Why you should care
Because tramps like us? Well, baby, we were born to run.
Roulette + running? Why not? Next time you find yourself in Sin City and want to offset an otherwise hedonistic weekend: Call Jimmy. He’s one of those nutty ultrarunner types who decided to try to make a living out of his love and launched Las Vegas Running Tours. Is waking up at 6 a.m. for a 7-mile sunrise run along the Strip fun, or is it a form of self-inflicted torture? You decide.
For some athletes, a run-of-the-mill 26.2 miles doesn’t quite cut it. Tough Mudder, which was started back in 2010 by two Brits, Guy Livingstone and Will Dean, has grown into a movable feast of endurance events that hosts crazy-ass races across the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia and Germany for some 4,500 competitors per event. The brand differentiator with Tough Mudder is not the distance — it is a relatively meager 10- to 12-mile race — but that it’s equal parts muddy obstacle course and basic training. Minus the live ammo. Moreover, each race comes complete with scramble courses of electrical wires and flaming fields of burning tar. Yes: Burning. Tar.
Whether you want to just track your fitness levels or you’re in full-blown training mode, a heart strap and app — with more bells and whistles than any Type A runner could want — might be your body’s next best friend, or at least the next piece of gear you consider. Real-time dashboard of calories burned and fat vs. carb percentage breakdown? Yep. Ability to track and sync to your computer everything from resting heart rate to blood pressure to sleep patterns? You betcha. Encouraging voices to spur you on to the next lap? Yes, but maybe not so crazy about that one.… Pretty charts and graphs, mapping progress? Yes, please!
Gaga for gadgets? John Rogers thinks wearable health can do better. So he designed super-thin, barely there electronics that can stretch, wrinkle and flex with the skin. Harvesting power from radio waves, they measure a wide range of health data beyond what current gadgets can monitor, from hydration levels to muscle fatigue. This information can then be uploaded to a smartphone, which alerts users if they’re at risk of dehydration and even recommend how much water they should drink, for example. What does the fitness future hold? A health tracker that you can stamp onto your skin.