Have you ever thought, "I wish there was a way for that online review platform to let people rate events!"
Well, here you go. At least, running events.
BibRave, conceived in August 2013 and launched in early 2014, was the brainchild of Tim and Jessica Murphy. Avid runners, they were inspired by an awful race. It was after spending months, tons of money, and a lot of energy training for and traveling to a marathon in Washington, D.C., only to discover the race they'd been looking forward to was a bust. “I wish there had been a place to read about this beforehand, or to let other runners know about it afterward,” they thought. (That race no longer exists, by the way.)
Then, positive people that they are, they also thought, “OK, there has to be a place people can learn about the good ones." So, much like Run Oregon's goal of helping spread the word about local events in our area, BibRave's goal is to give runners and walkers a platform on which to rate, rave, and vent about events in which they participate. In the end, they want to allow the best races to attract the most participants ... so more people can love their experience.
BibRave is growing – primarily through social media and ambassador programs. They host a weekly Twitter chat called #BibChat, every Tuesday at 6p PST, where “hundreds of people join in to talk about all things running and racing,” says Tim, “and brands/races sponsor awesome giveaways at the end of each chat.” They also have a large crew of running bloggers across the country called BibRave Pros (BRPs). BRPs are influential running bloggers and social media personalities who get hooked up with a ton of free gear and races, and in exchange blog about and share their experience with both.
There are a decent number of Oregon (and regional) races in their platform, but many of them need more reviews. This is where you come in. You can create a free account or use social sign-in (facebook), find the race you want to review (or submit a new one, if you don’t see yours on the calendar), and start sharing your thoughts. You can also use BibRave to find a race for yourself. The interface is extremely simple to use. Just type in the city, race distance, race month, and “terrain” to read up on the options.
Most of their race reviews are for races in the Midwest, because Tim and Jessica just moved to Oregon from Chicago this year. After she landed a job in Portland (Tim can work remotely from anywhere), they were ecstatic to move to a place where the outdoors was so accessible. So they are working hard to get more ratings for Pacific NW races; which you can definitely write reviews for even if it’s been a while since the race you want to spread the word took place. “We want BibRave to be a community where runners know they can get the best insight on a race before registering. We runners tend to be fairly opinionated folks (which is awesome!), so we also want BibRave to be the place where they leave their thoughts for other runners.”
Since moving here, Tim has been running on weekends with the NAC group (not a club, really, just a group of runners who enjoy pounding out 16-22 miles every weekend at a 6-minute-mile pace). While many of us, myself included, consider that extremely fast, he considers himself to be a “slow fast guy” with a marathon PR of 2:49. He started running in 2004, building up from 8k (his first race, in Madison, Wisc.) to ultramarathons, even pacing someone for 52 miles at Leadville this year. “Trail running,” he says, “is definitely my favorite.”
The BibRave team is rounded out by Julia Montag, their Client/Community Manager, and Jeremy Heath, a BibRave Pro who also does sales part-time. Much like Run Oregon bloggers, they and all the BibRave Pros use a private facebook page to communicate. “It’s freaking hilarious,” Tim says. “I sometimes wish everyone could see the madness.” (Us too, Tim … us too.) Tim credits Jessica and the “incredible” BibRave pros for the company’s growth, and looks forward to the fun they’ll have as they keep sharing real running reviews.