The guys behind RunHunters are Henry Talbot and Matty Abel. Friends since 2015 we’ve both lucky enough to have travelled, raced and explored far and wide across Europe, Asia, North and South America as well as closer to home in Australia and New Zealand. I (Henry) met my wife on a running camp organised by Matty in the mountains behind Queenstown NZ several years back so there’s a bit of history!
Matty is an elite trail runner and professional run coach, well known and respected in the AU/NZ trail running scene. Henry is a very average (ie slow) runner who’s happiest exploring wherever my travels take me with my wife and kids.
The common thread we agreed on from the beginning of RunHunters is that throughout our travels there has never been a single user-friendly tool of runner specific inspiration. Even exploring close to home working out the best trail running routes was a messy process of swapping gpx files and anecdotal instructions.
Runners are fussy, we want to run the most interesting routes that match our abilities, whenever possible. Whether we’re travelling in a new place or training for a specific event, we hate it when somebody tells us about a great run just around the corner we wish we’d known about earlier. There's nothing worse than hearing from a local after you've headed out, that there was a superb trail close by that you would have loved to have known about.
Current running apps don’t solve the inspiration problem. They're fantastic for tracking performance metrics once you've done the run but helping you explore somewhere new isn't their focus.
Strava is a powerful tool and a performance data giant, but runners don’t have time to untangle heat maps or piece together segments. Data driven route suggestions are nowhere near reliable enough yet, despite massive investment.
Likewise, with mountain biking or hiking focused apps, runners don't want to have to decipher if the trails are runnable rather than wheel rutted paths or hike-only trails. Travel blogs or homegrown runner websites often have interesting articles but the info is impossible to use quickly and easily. All we need is something simple, effective and built for runners.
Simply put, building a great mobile app is hard and expensive but we agreed there was a problem worth exploring and our runner research and interviews confirmed that RunHunters needed to be built. We’ve put together a great team to make it happen, world class designers and developers to build a good looking user-friendly product. We also couldn't have gotten this far without so many trail runners putting their hands up to contribute their favourite local runs for others to enjoy.
What’s our end goal? Our mission is to give millions of runners the information and the confidence to get out and explore whether that’s around the corner or in far flung places.
We’re only just getting started and certainly don’t have all the answers but we’ve got some exciting plans for what we’ll be rolling out first to Australia and New Zealand and then further overseas. Thank you to those of you who have supported us on the journey so far!
How to spend a great 3 days trail running and enjoying local hospitality in Falls Creek, Victoria.