In a marriage of technology and running – with the potential to bring thousands of runners to virtual participation in the big-name marathon events – IFit has entered into multi-year partnerships with the organizations behind four of the Abbott World Marathon Majors to become the Official Connected Treadmill and Digital Fitness Content Subscription partner of the Boston, Chicago, London and New York City Marathons.
What it means is that starting with this fall’s slate of major marathons, IFit subscribers will be able to run all four marathons virtually, shot on location during the actual races, on a connected treadmill, paced by IFit trainers.
It has already started with the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3, when an IFit film crew ran and filmed from the starting gun to the finish line coached by an on-camera IFit trainer:
- The Virgin Money London Marathon was paced by IFit trainer Casey Gilbert
- The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be paced by IFit trainer Ashley Paulson
- The Boston Marathon will be paced by IFit trainer Heather Jensen
- The TCS New York City Marathon will be paced by IFit trainer Knox Robinson
Following the marathons, IFit will offer its members an on-demand, multi-part workout series with the option to run each marathon in individual workouts or as the 26.2-mile course. The IFit Marathon Series will be released during the fall marathon season, with the IFit Boston Marathon Series scheduled to launch on October 21.
IFit’s treadmills include NordicTrack, ProForm and Freemotion.
“The combination of the iconic Boston, Chicago, London and New York City Marathons with IFit’s interactive platform elevates runners around the globe to a new dimension in their race and preparation,” explains Mark Watterson, chief experience officer at IFit. “Our mission is to create the world’s most comprehensive health and fitness platform for our millions of dedicated IFit members, and we do this by creating one-of-a-kind content. These partnerships further bring our vision to life as our members have the opportunity to take to the streets of Boston, Chicago, London and New York City and run IFit streaming workouts of the world’s elite marathons on their treadmill.”
IFit’s interactive technology automatically adjusts the speed, incline and decline of IFit-powered NordicTrack, ProForm and Freemotion treadmills to match the topography of each race’s course. Runners without IFit-enabled equipment, or no equipment at all, are also able to participate in the workouts using the IFit mobile app or TV app.
“The BAA’s mission for more than a century has been the pursuit of athletic excellence and the promotion of healthy lifestyles through sports, especially running,” says Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the BAA. “Together with IFit, we look to expand fitness offerings and help participants reach their health and fitness goals.”
“We are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking partnership with IFit, allowing IFit members to experience the thrill of running New York’s iconic five-borough course,” says Christine Burke, NYRR senior VP–strategic partnerships and runner products. “Together, we will enhance our runners’ experience by providing them new ways to prepare for our race, and keep them active and engaged during their entire training cycle.”
“We could not be more pleased to partner with IFit on an immersive content experience for those who can’t attend Bank of America’s Chicago Marathon in person,” adds Carey Pinkowski, executive race director, Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “By enabling IFit users to experience this one-of-a-kind event in their homes will inspire more participation and greater connectivity to our amazing community of runners,”
And finally, Hugh Brasher, event director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, says: “Connecting our community of runners to the world and furthering the passions for marathon running through technology is genuinely exciting! IFit is the perfect partner to bring London to treadmills across the world, through their brilliant technology and supportive community of passionate users.”