Tuesday, February 28, 2017

nicetrails - 3D mapping of your most epicest runs

I have been sitting on a review of a nicetrails product for a while now as I was waiting to give their awesome running relief map as a gift to my best friend. Now that I have done so (she loved it) I can finally give my review. (Note: I receive no compensation for this review and have no ties to the company. Although, after seeing how cool this is, maybe I should try.)

What is nicetrails? Well, you know the navel-gazing we runners love to do of all our data and Strava segments and shiny bauables? Imagine a company which takes your GPS route and turns it into a three-dimensional sculpture. Bam. That is nicetrails. Here is a video to explain a bit more.

What I loved about the company's website was how you could load any data and play with it to find just the right way in which the route would work for you. You can skew the Y-Axis of the map to increase the height of your elevation to give greater depth to mountains you climbed.

As a caveat, some of your most favorite runs, or most memorable races, won't necessarily "pop" the way they do in your memory. For example, my 100 mile personal best was run on an incredibly flat (not easy, mind you) course along the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Well, running along the beach is not going to give you a staggering relief map of any nature.The best case scenarios are for runs that travel over a large area (point to point rather than looped) and go up and down a great deal of elevation.  Or, in the alternative, if the run is closely located next to mountains, the mountains will be included in the map even if your own run doesn't traverse them.  Mainly, as you can upload any GPX data and play around with it without creating an account or going through much trouble at all, you can see which of your maps will look best before buying.

For example, my Rim2Rim running of the Grand Canyon was absolutely fantastic. While the total distance as the crows flies is only like 14 miles, the fact we went up and down thousands of feet gives so much detail.

The red line you see traces the route you ran. You have the option of removing that red line, although I don't know why you would. Seeing exactly the route you took is so personal and rewarding.  You look at it and think "Yep.  Ran that." There is also an option to emboss on the front the name of the run or race or whatever else you want.

The product comes in three different sizes, 3.9 inches, 5.9 inches and 7.8 inches. I went el grande because I wanted something that really stood out but I can see a case being made for all sizes. I can also see wanting every single run I have ever done to be made into a map like this but I don't have endless funds. I think the hardest part of the whole process is choosing the route you want to use.

If you are looking for a gift for that runner that is unique for that runner in your life this is it. The personalization of the map being their specific run is what will really hook them.Visualizing how they were feeling through all the twists and turns is a great way to take someone back to that day. Staring lovingly at a piece of resin polymer thingmajig that will make them smile each time they look at it. Makes an amazing conversation piece for your desk as well.

With free shipping included in the price of all the products, you really can't go wrong. You can order yours by heading over to their website here.

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