The day we’ve waited for has finally arrived—October 21, 2015. We have made it to the future that Marty McFly famously traveled to in Back to the Future II, released in 1989. While it remains to be seen if the Chicago Cubs will in fact win the World Series as predicted (they need to have a crazy series comeback over the Mets first), this day brings with it some superstition, mystique and hope for what’s next, as well as an opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve actually come in the last 30 years (hoverboards and 3-D movies are no longer a thing of imagination).
But what if we hopped back in the car with Doc and Marty and traveled back to the future…of running…30 years from now? Here’s what we think that might look like (kind of):
1. The marathon world record is 90 minutes. Okay, so more than 30 minutes needs to be shaved off the current mark for this to be true, but what about how many humans have started running in the LAST 30 years? Despite just under 5 minutes only being shaved off since 1985 to reach the current record (2:02:57), we have more people running than ever before. So it’s all about odds, right? More people running = more chances at records falling.
2. Gear adjusts itself according to outside temperature, diminishing the need to layer up or strip down. What if you could wear the same…exact…outfit year-round? While this isn’t exactly new, with companies already catching wind of this crazy idea, we hope there are actually shorts that extend into long pants when temps drop, or capri pants that shrink into shorts with things hit triple digits.
3. Running is 110% clean and drug-free. Stories of cheats, runners being stripped of medals, and questionable coaches have littered our industry headlines a lot more in recent months, especially as more runners step forward to speak up. In the future, there will be no loopholes in the sport or ways to bend the rules. Everyone will be caught, or better—no one will cheat in the first place.
4. The 2040 Olympics will be the most-view sporting event of all time, across all days and sports. And we hope this to be true for the 2016 Olympics as well.
5. Running shoes will be powered by positive vibes from the brain. The more upbeat, positive and confident you are with your running, the faster you go. It’s not just mental toughness; it’s freaking science, dude.
5. A GPS watch that controls your life. And by life, we mean it opens the garage, changes the channel, makes a phone call, Skypes your parents on Christmas, calls an Uber, buzzes with reminders and predicts time-on-road for your morning commute. Oh, and it also tracks your pace and mileage.
6. Streets (now filled with self-driving cars) will have room for runner lanes. Sidewalks are a thing of the past—like cyclists have today, designated lanes along the road will exist for runners only. And the self-serving vehicles will have side sensors of when they are approaching us and slow the $#%& down.
7. Sports bras will prevent bouncing in a comfortable way. There will be no more need for squishing tactics, doubling up, adjusting straps, fearing uniboob or combating under-boob chafe from a too-tight underwire or band. While the sports-bra game of the current day is getting stronger by the minute, we can hardly contain our excitement for a truly “barely there but 100% functioning” bosom buddy.
8. Virtual reality headsets will allow runners to run anywhere, anytime. 2015 is seeing this already take shape, with new apps for treadmills and virtual run technology for those who miss races. However, what if you could run on the actual roads of San Diego with a headset guiding your route through the romantic streets of Paris? Like whoa.
9. Treadmills on airplanes. Treadmills on airplanes. Treadmills…on…airplanes.
10. There will be no more negative talk about body image; there will just be bodies. People will run for their own reasons, and every person who does run will be called a “runner” without a second glance at their appearance. Labels based on size or shape will be a thing of the past, and discrimination according to look won’t ever be a thing again.