Brian Hunt thought there had to be a better way. The 44- year old runner and triathlete – with an Ironman, multiple marathons and other shorter races under his belt – was tired of searching through different websites to try and find information on when and where races were happening. “It was almost as if the websites wanted to make it as difficult as possible to find the information,” he said. “You ended up clicking and scrolling through so many pages and ads to find what you were looking for.” Why wasn’t there a mobile solution that brought all the race information into one place, he thought? So Hunt followed the classic entrepreneurial advice: if you think you can do it better, build it.
Over 6 months and many long nights and weekends, Hunt taught himself iOS programming and developed the Let’s Race App. The simple, easy to use app let’s casual and competitive athletes find their next race. It’s one of the first mobile race directories that displays running, triathlon, swimming, cycling, kids, and obstacle course races – over 30,000 of them and counting – all in one place. “My goal is to help people find races faster and connect them to where they can register for the race. I want this to be the place people go to find races, whether it’s a weekend 5K or an Ironman they are planning to complete next year.”
The app is free, currently available in the App Store and soon to be in Google Play. Hunt makes a small affiliate fee from registration sites that pay him part of their processing fee for referring athletes. “There is no cost to the user. We have no ads, we don’t sell user information, and they don’t pay any more to sign up for a race than they would without the app.”
Hunt became interested in running in 2005. Overweight and unhealthy, he began training for the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon. “The last 8 miles of the race were the hardest thing I’d ever done,” he said. “But crossing the finish line transformed me.” He continued running marathons and when he moved to Florida in 2009, caught the triathlon bug. “Some friends asked me if I wanted to do an Ironman. The competitive part of me couldn’t resist.” He hopes others who use the app will be similarly inspired to sign up for races and support community events.
As to the future, Hunt is hitting the road to publicize Let’s Race. He and his wife Jodi, whose family runs Sun Country Sports Center, will be at the Savannah Rock N Roll Marathon expo in November. “Gainesville is a great place to launch this type of app, from the innovation environment to our active community with its running, cycling, and triathlon clubs. This will scale quickly and we’re excited to watch it grow.”