It’s a Saturday morning in San Francisco and you’re taking a stroll down Crissy Field… all of a sudden a large group of runners streams by, a few them wearing Fleet Feet t-shirts. You likely just stumbled upon Marathon Matt and his team training together for an upcoming half marathon.

An avid runner and triathlete myself, I was especially excited when Marathon Matt used Eventbrite to collect registration for the first time this past season. As he’s gearing up for a fresh group with his Spring 13.1 program, Matt sent me an email that expressed two things. First, he wanted to let me know why he loved using Eventbrite so much.

“A month from launch of my Spring program last year I had about 18 people signed up. Today (a month from program launch), I’m looking at nearly 60 people signed up! I credit Eventbrite and the embedded functionality for much of this increase!

The ability to create discount codes and tracking/affiliate links on the fly has been just HUGE. It’s actually created a whole new way of attracting customers as I can create unique affiliate links… I send a partnering non-profit an affiliate link (and a $10 discount code) and simply have them promote the program however they like. Whenever someone signs up via the link (and passes the code), I donate 10% of the reg. fee to the partnering nonprofit AND the participant gets $10 off.” (Note to any NPOs: contact Matt if you’d like to take advantage of this!)

So whether you want to tackle your first half marathon, train with a coach to get results, or just have a group to run with a few times a week, Marathon Matt might be the way to go. But there was another point to his email, somewhat of a plea for help.

“80% of my programs are comprised of single women who are always asking where all the guys are. My programs are in DIRE need of eligible bachelors! The training program is a great opportunity for single men to get into great shape AND meet some excellent women… I know many people who do TNT specifically to ‘date’ and given the size/demographics of my audience, my programs present an equally good opportunity.”

Now while the primary focus of these programs is clearly the training aspect, he raises a valid point. Endurance sport training programs can be an excellent way to meet new people—and maybe this Valentine’s season it just so happens that you’re looking for love! But he also raises the point of all the fun that can be had when you participate in a sports training program. You get outdoors, make new friends, accomplish a goal, and work towards a healthy lifestyle all at once.

As an alum of the Team in Training program he referenced, I can attest that it’s not only a great way to expand your social circle—you raise money for a great cause. Team in Training empowers participants to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in exchange for a comprehensive coaching for an endurance event catered to beginner athletes. In addition to run programs you can complete your first triathlon, cycle event, hike or cross-country ski! In fact, at Eventbrite San Francisco we’ve noticed a huge influx in fundraising events organized by sports charity program participants to meet (and exceed) their fundraising goals. I’ll be at the Team in Training 2011 Spring Kickoff event this Saturday with a booth and information on how participants can meet and exceed their fundraising goals through events–and we’ll be raffling off an Eventbrite orange camera!

If running isn’t your thing, there’s always this upcoming Bridge to Bridge swim… but that’s another story! If you’re a San Franciscan who’s looking forward to an upcoming race, let us know on our BriteSF Facebook page! And to keep tap on great SF events each week make sure you liven up your inbox with our What’s Brite this Week in SF newsletter.