A few years ago I designed a 5k race course for a local charity in Spring Hill on some trails in the city. I found from this experience that I really enjoyed the challenge of figuring out all of the routing and logistics for the course.
The first year of the race I did't get to race it the day of the event due to a conflict in my schedule. But this last fall, I got to finally run it and ended up winning first place!
Maybe it was a bit of an unfair advantage because I already knew the course so intimately, or maybe this was just such a small, unknown local race that I actually won. Either way, it's always fun to cross the line finish line first!
Google Glass Experiment
At the time of the race I was borrowing a pair of Google Glass from a coworker to play with. Naturally, I thought it would be fun to wear the device during the race and try and record the run.
After several tests with the device, recording video continuously for an extended period of time, I determined I would need to attach an external battery pack due to the lousy battery life of the device.
Fully geared up as an athletic cyborg I took to the starting line and recorded the entire race. Figuring nobody would want to sit through 20 minutes of race video, I tossed the recording in iMovie, sped it up and attempted to stabilize the shaky footage. You can see the results below:
- I wasn't trying to use it for monitoring real-time data, but simply recording video. For that purpose, it was actually very lightweight and unobtrusive.
- The requirement of wearing an external battery pack was just annoying.
- Maybe it was because the camera was mounted on my head, but I found the video footage to be particularly shaky.
- If this were to be the primary use case for the device, a $400 GoPro camera would certainly be superior in price and quality.
Regardless, it was a fun experiment.
In addition to crossing the finish line first, I also ran to and from the race from my house making it a 9.6 mile day. The race course itself won't pass any USATF certifications anytime soon, as it appears to have been a bit short of an official 3.1 miles. Oh well, it was still a good course and it could easily be modified in future years.