When I was working on the list of social media websites, one of the ones that I stumbledupon (haha, social media pun) was Athlinks. Being an athlete, or at least a former high school and collegiate athlete, I was very intrigued. There have been many websites throughout my running career that offer a community with forums, maybe a training log, or some other sort of comparative aspect to other athletes (best times, training, etc). Athlinks is different however, and despite there being a little bit more to desire, I found this social media to be very unique and very interesting.
Upon creating my account, the site had me “Claim” myself. When I entered my name, a list of people with my name that had race results appeared. Most of them were MY results, so it made this process easier. I simply clicked a check box next to the races I was in, and it automatically associated those races with my profile. I thought this function was VERY cool.
One aspect we talked about with social media is their ability or sometimes necessity to be user driven. This social media follows this ideology very well. Over the years, I have been in MANY races all over the country. It simply isn’t possible for a single web site or social media to have access to every road race, high school track meet, or collegiate cross country race across the United States. To solve this, Athlinks allows users to submit their own race results. The process was quite simple. I punched in an exact date of the results (which I had already looked up online) and I was able to select a variety of races listed on that date. Since my race did not show up on their list, I would request to add the race by supplying the name, date, result page URL, etc. This is definitely a very cool way to build the site with information as you have over 100,000 users all putting in races, submitting information, and building the resources.
In the short amount of time I was on the site, I very much enjoyed some of the features. The only think missing was a training log. I think to have a social media revolving around endurance athletes, the site should also provide a space for training logs. The training log is a very important aspect to any endurance athlete. One thing that my teammates and I loved sharing were old logs of workouts we had done in the past.
Athlinks is definitely a place I would recommend some of my friends visit. Being user driven for information and race results, it would be very interesting to see this become the new go-to place for race results. The last one shut down (trackshark.com) sometime I think in 2009 and we have been a bit lost without their up to date results and news.
If you are an endurance athlete and looking for a place to connect with other athletes with similar interests, I would recommend a look at Athlinks!