Need for Speed The Run is a peculiar, fully story-driven racing game in which the player participates in a race against 200 other racers across the entirety of the United States while being chased down by the Mob and the Police. The story consists of 10 stages with slightly different environments and conditions, and the player keeps climbing from last to first by the end of it. To keep things interesting, the game shuffles between a couple of gamemodes - regular races, timed overtakes, time trials, and very rarely purely story focused driving sections (e.g. evading the police) often supplemented by Quick-Time-Event sections (in a racing game, yes).
The speedrun of The Run does not differ much from a regular playthrough. The game is completely linear, and therefore, the speedrun relies solely on selecting the most optimal cars and perfect driving in order to produce the fastest times. Most important of all however, is to avoid crashing your car, as the time loss caused by them is incredibly costly.
There are a handful of in-level and cutscene skips, but it all boils down to how perfectly one can navigate the cars through various stages with semi-random traffic patterns. For the NG category the player also has to be mindful of the leveling system, that rewards various stunts. In the early game it is important to get as much XP as possible to unlock certain abilities, but towards the end of the game one can't accumulate excessive amounts of it since every level up takes valuable time.