Demographic ranks update

Demographic Ranks

In the past few weeks, we received over 200 unique suggestions for demographic ranks. They ranged from “3 kids, 2 cars, and a house” to “Borderline Alcoholics” (actually, likely some significant overlap there). If there’s one thing that quickly became clear from this whole exercise, it’s that the ability to create groups is far more interesting than “demographic ranks.” A lot of the suggestions would make awesome groups, but kind of so-so demographic filters (we’re looking at you, Disco Runners). So, the crowd has spoken and been heard, and we’ll plan to add groups to our development timeline.

Nevertheless, demographic ranks is what we promised, and so that’s what we’re working on. The next step is to pare down the list, since a rank needs at least 100 people onboard in order for it function.

To do this, we merged any duplicates and similar suggestions, and we dropped demographics that had less than 10 members. You can imagine that this was a long, drawn-out, and somewhat painful process for us, because who’s to say that “Soft and Sporadic” and “Middle-Aged Beergut Ultra” wouldn’t make good demographics?

If the demographic you chose has been merged with another or dropped because it didn’t have enough votes, you’ll be prompted to choose again. Note that we will keep the traditional demographic categories including: “Everyone”, M/W, M/W < 30, M/W >30, M/W >40, M/W >50, M/W >=60. The custom demographics that resulted from the merge and cut are (drum roll please):

Runners with kids

Desk jobbers

Marathon Training





Just for fun

Trail Runners

Ultra-Distance Runners


Couch to 5k’ers

Overcoming Chronic Disease



A few notes:

  • If enough women hop into any of these groups to carve out a separate group, we’ll break it up.
  • Redditors is a weird demographic. We know. And yes, it flies in the face of pretty much everything we just said about distinguishing groups from demographics but, the thing is, there’s just so many of you. You need a home on Smashrun somewhere so, for now, the ranks it’ll have to be.


Peter Smith

Fair enough.

I look forward to seeing what happens in a couple of weeks. I get the impression that once it is up and running, we’ll be able to choose a different demographic (say, “Everyone”) without having to wait a couple of weeks for the ranks to be computed.


Can we be in multiple groups? I mean seriously, I’m a 6’4″ 215lb Ultra trail running desk flying father of two.


Not yet. It’s something we’re looking into. A significant portion of our database is devoted to holding rank history for every user, so enabling users to be in multiple ranks will significantly affect the size of our database. We need to figure out how to scale that. Additionally, the calculation of the ranks every night takes a fair bit of time and we’ll need to be able to optimize it before we can have multiple ranks.


Excited that you’re adding in groups, I was hoping that was going to be an upcoming feature. How long does it take to develop something like that?


Well… it depends on a lot of things (e.g. site optimization, maintenance of existing features/integrations, finishing off other features already in dev), but several months is a pretty good proxy.


@Luke, the dev pace has been glacial… 🙁 features promised 2, 3 years ago nowehere in sight, a few ui tweaks, nothing really major in over 12 months, but competitors popping out new stuff monthly, and lots of comments what seem to point to growing technical debt, fragile and buggy code or too high maintenance. its really a pity, maybe time to hit restart button.


I put 50+ as a category, but it appears that is a very obvious one. I should rather have put Streakrunners down. Not sure if there were enough people to make a Streakrunners demographic? Could it still be added (with this as an additional vote)?


There weren’t enough people in the initial round of votes… although, I imagine it would be a pretty popular “group” once groups are out.


What a pitty the “healthcare group” didn’t make it! Any chance it could make it back?


The demographics are really going to just be a way to slice the ranks page. Our concern was that the profiles of days run, speed, and distance wouldn’t be very distinctive across that group. We’re looking into building more social/group functionality. There seem to be a ton of doctors, nurses, and medical researchers on smashrun, so guessing that will be a popular group….one we build the functionality to support it.


Great! Can’t wait for the groups to kick in!

For the demographics: I see “Men > 30” while here you talked about “M/W 30 really 31-39? Or shoud I not choose a specific demographic to see the ranks 31-39? Thanks!

p.s.: did anyone suggest a “crossfitters” demograph? Can’t be less passionate than the redditors! lol


*seems the copy&paste messed up my reply.

Here you talked about M/W 30 intended to be 31-39?


Oops! That’s a typo. It should be Men or Women 30, >40, and >50. So that Men over 30 is really 31-39.


*** the greater / lesser symbols seem to mess up everything!!! 🙁

Is the “M more than 30” to be intended 31-39?


I was actually gifted a PRO subscription in the Reddit r/fitness gift exchange, so the Redditors group seems appropriate 🙂


Having the ability to create groups at will would be awesome for coaches to track their teams. Optionally being able to make those groups private too. The friends/facebook features are too limited for this purpose.


I think relating demographics + training metrics to race results would bring the most insight.

In other words, it would allow you to draw conclusion of this kind:

“People who share my circumstances and perform the same amount of training as I do typically achieve this kind of results.

If my results are not as good, I either have less talent, or my training methods could be improved, or both.”

Pretty insightful.


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