RunKeeper’s Mad Dash to the Marathon Finish: Of Foot Injuries, Viral Video, and Dressing Up as an iPhone

4/17/09Follow @wroush

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Scroll down to watch videos.

RunKeeper Boston Marathon Video 1


RunKeeper Boston Marathon Video 2


RunKeeper Boston Marathon Video 3

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://mindofalongdistancerunner.wordpress.com/ Staffan

    I will definitly check out this application as soon as I exchanged my old cell for an iPhone.

    Feel free to check out my blog about running

  • http://www.xconomy.com/author/wroush/ Wade Roush

    A humorous addendum: Bet you didn’t know I’m not just a journalist…I’m the world’s fastest human!

    I had RunKeeper Pro going on my walk to work this morning — you can check out the map, the split times, etc here: http://www.runkeeper.com/pub/act/MJ0CuUUFIqUANbDRY9z8.

    Problem is, the GPS signal was weak, and has me jumping around downtown Boston. My walking pace is generally 4.0 to 4.5 mph, but if you look at the speed graph, I briefly peaked at 18.9 mph! Guess I’m in better shape than I thought!

    All of which goes to show you — fitness tracking apps are only as reliable as the underlying hardware. The iPhone has such a tiny GPS antenna that it’s never going to give you the world’s most reliable location readings.

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  • http://www.runkeeper.com Jason Jacobs

    Wade,
    Thanks for the great piece! The whole team, both Emerson and FitnessKeeper, enjoyed reading it immensely.

    We took a look at your route, did you remember to turn wi-fi off? Was GPS filter on medium? Those are 2 easy tips that lead to much improved GPS tracking in most cases. We have also made several improvements in our latest release (1.4.8), that have improved tracking quite a bit. This release is live on RK Free, and we have been receiving great feedback from our users. This release is not yet live on RK Pro (it is in the queue with Apple), which explains why you don’t have it.

    In terms of the underlying hardware, while the iPhone is a new platform and does have a few kinks to work out, it is actually pretty good overall, especially for a first pass. And the good news is it continues to get better with every new iPhone OS release (we have noticed significant improvements, even in the under a year that the iPhone 3G has been available).

    This is only the beginning of the smartphone revolution. Like any new technologies, things won’t be perfect from the beginning, but I think it is clear that the center of gravity is going to continue to shift from PCs and expensive standalone devices to the device that is in your pocket—your phone. These mobile devices are far more powerful than they have ever been before, and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible.

    On a lighter note, we’ll make sure to send you the 3rd and final video when it is completed!

    Jason

  • http://www.xconomy.com/author/wroush/ Wade Roush

    Jason — thanks for the tips. The GPS filter was on medium, but the Wi-Fi was not off. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was getting positional interference from every Starbucks I walk past on my way to work (there are three of them!). I look forward to trying the 1.4.8 release. Good luck on Marathon day!

  • Mary Scott

    What a great experience for not only RunKeeper but for the students. As a business owner you have to continue to become more and more creative to survive. This story has inspired me to encourage myself and my staff to think outside of the box to develop our next marketing campaign.

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