Ever heard of a race subscription service?

Ever heard of a race subscription service? Racepass, a unique subscription service for runners, is trying to lower the barriers to entry and get more people taking part in everything from fun runs to marathons. So what does this race subscription service entail? Shashank Venkat reports...

Subscription-based models have fostered innovation across a wide range of industries, so how could running be far behind? Racepass, a subscription-based annual pass for runners, has just created a first-of-its-kind subscription service for long-distance races. This fascinating new service is trying to make entering running races simple by helping enthusiasts discover new races, manage entries, and run their way to the finish lines!
Racepass subscribers can choose from over 5,000 races across the world. The subscription passes are tiered into three categories – Contender, Athlete and Pro - each aiming to target different categories of runners. The Contender Pass begins at $195 a year, and offers entry to 3 events. The Athlete Pass costs $295 per year, and buys you 5 races. Whilst hardcore athletes can go for the Pro Pass which costs $695 a year for an unlimited number of races.
Developed by Google employees Chase Rigby, Tom Hammel and Thomas Hanson, Racepass wants to remove the hassles involved in finding, registering and building a community of racers. Apart from covering the registration costs, Racepass also keep a track of your times and results giving runners valuable feedback on their performance. The service gives subscribers the flexibility to modify or cancel race entries and allows them to choose between events from fun runs and 5ks all the way up to marathons. And for race organisers, it provides access to a database of thousands of runners to promote their event to.
Racepass does not offer trial memberships at the moment, but gives subscribers the freedom to cancel the service anytime. However, in order to attract more runners in to the fold, it may not be such a bad idea to offer one race free for all new subscribers. And once the service is able to demonstrate its value, there is no doubt that more runners and events will quickly come on board.
Racepass is currently a web-based application which is fully-functional on smartphones and the company plans to launch a mobile app soon.
The running community is already quite excited about this subscription service with the company starting to get a lot of love from runners on Twitter after its launch this week. Whether Racepass will be able to attract many subscribers remains to be seen, but it's a great idea for an industry which is mired with inefficiencies and in need of its own digital transformation.

What do you think about this new subscription service? On your marks, get set...subscribe?