There’s not a cardio machine in the world that can replicate the feeling of hitting the pavement in an unfamiliar city. New sights, new people, and new routes can keep a runner engaged for hours. The tradeoff is that tourists might not have any idea of what the best path might be, or how they might be able to add local landmarks to their route.
RunGo thinks it has the answer. The app, created by marathoner Craig Slagel, combines the best of running and travel apps by advising users on the best routes to take in major cities that will lead them through both scenic paths and past historical sites. Turn-by-turn audio narration means you won’t have to look at your phone for your next move.
Slagel got the idea from an unusual source: a seeing-eye dog. After he adopted a retired service animal, a friend joked that the dog should help guide him through cities he kept getting lost in. Slagel took the notion seriously, polling guide trainers to see what kind of verbal cues are helpful to the visually-impaired and adapting them for runners.
While RunGo is loaded with virtual tour guides for major cities like New York and San Francisco, its open-sourced sharing means runners can contribute their own routes for anywhere in the world. More than 50,000 have been uploaded so far.
In the future, Slagel hopes to incorporate alerts for competitive runners, notifying them when they’re near friends in a race or when family might be coming up on the sidelines.
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