Commissioned by Colin SyBing, 2019 UMD Club Running President
Written by Shannon MacMaster, 2018 UMD Club Running Vice President
As most of you know, I, Shannon MacMaster, live in the small town of Seaside Park, located on the coast of New Jersey. The piece of land is basically a 400 meter wide sandbar that acts as a wind tunnel and sits between the Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic ocean. I have been a dedicated member of the Running2Win community since December 2016, logging my workouts and running adventures there for over 2 years now. Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 was the day I began my summer training for Cross Country season.
You are probably wondering why any of this information is important? Well Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018, also happened to be the day I made a Strava account. While this was a tough decision, as I had been boycotting the app for some time, I was told there was a group for my area in which I could find many trails around where I lived, a feature Running2Win does not provide. Determined to not run the on the same exact straight road every single day this past summer, I took to the site to find some new routes. I also found some other features Strava provides that r2w lacks:
– The ability to “like” each other’s runs
– The ability to post photos(So if you run in the evening and are similar to my mom in the fact that you enjoy taking a picture of the sunset in the same exact spot every night post it on social media with an inspirational quote, this might appeal to you)
– Running challenges and goals that you can try to hit
But let me tell you about an experience I had with one of these challenges. I somehow joined a challenge, presented by Lululemon, in early January, that required you to run 80km by January 15th. Once I ran the 49.7097 miles, I was surprised to receive an email containing a 25% off coupon. While you may think this is a lavish reward, let me shed some light on the fact that this is actually a slap in the face.
A pair of full length, solid color, Lululemon running tights, regular price, cost $98.00. 25% off means that these tights will cost $73.50. I’ll have you know that I recently purchased a pair of full length, lightning bolt patterned, Old Navy running tights, for $8.50. That’s right folks. $8.50. I’m sure you now understand why I was severely offended by Strava’s “generosity”.
And while Strava is much easier to use and navigate, it lacks the intimate team aspect that Running2Win provides. We, UMD Club Running, have allowed r2w to evolve into a place where we can support each other through the the ups and the downs of our training. We have built a community on that terribly built website in which our infatuation with running is not only acceptable, but encouraged and we can vulnerably share our successes and failures with our teammates.
A couple weeks ago, when I did a fartlek in Hyattsville, I accidentally peed in my pants TWO times. Did I feel comfortable writing about this experience on Strava? No. Did I feel comfortable writing about this experience on Running2Win? Absolutely. No one was from our team was going to judge me about that one.
Running2Win has taken on the role of my training diary and I gladly give it some of the credit for my successes over the past year. Take a look at a quote from my post from November 22nd. After briefly summarizing some of my running checkpoints of 2018, I wrote:
“So what I am saying is, thank you Maryland Club Running for letting me take on Vice President, become obsessed with running because of it and ultimately letting me reach my full potential. And thank you r2w for letting me exercise this obsession because even throughout this season, I was more motivated while using it, and the last 2-3 weeks were kinda rough training wise and I wasn’t posting(coincidence? I think not).”
In conclusion, Running2Win is far superior to Strava, and if you haven’t signed up yet, you should!