When the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon starts on Sunday, Karen Cotter's smart phone and an application for it will be part of her necessary gear as she walks the 26.2 miles for the first time.
The Oklahoma City resident, who teaches nursing at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, has gradually been building up to a marathon distance for the last couple of years, since her doctor told her that if she'd get in shape she might not need a second back surgery.
Now the 42-year-old is 50 pounds lighter and credits a mobile application — Endomondo Sports Tracker — with keeping her exercise routine on track.
Because of the app, Cotter knows that she and Lisa Dunaway, the friend from Choctaw who walks with her, are averaging about 100 miles of walking per month and have walked more than 1,600 miles since June 2010, when she committed to her walking regimen.
Endomondo, available for Android, Nokia, Blackberry, Windows and iOS (iPhone) devices, has both a free version and a pro version for $3.99. When Cotter opens it on her smart phone, the app reminds her when she hasn't exercised in a while and tracks her route using GPS data. It also allows her to connect with other exercisers via social media.
As long as an exerciser has a mobile phone with GPS or a Garmin GPS watch, Endomondo works with all kinds of distance activity in addition to running/walking — cycling, water skiing, kayaking, roller skating, etc. It also gives users verbal reminders to keep pace.