CHICAGO — Edgewater resident Courtney Gray merged her two passions of running and technology when she realized runners like her could use online help finding charities to support when running a race.
So Gray, 43, teamed with her friend Ruth Clark to build A Good Sport, a website that aims to help runners and cyclists decide which race to run based on what cause or charity the event will benefit.
"Most of these races are based on running for a charity," said Gray, who has participated in five Chicago marathons. "People have much more of a choice these days to choose a charity that is meaningful to them. Our website tries to find a race based on what sort of charity you want to support."
The duo had tossed around the idea for about a year and a half, but decided to focus on the project full-time starting in July when they joined 1871, a technology incubator based at the Merchandise Mart, where about a quarter of the people working are women.
Clark, 55, of North Mayfair, said her partnership with Gray is particularly unique in that both Bryn Mawr College graduates also came to start a tech startup years after working for other companies.
"Between us, we have decades of business experience," said Clark, who previously worked in the technology department at Tribune Co. "It's good working in an environment like this where collaboration is encouraged."
Their site is still in beta mode and currently focuses on the Chicago area, but expansion to other parts of the country may come in the future, the coders said.
The duo has also developed an iPhone app aimed at developing a training schedule for runners preparing for everything from a 5K to a marathon.
"With the marathon, there are a million spectators," said Gray, whose next race is the 5K Race of the Dead in Pilsen on Nov. 2. "A lot of people will be inspired to take up a sport, likelier a 5K rather than a marathon. We're looking to help them with that."