Even a few minutes logged on the treadmill can often make you wish you were anywhere else. Thanks to one app, now you can be.

app

The App: Virtual Runner

If…you have a serious case of wanderlust—and you’re stuck on the dreadmill.

If you’ve ever daydreamed about a beautiful seaside path or a street crowded with cheering fans as you stare at your treadmill’s console, watching the seconds slowly tick by, this app has the solution to make your escapist fantasies a (virtual) reality. The solution from Outside Interactive links your treadmill’s pace to a real-life route that plays on your iPad or tablet.

Experience scenic courses like a 5K run along Puerto Rico’s shoreline or a singletrack 10K trail in Crested Butte, Colo. You can also opt to experience an iconic race like Cape Cod’s historic Falmouth Road Race or Monterey’s stunning Big Sur Half Marathon—some events even offer virtual race packages, allowing you to collect the T-shirt, bib and medal after you cross the “finish line.”

Cost: Free to download, and users pay per video starting at $3.99. When races offer VR options, the video cost will be built into the registration fee.
Caveat: Watching a course on an iPad screen is a weak substitute for the communal excitement a race day brings—it’s best to place this experience in its own bucket and not compare the two.