Training for our next leg

We built Racepass because we love running. When we saw that registration was in decline for the first time in more than 20+ years, we wanted to try to do something about it so we built a platform to encourage runners to run more races & help race directors grow their events.

Our Contender, Athlete, and Pro passes helped runners discover & run more races. One customer, Whitney, was able to finish four marathons in three months:

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything y’all have done! I would have never found the Aspen Valley Marathon and decided to do it had it not been for Racepass (and thank goodness because this is definitely one of my new favorites!).”

By helping runners run more races, we’ve also helped race directors grow their events. Since our mission is to help them actually grow, we’ve always passed full ticket value to race director, never charging a cut or a fee throughout the discovery and registration process.

This new way of doing things generated an overwhelming response from the race director community. Many have emailed us to include their races in our listings, while others have reached out with concerns & confusion about our registration process.

While we’ve created terms of service that protects race directors from liability, it’s clear that we need to communicate more proactively and build a solution that gives them more control over the registration process — from collecting more nuanced race day details to including liability waivers for direct signature.

Now that we’re a couple of months into our experiment, we’ve gathered enough evidence to confirm the need for simpler and more flexible solutions to race discovery. We’ve also sold enough passes that we can test whether our current business model is more effective than alternatives at achieving our mission.

So for the next few months, we won’t be selling any new passes or facilitating any race registrations for new users.

Rather, we’ll be busy at work building solutions that the running community has voiced they want most.

We’ll soon be releasing a new version of our platform that has the most complete list of races available on the web. Staying true to our Google roots, we’ll make searching for races easier than it’s ever been before. We’ll also empower the running community to make sure that every race — from the Big 5 down to the local 5K — has accurate details.

In the next version of Racepass, every race will have its own profile that’s dynamically shaped by ongoing feedback from runners and race directors. We already have accumulated the largest database of endurance events, but as of now, we only have event names, locations, dates, and websites.

Imagine if every race had its own high-quality photos, interactive course map & topographical elevation profiles. We are confident that standardizing this kind of data for races — all the way down to the nitty gritty details of amenities, course records & expo details — will add value to everyone in the community. We are also confident that runners want to help each other out so we want to give them the forum to help solve common travel and logistical challenges.

We believe that by organizing the highest quality database of races, we’ll help match runners to the right races and increase participation, while also helping race directors derive the kind of insight and feedback they need to grow their event and more effectively connect with sponsors. Even some of our most vocal critics in the industry have said they would welcome a solution like this.

To build the largest and most accurate database of events, we’re going to have to include every race we can find and every race that’s submitted to us. Until we build a system that gives race directors full control of registration, we will point users to an event’s direct channel of registration. Stay tuned for more product announcements as this rolls out.

As always, we hope any runner and race director will send their feedback so we can get this right.

Happy running,
Tom & Chase