Marathon Innovation: 10 Running and Fitness Startups That Were Built in Chicago

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Though famous for hot dogs and deep dish, the City of Broad Shoulders is also an emerging hub for fitness startups and runner-focused tech.

With Sunday’s 2014 Chicago Marathon attracting 1.5 million spectators and 45,000 participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, it’s the ideal time to spotlight the best running and fitness innovations that have been built in Chicago.

Here’s Chicago Inno’s 10 favorite startups operating in SpirntTech:

1. WalkJogRun: With over 1.2 million crowd-sourced running routes, it’s the best way to discover new running and walking paths. The platform also allows runners to map and share their faorite routes, resulting in the ultimate community for amateur runners. The company also hosts a Podcast - TalkJogRun – that features training tips, interviews, and inspirational stories.

2. A Good Sport: This Chicago-based platform allows runners to find races/marathons/half-marathons based on the type of charity that he or she wants to support.

3. AMPY:  You know how your batteries feel recharged after a run? Created by three Northwestern Engineering PHD students, AMPY is a handheld device that harnesses the kinetic energy generated during an exercise and stores it so that the user can charge his or her phone with their own power. The startup launched a Kickstarter on Thursday and have already raised over $55,000.

4. TRAC: Another fitness innovation to come out of Northwestern, TRAC – Timing and Racing Around the Clock – simplifies the competitive running experience through innovative RFID timing equipment. Founded by recent graduates Elliot Hevel and Griffin Kelly, the proprietary hardware tracks a runner’s performance and then immediately sends…

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