Strava Holiday Challenge Results

iRunFar Holiday Run ChallengeIt’s been a couple weeks, but thanks to everyone who participated in the iRunFar Holiday Run Challenge on Strava. More than 1,000 (1,048) people participated with more than 460 folks logging the stated challenge of 50 miles over the nine-day challenge period. No Strava challenge – running or cycling – has ever had such a high finishing rate. You guys rock! What’s more, the iRunFar Holiday Challenge crew logged a ridiculous 43,615 miles. Simply incredible.

Top Challenge Participants

While I hope that the Holiday Challenge helped all the participants (I can honestly say it motivated me on more than on occasion.), I’d like to recognize the top two participants. We’d intended to provide both the man and woman who logged the most mileage with an additional prize, but I’m guessing neither needs a new pack. You see, the men’s winner is Salomon-sponsored ultrarunner Gary Robbins, who just happened to set a course record at the HURT 100 this past weekend. Looks like Gary’s incredible 184 miles (or 296 km, as he’s Canadian) during the nine days left him in great shape for his run at HURT. As for the women, Larissa Rivers put in more miles than anyone else with 121 miles during the Challenge. As it so happens, Larissa heads Strava’s run outreach and her husband, Brett, is about to open the San Francisco Running Company. (PS. Gary and Larissa, let us know if we can hook you up with anything!)

iRunFar Hat or Visor Winners
Here’s are the challenge participants who won their choice of an iRunFar hat or visor.

  • Andrea Bradshaw
  • Justin Contois
  • Kevin Doucet
  • Chris Eide
  • Donnie Haubert
  • John Prater
  • Beth Santoro
  • Luke Sturgess-Durden
  • Gregory Brant
  • Mihai Cozma
Strava: Who’s Loving It?
Who of you out there is still using Strava after the Holiday Challenge or has otherwise been using it?
I am and am really enjoying it. To be honest, I’m still upload my running data to the two other training platforms I’ve used forever. However, Strava’s so easy that I find myself uploading my data there, too. It’s fun to have my friends comment on my runs just as I enjoy seeing what some of them are running.
I’m also enjoying the segment challenge concept far more than I thought I would. Late in a 20 miler (a long effort for me these days) last week, I came to the base of a steep road climb we’d descended earlier, I decided to “Strava” the climb as I knew it’d be a Strava “segment.” Sure enough it was… and the effort was enough to get me my first runner’s high in quite a while!

There are 16 comments

  1. Shelby

    My busiest time at work is end of the year, so this challenge was a great motivator for getting my runs in. Not only did I complete the challenge, but I managed to run more miles in 9 days than ever before. Even with a day of travel on the 24th, it was doable between holiday runs and lunchtime speed work!

    I'm still uploading to Strava now, tho' I have noticed my elevation gain differs quite a bit from garmin.

  2. André Lambert

    Strava imo has a better altitude correction than Garmin Connect. I am using the 910xt* and its barometric altimeter is useless so you end up using a lot of altitude correction via map data.

    This particular running community should give Strava a chance. It is already very cool to follow the writers of this site and see the training ramping up in different places, seasons.

    * Second 910xt, first broke the on/off button and Brazil's official Garmin clowns refused to repair – not even for money. "just get a new one". Unfortunately this watch seems to be the least worst of what's available today.



  3. John Knotts

    Yea I'm a data/map geek, so Strava is right up my alley. It's so awesome and motivating seeing what others are up to… seeing Larissa and her crew tear up the headlands or Bryon's next Moab run totally inspires me to head out and do the best I can on our currently snowy/icy trails here in Bend.

  4. Jerimiah Hartz

    I use Strava to create courses for others to use. I have mapped a few 1 star trails with grass taller than me. It's rewarding to me to be the first to add a gpx route that others can use to traverse a scenic remote area safely.

  5. Sam Winebaum

    Loved the Challenge and Strava on iPhone. Turn it on stick it in my pocket go run take a look after. Gotten a bit obsessed with segments where others are on the board. Pace picks up when I hit those!

  6. Patrick McKenna

    I started using Strava during the challenge, and will use it permanently now (was using Dailymile). It motivates me to get out there more often than I would normally. It's great to be able to see just how much work other runners put into their training. Very motivating. I've upgraded to the paid version because I think I should support a company that is providing such a great product. After all, it's only $5/month or so. Looking forward to the next irunfar/Strava challenge.

  7. Gary Robbins

    I had never used Strava before this contest and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the service. I'll certainly be a regular user from here on out and it seems to have the right people behind it to continue to grow it in the right directions.


  8. Eric Ahern

    It certainly motivated me to get out and run at a time of year when it's all too easy to lounge around in a carb and fat-induced stupor. I enjoyed the challenge, but haven't switched over to strava from runkeeper, just because I enjoy having all of my past data in one place (I only use my iphone, so can't upload data to different sites). I'm still debating whether the social element is preferable to keeping my info (somewhat) private. The social part is a great motivator, but could almost be too motivating, in a FOMO sense, leading to over-training or running a section harder than you should for a given workout. Regardless, many thanks to irunfar for sponsoring the challenge!

  9. Dan H

    I've only used Strava a couple times. A couple days ago my CR for a double loop was beat by a guy that did a single loop. Apparently Strava's algorithm can't tell the difference between 2 loops and 1 loop according to their Knowledge Base. That's a pretty terrible algorithm. To make matters worse, the other guy's GPS called it 13.5 and mine called it 11.4 (for one loop). If GPSs are that inconsistent, and Strava doesn't use mapping data to fix it, I just don't see the point of comparing segments.

  10. Duane VanderGriend

    I didn't know Strava existed before Bryon gave the challenge. I downloaded it to my iPhone and completed the challenge with it instead of with my prior mainstay Nike+gps. I haven't gone back. I like having the splits on my iPhone and I like the elevation on-line. I like to run with my phone anyway so my family can reach me and I can take business calls during mid week noon runs, so a smartphone app is the perfect gps run buddy in my mind. After quickly wearing a hole in the center back pocket of my Nike shorts with my iPhone I experimented with a few waist packs and settled in on the amphipod skinny one with just the right stretchiness of an elastic belt…no bounce and no bulk. I spin the pocket to the back during runs as it gets a teeny bladder bounce when in front. I fully expect to stay with Strava for the foreseeable future and though there are a few features I would change it sounds like the Strava folks may steadily improve the app.

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