VentureBeat: Google’s Project Guideline uses AI to help low-vision users navigate running courses. “In collaboration with nonprofit organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Google today piloted an AI system called Project Guideline, designed to help blind and low-vision people run races independently with just a smartphone. Using an app that tracked the virtual race via GPS and a Google-designed harness that delivered audio prompts to indicate the location of a prepainted line, Guiding Eyes for the Blind CEO Thomas Panek attempted to run New York Road Runners’ Virtual Run for Thanks 5K in Central Park.”
Washington Post: World’s fastest blind athlete and his running partner try to stay in sync as they remain apart. “The relationship between David Brown and Jerome Avery is as unique as they come in the sports world. Avery has been by Brown’s side for all of his most successful moments. They have been literally tethered together as they have sprinted down the track, legs pumping and arms swinging in perfect rhythm. Brown, 27, is the fastest blind sprinter on the planet and the first to run 100 meters in under 11 seconds. Avery, 41, serves as his eyes on the track. As Brown’s running guide, Avery sprints right next to him in training and competitions, escorting him from the starting blocks to the finish line…. Over the past four years, the two have been preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics, but their training has been upended by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing guidelines recommend they remain at least six feet apart, which is difficult when the string that connects them on the track is less than a foot long.”
Canadian Running: Notable running statistician Ken Young dies . “Notable running statistician Ken Young died recently, Japan Running News reports. He was 76. Young co-founded the volunteer-run Association of Road Racing Statisticians, and, according to the website’s bio of Young, maintained the online database…of more than 400,000 runners. The database includes more than 1.2 million performances. The ARRS database is free to access.”
New-to-me: an online database of running shoes. “A former competitive cross-country runner turned statistics instructor, [Jens Jakob] Andersen parlayed his love of running and shoes into a side gig by opening up his own run specialty shop. However, he soon became disillusioned by the sales process…. It was the combination of these experiences that led Andersen to develop RunRepeat, an online database of running shoes with a neutral, transparent and holistic approach. The database compiles 960 running shoes, 165,624 user reviews and 5193 expert reviews to assign each shoe a ‘Runscore’ between 0 and 100.” NO ADVERTISING!
A new database in England wants to connect visually-impaired people to “guide runners”. “The database is an online tool for anyone aged 18-years or older with a visual impairment in England, whether they have never run before, are a gym-goer looking to take their running outdoors or a seasoned runner looking for a new guide. It will enable visually impaired people to go for a run on their own, join a club or running group or take part in an event or race.”