In late summer 2006 I had an idea. I was an avid racer but I observed several things about information and communication relating to racing in Western North Carolina.
- There were a few sources of “racing calendars” but little in-depth background and commentary about upcoming races.
- Race results would eventually be made public but too often we’d wait days until some webmaster got around to publishing Saturday’s race results by about Tuesday or Wednesday. I know I’d start Googling around noon on Saturday and suspected many others did the same thing.
- There was no online opportunity to connect and communicate. No opportunity to commiserate about a race and how hot it was or how cold it was or how tough it was.
So I created this blog – Carolina Runner. I first set it up on a Go Daddy blogging platform and started to post occasionally. My first post was on the morning of the Thomas Wolfe 8k in 2006. The photo of a race starting at the top of this blog is the start of the 2006 Thomas Wolfe 8k as photographed by my wife, Nancy.
After a few weeks my traffic skyrocketed to two or more page views per week. That would be one from me, one from my wife and maybe one other person who stumbled upon my wee blog. Over the course of the next two and a half years it never really enjoyed more than about 50 views per week.
In the spring of 2009 I decided to put a bit more focus into the blog and I moved it to the WordPress platform. By fall of 2009 the traffic was up to about 30-50 views per day, with huge spikes on Saturday/Sunday/Monday when there was a popular race and hundreds of eager racers looking for results.
In 2010 I launched the Carolina Runner Facebook page and introduced a more organized historical collection of race results and a “race docket” along the side of the blog to allow visitors to more easily look at race information.
Now the Carolina Runner blog averages 300-400 page views per day, with spikes that can exceed 1,000 (biggest single day traffic was more than 3,000 page views). Since spring of 2009 when I moved to WordPress the blog has been viewed more than a quarter of a million times (257,468 as of this writing). And 293 people “like” Carolina Runner on Facebook.
Thanks to all of you who read this blog and contribute with your commentary and engage with Facebook. Nothing means more to me than hearing someone say they “really love this blog.”
Since I started with no expectations it’s difficult for me to say this has exceeded my expectations.
But it certainly has.
Here’s to five more years!