How Meagen Johnson started, the largest database of running, cycling, triathlon and women only races

5 years ago by in Mentors Unplugged, Rising Stars.

Meet Meagen Johnson Founder & CEO of, the largest database of running, cycling and triathlon races and women only races.

How to connect with Meagen and, Twitter, Facebook, InstagramPinterest

Shine - tell us about the company you’ve built, industry and the inspiration behind building it.

Participating in a 5K, half marathon or triathlon isn’t just about a race. It’s about a journey, memories, and making what seemed impossible possible. I felt this way after running my first half marathon in 2007. I had several challenges leading up to my first race. Crossing the finish line was incredible. I was hooked. I started running and racing all the time. My girlfriend introduced me to biking, which eventually led to my first triathlon in 2009. Training and racing opened doors to not only to better health, but a  camaraderie with friends I never expected.

My girlfriend and I used to sit at a local restaurant and plan our racing schedule for the upcoming year. We had to search hundreds of websites to figure out what races to register for and then figure out if the race was “worth” racing. It was time consuming and kind of a pain. I had wished there was one website that had it all and there wasn’t. There are websites that have specific niches for running or triathlons, but nobody had a complete listing of all races and most of these websites weren’t female friendly.  I also noticed, during our search, more and more women were blogging about their race experiences, sharing their journey and message. I LOVED that!

I created Women Races to bridge the gap between races and racers, creating the ultimate race search engine and community where this passion could be shared. I soon realized, regardless of the sport you are racing in, the passion is the same. Whether is was their first race or 50th race, the support, the love, the triumph and the challenges when people share their journey was very powerful.

Our mission is to be the leader in women’s racing and resources, with the largest global database of races, supported by a fitness community that strengthens and empowers women towards a healthy lifestyle. We are quickly on our way! We believe searching for a race shouldn’t be as challenging as racing in one. Racing is more about the journey to the finish line, so we are activity involved in endurance communities, bloggers, clubs and racing events. Women Races brings together fun, fitness, camaraderie, motivation and inspiration to achieve athletic goals. We offer shopping, resources & accolades. We fuel athletes racepiration with articles and stories, written by the blogging and social racing community.

women_races_logoLow cost marketing strategies – what has been the most successful for driving revenue?

We launched on April 12, 2013 and are taking up the industry. Social media has been the most successful for driving revenue. The relationships we have developed with our bloggers and social media page owners has been foundational. Their support has helped us grow. We have partnered with fitness pages and bloggers to spread our message. They have been amazing. This grassroots effort has built some amazing and lasting relationships with some incredible people and continues to help us drive traffic, exposure and revenue.

Share your secret weapons – what business apps, products and tools help you run your business efficiently?

Our secret weapon has been our social media relationships, so I love HootSuite. It helps me manage all of our social media so we can stay on top of the industry trends, who’s talking about us and continue engagement with our fans.

I also love Freshbooks. It’s easy accounting, invoicing and expense tracking.

My other secret weapon is my team.  This talented team continues to create, develop and execute powerful new ideas. It’s true you need a winning team to help you grow. They have passion for our mission. They work hard and give their all.

women_races_founder_Meagen JohnsonChallenges: What is holding you back and how can we help you?

Our two biggest challenges right now are first, spreading the word both racers and race directors and second, capital.

People are still searching for races through generic Internet searches. We want more people to use our platform and participating in the community. We have over 70K races in our database!

Race directors are slowing catching on. They are used to their typical marketing methods, so our disruptive and creative marketing new service are making them ask, what is this? But they are starting to catch on. Those who do, LOVE IT!  is bootstrapped. We are open to future capital and partners. We have incredible ideas that are positively disruptive and exciting to the fitness and racing industry. Additional funding would really help us fully execute to all three niches.

Going big: What are you working on to drive growth?

We are working on a mobile app to launch this winter to fully integrate the community, race search engine and utilize the tools of social media to engage racers and race events more fully.

This fall we launching two more niche websites and communities;  and

How do you pick yourself back up on the days you feel like giving up?

When I am having a bad day, I think about working for someone else. It could be worse. I did corporate America. It was incredible and the experience I needed to get where I am today. As a entrepreneur, I love being in control of my own destiny, having the flexibility to be a good business owner and a mother, plus I can unleash my creative talents on my own business.

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