How to get a geo located badge - Single activity. Not triathlon...yet

Update: In January 2021 Garmin made some changes that stopped TCX files from being used for badges and challenges. I've got a report that it works if you convert the file to a FIT file and set a Garmin device as creator.

Many of the badges can be awarded by just changing the country and then doing the required activity, distance and time, but there are also a number of location specific badges where that doesn't work like that. The most recent ones are the triathlons in Taiwan. What I've read is that the start and end locations must be at the correct location. So, how can we still get those badges?

I managed to get one of the older geo located badges: Gatchina Half Marathon 10K 2019

The description is: Run the Gatchina Half Marathon 10K in Gatchina, Russia, on November 17, 2019.

The idea was:
  1. Get the course
  2. Add timestamps
  3. Upload to Garmin Connect
I found a course in Garmin Connect:
Searched for Gatchina and set the distance to 8-12 km. I couldn't find any course for the correct distance.
Found out that there was also a 21 km distance which might be two laps around the same course:
Searched in the interval 20-22 km and found this course:
Download GPX file for the course.

Used this service to add timestamps:
I used the following settings:
Timezone: Minsk
Start time: 2019-11-17 10:00:00
Speed: 15 km/h
Device: FR 945
Calculate distance
Download as TCX

Upload to Garmin Connect.
Even if the distance was 20.7 km I was awarded with the badge.
I afterwards changed the distance to 10 km and the time to 45 minutes and still had the badge.

I also did a test with another course that wasn't exactly in the right location but very close (1-1.5 km away):
That didn't work. The locations must be closer to the real locations or maybe several locations must fit.


  1. this link doesnt exist anymore

    1. Thanks. I've fixed the links.

    2. I’v never been handy with these things but I followed your steps and I made it work. Thanks for this.

    3. I’v never been handy with these things but I followed your steps and I made it work. Thanks for this.

  2. Thank you @e7andy this is very helpful.

    My hubby wanted that last TW triathlon badge really badly on October. The water temperature was 5 degrees Celsius here and although he is a great swimmer he is not a winter swimmer :D So he borrowed a wetsuit (not full body only shorts) and was prepared to swim. He runs and bikes every day, no cold weather or rain can stop him, so he thought it is enough, he could do it. 3 days of talking about this, how he can do it, it is not that cold outside, he had a plan... And then 1 day before triathlon he slowly put his whole arm into our outdoor not heated swimming pool. And that was the end of his planning :D hahaha. No way he could swim in 5 degrees water 1,5 km :D

    When I said to him that even if he did it he would not got a badge he was sooo happy he was only running that week :D

    So sometimes geo location is not the only problem :D We will wait for a better weather or re-opening of public swimming pools and then try your hack with next triathlon.

    Thanks again for your time, stay happy and healthy :D

    1. Yeah, it isn't the best and safest part of the year to do outdoor swimming.
      I haven't yet done any testing with how to get the triathlon badges, but it is most likely similar to what I did here. The difference is that you need to log three different type of activities and that isn't easy with the method I used.

  3. Could you try this with the nyc marathon badge from 2018? I had it on an alternate account and copied everything across but now that badge nor the marathon badge gets awarded

    1. Garmin made an update in January that makes TCX files not count for challenges and badges so I believe that the method described in this post nooƤ longer works.
      Only FIT files work and they must have a Garmin device set as the creator of the file. If you can convert a TCX file to FIT it might still work.

    2. Damnit what a pointless change. Ive tried converting a gpx to a fit and then changing the recording device but when I upload it to connect i get this message "One of your files was not accepted by the system. Please contact Support for assistance."

  4. Hi Andy, I followed what you did, but it has not worked for me. Primarily the device seems to be missing when I import the file into Garmin Connect. I paid USD 10.00 to in order to unlock the ability to export as FIT, but no joy. I also imported the FIT into and set "Fenix 6X" as the device, but still no luck.

    If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful :-)

    1. I haven't done any tests after the change Garmin did in January which stopped the method I've described in my blog post.
      I would've thought that converting it to a FIT file and setting the correct device should do it, but apparently not. Or maybe that works but there is something else that isn't working.

  5. You are absolutely right. I did it again, this time setting the exact parameters of the 10K run that I did on Monday that I am using as the basis of this badge. The deciding factor was manually inserting the serial number and software version of my Fenix 6X. So there is now a workaround. Ten dollars well spent on ;-)

    1. Nice! Thanks for the report.
      Did you insert the serial number and software version into the TCX file and then converted it to FIT?

    2. Could you write exactly what you did please? I would like to get my NYC marathon badge back and am unsure the steps to take.

    3. The easiest method is to use Fit File Repair Tool to create a valid FIT file that can be imported.
      If you only got a TCX or GPX you first need to convert it to a FIT file which can be done here:


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