One of the biggest questions that I get and a source of confusion for people is the use of the Claim and X that is found on result and athlete lists of our site. I'd like to give a short explanation of what they are for and why it is important to you. It's not all that complicated but it really seems to confuse a lot of people.
When I started developing the website four years ago, my original goal was to have a resource where athletes could research events, past results and have a way to maintain all of their racing history. That is still a goal and one we continually strive to achieve. Part of the issue with maintaining data though is figuring out how to make sure that the right people are associated with events and results and also to maintain some level of privacy. Races must maintain a certain amount of data in order to be able to contact their participants, issue reports for things like USA Triathlon, and other race needs. When people register the system strives really hard to make sure that the data is clean and complete. One of the big problems that we run into though is when we don't have complete data. For example, if all that we have is a name and gender and no other information, then it becomes a challenge to figure out how to associate it with an athlete. The other issue is when you have people with the same name but a possible age difference or location.
Enter the claim and the X. All the claim means is that we do not have any identiable information on file for the athlete listed. The first piece is a valid email address. If you see a claim beside a name, then it means we have a profile but it is not attached to an email. If it it does in fact belong to you, then you simply "claim" it and it will be attached to your profile. The "X" means the opposite. It means that we have a valid email with a profile, but the X allows you to say "this is not really me". For example, if you are looking at your list of past results and you see one that you know you didn't do, it probably belongs to someone else with the same name. You can "un-claim" it and it will be removed from your profile. The name will be kept intact but it will no longer be associated with you.
Simple concept but as I said, often confusing. The other reason why we have profiles on the system is for email notifications and newsletter subscriptions. We never sell the data nor allow spam. We often get asked by races to send out mass emails to our list. We won't do it. We do allow as it is their right, for a race director to notify everyone who has participated in their event but that is as far as we go. All of your profile data is secure and private.
A last concept that some of you may have noticed is the "hide my profile" and "hide my results" on your personal profile. These are to allow you a further level of security. You may want to register for races but not have anyone see your name anywhere. If you hide your profile, only the race director will be able to see it unless you are actually logged on to the system. Hiding your results will allow your entry to appear on a result sheet but will show as private. We've had requests in the past for cases where people needed to remain anonymous but wanted to continue participating in events. Those features allow that to work. You're in control. We're the only ones that have the ability to do that and we think it's a great feature to have.
See you at the race!