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While I was training for my first marathon recently, I came to the week I had to do the 18-miler—my longest run before the full 26.2 and my longest ever (13.1 had been my limit). When I realized that none of my usual run buds would be able to come along, I got a little nervous. How would do it on my own?
But with the magic of technology, I was chugging along listening to my run mix, and the music faded out a little as I heard the voice of a book club buddy from my D.C. days a decade ago come through my headphones. Her bright voice encouraging me was such a treat. A little while later, a BFF from Portland, Ore., was telling me how much she loved me and how my motivation to finish the run was to be able to see her soon thereafter. It made me laugh but also choked me up.
That’s how Motigo works. It’s especially easy if you wear headphones already, because the app works in tandem with your music as well as fitness apps like MapMyRun. You just have to spread the word to friends and family beforehand to sign up and record “cheers” for your run, and then Motigo plays them along the way. Your supporters can even choose specific miles for you to hear their adoring sentiments. A couple weeks later when I was running the marathon, I was so lucky to have some friends and family along the way to give hugs and screams of encouragement.
However, Denver’s Dan Nagler, co-founder of Motigo, was away from home and his wife while running the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in Arizona last year, he didn’t receive the same encouraging motivation.
“It would have been amazing to have some encouragement,” he says.
Once he got home, he realized it wouldn’t be that tough to develop a way, so he and his wife, Celeste Lo, started Motigo. With National Running Day this week, the company has announced a couple of partnership that will bring the voices of others in the running industry to their headphones. For Lo’s first race, a half marathon in Memphis in December, she listened to her music and plenty of messages recorded especially for her.
“It totally took my mind off of it,” she says.
Now that the app is past the testing phase, Nagler and Lo are excited for more people to use it. In honor of National Running Day, Motigo is offering a free sample from until June 7 (both for runners and those recording cheers), so when you’re going out on a run this week (at least 3 miles), test out Motigo. Invite your peeps to record something personal for you, record some hoorays for your run buds, and everyone will get some surprises on their runs.
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Motigo has two partners for this promotion—Nuun (hydration tablets) and C Tolle Run (an online show hosted by Olympian Carrie Tollefson), so you can choose either of their virtual run events and invite friends to cheer for you in the app! Normally, you’d choose a race, but Nagler and Lo anticipate adding features so people can use Motigo on training runs too. They also see other uses for the app beyond these encouraging cheers, whether it’s recording messages to yourself or from a coach with mantras or reminders about fueling, or emergency alerts from a race director to communicate quickly with runners, or even an audio tour when you’re running in a new city.
Once you finish a run, the app stores your cheers for you, so you can also go back and listen to old cheers whenever you need a little boost. Sooner than later, you’ll find yourself returning the favor when your run bud travels to a race without you. To sign up, visit getmotigo.com.