Jeff and Clara Peterson are looking for more friends. They would love to have hundreds, if not thousands of friends around the Bay Area and eventually around the world.
Right now, the San Anselmo runner-triathlete couple has around 300 friends, even if they don't know all of them.
Those 300 people are members of RunRamsey.com, a social networking site the Petersons developed to bring together athletes for finding training partners, discussing tips or upcoming races, and creating a community.
"If we could find one-millionth of one percent of the endurance athletes on Facebook," said Jeff, then that would be a lot of people.
They originally conceived the site as a local resource for athletes to find training buddies and tips called TrainingPartners.com. But the pair decided to name the site, instead, after their 16 month-old son Ramsey.
Within two weeks of launching the site this past December, RunRamsey had drawn nearly 300 members from friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, people the two met at races, and some random strangers. Clara and Jeff advertised the site through word-of-mouth, posted their own training tips, photos, and videos – including one of Jeff with Lance Armstrong in Hawaii.
There's also been some success connecting people through groups and messages, said Jeff. One member was headed to Montreal for business and wanted to find good running trails. He ended up connecting with another RunRamsey member from Montreal and the two met for a trail run in Canada.
In the last two months, though, Clara and Jeff have taken a short break as Jeff's younger brother Evan moved in with them. Between the two of them, a 16-month-old, two dogs, and now an 11-year-old, their house near downtown San Anselmo can be a little busy, especially when those two adults are trying to train as professional athletes. Jeff also works at Marin Country Day School, coaches triathletes with Whole Athlete and is leading a 10-day clinic for the Marin County Triathlon.
It is no wonder they had to take a short break from working on RunRamsey.com.
"Some days it's easier to work on than others, depending on Ramsey's mood," said Clara.
The two plan to start back up on the site with weekly training tips and videos, possibly taking out ads on other websites, setting up booths at races, and spreading the word at their respective coaching jobs and clinics. Right now, the biggest advertisement probably comes from their car, covered in RunRamsey.com stickers, as it drives around town. Since Ramsey often needs to be driven to help him fall asleep, chances are you've probably seen the car all over Marin as Clara drives around and around.
Clara also races in a RunRamsey.com top, very good advertising when you win nearly all the races you enter.
Clara and Jeff met when they ran for rival schools. She competed in the 5K and 10K at Duke and he ran the mile for North Carolina.
But she grew up in Berkeley and did all her Sunday morning long runs in Marin on Mt. Tam, hoping to one day move to the county.
"The only part of Marin I knew was Mill Valley," she said.
In 2007, a year after the two were married, they moved first to Mill Valley and then to Stinson Beach. After Clara became pregnant with Ramsey, the drive from Stinson Beach made her nauseous and the distance from her family in the East Bay and the city made her nervous. They first moved to Larkspur, before finding the house they love in San Anselmo.
It's a perfect location for their family and to get their training rides and runs in.
Though Clara still runs, Jeff moved on to triathlon in 2008. He dabbled some with biking and swimming and did his first race at the Stinson Beach Triathlon.
"He'd been out partying the night before and barfed the whole bike ride," said Clara.
Success, however, came fairly quickly. By the end of 2009, Jeff won the Pacific Grove Triathlon. His first race as a professional triathlete was at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in May, before taking a break for the last two months. Now, as he gets back in shape, he plans on racing the Austin 70.3 – a half-Ironman distance race, the Marin County Triathlon, and possibly Ironman Arizona.
Clara, who was on a three-year running contract with New Balance after graduating, recently began working with Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, whose husband Richie is from San Anselmo and ran for Drake High School. Clara is focusing on the Cross Country Nationals in February and recently competed in the Seven-Mile Championships in Iowa.
The whole family tries to support each other at races, coming out to cheer each other on en masse, which involves some scheduling and trading off of babysitter duty. But supporting each other is an important part of the racing and training plan.
"I'm going to Iowa. Who wants to go to Iowa when you live here?" joked Jeff about traveling with Clara to the Seven-Mile Championships.
At the Marin Memorial Day 10K, it was Clara's turn to race. She took third in 34:11 and Jeff raced pushing Ramsey in a babystroller. He finished just one second behind Clara in 34:12.
Uou can see pictures of the race for yourself. All you have to do is become one of their friends on RunRamsey.com.