Aussies are always running marathons, but if you’ve been skipping them year after year for whatever reason, here are seven tools that will help you cross the finish line for the next one. Or even post a remarkable time if you don’t feel the rules apply to you.
Training and working out is an important part of preparation for something as demanding as a marathon. But have you ever actually tried training and working out? It’s not easy. That’s why I like the compromise these Gymygym chairs offer.
Built-in bungee straps and handles allow the chair to be used as an exercise station, strengthening your legs, arms and other muscle groups. And while some of the routines require you to stand, I recommend sticking to those that can be done while comfortably sitting. I mean at this point you’ve got some time to get in shape, so why over do it? $US800.
Gatorade? Powerade? Plain old water? If you seriously plan to run for 21km you know there’s only one source of quick energy you can rely on: coffee. But since being scalded by a piping hot beverage could hinder your chances of finishing, Water Joe is a far better alternative.
It’s your standard bottle of H20 enhanced with 60mg of tasteless and odorless natural caffeine extracted from coffee beans. So you get that extra jolt of energy, without any extra calories or sugars. It’s also probably safer and more refreshing to pour over your head mid-race, unless you’ve filled your bottle with iced coffee. $US20 for 24 x 500mL bottles.
The power of positive thinking might get you to the starting line come race day, but after the pistol fires it’s all about physical performance. So training is a must, and a great way to catch up on a lifetime of sloth and muscular atrophy is the Focus hydrotherapy treadmill.
It’s a lot like running on a regular treadmill, except that you’re fighting the weight and friction of the water, and extra resistance from jets blasting at your legs. So it amplifies your workouts, giving you a fighting chance of not collapsing as soon as you pass the starting line next November.
Once the race gets underway and you find yourself falling farther and farther back in the pack, you’ll probably be second guessing all the training you procrastinated on all year. But at this point you’re in the race, and nothing is going to stop you from finishing, not even that lengthy list of rules you agreed to. So it’s time to break out your performance aids.
These Poweriser stilts sit atop curved metal springs that catapult you through the air. Allowing mere mortals to jump as high as 1.8m and make running strides as long as 2.7m. You’ll be able to literally leap past other competitors along the course, and post a pretty amazing time. They might not give you a medal when bound across the finish line, but deep down you’ll have the satisfaction of outsmarting everyone else. And isn’t a sense of smug satisfaction what marathon’s are all about? $US360.
A 350W motor can propel a rider to speeds of up to 22km/h, but staying on the slower side should help you blend in with the pack, and keep the battery running for longer than 30 minutes. Because they’re electric they should be relatively quiet and stealthy, and since they strap to your shoes you can easily get rid of them a few kilometres before the finish line, letting you claim your handsome certificate of completion. Sadly, they only exist as a prototype waiting for a funder to make them a reality. But I can’t think of a better reason for these to go into production.
Maybe you’re too proud to resort to using spring loaded stilts or electric roller skates to finish the marathon. You want to cross that line with one foot in front of the other just like everybody else. But your muscles are screaming that it’s not going to happen without a miracle. Thankfully, a company called Cyberdyne has developed just such a miracle.
Their HAL, or hybrid assistive limb, suit is a mind-controlled exoskeleton that can assist those with limited mobility or movement. It’s actually designed for the physically disabled, or those dealing with rehabilitation, but it would certainly help you finish the race with ease. You’ll probably want to wear a baggy track suit so your secret weapon stays revealed, but with the suit doing all the work, you won’t have to worry about overheating. $US2200 (one-month rental).
It’s hours into the race, most of the real athletes have already finished, and you’re struggling to stay on your feet. At this point all the rules go out the window and you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to just cross that finish line. So hopefully the night before you had the foresight to stash one of these Martin Jetpacks down a secluded alley.
Using a set of heavy duty ducted fans that run on premium petrol from your local servicestation, the jetpack can be flown without a pilot’s licence. But you’ll probably want to practice a bit with it first. Its 50km range is enough to get you to the end of the marathon route, I would just recommend landing somewhere inconspicuous so you can slip out of your flight suit, back into your running gear and nonchalantly cross the finish line. $US75,000.