Like many runners, Mike Padilla spent more time than usual on the treadmill this winter, driven indoors by the pandemic and the nasty winter at his home outside of Philadelphia, Penn. Fortunately, the 46-year-old lifelong runner who ran a 15:29 5K in 2019 has a video screen in the basement where he could keep himself entertained on the treadmill.
As he streamed all sorts of running-related youtube videos that he has collected over the years, he realized two things:
- Running videos have reached a tipping point in production quality. “We’re getting a pretty polished and diverse set of content: kids from college, ultra-runners, more coverage of track meets and road races,” Padilla says.
- There is enough content for an entire network of interesting stuff for the runner and running fan, and he — a digital strategist — could be the one to organize it.
Enter runtv.org, Padilla’s “Netflix for Running Videos.”
Padilla’s site combines an archive of thousands of personally collected and tagged videos — classic races and hidden gems — with a feed of new content from a wide variety of sources. “The site hits youtube every couple of hours and pulls in key running-related channels that publish content on a daily basis,” Padilla explains.
“There’s a lot of good quality content and a lot more being produced every day that you may not have realized if you didn’t have this kind of entry point into all that good content,” Padilla says. “10-20 videos are being added every day just through the automated process, and I continue to search for stuff, and find, tag and add it as well.”
How can a running geek like you use the site?
“You can scroll through the top channel, and see what’s new,” Padilla says. “Or, imagine, if you’re prepping for Boston, you can go to the Boston channel: there are great historic races, course previews, race strategy videos — as you gear up for bigger events, you can get into the mindset of the race.” Or you can revisit all of Kenenisa Bekele’s World Cross Country titles, or, say, filter for all half marathon training content in the 5000-plus growing video collection.
Padilla isn’t making any money off this: it’s just his way of helping other runner-obsessed friends have something better than flipping through Facebook when they have some time to kill. Enjoy.