London creates the world's first digital marathon experience
Run the world's greatest marathon at home or in the gym
2015 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will be open to the world
The world's greatest marathon goes digital next year as runners everywhere in the world are invited to line up on a virtual start line at 10:00 GMT on Sunday 26 April 2015 to run the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon.
The Virgin Money London Marathon, in partnership with Paofit, has created a unique interactive 3D running experience that combines HD video of the famous London course with virtual reality avatars, making the unique experience of running the London Marathon available to treadmill runners everywhere.
"Imagine lining up in Greenwich and hearing the cheers of the crowd as you run past the famous London landmarks of the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to the finish on The Mall, experiencing the unique atmosphere of the day without ever leaving your home or gym," says Race Director Hugh Brasher.
Participating runners will download the Paofit app to an iPad (iPhone version available shortly and Android later in the year) and set it on a treadmill. The vibration generated by running on the treadmill makes the course ahead speed up, slow down or come to a complete stop, reflecting the runner's step count. Runners will see their own running avatar and the avatars of the other participants in real-time and can overtake – or be overtaken – on screen.
Runners using Life Fitness Track+ or Discover console treadmills will experience the treadmill incline as it automatically matches the real terrain of the course on the video. Runners can participate as individuals or as a relay team.
The new technology was demonstrated today (Friday) at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo in the ExCeL centre as runners tried out the Digital Showcase experience which features four miles of the London course.
"Over the years, nearly two million people have been unable to get a place in London Marathon through our ballot," says Brasher. "Now, with our digital partners Paofit, we are opening the greatest marathon in the world to treadmill runners, everywhere. We hope it will inspire many more runners to take up the marathon challenge and, by doing so, raise even more money for charitable causes."
"The Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will make the world's greatest marathon accessible to people across the world, 365 days of the year," says Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
"Paofit is the first and only company to combine HD video of running courses with virtual reality avatars to make treadmill running fun and social," says Marc Hardy, CEO of Paofit. "We're excited to be able to give any indoor runner the chance to experience the course, from novice runners to experienced racers."
To register for the 2015 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon, visit DigitalLondonMarathon.com.
Full registration information will be sent out later in the year.
Try it out now! Log on to Paofit.com to download the app and a free sample of one mile of the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon course.