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The Thrill of the Chicago Marathon, on a Life Fitness Treadmill


Finishing a marathon is a major accomplishment for elite athletes and casual runners, but you don’t have to put your feet on the pavement to access a realistic marathon experience. Life Fitness and the RunSocial app teamed up to provide an interactive running experience for attendees of the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, an event at the McCormick Place Convention Center leading up to the 2015 Chicago Marathon last weekend. 

At the Expo, thousands of marathon registrants and other running enthusiasts had the opportunity to demo four World Marathon Major courses. Runners got the experience of running in London, Berlin, Tokyo and Chicago thanks to the interaction of the RunSocial app with a Life Fitness treadmill.

This type of gamification is a growing trend in the fitness industry. It allows exercisers to forget daily distractions and create more compelling exercise routines through competition and interactive experiences that used to be one-dimensional.

When connected to a Life Fitness treadmill, the RunSocial app simulates popular courses by changing the incline of the treadmill to mimic terrain and adjusting the video pace to match the speed of the runner. Anyone with an iPad or iPhone can learn more about the app at, and connect to it in a facility with compatible Life Fitness equipment.

The Abbott Health & Fitness Expo was a preview of the real thing. The 2015 Chicago Marathon had 45,000 participants, seven of whom were Life Fitness employees. All of the runners can all relive the experience using the RunSocial app.

Chicago Marathon Fun Facts:

History: Although the Chicago Marathon was first run in 1905, it didn’t become an annual event until 1977.
Total participation: 45,000
Average Finish: 4 hours, 39 minutes
Average Starting temp: 52 degrees Fahrenheit

Abbott Health


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