Two College Business Students Create What Might be the Internet's First Big Step in the Cohesion of Fitness and Social Networking

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FITnoke.com, a community-based fitness website launched by two college athletes has already made a difference in their hometown of Roanoke, VA now it is making a stir nationally within its first year of operation.

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FITnoke.com can help bridge that gap.

FITnoke is a free subscription site designed to help fitness seekers reach their full potential through learning, sharing and meeting others. Already honored as the “Facebook of fitness” by Roanoke Times journalist Amy Matzke, FITnoke draws over a million hits a month.

While the site is mainly geared toward the already avid athletic type, Lee Bradshaw and Wade Hammes, founders of FITnoke, also try to encourage the people who are a little timid to take the first step in getting fit. According to Hammes, “FITnoke.com can help bridge that gap.”

Bradshaw, a senior at Radford University majoring in marketing, and Hammes, a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in business, are both fitness enthusiasts that understand the meaning of teamwork. Both graduates of Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, VA, Bradshaw was a two-time state track champion who also played soccer, football, and wrestled while Wade participated in football, baseball, track and swimming.

Rather than having to go to a different website for running, swimming, cycling, weight training, and nutrition, “we bring it all to you on FITnoke,” Hammes explains. Originally created as a site to educate people about running, they realized being fit encompassed a variety of athletic disciplines.

Other than offering articles on a wide range of fitness topics, FITnoke users are provided the opportunity to participate in social networking, blogging, forum discussion, workout logging, and much more. “It’s like a huge interactive team where users share their experiences through blogs and forums and check out each others’ workout logs to gain encouragement,” Hammes explained. Both owners believe that when friends read each others’ routines they might learn something they never thought of incorporating in their workout before. “There’s no harm with a little friendly competition when it benefits everyone involved!” said Bradshaw.

Launched in early summer of 2008, FITnoke already boasts impressive traffic with nearly 40,000 users. With such attention FITnoke.com already received recognition from the NewVA Corridor Technology Council by being nominated for Virginia’s Technological “Rising Star.”

Well-known entrepreneur and runner-up on the TV show Oprah’s Big Give, Cameron Johnson is consulting with the young businessmen helping them take their business to new heights. “I know Cam from Roanoke where he started venturing his businesses at a very young age; now we work together via Facebook messaging and emails. It’s quite fitting that we communicate over channels that we design our businesses after. He is a great source of knowledge and a great person to work with. Obviously we are very lucky to have the advantage of his expertise,” says Bradshaw.

Both Bradshaw and Hammes admit that maintaining the site while trying to keep up with school work is a challenge, but they think of it as “just another workout.” However, with a staff of 18 they don’t have to do it all by themselves anymore. The FITnoke team consists of staff journalists, a nutrition consultant, a marketing team, campus reps, a forum moderator, a web programmer, photographers, and credited college interns. For now, the pair has only relied on word of mouth advertising, social marketing online, and support within their own personal networks. They are fine with never having to advertise commercially and have goals set out so that they never need to. So next time you think about losing a few inches in the waist, gaining a few inches around your biceps, or just finishing your first marathon visit FITnoke.com because it is the online network to better fitness.

Continuing to grow at a rate faster than any other site of its kind proves that FITnoke really is a “rising star.” Having almost overnight success, awards, press interviews, and boasting impressive traffic in only its first year, FITnoke will surely be the next fitness craze to sweep the country. For additional information, please contact Lee Bradshaw at (540)761-6880 or visit us at http://www.fitnoke.com .

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