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Digital Running Club » Uncategorized » The Next Phase

The Next Phase

In 2006, team mom Raffi and I went outside our comfort zones (and perhaps a little bit out of our budget) to attend a graphic design conference. While we learned a lot of great things at the conference, what mostly sticks with us 7 years later is the people we met there. We had a great time getting to know people with similar interests, attending conference sessions with them and hanging out with them around town in the evenings. We wouldn’t have met most of those people if not for a little check box I clicked when I registered. It asked if I wanted to be added to the mailing list of attendees. I wasn’t sure what it even meant, but I clicked it. Soon, I started getting hundreds of emails per day from other conference attendees.

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Bonus points if you can find Raffi and me in this photo.

Although that email format wasn’t the greatest (in subsequent years, they moved to an online forum), it really helped us meet other people and find out more about them months before we traveled to the conference. By the time we boarded the plane, we felt like we had a built in group of friends waiting for us on the other side. Because of that, we enjoyed ourselves more, we learned more and we developed a bigger network of other graphic design professionals.

I had that experience in mind when I founded digitalrunning.com over 2 years ago. Though the website started out solely with articles about running, I always intended it to be an online portal that would bring runners together offline. We made our first step toward that mission last year when we successfully fielded 8 Ragnar Relay teams composed almost entirely of strangers who were first brought together online. Now, it’s time for the next step.

Have you ever wanted to run a destination race, but wondered if it was worth the expense?

Have you ever gotten to a destination race and thought it would be lot more fun if you knew more people there?

A destination race is like a vacation. When you go on vacation, you look at reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions before you book them. What if you could see reviews of races before you registered? Once you registered, what if you could connect with other people who registered for the same race? That’s where we’re headed with digitalrunning.com. Since we’ve introduced challenges like the Interstate Challenge, we’ve started collecting hundreds of ratings and reviews of the races participants have completed. With the addition of the Hat Trick and Grand Slam Challenges, we expect to have thousands of ratings and reviews by this time next year. We’re going to use those ratings to help you find your next race and once you find that race, we’re going to connect you with other people who are also running that race. You’ll be able to interact with those people through digitalrunning.com or through iPhone and Android apps on your mobile devices. On race day, you’ll be running with your new friends and celebrating with them afterward.

Although we’re working hard to make this dream a reality, we need some cash for hardware and network infrastructure to carry us to the point where the website can sustain itself through sponsorship, advertising and a larger volume of challenge participants. We’ve just launched a crowd-funding campaign at indiegogo.com to put us over the hump and we’re asking you to help. A cash contribution would be absolutely wonderful, but you can also help by sharing our campaign with anyone and everyone you know who might be interested in contributing or sharing with their network. We’ve got some great perks for those who contribute to this campaign.

You can learn more and contribute at http://igg.me/at/digitalrunning.

Please take a moment to check it out and remember that even if you cannot contribute today, you can greatly help us by sharing the campaign with your network. We hope to see you at a running event soon!

Written by

Brian Darrow is a running coach in St. Petersburg, FL who specializes in online coaching for beginners. Follow him at ARunnersBlog.com

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