-running-steve-jobs-apple-tokyo-joseph-tame
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Well, I’ve fallen victim to my own advice, and started a blog then been too busy to post regularly.

This second post has also felt a bit like the dreaded second album. The first one seemed well received, and has set the benchmark for this one.

Well, to use the parenting adage: do as I say, not as I do. Why? Because I told you so.

In a few weeks, I’ll run my first marathon.

For years I ran on the gym treadmill. Listening to my iPod and watching television. Then I was encouraged to try running outside. I loved it. Now I run on a treadmill under sufferance, only if absolutely necessary.

I participated in my first official running event 2 years ago. It was a 6km run. Since then I’ve done numerous events, of varying distances up to 21km half marathon distance (of which I’ve done 4). But this one’s the big one. And it’s the New York City Marathon. The most popular marathon in the world. I can’t wait.

I think having a fairly sedentary, digital job has encouraged my passion for running. In many ways, it’s the exact opposite of what I do for a living.

Running uses the entire body, and allows me to focus on the physical me. I’m not a fast, nor natural runner, so it’s an ongoing personal challenge as well as to relieve stress and for general fitness.

It’s also mental. Particularly when training for an event. Not just the planning, preparation and motivation that is required between training runs, but the mental toughness that is required during a difficult or long run, bad weather, injury or event.

And I swear running outside is just so damn good for the soul! Being part of, and experiencing the real world, and having the ability and freedom to run is something I treasure.

So how fortunate am I that my 2, very different passions overlap!?

In addition to the ability to find, connect and communicate with other runners via various social networks, there is a growing number of applications available for digital running enthusiasts, and creative ways to combine the digital world with running.

Here are some of my favourite.

RunKeeper

RunKeeper is an online platform that allows you to not only track and record your fitness activities (not just running) but also connects with other RunKeeper users to form your own Street Team. This aspect is great for motivation, and especially if you are competitive and like to compare your distances, pace and activities against your teammates.

It’s integrated with a number of other platforms, allowing you to share your activities via Twitter and Facebook, but my favourite aspect is the Google Maps integration, which allows you to track and measure course routes, including elevation.

RunKeeper is also available as an iPhone and Android app, so you can record your distance and route in real time, but I don’t like running with too much “stuff” so use the post-activity mapping. Garmin and other sport watches also let you track your distance and route, and then integrate with RunKeeper

Unfortunately, there is no iPad app at this stage.

Nike+ and Slashsport offer similar tracking features and community element as RunKeeper.

Just on Nike, they are also doing awesome work around the work creating running and fitness clubs to encourage people to be active, and also use Twitter and Facebook to motivate and engage with their members.

The Art of Running

Joseph Tame is a British ex-pat, now based in Tokyo, and refers to himself as a social-mobile tech creator.

I first came across Joseph’s activities in an article about this guy who was using GPS to map his very creative running routes. He plans courses that create images, and has run (and drawn) maps including Hello Kitty, his name, the Google+ logo, the Twitter bird, and most recently the Apple logo as a tribute to Steve Jobs.

Having a design background, and working in the creative industry, I love this use combination of technology and physical activity to create “art”. Well, pictures.

According to his website, Joseph has a:

“passion for mobile communication devices, heart monitors, GPS satellites, art and social networking services; these are all mixed with imagination and a desire to push both tech and my body to the limits, resulting in some interesting projects.”

Yes, they do.

The iRun

This is another interesting combination of technology and running I read about a while back, and in researching for this post, I discovered that this is another “interesting project” by Joseph Tame.

Joseph designed the iRun to record a variety of data as he ran the Tokyo Marathon in February of this year. It consists of 2 iPhones 4s, 2 iPhone 3Gs, an iPad and a lovely pink helmet fan.

It’s set up with live video, Twitter, RunKeeper, for GPS, heart rate data and team communication, and also records and shares environmental conditions, including the temperature and CO2 levels.

Joseph wanted to share his experience in the Tokyo marathon with as many people as possible.


While this is my worst nightmare when it comes to running with “stuff”, I really admire Tame’s experiments.

Support Your Marathoner

ASICS first released the Support Your Marathoner program at the 2010 New York City Marathon. Since then it has appeared at a number of marathon events around the world, and they’ve expanded it for 2011.

The program was awarded “Most Innovative Communication Strategy” of the year by Promo Magazine, and leverages the power of social media to inspire and motivate runners.

The application allows friend and family to send pictures, texts, and video messages to support their selected runner. The runner’s RFID tag then triggers the giant video screens along the course to display the messages to that runner as they run past.

Seriously! How f*&king awesome is that!?

Erica Stacey

Erica is a Google Analytics and Google Ads certified professional, so you’re in qualified hands. Erica has had over a decade of experience – working for agencies and a wide range of clients – in digital and social media marketing strategy, website development, search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing (SEM), content marketing, inbound marketing, online advertising and so much more. A professional in the field of design, branding and marketing, she is a trusted name in the South Australian and online community to help an array of businesses sort out and achieve their marketing objectives.

2 Comments

  1. Gavin Heaton (@servantofchaos) Monday 17 October 2011

    I don’t run, but I have been cycling for a while now. I go through phases of being into it, and being interrupted. I think … “hope” … that I am into a good rhythm now. I use Runkeeper – just set it to cycling instead of running and it is a great way to keep track of your efforts over time. It’s especially useful as a record to remind you what you have done in the past, and the auto emails for “new records” are surprisingly encouraging.

  2. enistico Monday 17 October 2011

    You’re so right Gavin, the encouraging emails and messages are a great motivator. Particularly for these type of “solo” activities where you don’t always have another person to congratulate and push you. I hope the riding stays on track! Should be easier now that Summer’s approaching.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.