This month, 36-year-old Neall Hards of Ottawa will compete in his first ‘World’s Toughest Mudder’ challenge, a grueling 24-hour course that he has been training for over the past two years.
“The course is designed by British Special Forces and is designed to drain every last bit of drive and desire you have in your mind,” said the father of three. “It’s dark, it’s cold and you’re alone for hours at a time.”
Hards has been a BlackBerry® smartphone user since 1999. From a business perspective, he has long benefited from features like mobile email access, calendar integration and enterprise security.
But it wasn’t until the spring of 2011 that the longtime runner started to use his BlackBerry smartphone to help measure his training progress. Hards purchased the runtastic PRO application through the BlackBerry App World™ storefront, which uses his BlackBerry smartphone’s GPS functionality to track his running distances, kilometer paces and time averages.
“The runtastic app on my BlackBerry smartphone acts as a coach and as a running mate,” said Hards. “Whether it tells me that I’m running at a great pace or that I’m lagging, the constant flow of information motivates me to push even harder.”
Whether Hards is training or competing, his family and friends can track his progress on his online runtastic profile and send cheers of encouragement directly to his BlackBerry smartphone in near real-time.
Hards prefers his BlackBerry smartphone to other training and measurement devices because it allows him to give his undivided attention to the course ahead of him. It has also proved to be remarkably durable, despite exposure to extreme environments.
“All I need is a waterproof bag and my backpack,” said Hards. “My BlackBerry smartphone swims with me, rolls around with me and gets muddy with me, and I’ve never had any issues.”
As a family man, business professional and race competitor, Hards uses his BlackBerry smartphone throughout the day. Whether using BBM™ to connect with fellow Tough Mudder participants, syncing calendars with his 15-year-old daughter or using the GPS feature to find his son’s football games, Hards appreciates the full functionality that his BlackBerry device offers.
“There isn’t a day that goes by, or an hour that goes by, where I don’t pick up my BlackBerry smartphone and use it for something,” said Hards. “I just can’t put it down.”
Do you use BlackBerry smartphone apps for personal training and fitness? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!