In Chicago, finding races and running events can sometimes be a tall order. It's not for lack of events-- there's definitely no shortage of local running info-- but it's just that there's really no one cohesive place to find it all! I personally use about 4 different sites to check out race schedules, each store has their own fun run calendar, and with groups cropping up all the time, staying updated can be tough.
Enter RunGuides.com, a website designed to be a hub for runners to connect to events and relevant info. Founder Cory Jennerman is based out of Canada, and had the idea to create RunGuides, where else? While on a run with a friend. They were having trouble finding a complete listing of running events in Vancouver (Chicago's not alone in this issue), and in May 2013, the directory-style site was born.
"I'm a casual runner," shared Cory. "I might do a few events a year, so I asked myself: what are the things I would want to find?"
Ideal for the recreational Chicago runner just looking to make sense of it all, Cory says feedback thus far has been great. "So far people seem to like it-- people do like [that] we try to keep things simple."
Currently, RunGuides.com is in 5 Canadian markets and 3 US cities: Chicago, Seattle, and Portland. Jennerman says they picked Chicago because the "massive running culture" persuaded them to set up roots in the Windy City. "We tried to aim for areas with a high concentration of where people search for running events," said Cory. "We did some market research and Chicago was way up there."
One of the great aspects of the site is that much of the content has the opportunity to be user-generated. Cory says they'll always list events, clubs, and stores for free, provided they're in the Chicago area and running-related. To list your group or race, email email@example.com or reach out via their site's contact form.
Over the next year, they plan to continue to build a complete profile of each current market's running culture, so the more you connect with them and interact with the site, the better the compilation of information will be. So check out the site here, where you can find clubs, an event schedule, stores in the area, and more.