How the Nike+ Human Race Works


You can run alone and still participate in the Nike+ Human Race.
You can run alone and still participate in the Nike+ Human Race.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Imagine hundreds of thousands of runners, from every walk of life, every skill level, around the globe, running a 10K (6.2 miles) at the same time. In 2008, Nike hosted the Earth's largest one-day running event with its inaugural Nike+ Human Race. More than 750,000 runners participated in the event, which took place in more than 24 cities worldwide. What's unique about the Nike+ Human Race is that you don't have to be involved in an organized 10K to participate. You can run the Nike+ Human Race on your favorite course or even at home on your treadmill.

In 2008, runners collectively covered 802,242 miles (1,291,083 kilometers), and the Nike+ Human Race was aligned with charities like WWF, Livestrong and Ninemillion.org, with the goal of affecting global change and celebrating the sport of running. Technology also played a big part in the race. Via the Web site www.nikeplus.com, the Nike+ Human Race merged the physical running world with the virtual one. That meant anyone could participate, no matter where they were located around the world -- from small villages in South America to organized races in Los Angeles -- as long as they had access to the Internet.

The "brain" of the race is the Web site, which you use to help you track your pace, distance and even calories burned while you run. Here's how it's done: You place a sensor in your shoe, which sends info to an iPod, iPhone or a Nike+ sportband that you wear around your arm. After a run, you upload your stats to the Web site, where the information is analyzed. Via the site, you can set goals or join challenges. In fact, you might call the Nike+ community the world's largest running club. Users download running routes, upload their own favorite routes, participate in social networking and share information about upcoming events and races.

Hundreds of individual events take place on Nike+ Human Race day, but because of the Internet, the experience is shared worldwide. What is race day like in the different locales? And how can you participate? Learn more on the next few pages.

Nike+ Human Race Route

There's no set Nike+ Human Race running route. Because every runner tracks his or her own statistics on the Nike+ Human Race Web site, it doesn't matter where you run, as long as you run 10K. That means you can even run the race at home on your treadmill, if you want.

But if you don't want to run alone, you can join one of the many events held in various cities around the world. Race locations have included cities like New York, London, Buenos Aires, Seoul and Tokyo. Organizers chose specific sites to maximize the number of runners able to participate in each city. Nike partners also hosted races in their local communities. Let's take a look at some of the previous Nike+ Human Race routes around the world.

  • Nike+ Human Race, New York The 2008 New York Human Race was held at Randalls Island and drew around 10,000 runners. Post-race festivities included a concert by the rock band The All-American Rejects. In the weeks and months leading up to the Race, Nike and local partners sponsored training runs to get people fit and motivated.
  • Nike+ Human Race, London In 2008, the race started in Wembley Stadium, and musician Moby played a rain-soaked concert. Around 20,000 people participated in the twilight event.
  • Nike+ Human Race, Melbourne, Australia The 2008 Melbourne Race took place in city streets, winding past local landmarks and the Royal Botanical Garden. It ended in the Myer Music Bowl with a concert by hip-hop artists The Hilltop Hoods and the rock band Faker.
  • Nike+ Human Race, Singapore In 2009, the Singapore Race ran along the coast of the Kallang Waters and then onto the highway. The 10,000 runners crossed the Merdeka Bridge, enjoying a view of the Kallang Basin. The race ended at the Formula One Pit Straight, where runners were treated to a multi-musician concert.

Other smaller races were also held, usually sponsored by a retail Nike store or a Nike partner. In addition, hundreds of other runners simply competed on their own routes, alone or with their running partners. At the end of each "race," participants uploaded their stats to the Web site, which tallied the results for each city, country and the world.

So, what were the results? Read on to find out.

Nike+ Human Race Results

Believe it or not, during 2009's Nike+ Human Race, participants ran a combined total of 802,863 miles (1,292,084 kilometers).

After all the stats were uploaded to the Nike+ Human Race Web site and analyzed, rankings showed that the country with the overall best time was Tunisia -- with an average 10K run time of 34 minutes, 2 seconds. The United States came in second with an average of 41 minutes, 11 seconds. Lithuania came in third, with an average of 43 minutes, nine seconds. The country of Panama ranked last, with an average run time of one hour, 51 minutes, 52 seconds.

City rankings came out a bit differently. Rome ranked No. 1, with an average run time of 49 minutes, 21 seconds. Oslo ranked second with an average of 50 minutes, 24 seconds. And third was Milan, with an average time of 51 minutes, 48 seconds. Bringing up the rear in the city rankings was Guangzhou, with an average run time of one hour,16 minutes, 13 seconds.

Who "won" the Nike+ Human race? In the countries categories, the United States runner with the Nike+ username "Bibi017" was the overall No. 1 finisher. His time was 33 minutes, 59 seconds. The No. 1 female finisher was the Japanese runner with username "tychan," with a time of 34 minutes, 40 seconds. Other top finishers came from countries like Canada, Chile and Switzerland.

In the cities category, the male finisher was Nicholas Koech-Kiprutto of Berlin who finished with a time of 28 minutes, 42 seconds. And Rosa Liliana Gody of Buenos Aires finished first for the women with a time of 33 minutes, 10 seconds.

But what about the rest of the runners -- the non-elite runners? How did they train? Nike harnessed its Web site to organize training runs around the world. Additionally, using the Web site, aspiring and experienced runners alike can put together their own training programs. Designed by Nike coaches, training programs are available for beginning runners up to advanced athletes.

Are you interested in running the next Nike+ Human Race? If so, dig into the running training articles on the next page.

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Sources

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