Alison Shanks’ exercise motivator

Alison Shanks, pictured with son Lucas, says a lot of the active movement as a mum can also earn her reward points.

Legendary Kiwi cyclist and local resident Alison Shanks is helping to bring a new element of motivation to everyday exercise, launching Running and Cycling Heroes in New Zealand.

The web-based rewards platform uses a GPS device or app, synced to your phone or computer, to help you accumulate points which can earn you online shopping discounts or entry into prize draws. The concept was first launched in Paris in 2014 and has since attracted over half a million users, now extending its reach to the UK and Australia.

Shanks first came across the idea on Twitter, shared by a UK track cyclist. “When I first went on (Running and Cycling Heroes), a lot of the product offerings and prizes weren’t available here, so the whole experience wasn’t that great for a New Zealander,” she explained. “So, I contacted them and said how about we bring it to New Zealand and I’ll run it here, and that’s how it all began.”

The platform has now been live in NZ for six weeks and offers products from more than 500 local and international brand partners across sport, lifestyle and leisure – from Adidas apparel through to free Have-A-Go sessions at the Avantidrome. Users accumulate points through the kilometres that they run or cycle, and use them to enter prize draws or get discounts on products. And before you get any ideas, the smart technology ensures that you really are running or cycling “so you can’t strap it to your dog and let them do it for you!” Alison laughed.

The app is free for users to download and use, and already has over 8,000 Kiwis signed up. Those interested in becoming brand partners can contact Alison Shanks via email, alison@runningheroes.com.

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