In what might be the ultimate bit of recreational running motivation ever created, Strava and New Balance are teaming up to reward runners who run negative splits in a marathon this fall with a free pair of shoes.
To earn a free pair of kicks in the Strava Back Half Challenge, all you have to do is run faster over the second half of a qualifying race than the first and share it on Strava. From there, runners can complete a submission form on the Strava blog to get their new pair of shoes. The campaign starts on Oct. 9 to coincide with the Chicago Marathon and Portland Marathon and concludes on Dec. 6 after the California International Marathon.
Through its data collected from its users, Strava reports that only 13 percent of marathoners in recent years have actually run negative splits. Strava’s analysis of six marathons reveals that only 3.6 percent of Strava athletes who ran the New York City Marathon and 6.3 percent of those who ran the Boston Marathon completed the second half of a race faster than the first half.