Final Surge Podcast Episode 82: Zach Cole

In Episode 82 of the Final Surge Podcast we talk to runner and web developer Zach Cole. Zach has recently launched, a new site for runners who travel. The site allow users to connect with running communities, find local running groups, and find new routes.

Welcome to Episode 82 of the Final Surge podcast with our guest this week Zach Cole. Zach has built a new website called which is helping connect runners to running locations and groups. It is a great way to find a group to run with when you travel, or maybe just to discover new running areas in your city.

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You launched a new site called and I want to dig into it, but before we do that we like to introduce our listeners to our guests find out a little about who you are, if you could tell our listeners how you got started with running?

  • College basketball player
  • Started running with a morning group after college
  • Continued to train
  • Joined track team

You talk about how you started running with a few groups, HopDash your new site is about running with groups, so can you give us a background on the site?

  • Discover running groups in your city or places you visit
  • Traveled a lot and always looking for running clubs could join for a workout
  • Running is more exciting when you can connect with people while doing it

Do you find that groups are comprised of similar runners or are most groups varied in who is running with them?

  • Most groups have good variety
  • Most have some new runners and some more advanced

When I look at your HopDash and I click on one of the cities, let's say Boston, on the right I see interesting places to run and then on the bottom I see a calendar and each day has a different set of runs and each of those runs dots in the upper corner, one green, two yellow, three orange dots what do those mean?

  • Can be confusing, reworking that
  • Intent to show how easy or difficult a given workout may be
  • Assigning the difficulty is difficult because most groups have a wide variety on the same day

How does it work, who updates the workouts?

  • There is an input field where clubs can create their team and workouts
  • Using a Google Sheets API
  • Will be making it more scaleable in the future

The interesting places to run, are they user-generated too?

  • First few cities built from experience
  • Now users submitting tips and ideas to be included
  • As it builds out will make it searchable with filters

How do I know if the group I am looking at is more casual vs more serious?

  • When you read the descriptions of the clubs and workouts it gives you a lot of information on what to expect on that run
  • External link to running clubs website to learn more about them

You are relying on user feedback and people entering their information, so how do you see this growing?

  • Contribute link at top of website
  • Can add city and club and workouts
  • Several cities being worked on right now

Who are some of the interesting people you have met while traveling?

  • Ran in Vancouver with a group there
  • In Boston last year ran with The November Project
  • TrackSmith Group in Boston
  • In NY this winter ran in the 'Bomb Cyclone' had classic NY character

What is the hardest or most memorable place you ran?

  • Last fall ran in Mammoth with Mammoth Track Club on a track at 7k feet
  • Half marathon run up to 9k feet and swam in a freezing lake
  • Tim Tollefson showed another trail run that was incredible
  • Auburn CA during Western States and a trail run it was over 100 degrees, no shade, 2k feet of gain was the hardest run

We see training professional groups forming around the country, but also we see many local training groups and running communities. Why do you think these are growing?

  • Something powerful in training with a group
  • A routine helps grow individual and group success
  • Fun to have other people to cheer for and be cheered on
  • Investing in other people's success helps all involved
  • Success keeps people going

The Final Surge... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Challenger 3's
Favorite race? - Santa Cruz to Capitola Wharf
Favorite meal or recovery drink? - Burger and Beer
Your favorite workout - 1600 repeats

How to Connect:
Zach on Twitter


Team Final Surge

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