I was first attracted to Gametiime for its search capabilities. As a runner, triathlete, and coach, having a comprehensive, nationwide, race search platform is incredibly handy. There are a fair amount of sites out there that to a decent job of compiling lists of races. However nothing comes close in terms of total races and ease of use as Gametiime. Boasting 130,000 plus races (road, trail, ultra, triathlon), and peak monthly total of 100,000 unique visitors, this site has done a great job making it easy to athletes to find races of all distances.
Gametiime is a Seattle based start-up, created by fitness enthusiasts. Their goal is to empower people of all abilities to live a healthy and active lifestyle. With the huge amount of growth in running and triathlon in the past few years, there has been a similar boom in websites, fitness tracking apps, blogs, podcasts, forums, and social media outlets. Add in the amount of technology available such as gps watches like Garmin, and on-line training calendars like Training Peaks and the Final Surge, and it can get confusing pretty quickly for new runners. When I first started running, I put on an old pair of New Balance, a Timex watch, a sweatshirt, and grabbed my Sony Walkman. Now runners have access to all kinds of tracking technology (GPS, heart rate, pace, elevation, and cadence to name a few) via smart watches or through their phones, and various ways to listen to music or podcasts while running. The social component has also grown tremendously with sites like Daily Mile and Strava. Runners and triathletes can post their workouts, find friends, share, and comment.
All this can be a lot to take in. And athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ability levels, and level of competitiveness. Its easy for a new athlete to feel intimidated by some of the more technical forums, blogs, and experienced athletes who have a level of intensity that can feel unrelatable.
This is why I like Gametiime. On November 10th, they will relaunch as FitFam. The mission is the same. To empower the everyday athlete to take charge of their fitness in a fun and interactive way. This is not a site where anyone will feel excluded or confused by a slew of metrics. FitFam will continue to have the fantastic race search capability. With the rebrand, athletes can join virtual events, challenges, and brands can start the process of hosting their own virtual events. The social component includes adding races to your profile, collecting badges, finding and following friends, and group discussions.
Gametiime has already hosted a handful of virtual events, two of which I took part in. I like virtuals because often they are for a good cause. The Puppy Run benefited animal rescue, and also allowed for registration of your canine friend. The swag came in the mail and included goodies for your registered dog. I love this type of thinking outside the box when it comes to a virtual. As someone who runs with her dog, the novelty of registering her as well was great fun. And isn’t that why we do this? For enjoyment, live a healthy lifestyle and feel good? The other virtual I did was to benefit Northwest Boxer rescue. Virtuals are great for people who have limited access to races due to geography, time, or cost of race. Virtuals by their nature are less expensive and while there isn’t the feel of a large race, sometimes this is a good thing. Crowded roads, lack of support and lack of choice of the course aren’t a factor. The Gametiime virtuals had sites where participants could add Garmin (or other GPS) data to show their exact time and distance. This capability is important in terms of legitimacy. A verifiable race result is key in virtual racing.
Gametiime has worked with Nuun hydration, Clif Bar, ENERGYbits and Orca. The Nuun virtual run had a Facebook group where all the athletes talked to eachother. This company is clearly invested in making running and triathlon accessible and empowering healthy lifestyles. There will be an Ambassador program for 2016, and in full disclosure, I will be taking part in it. I have kicked around the idea of applying for Ambassador programs in the past, but this one speaks to me as it aims to be incredibly interactive and the #movethemission philosophy mirrors the training philosophy I hold as a coach. Everyone is welcome, everyone is included, and everyone’s journey is unique and important. For more information and sign up go to http://www.fitfam.com/