When I first started to run, my entire goal was to lose weight. Then, as I moved forward and realized that I truly loved the sport, I started looking at doing races. I am not a competitor by any means (nor do I have the budget to enter enough races to become one), but I truly love the atmosphere of running a race.
I should also note that I am a ridiculous number junkie. I am totally the guy who tracks every metric I can. From steps to heart-rate to cadence to pace…I love numbers. Heck, I even get irked when my official race times and distances are off from my GPS.
And yes, I am even that guy who gets mad if my activity tracker doesn't get my steps because, yes, they didn't happen if the app doesn't know about them.
I Find My Lack of Mileage Disturbing
When I signed up for the Star Wars half-marathon at Disney World, it was the impetus for me to get off my lazy bum and start running again. I tracked my mileage over the past 5 years, and I was a bit disappointed in myself.
As you can see, my mileage kind of, well, took a nose-dive. I’m within a week, I think, of already surpassing the previous two years’ mileage combined. And when I dug into my Strava and Runkeeper graphs around those runs, they were…telling. Namely, that it was late 2015 when my anxiety started to really take over and prompted me to leave my career as a college instructor/administrator and get into web development and content creation.
Not to mention a stress fracture and torn ligament that sidelined me. (Whic just compounded the anxiety and depression…yay!)
Enter Athlinks, My Dark-Side Savior
Well, when I signed up for the runDisney half-marathon, they require a proof-of-time for corral assignment. If you can't prove you're as fast as you say you are, you're dumped in the final, most-congested corral.
Apparently, you have to essentially fight your way out of that mass of bodies if you're a fairly quick runner, and it can be a real pain. I did not want to deal with that.
Unfortunately, my half-marathon times weren't available anymore. The race website didn't keep them, the timing company didn't have them archived, and I didn't even have a photograph of the race-day results sheet.
After bouncing all over the internet, I ran across Athlinks. They astonishingly had my results. When no one else did, Athlinks had archived my half-marathon results (and bunches of my other races, too). The ones it doesn't find around the interweb, you can enter manually and link to the official results if you have them on hand.
Since I had official proof-of-time now, I was able to send the Athlinks page to runDisney, and they accepted it. I still haven't been assigned a bib number/corral yet for the Dark Side Challenge (10k + Half-marathon, but not the 5k, too, which is weird).
Based on last year's assignments, though, I should be in corral B for the 10k and the 13.1 — they don't assign corrals for the 5k.
I am excited because that placement should give me a bit more time (and shorter lines) for getting character pics. Plus, there's more of a buffer for the general tomfoolery I am sure I'll get into.
So, I wanted to give the #bibravepro and #bibchat friendo @athlinks a big ole THANK YOU 💙. See, I ran a #halfmarathon 3 years ago, but I couldn’t find my results anywhere online 🤷♂️. And I really, really needed them for the #runDisney #StarWars races in April 🏃♂️. You have to submit proof of time to prove pace to get in earlier corrals, and if you don’t, then you get stuck in the back in the general population, which means you wait longer to start and to get pics with characters on the course 😢. Amazingly #athlinks had my results when the race itself and timing company didn’t 😲. I was able to submit them and #rundisney2018 acxepted the times 🎉. I’m still waiting on my assignment, but I am STOKED because I will actually get an assignment in a (hopefully) decent corral in all three races. At the @hotchocolate15k, it got me into corral B 👟. So here’s hoping the same happens for #TheDarkSide. #wishmeluck . . . . . #phasma #running #runnersofinstagram #instarunners #run #halfmarathontraining #marathon #5k 10k #runningshoes #darthvader #kyloren #disney #disneyworld #runner #runnersofig #hotchocolate15k #15k #race #marathontraining
Stoked Am I, That Athlinks Exists
So yeah. Thanks to Athlinks being a thing, I am absolutely able to move down the Path to the Dark Side much quicker than I'd be able to otherwise. I'm not saying Athlinks is evil or anything, no, but it sure seems like they have cookies.
I just wanted to let y'all know about this. I am absolutely going to go in and claim results for every race I run from this point on. As much of a numbers dude as I am, another service to track my times and mileage is not a bad thing at all.
My only wish for Athlinks, though, is that they eventually implement a training tracker, so I can sync my Garmin with them like I do Runkeeper and Strava. If I could keep my race results directly beside my training and life-long stats, a happy boy I'd be.