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What would you like to see in a race calendar? (Read 196 times)

    Hi all,

    As suggested in this thread, I'm nearing the completion of the second part of the race calendar.  I'm keeping it vague for now but you'll see it's an obvious extension.  I am ready to create the race calendar portion of the project.  Before I start work, I want to learn about what you would want.  I know there are many race calendars out there, but I feel that they're not user friendly.

     

    I am not asking for which website you use to find races.  Instead, when presented with a race calendar, how would you go about picking out a race?  For example:

    • Do you have a particular date and distance in mind, and would find races near that date?
    • Do you scan through the list and see if anything interests you? 
    • Do you prefer a list sorted by date, or a weekly or monthly calendar view?

    What features you like and dislike about the race calendars you use?  How should the race calendar integrate with the training log?

     

    These are the questions that I could think off at the moment.  Your response do not need to be limited to these questions.  Any race calendar related comments are welcomed.  Thanks!

     

    eric Smile

      I would love to be able to search for all races on a date or within a date range, between (x) and (y) length, within (z) number of miles of a certain address.

      Runners run.

        I like being able to search by any or more of:

        • race date (specific or date-range)
        • race distance (specific or date-range)
        • event location (e.g. region, state, city)
        • event's distance from a specified point (address, zipcode, etc.)
        • name (including wildcard-ability)

         

        It may be a no-go, but is there any way I could click a button and have the system term-search course names, returning the hits to me?  I.e., if someone here has run it before and saved the course as public and with the race's name, I could look at it in RA (instead of having to map it myself).

         

         

        And I HATE when I click on a race, read the page, click Back ... and all of my search parameters have been reset to default. Angry

        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

          I would love to be able to search for all races on a date or within a date range, between (x) and (y) length, within (z) number of miles of a certain address.

           

          This would about cover it for me.  One more thing that may be unnecessary on a running site but also the ability to specify RUN races (exclude triathlons, bike races, mud runs, etc etc).  MIght consider a field for XC, Road or Track?

           

          And +1 to CliveF's "And I HATE when I click on a race, read the page, click Back ... and all of my search parameters have been reset to default. Angry"


          Feeling the growl again

            One of the best "race calendars" I use is the marathonguide.com map.  I set the date, and it shows me what races occur easily viewable by geographic location with details when you hover on them.  I've always wanted something like that for other distances (particularly HMs).

             

            A map is not a necessity but if you could sort from closest to furthest, within a defined date range, that would be sufficient.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             


            Prince of Fatness

              And I HATE when I click on a race, read the page, click Back ... and all of my search parameters have been reset to default. Angry

               

              The dreaded back button.  What I do in these cases is right click the link and open it in a new tab.  When I am done, I close the tab and walla, I am back to the result list.  I started doing this for reasons you mention and it is a habit with me now.

              Semi-retired.

                One of the best "race calendars" I use is the marathonguide.com map.  I set the date, and it shows me what races occur easily viewable by geographic location with details when you hover on them.  I've always wanted something like that for other distances (particularly HMs).

                 

                A map is not a necessity but if you could sort from closest to furthest, within a defined date range, that would be sufficient.

                 

                I've been going back and forth between a map and list based interface.  While a map is great to show the location of the races, it's no good at conveying the date.  It is also bad for search engine optimization.  A list is great for showing races relative to the date, and easy for Google to pick up, but then it doesn't have the location information.  I'm not sure whether a hybrid system would work any better.


                Prince of Fatness

                  I've been going back and forth between a map and list based interface.  While a map is great to show the location of the races, it's no good at conveying the date.  It is also bad for search engine optimization.  A list is great for showing races relative to the date, and easy for Google to pick up, but then it doesn't have the location information.  I'm not sure whether a hybrid system would work any better.

                   

                  Could you do something like a store locator, i.e., user enter date, distance, etc., then also zip code?  You could bring up a list that has distance away as one of the columns.  That would give you proximity with the benefits of a list.

                  Semi-retired.

                  Julia1971


                    I would want to search by date range.  These days, I'm usually trying to find tune-up races for an upcoming marathon, so I have specific weekends in mind when I'm looking for races.

