Bruce Fordyce shares Comrades tips via Virtual Reality
There is a little road race that happens every year which sees thousands of people exchanging their vehicles for a pair of running shoes as they make their way between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The Comrades Marathon this year will be on the 31st of May and will start in Durban City Hall at 5:30 am and will end at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Maritzburg, covering a distance of 87km.
Just madness – and that is how some veteran runners describe it ! (I have other more descriptive phrases….)
When thinking about the race, I wondered if there is any tech that could help runners with this insanity and I found the prefect tech. After my last article on Virtual Reality, I am once again faced with this tech as Old Mutual joined with Hero Film and Bruce Fordyce to assist runners with the help of VR.
Using the Oculus Rift headset, runners about to partake in the Comrades race have the opportunity to run alongside Bruce Fordyce as he dispenses insider tips and tricks when tackling the hills: Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha’s Hill, Inchanga and Polly Shortts. Three of the “Big Five” hills are found in the first half of the race! From the base of the first hill, Cowies, to the top of Botha’s Hill runners climb 502 metres in the space of only 22 kilometres. Fordyce’s advice could prove invaluable to those taking part !
Hero has mapped out these hills allowing the wearer of the headset to have 360 degree view of the route and seamlessly “look around” just as they would in real life – just to find Bruce running alongside. This immersive experience also allows first time runners the opportunity to see what they are in for (not sure if that is a good or a bad idea)
There will be five Oculus Rift headsets in the Old Mutual Stand at the Comrades Expo Centre. Each will cover one of the hills that runners are about to face.
For those running the race, I wish you good luck !