Well, here at Active.com we like to believe so. The fact that Active.com is an application services provider for event organizers, not a calendar aggregator, is part of the reason our online calendar has its shortcomings. After all, our calendar is primarily built upon the larger number of event organizers who elect to use our registration services.
Active.com, therefore, sort of becomes a portal by default, instead of by design. And events that aren't working with Active.com don't always make it on to the calendar.
Warren Knoll, of Multi-Sport Publications in Cudahy, Wis., believes he has the answer for multi-sport athletes who like to plan their seasons well in advance. Knoll, along with partners Hubie Krawczyk, Anthony James and Joe Loomis, are in their second year of publishing the U.S. Multi-Sport Directory.
"I like being able to plan my season well in advance by looking at different races in different parts of the country," explains Knoll. "Our guide gives you a much simpler way to quickly browse through different sports in all areas of the country."
The directory lists over 1,500 events in every state and is conveniently broken down by color-coded geographic tabs on each page. So, for example, if you're looking for an event in the South, it's easy to flip to the blue-tabbed pages. Once on the blue-tabbed pages, you'll find each state clearly identified on the tab.
There's also a table of contents guide at the front of the publication that clearly breaks down the color-coded regions and associated states. You'll also find page numbers for each state to take you right to events in your preferred state.
I thumbed through different states I'm very familiar with, such as Florida and California, and found a surprisingly complete listing of events. Events are broken down into four categories: triathlon/duathlon, marathon/ultra-marathon, adventure races and cycling events.
Each triathlon and duathlon listing has distances for each sport segment -- certainly a necessity for those only wanting sprint distances or others wanting a challenging of something half Ironman distance or longer. The cycling events are mainly tours such as centuries and fun rides. I didn't find any USCF races listed.
All listings have a Web site address but, surprisingly, there's no contact name or phone number. While no question it's great to have the Web site info, I would've liked to also have easy access to call if I'm reading this directory in a hotel room somewhere with no Internet access.
At a suggested retail of $6.95, the U.S. Multi-Sport Directory is a bargain for the amount of excellent event information suited to the endurance athlete. For more information, or to order a copy online, please visit www.usmultisportpub.com.