The RaceMob Relaunch
I did an entire blog post on RaceMob 1.0, the ups, downs, and lessons learned. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to check it out :here:. If nothing else, I think that it’s a good case study in entrepreneurship, and the struggles of starting something new.
Over the last couple of years, RaceMob has been on the backburner. Even though it had an extremely special place in my heart, I wasn’t sure how to work on it. Mac OS upgrades conflicted with my development environment, and my home computer no longer had the processing power to allow me to update the site.
Earlier this year, after finally upgrading my personal laptop - I spent time updating my development environment. And I could finally “push code” out to the site!!!
And then…. I realized how buggy everything truly is. But, we’re going to fix a lot of that!
It all started with a text message. A friendly “happy birthday” from the most solid and inspiring person that I know. I met Bertrand all the way back during RaceMob’s initial launch at the Marin 415 in 2013 - and we’ve kept in contact ever since. I wanted to check in with him, since I know that he’s in the hospitality industry - which has been hit rather hard during the pandemic. After a few minutes chatting, it was clear to both of us that it would be fun to work together on something.
I’ve got the fire to get going again - and now I have someone to bounce ideas off of. So here are the things that we’ve been working really hard on - and we’re proud to be launching over the next couple of months.
For a while, I’ve been thinking about producing new content. The RaceMob email list has grown significantly over the years. Through Search Engine Optimization, many new users were finding the site, but I didn’t have much to share with them.
I believe that podcasting is the single best media for us to be able to connect with the audience. We’ve already recorded a few episodes - and have many special guests already lined up for the launch.
In our first month alone, we're bringing on:
Some really inspiring runners
- Jake McCluskey has shed over 180 lbs and has run every single street in San Jose while raising money for charity,
- Becky Hernandez lost over 65 lbs and has completed well over 100 races - qualifying for Boston 3 times.
An amazing and innovative race director
- JT Service - who had to quickly pivot this year and is bringing us the most fun Virtual Challenge - the California Coast 500 - they’re also gracious enough to help us with our launch with a giveaway.
Industry experts, authors, and running coaches
- Matt Fitzgerald who has written over 20 books on running, triathlons, nutrition, and weight management - and has an incredibly touching personal story.
- Jay Ridgeway - Owner of Pacific West Endurance - a triathlon coach with over 20 years of experience, and an expert in every aspect of races including pacing, equipment, and human biomechanics.
We're excited about our full roster of guests for this year - and how the podcast will allow us to connect with experts from around the world, and with our audience. If you're not a podcast listener - then start today! We believe that the best experience will be if you popped us into your ears while you go on a run. We’ll be your buddies during those long grueling miles. If you're really opposed to it, we’ll have other avenues for you to consume some of the content (but it won't quite be the same).
Yeah, can you believe it? Up until a few weeks ago we didn’t even have a real, working, blog… We’ll be producing a lot of content for the blog - including a behind the scenes look at what’s happening at RaceMob HQ (aka my converted office).
We also have a number of articles in the pipeline. Both short form articles that answer a specific question in detail, and long form articles that dive deeper into a subject. If you’re interested in a particular subject, have a particular question, or want to help write for us - just send me an email. We’d love to get your help.
Over the years - we’ve been asked by several folks about the equipment that we’d recommend. Drawing on our decades of experience - and spending thousands of dollars - we’ve tried nearly everything, and can point you in the right direction.
Whether you’re newer to the sport, and you're looking for some essential equipment that just won’t fall apart. Or you’re a veteran looking for the latest in biohacking for that extra edge. We’ve probably used it, or we’ll know someone who has. We’re putting together a comprehensive list of items that we recommend. If you have an item that you recommend - send me an email and let me know.
I’ve been making a large number of website improvements over the last few weeks with my rather limited programming skills. Most of them, you might not notice, but they will make a big impact on your experience.
My major focus is on quality over quantity - and that starts by improving the usability of the race calendar. I’ve been working on ways to exclude “junk” races, a system to categorize races by traits, a way for race directors to update critical information (such as cancellations and postponements), improving our race reviews system, adding “watch” lists and email updates, importing races from more sources, including different types of races (obstacle races), and a laundry list of other items. Our aim is to make the race calendar best in class, so that we can recommend relevant races to you.
While most of the racing world is on hold (for now) - we’re going to take this time to build a best in class solution for you. Be patient with us - because massive backend overhauls take some time (especially for a novice programmer like me).
My next blog post will go into some of the features of RaceMob. I’ll walk you through some of the lesser known features that might make your race day experience more fun. Please let me know how I can improve your experience.
RaceMob Running Community
We haven’t focused enough of our energy on building a community for our members to “hang out”. We currently don’t have a great platform for our members to chat with one another, or ask for support.
While we know that this is important, we don’t want to just jump into something - without doing due diligence and devoting major time and effort to help it thrive. Most of the current platforms don’t seem to provide our idea of a good user experience (we’re looking at you FaceBook Groups…).
We want you to join topics, groups, and discussions that peak your interest; allow you to control communication preferences; get access to relevant information where you consume content; connect with members on a personal level; and not have to worry about “competing” for screen time.
We are currently investigating some options that have a lot of promise. We hope to bring a solution to our members very soon. This is a developing situation - but I’m extremely excited about the prospects.
Training / Coaching
Whether you’re a newbie running in your first race, or a veteran of hundreds of races - we can all benefit from a training program. The problem is - we all have different goals, starting points, training availability, and body types. Blindly grabbing a “cookie cutter” training program off of the shelf might not help you overcome your weaknesses, or worst yet - lead to injury. Hiring a personal coach costs hundreds of dollars per month, and they’ll still upcharge for each contact or modifying your training. And most programs only focus on the “what”, but don’t spend enough time helping you understand the “why”.
We are excited to have Bertrand lead a new type of coaching program. Bertrand is RRCA Coaching Certified, a USA Track and Field Certified Official, and a veteran of over 250+ races including 54 marathon/ultra marathons.
We’re looking for runners of all skill levels, abilities, and goals to take part in our pilot training program. The new program will be held virtually starting in August, and it will be tailored to you. Not only will you receive a special discount, but you’ll also receive personalized attention, and your feedback will be critical as we continue to develop the program.
Let us know your interest by filling in this Training Quiz
As a special bonus - we’ll not only tell you which training is the best for you, but we'll also send you a free sample of the training based your results. So what are you waiting for?
I’m incredibly grateful to be in the position to continue to serve you. During these tough times, I’ve been fortunate to have the security to refocus on my biggest passion - this RaceMob community. I’ve literally been working day and night (who needs sleep - right?). I’m so excited for what we have in store, and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of you.