Running competition on a Treadmill

I am involved in a Health Day at work next work.

To cut a long story short, I have got "access" to a treadmill all day with the aim of encouraging people to get on it and have and a go.

Ideally, I would like to hold some form of competition but have a huge "fudge factor" where everyone has a fairly equal chance of winning so looking to stay away from fastest 800m or 1000m. The only other option I can come up is for people to guesstimate their time over a given distance (nearest wins) but on a treadmill it is going to take much of a rocket scientist to work that one out either. So bit of a non-starter too IMHO.

Just cannot think of anything where the not so fast runners can compete with the speedy ones on an even playing field. Obviously some form of handicap system but I will not know who are the speedy runners (or slower runners) until they are on the treadmill or finished their run.

I want to make it fun and have bit of a laugh too.

Any ideas?


  • Sounds like fun!

    Why not try a handicap run-would choose a small mileage maybe a mile? A realistic time for everyone is 15mins,.  Each person is given a handicap based on what time they say they can do it in.  If someone says 10mins they have a 5min handicap etc.  Obviously you are going to have to get them to stop bang on the 1mile mark so you can verify how long it took-so you may have to cover up the time etc or you will have people fixing it!! LOL.

  • I think there will need to be an element of guesswork involved...

    Perhaps anyone can have a go and the display on the treadmill is covered up..   they can run for how long they want at whatever pace they want (impose a time limit depending on how people you have queing up!).   Then, at the end of their chosen period they have to guess how far they ran and how fast they ran.

    The closest to the correct answer wins.  

    Thus..  whether someone can only plod 400m or can sprint for 5000m is not important.   Points can be deducted for showing off, being far too good or being wildy wrong.

  • - Get everyone to bring their pets in.  Animals on treadmills are much more entertaining than humans.

    - Line up four treadmills, crank up the Blancmange ("Living on a Ceiling") and have a competition to recreate the Berocca advert.

    Hope this helps!  image

  • what about getting them to wear a pedometer as well and then guess how many steps they ran? you could talk to them whilst they are running so they lose count, you can have fun distracting them!
  • As for making the competition more equal, I suggest teaming people into pairs. Yay my first post.
  • 5 mins of backwards walking/ jogging, then 5 mins of forwards walking/ jogging. The person with the most closely matched distance in each direction wins.
  • Don’t let the participants see the speed and get them to run for 5 minutes at three different speeds decided by you. At the end they have to guess what the three speeds were. You can select different speeds for different people depending on their fitness if you like. The closest overall estimates to these speeds wins.

    For example, get someone to run at 3.8mph, 5.2mph and 6.1mph and ask for their guesses. If they estimate 4mph, 5mph and 6.5mph then their overall error is (0.2 + 0.2 + 0.4 =) 0.8mph. So the lowest overall error wins.

  • Hire a Sumo suit and get people to estimate how long it will take them to run a mile whilst wearing it. Don't let them see any of the speed/distance/timer info whilst running.
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