It all started 5 years ago, on June 13th when the late Lee Fancourt set off on a Guinness World Record attempt to cycle across Europe. Starting at the Nordkapp, Norway to Tarifa, Spain. I helped Lee to embed his SPOT tracking widget into his website. But after a while it came to our attention that SPOT only showed the last 50 waypoints, which would be a shame on such a long ride! I quickly hacked together a system to store all location data in a text file so nothing got lost. After which I added a Google Maps interface to it and that was it, our first tracker was live!
From that moment, other athletes, record breakers and adventurers started to contact me with the question if I could build them such a map. Sure! And so it began, Follow My Challenge.
During the first years, it grew from a simple map based upon the location data, to a much more complex map containing a wide range of information.
So far, maps were only built for individuals. Tracking groups seemed to be the next logical step. I ordered our first 50 tracking devices. Having field testing a bunch.
It was time to launch the event tracker!
March 2018, we had our first two events! Two running events in Denmark for the Scleroseforeningen. Shortly after we welcomed events like Candy B. Graveller, Mainfranken Graveller, Bikepacking Trans Germany and Taunus Bikepacking.
After each event, I evaluate and process the requests. No matter how many features you come up with from behind your desk, nothing is more valuable than working together with everyone to figure out each event’s specific needs.
I remember I bought our first SPOT tracker, just 1. Currently there is an entire fleet of devices. Back in the day it ran on a shared web hosting package. Because we started to overload the servers, the hosting provider kindle asked us to migrate to a cloud platform, and so we did. This year we even placed our own powerful server in a datacenter.
Thank you to all enthusiastic outdoor loving clients and dot watchers. It has been quite a journey building up Follow My Challenge and we’re not done yet.
P.s. I’ve dusted off the first map ever, it's here: