Google doodle lets you run the hurdles

Google's newest workplace time-waster is an interactive, Olympics-themed hurdle race.

Story highlights

  • Google added an interactive hurdle race to its search page Tuesday
  • The animated doodle lets users leap over hurdles by tapping their keyboards
  • Users were posting their best times on Twitter and challenging others to beat them
If you're like most people, me included, you may have trouble running an Olympics hurdle race without pulling a muscle.
Google is here to help.
The Internet giant on Tuesday embellished its search page with an animated, interactive doodle that lets users run the hurdles by tapping on their keyboards. Tapping the arrow keys makes the hurdler run, while hitting the space bar helps him leap over the 10 hurdles in his path.
Each effort is timed, and runners can earn up to three virtual stars -- think of them as gold, silver or bronze medals. (Note from, ahem, personal experience: If you fail to clear a single hurdle, you win nothing and your runner hangs his head dejectedly at the finish line.)
Bored office drones, say goodbye to your workplace productivity.
Google's online hurdle race coincides, of course, with track and field events this week at the London Olympics.
The brief animation is the latest in an occasional series of interactive Google doodles commemorating special events. Past doodles have let users observe a lunar eclipse, play notes on a virtual synthesizer to observe the 78th birthday of Robert Moog and elude ghosts in a playable online version of Pac-Man, the classic arcade game.
Google users were posting their best hurdle times on Twitter and elsewhere Tuesday and challenging others to beat them. Anything under 15 seconds is pretty speedy.
No word on whether U.S. Olympians Dawn Harper or Lolo Jones had given it a try.