Here at Look we talk a lot about the power of social media. The latest in the world of sharing and connecting that we’d like to comment on is Athletepath, a social site for runners, cyclists and the like.
First thing to know: you don’t have to be a professional (or even good, for that matter) athlete to join Athletepath. You can be just like us, average human beings who do events for the fun of it. Regardless, Athletepath allows people to set up accounts through its site much like people would on Facebook or Twitter. Then, through Athletepath, they can click on the races they’ll be participating in, connect with friends running the same events and track their results. As an article in The Oregonian put it:
Athletepath is a results tracking web site for athletes and those who love them. The made in Portland site is twitter meets Athlinks wrapped up ala IMDB style. Real-time and historic results, clean lists, easy access to friends’ (and foes’) results, but without the clutter of other sites or the time consumption of Google or going through individual race rosters.
Here in the Pacific NW, the upcoming weekend is a big one. Friday marks the start of Hood to Coast, the world’s largest relay race. In fact, runners from all over the world come together at Oregon’s very own Timberline Lodge up at Mount Hood — and race their way in teams of 12, relay-style, to the coastal town of Seaside.
In a somewhat natural-seeming union, Hood to Coast and Athletepath have coordinated, and all teams are being gently nudged and reminded to register their runners via Athletepath so they can all log their legs, submit their times and then share their runs, results and times with their friends along the way via a smartphone. What’s more, teams can modify any changes to their team (late start times, a change in runner, etc. along the way). Naturally, Athletepath connects to Facebook so you can choose to share as much as you like. You can even preemptively (in the case of Hood to Coast at least) tell your friends on Facebook pre-race weekend to follow you. Then they can even choose to get updates on where you’re at over the weekend via text or email. Here’s a video demo of how logging your runs actually works via the folks over at Athletepath:
Stepping back for one moment, let’s remember that a mere fifteen years ago, it was generally accepted that if someone went on a weekend trip to do something like a Hood to Coast running race, you wouldn’t hear from them until they were done. I know this because I remember when my dad did Hood to Coast about that many years ago and would tell me, “See you Sunday!” Hood to Coast seemed to steal him away every year, and for that Friday night and most of Saturday, I simply wouldn’t hear from him.
Now let’s step back into the 21st century, where social media reigns supreme and enables anyone to share virtually anything from anywhere, anytime. Athletepath is just one example of a new way in which people can share. And we’re pretty certain that sites like these are going to continue to keep popping up — and gaining popularity — until people get bored with sharing. Will that ever happen?
Check out Athletepath and let us know what you think!