Rewind to April 2014. A couple of hours after finishing the Big Sur International Marathon, I sat down for lunch with the Gypsy Runner, Mike (who had also finished Big Sur, plantar fasciitis be damned), and Mike’s wife Katie. Mike and Katie had a top-secret project on which they had been working very hard and the GR and I were finally going to get a sneak peek. Knowing Mike, I knew it had to be related to one of two passions in his life: biology or running.
What we were shown were static pages for RaceRaves, a website dedicated to races and the people who run them. Essentially, it’s like Yelp for racers. Hopefully, people will give as much as they take, and everyone will benefit from the wealth of information available in one location. If you’ve ever tried to use Google to search for race recaps and elevation profiles for a particular race, you’ll know how annoying and time-consuming it is to sift through the search results for quality, useful information. Each race page on RaceRaves provides basic information, such as date of the next race, past weather conditions (which I love), and links to the race website and registration (if available). If the race has been reviewed, it will also show the average ratings for 4 main categories: difficulty, scenery, production, and swag, as well as an overall rating. Below is the screen shot for the Big Sur International Marathon. One of the reviewers might look familiar…
If there are any blog reports, they’ll be listed on the race page as well. Each user has his/her own “Staging Area” where you can keep track of PR’s, races you’d like to run, past races, and race reviews.
In September, Mike and Katie asked me to be one of the first beta-testers, to which I happily agreed. I’ve found the site to be very user-friendly with a clean interface and easy navigation. In the last couple of months, they’ve already integrated lots of user suggestions, and I know they’re working on many more. As of last night, the site is officially past beta testing and is live! I’m excited to see how RaceRaves will grow from here — I think it has the potential to be a really great community and resource for runners! But it can’t be great without one crucial thing, and that’s YOU. More users means more reviews, which means more information. Knowledge is power!
For more on the website, including history, intention, and future developments, I recommend you read Mike’s post! As always, these opinions are my own and I have not been compensated for this “review”.