                     

                    After that, I would want to sort by distance in a list view.  Most of the time, I'm thinking I want to run something between a 10K and a 10 Miler so I would consider anything in that range.  So, something like an ascending/descending option for distance would be nice.  Then, I would want to limit by location.  (I live in a tri-"state" area and calendars that make me limit by state just mean I now have to do three searches).

                     

                    Then, I would look at the list and figure out which ones I might do.  The race calendar I currently use has a link to the race website that I can click to get more information and I like that feature a lot.  It also highlights featured races, which does cause me to look at them twice.  (I think those races pay to be highlighted but you could also do something like that and make the highlighting mean Member Recommended).

                     

                    Sometimes I can't decide and give up for the time being.  Currently, I just cut and paste the list into a Word document.  It would also be nice to have some kind of "save list" or "save race' feature.

                     

                    That's all I can think of now.  If I think of other things, I'll post them.  Thanks for working on this, Eric!

                    Run the mile you are in.

                      I would love to be able to search for all races on a date or within a date range, between (x) and (y) length, within (z) number of miles of a certain address.

                      Me, too, particularly x-y length. Most race calendars let you select the popular distances and "all distances."

                       

                      I like Running in the USA, particularly the "day of the week" option.

                       

                      I would find the map cute, but useless.

                      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                      I'm back!

                        Features of the Marathon Maniacs calendar I like:

                         

                        - Date range

                        - Geographical selection (region, state). Miles from location would be great too.

                        - Distance (there, marathon / ultra)

                        - Very useful, WHO'S GOING. That is, other Maniacs that have signed up. Here, other RAers.

                         

                        I guess  my biggest question is... where are you going to get your data? For marathons/ultras, the Maniac calendar is generally the best resource. It includes an awful lot of stuff that doesn't make it to marathonguide or ultrasignup. But maintaining it takes an awful lot of work (just ask calendar guy srlopez). Something similarly useful, but going down to the level of local 5Ks, would be completely infeasible unless you have a plan to automatically pull data from multiple sources. Which would be a good thing.

                         

                        MTA -- Oh, I finally looked at the referenced thread. Not quite what I was imagining, but very cool.


                        Feeling the growl again

                           

                          I've been going back and forth between a map and list based interface.  While a map is great to show the location of the races, it's no good at conveying the date.  It is also bad for search engine optimization.  A list is great for showing races relative to the date, and easy for Google to pick up, but then it doesn't have the location information.  I'm not sure whether a hybrid system would work any better.

                           

                          Frankly the map is "neat", but a list format that give miles from a set location would be the best of all worlds.  My geography is not that bad.  Smile

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           


                          You gonna eat that?

                            A few things that would help me decide which races to participate in:

                            *How long the race has been in existence

                            *How previous participants rate the race

                            *Typical or anticipated field size

                            *Some kind of measure of the quality of the field - mainly because the I've found the better runners are pretty good at choosing events that I like to run

                              I guess  my biggest question is... where are you going to get your data? For marathons/ultras, the Maniac calendar is generally the best resource. It includes an awful lot of stuff that doesn't make it to marathonguide or ultrasignup. But maintaining it takes an awful lot of work (just ask calendar guy srlopez). Something similarly useful, but going down to the level of local 5Ks, would be completely infeasible unless you have a plan to automatically pull data from multiple sources. Which would be a good thing.

                               

                              Having the list updated is a circular reference problem.  I am hoping that the users, and preferably race directors would update it.  RDs won't do that unless the list is used by many people, but people won't use it unless it's comprehensive.  I can certainly prepopulate it, but it would be more effective if everyone pitches in, which why I'm asking for feature input to make the service useful.


                              I'm back!

                                Ah -- you want to make THE race calendar. I see. Good luck (seriously). I still say a good way to get seeded towards that direction is to aggregate from other calendar sites. A fair amount of work, probably; you'd have to scrape many of them, I guess. I was looking the other day on programmableweb.com for APIs for race calendar sites, and didn't find any.

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