When the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco sold out all 20 000 of its slots for the Oct. 21 event in a matter of hours the shoe maker reached out to its Nike+ consumer base to extend the marathon’s capacity to suburban streets running paths and anywhere else runners want to get their jog on. The Nike+ Virtual Half Marathon also on Oct. 21 invites runners and walkers to become official finishers by logging 13.1 miles on their own and then logging onto nikeplus.com to document the run.
Nike+ running shoes feature built-in sensors that connect the shoes to an iPod nano which calculates and tracks time and mileage. Users can upload their run data to the site set and track their progress and download audio workouts called Coaching Mixes that put walkers and runners through the paces to a selection of rockin’ tunes.
Once the virtual run is recorded on nikeplus.com participants will receive a trophy an official finisher’s keychain designed by Tiffany & Co. and a Nike Sports Essentials finisher’s t-shirt. Runners also get their screen name added to the Nike+ Half Marathon wall. The virtual race entry fee is $45. Proceeds from both races go to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.