localeikki: A Crowd-Sourced App to Help You “Play Local”
Skipping a run when I’m traveling isn’t an option.
One of my favorite things to do when traveling for work (or play) is to explore the place on my morning run. When I travel with my wife, she encourages this ritual because I often find some quaint area of the city where we can go later for a meal or just hang out.
It’s not always easy to find the best trails however. Unless the hotel concierge is especially in tune with the local running scene, you may have to do a lot of googling. Even then you’ll likely just find RunKeeper data from someone’s individual run from their house. You can cobble something together, but it’s not very helpful. If I’m in a place for a few days, I’d like to be able to hit the best local spot.
Now, there’s a cool new app that will make this much, much easier.
localeikki is a relatively new startup based in Arizona that has a mission to “help people be active no matter where they are.” Pronounced [loh-kuh-lay-kee], it’s a verb meaning “play local”. It’s a call to action – to share the best local places to run, bike, hike, walk, etc.
Their website describes it this way;
Health compromises are not an option, even when traveling: localeikki is a trip planning tool & active travel guide designed to help the millions of active individuals that travel for business & leisure each year. Our crowd-sourced database, currently accessible via our website & iPhone/iPad app, helps active individuals make informed decisions on where to play & where to stay based on recommendations from peers: athletes helping athletes.
Founders Tracy McMillan and Taylor Thomas created the app to serve their own needs, but soon realized others could benefit from this as well. “When we we’re traveling, we wanted to get to a good trail head and not waste time trying to find something else.”
Because it’s relatively new, the national database is still being built. Thomas said they could have tapped into existing databases to make the process go faster, but that would defeat the purpose of curating a truly local experience. McMillian added, “We feel the crowdsourced model is great because it is a growing community of like-minded folks helping one another be & stay active–there’s a trust & credibility to that.” They are working hard to recruit local athletes from around the country to record and map their favorite places to play local. She said athletes in the Twin Cities have been amazing to work with.
How You Can be Part of the Process
Download the free app, and when you’re out at your favorite local place to be active, add it. If it’s already there, add comments or images to enhance the experience for the next person. When you’re traveling in a different place, open the app and see what’s locally recommended. It’s sort of like Yelp for active people. You can add a plethora of descriptors too. If you’re looking for a hilly course that’s also friendly for baby-joggers, search by that! You can also use it to search for local groups to connect with.
The website is great too. Check it before or after a run to search / add your info.
How about this… let’s make Minnesota the premiere running destination on localeikki! Not only can you use it when you’re traveling, but also as a way to search out new areas you could be missing in your own backyard. It’s fun to be part of something at the ground level. They would love your feedback too, so don’t hesitate to contact them directly (Tracy McMillan, Taylor Thomas)
What are your favorite localeikki (local place to play)? List them in the comments below, and add them to localeikki.