Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 18, 2013
I’m officially obsessed with athlinks.com, a social networking site that collects results from endurance races and posts them online for easy perusal.
The cool part is it doesn’t just list race results. It quickly shows your personal records, your overall place in each race, your age group position and how all that compares to your other races of the same distance. It even tells you how far off your PR you came.
I didn’t know the site existed until a few months ago, when a trio of runners I met at the Zooma Half Marathon told me about how they pored over the data on the site for hours at a time. (Thank you Jaco Botes, Ray Delahoussaye and Kasey Lough!)
Even better, the basic service is free.
There’s a "rivals" feature, so you can compare your results to those of other athletes, as well as a place to keep a training log, attach photos, plan a race schedule and list gear, although I don’t use any of that.
To use athlinks.com, just go to the site and type in your name. It’ll search its data bank for race results under your name. You click on the ones that are yours. (If you’ve got a common name like Joe Smith, this would probably be a lot more tedious than if you’ve got a less common name like Pam LeBlanc, although I found some results that didn’t belong to me. You can screen by age to narrow the search.)
Not every race is in the data bank, but major races like the Capitol 10,000, the Austin Marathon and Zooma Half Marathon all popped up. Some of the more obscure swimming races I’ve entered didn’t show up, but you can manually add those if you want.
Once you’ve claimed your race results, it’ll create a profile page where the fun begins.
You can sort by race type or distance - half marathon, swimming, triathlon, 5K or whatever - or group by year. Click on a specific race to learn your pace, what percentile you finished in, your average time at that distance and more.
But be careful. You can get sucked in for hours - and that takes away from valuable training time.