The fall marathon season is beginning, and Strava, the popular run-mapping app, is partnering with New Balance to give away free shoes as part of the 'Back Half Challenge.' Anyone who finishes an accredited 42 kilometer race has the chance to win a pair of New Balances.
While there's no draw involved (i.e. anyone who can finish a marathon can in theory win a pair of shoes,) the Back Half Challenge adds a sinister twist on top of even finishing a marathon. Entrants will need to not only finish, but finish with a negative split, which is when the second half of one's race is faster than the first half. That might sound simple, but think of it this way: runners need to run 21 kilometers, and then they need to speed up and run 21 kilometers again.