THE MODERN WAY TO DISCOVERING YOUR NEXT SPORTING EVENT
I’m sure like me you’ve spent hours searching online, asking friends or reading through the back of magazines to try and find your next event to enter. Of course there are the obvious events, the big city marathons and half marathons, but did you know there are over a million other race events out there to discover all over the world? Well this is where the new website letsdothis.com comes in, to help in your quest to find better events!
I’d heard about this new platform from a couple of running friends, so when an invite came through to the launch event to meet the founders, Sam Browne and Alex Rose I was hugely excited.
A couple of endurance sport junkies, they’d put together a weekend of running, cycling and a dinner as an opportunity to tell everyone about the website and why it’s set to shake up the endurance event landscape. So, it was on a beautiful summers day, I gathered with a group of fellow runners, cyclists and triathletes at the stunning Chavenage house in Gloucestershire. Set to compete in a 10k trail race as well as a 80k cycling sportive the following day. Naturally it was the 10k trail race I was most excited about and was eagerly anticipating the challenging course the team at letsdothis.com had put together for us.
However, it was over lunch beforehand that I got chatting to one of the founders, for his take on why the website had come about. Sam was quick to point out that while there are race directories out there, there is nowhere for the athlete to search, rate and also book their next race all from the same website. Now what I particularly liked about this is the rating system that letsdothis.com is adding into the platform. I’m sure like me you wouldn’t dream of buying a new pair of shoes, socks, a hydration vest or anything running related without reading the reviews first, so why risk entering a race when you know nothing about it? I’ve raced in over 50 marathons to date, the majority have been fantastic and I’d want to praise the race director online for a job well done and to encourage fellow runners to enter the following year. But I’ve also ran in some that were sadly a complete shambles, where the race director is solely concerned with making a quick pound or two, so equally it would be good to have an area to give that honest feedback and warn other runners to maybe steer clear.
As we stood on the start line of the 10k, I looked over and saw Commonwealth Games and 2:38 marathoner Holly Rush beside me. This wasn’t going to be quite as easy as I thought! I put my game face on and we set off into the Gloucestershire countryside, up trails, through forests, over streams and across fields and it really bought home that small events like this really do provide such excitement and a connection with other runners and the world around us that the bigger ones don’t quite manage.
Many of the best races I’ve done have been the smaller events with less than 200 other runners, people coming together for the simple love of running. Letsdothis.com wants to help these smaller events get the prominence they deserve, as they don’t have the big budgets to promote themselves, or the social media teams to be able to reach out to runners. Over dinner that evening I got chatting to Alex, who mentioned how letsdothis.com will allow users to discover these lesser known events and offer a personalised approach to booking them. The site will be able to suggest races based on the runners ability, location and goals, giving a more personalised approach and opening up a whole world of events you probably didn’t know anything about.
All this functionality is hugely exciting for the running community, but perhaps the best feature and what makes letsdothis.com truly unique is the race difficulty and social interaction which is about to be launched. This will allow users to connect their Strava and Facebook profiles, so the website can see which races your friends have done. This means you can tap your friends up for some tips, advice and feedback over races they’ve competed in and you are thinking about entering. You can also invite your running friends to enter events with you, as well as share upcoming races and your past results.
Standing on the start line of the 10k trail race I had no idea what lay ahead, where the elevation kicked in, what was the course profile like, how severe were the hills? It’s this data that letsdothis.com will be able to show you on the website, so they can build up a race difficulty algorithm, allowing it to tailor races to your ability and goals. Then in the future they’ll be able to offer race strategies to each race based on your ability with a guide over how to get the best out of each event.
Over the 10k course I managed to scrape round in just over 38 minutes and it really ignited my passion for the trails, so much so that I’ve just entered the Fan Dance 24k Winter edition in January 2018. I’d never heard of the event until I was browsing on the letsdothis.com website and the super high difficulty rating spurred me on to get the entry in. Lets do this I thought!
So whether you are looking for a new 5k, or a 100 mile ultra marathon, I thoroughly recommend checking out letsdothis.com to have a browse around and find your next race on the website. It will certainly be my first port of call when looking for races to fill my calendar going forward.