Over 13,800 products are connected to the Strava API (or Application Program Interface), making over 10 million requests to our servers every single day. These “powered by Strava” apps enrich the experience; they let you relive your adventures in a unique way, sync with Garmin or Fitbit GPS devices, dive into your data and much more.
We hosted the Strava Developer Challenge to showcase the innovation and authenticity of our developer community. The developers we spoke with ranged from experienced programmers to relative novices. They were all people working full-time jobs, some raising children, while finding time to serve the Strava community on the side. Of the nearly 100 submissions, we narrowed it down to a top 25. Then the top 5 were selected by Ben Lowe, creator of VeloViewer; Mark Shaw and Mark Gainey, Strava’s CTO and CEO; and Ariel Poler, a member of Strava’s board of directors.
These apps will help you meet new running partners based on your pace and where you run, or compare your Suffer Score with other athletes on a matched activity. They’ll let you better tell the story behind your ride or run, and they’ll help you keep track of your commutes to work. We’re excited to share the stories behind the top 5 finishers, but every submission is worth checking out.
5th Place: Group Ride Leaderboards
Strava offers tools for comparing riders who match together on an activity, but IT professional and passionate cyclist Ethan Fann wanted more. Ethan’s app allows riders to compare a range of stats from average power to max heart rate between riders on any activity. The tool supports any ride on Strava, so you can view leaderboards from your local Sunday group ride or from a stage of the Tour. “Top suffer score for the day gets a burrito?” Ethan offered as an example. “You’re on!” We’re especially fond of seeing the highest Suffer Scores for riders in the Tour de France.
We asked Ethan where he sees his app going from here. He told us, “Eventually I want to add a way to keep track of a group ride after each week in order to create a ‘Group Ride Omnium’ of sorts. If done right, I feel like it could foster a new type of competitive group ride, where it is a race without actually being a race. In addition, riders would be given more motivation to attend the ride each week, as missing a week would leave them without any additional points.”
4th Place: CommuteMarker
Olga Grynenko had just earned her Masters in System Analysis at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev and was looking for a fun project that would use some of her data skills. “At one point I was volunteering at two various places every day, which meant four commute rides per day, which meant at least four times opening the Strava app and marking my commutes,” Olga told us. “So I decided to write a draft script in Python, which did it for me automatically.
Soon enough I found out that some of my friends gave up marking commutes manually every day, so I decided to build a web application where they can register their usual commute route once and then it marks their commutes automatically. From what I know, this app even inspired some of my friends who never biked to work before to start commuting!”
3rd Place: StoryTeller
Behind every great activity on Strava, there is a story. But often times, all we can see in the feed are the basic stats. Gianfranco Pooli of the Netherlands built StoryTeller to go deeper. “Often the activities getting the most reactions are the ones where the athlete shares that extra bit on top of the data collected by the app: photos, personal notes, a funny title,” Gianfranco told us. With StoryTeller, you can import maps, stats and photos from a Stava activity and arrange them in a blog format.
Gianfranco gave an example of a time he was compelled to tell the story behind a run, “At my last race I set my PR, which I’m happy about, but the greatest memory of that day is the feeling of running several miles together with thousands of other athletes. It is an emotion which I care to share.”
2nd Place: Toolbox for Strava
Toolbox for Strava started as a few apps Italian Marcello Brivio found useful to compare himself to other rides. And then as he developed them, he realized they could serve the community. From beautiful bespoke ‘Year to Date’ reports on your Strava activity, to a tool that compares you to pro riders based on the type of segments you excel at, Marcello’s toolbox is full of useful features. “The KOM Profiler tool, in particular, was kind of a killer app,” Marcello said, “Strava users love the idea of comparing themselves with famous riders from the past and present of cycling. I think this is the tool that contributed the most in building a solid user base for Toolbox for Strava, which now counts more than 34K connected riders.”
And he’s always trying to expand. Marcello told us, “One of the cool things about being a set of different tools is that it’s very easy to expand. I have a long list of features awaiting to be developed, I just need time to do it.”
1st Place: Pace Match
Pace Match was the winner of our inaugural API Developer competition because of it’s innovative idea and mission to bring athletes together. “It’s like a recommendation engine from Netflix or Amazon — but instead of movies or products, it recommends who from Strava to connect with,” developer Becky Jaimes explains. “I was inspired to develop Pace Match when my friend Rokas (who runs five-minute miles and finishes 100-mile races in 17 hours) moved to the Bay Area. He was looking for people with a similar profile to connect with on Strava so that he could find a running community. I thought that we could just look at who was running on the paths he wanted to run that were also fast enough to keep up.”
The algorithm is flexible and can help any runner find a good match. Becky told us, “Some of the connections we can make are between people who are fast (Rokas), people who are not as fast (me), people who are signed up for the same race and want a racing buddy, or travelers passing through a city.”
The other top-25, in no particular order.
The Everesting Cycling Calculator
My Virtual Mission
HRV 4 Training
Strava Weather Analysis
Strava Time Trial
If none of these feel like quite the right fit, maybe it’s time to pick up the API and start developing an app of your own.