Review: New iPhone app lets you run the Boston Marathon without ever leaving home
Posted Feb 02 2011 9:00am
Have you ever dreamed of running the Boston Marathon, but you're too slow to qualify?
Now you can cross the finish line at Copley Square tomorrow, on your treadmill, with your iPhone.
Thanks to iFit's new app, the Fun Run Trainer , anyone can run Boston, New York, Chicago or more than 200 other events. To use the Fun Run Trainer all you need to do is choose an event, put on your favorite playlist, set your running speed, and begin.
The app then displays a Google Maps image of the course. A little blue dot represents you traveling through the course at your set speed. It even tells you the grade of the road and when to adjust the incline on your treadmill for hills.
There's also a section where you can run along famous beaches, like Venice Beach in Los Angeles, or streets, like Abbey Road in London.
As a training tool, or just a toy, the possibilities are endless:
Dial in the Big Sur Marathon, crank up the incline, and experience what it's like to run one of the hilliest marathons in the country.
Set it up to speed through the Berlin Marathon and see what the course looks like at Haile Gebrselassie's 2:03:59 world-record setting pace.
Attempt to run up Heartbreak Hill in Boston at the same speed as Ryan Hall or Meb Keflezighi.
Pull on your compression socks and pretend you're Paula Radcliffe winning the London Marathon.
Preview the ING New York City Marathon course before race day and create a playlist to correspond to the different neighborhoods along the route.
Make sure your power songs correspond to hills and bridges.
Run the last 6.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon and know what to expect when you hit the wall.
At $4.99, the Fun Run Trainer is one of the more expensive iPhone apps, but when you consider it costs more than $100 just to register for the Boston Marathon and close to $200 for New York, it's a bargain.
I'd write more but I'm headed to Hawaii--the virtual Honolulu Marathon. The temperature in my basement is a comfortable 62 degrees. I'm feeling a PR. Now if I can just convince the B.A.A. to accept this as an official Boston qualifier....
* The author purchased Fun Run Trainer from the iTunes App Store for review.
Kimberly Bontempo Bogin is the national Marathon Examiner and the Trail Running Examiner for Examiner.com. She's a three-time Emmy Award winning television producer and writer with 16 years of experience in the field. She's also a wear tester for a major running shoe company. Kimberly has participated in some of the biggest marathons in the country, including the ING New York City Marathon, the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon and the Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon. She will be running the Boston Marathon in April of 2011.