I started the Run Tampa calendar in 2008 because it just seemed crazy that in such a large metropolitan area, there was no complete race calendar. Even way back then, I always assumed I’d find any race online, but that wasn’t the case.
So, I started the RunTampa calendar and added every race I knew about, for free. The calendar grew and grew. Currently, at any given time, it includes at least 100 races. Runners appreciate it because
- It includes even the smallest races
- It include races as much as a year in advance
At the time that I write this, it is 2014, and the site averages 21,000 views per month. That’s because runners are looking for a complete, one-stop resource for race planning.
As you can imagine, searching websites to find races, contacting race directors to get dates (because most still don’t provide me with that info), etc., is quite time-consuming.
Sometimes when I do a search for a race to find out what time it starts, I’m surprised that the only information that comes up online is where I have the race listed on my calendar. The race, itself, has no online presence.
I’ve had people contact me from as far away as Norway. In June of 2013, a woman from Norway called me for information about the Pier 60 race series. She couldn’t find the information she sought online, and her son was looking for a race to do when they were on vacation. She had found the race on my calendar.
When you google “running Tampa” and “Tampa running,” RunTampa.com comes up #1 and #2 in organic search, and I have owned that spot for three years.
YET, most races do not financially support Run Tampa in any way. Most seem oblivious. While the runners love the calendar, only 1/10 of race directors are willing to pay the fee – now $23 but was $27 – to link their listing to either their website or registration page. I know, that seems like an incredibly obvious no-brainer, since that’s the equivalent of just one race entry, even for a 5k. I am at a loss to figure out how the people marketing races in this area could be that out of touch with their demographic, but their actions prove that to be the case.
So, after six year of keeping up that calendar, I can no longer justify the time. I am happy that the runners have been able to have this resource but disappointed in the lack of support from the races that have been the beneficiaries.
The calendar will continue, but the only races that will be listed will be the ones who choose to pay the $23 fee. I am sorry about this, but as you can imagine what happens is that the money goes from the runner’s pocket to the race director’s pocket, even though the Run Tampa Calendar has greatly increased the frequency of those transactions.