Last weekend I ran the Abington 10k, a race that raises money for a primary school near my home in Cambridge. The year before, it was the first 10k I ran after moving back to England from Boston, USA. It was also the end of my first week working full-time as the co-founder of Racefully. My 10k time in October 2014 was 49:02 and I recorded it on one of the popular running apps. This weekend’s time was a personal best (PB) of 44:28 – beating my goal of under 45 minutes and I ran it with our internal test version of Racefully, an app that only existed on paper a year ago.
Some people mistakenly think that success – in business or in sport – comes only from individual skill and effort. In some cases this may be true, but even elite athletes rely on advice and support from experts, as well as encouragement and challenges from friends, team-mates and competitors. My own less lofty improvement is mainly thanks to my friends at the Cambridge Running Group and Kings Cross Running Club whose encouragement, advice and camaraderie have been invaluable.
The race conditions were perfect: sunny but cool, with just enough breeze to avoid overheating but not so much that you had to work against it. There’s no doubt my PB was partly down to my training, but also owed something to luck on the day – with the weather, my fitness and the people around me I was trying to keep pace with. As we prepare for the beta launch of Racefully I know we’re going to need a similar mixture of skill and good luck to be successful. I was so happy about getting a PB and meeting my goal that I couldn’t wait to share it. I feel the same about Racefully.
The tagline for Racefully is ‘Fitness is better with friends’ because we know that it is our connection with people we care about that motivates us the most. This holds true for the company as well. I’ve always known that business is better with friends and I’m deeply grateful for the friends I’m making as the company progresses. From the brilliant Racefully team, to our generous advisers and angels, to the mentors, networks and event organisers who support startups like us, I’ve met hundreds of people in the past year who have supported, challenged, inspired and educated me. The beta will be available soon and I look forward to sharing that journey with you, too.