Video Roundup: Even Robot Cheetahs Enjoy Running

The MIT robot cheetah can now jump over obstacles by itself. This is pretty scary, but I’m not too worried until they teach it how to make a left turn.

Spotify matches music to your running tempo, which for me would mean hearing Chopin’s Funeral March on an endless loop.

Running the Las Vegas Strip at 4:30 am seems serene and remarkably absent of derelicts and degenerate gamblers.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon folks have a neat little animated video promo explaining Why Running Rocks.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 29, 2015 at 10:53

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Props Where Props Are Due

Today’s inbox contained a press release for something called The Fan Cap, Battery Powered:

A slight breeze will often push insects away from the face and with that in mind, the ingenuity of an inventor developed the Fan Cap, Battery Powered. It is a ball cap, the visor of which incorporates a battery-powered electric fan designed to blow air down across the wearer’s face. This device is intended for outdoor enthusiasts including joggers, runners, bicyclists, hikers, hunters, anglers and works great for those individuals who work outdoors. The Fan Cap, Battery Powered generates an air-flow barrier for cooling comfort.

I’ve never had such large swarms of insects flying into my face that I needed such a device, but it hardly seems revolutionary to me. A quick search turned up the much more eco-friendly solar powered fan cap.

Even this is of limited utility, since runners also want increased performance from their accessories. If you’re going to wear a fan on your head, you would be better off with the “6-Propeller Beanie Aviator’s Special” (assembly required).

Alas, as many have learned before us, the presence of a propeller on a hat won’t give us the boost we desire.

Thankfully, there are still jet packs.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 28, 2015 at 11:51

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Central Park Reservoir Track Reopens

It took a year and cost $3 million, but the track around the Central Park reservoir in New York City reopened this morning.

I remember the agony of running that 1.58 mile loop in high school. Of course back then (right after the Civil War) it was surrounded by an ugly tall chain link fence.

They got rid of that eyesore in 2003 and restored a replica of the original fence.

Now the entire track has been repaved, the drainage improved, and more people are assigned to maintain it. Read more about the track and its renovation here.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 27, 2015 at 11:35

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On Your Marks, Get Set, “I Do”

The New York Times recently posted an article about couples incorporating fitness activities into their weddings.

At 7 a.m. one day last August, Paul Donnelly, Laura Oliver and 40 others ran a five-kilometer race. Later, they attended an awards ceremony and drank Gatorade. Then they showered, changed into dressy attire and went on to the day’s main event: the wedding of Mr. Donnelly and Ms. Oliver.

Mr. Donnelly, 32, and Mrs. Donnelly, 28, who are from Evanston, Ill., met in a running club. The couple organized the “Wedding Day 5K” — complete with race numbers, logo T-shirts, swag bags and official time rankings — just for guests at their celebration weekend in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“My thinking was, a lot of the people who were there are runners as well,” said Mr. Donnelly, a software engineer and marathoner. “Having something that everyone could take part in the morning of, I thought it was a fun idea.”

I was going to make a joke here about the groom not waiting for the bride to finish, but you know I’m too classy for that.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 26, 2015 at 10:13

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Race Lottery or Illegal Game of Chance?

The Ironman World Championship ran afoul of federal law, as this press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office reveals:

United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that the World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman) has agreed to forfeit $2,761,910 in lottery proceeds to the United States government. According to a sworn complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Ironman illegally charged athletes for a chance to win the opportunity to compete in the “Ironman World Championship,” held each October in Hawaii.

According to the complaint, Ironman, the company that organizes, promotes, and licenses “Ironman” triathlons around the world, has agreed to forfeit to the United States lottery proceeds that it has earned since October 24, 2012. Ironman charged athletes, who did not otherwise qualify, $50 to enter lotteries for the chance to compete in the Ironman World Championship. Thousands of athletes purchased multiple entries. Ironman would have been permitted to give away the opportunity to compete in the race, but violated the law when it charged athletes money for the chance to win.

Ironman cooperated fully in the investigation and voluntarily provided all information necessary to allow the parties to promptly resolve the matter.

As should have been obvious to Ironman, you can have a lottery but once you charge people to enter, you’re in Powerball territory, with all its incumbent rules and regulations.

On the other hand, the government is almost $2.8 million richer, but failed Ironman applicants are still out their fees.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 22, 2015 at 11:46

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The Royal London Society for Blind People has a unique method of raising awareness and funds for its cause. The organization holds blindfold runs.

Runners work in pairs. A blindfolded runner is tethered to a sighted runner for a full 5k or 10k course. Here’s a video of one such race, held in a downpour. (The beginning part has no sound.)

Runners explained how the race, well, opened their eyes about the challenges faced by the visually impaired, but they also came away with a deeper appreciation of running after trying it sightless.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 21, 2015 at 09:12

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Adieu, Remy’s World

Mark Remy of Runner’s World just announced he’s retiring the online edition of Remy’s World, his regular running humor column.

I read the column regularly, especially to be sure that something I was going to write about did not appear in his column first. I won’t have to worry about that anymore, but it’s a sad day, because running needs more humor, not less.

Fortunately, there is still a place for that kind of stuff, and you’ve already found it!

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an endorsement, but I’m using it anyway.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 19, 2015 at 11:43

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