How to get one of the race badges (hacking/cheating the system)


The badge Saulkrastu Stirnu Buks 2024

This post will be about cheating or hacking the system to get a badge. I don't promote cheating so what you do with this information is up to you. I don't do it. I just hack the system to understand how it works. I will be using my test account to get the badge. My main account will not have this badge.

The badge Saulkrastu Stirnu Buks 2024 is a typical race badge. You had to do a race at the correct location at the right date and time.
Description: "Complete at least a 5-km run in the Stirnu buks event in Saulkrastu, Latvia, on March 23, 2024."

Start by investigating the description to get the requirements.
  • Distance: At least 5 km (so any distance longer than 5 km)
  • Activity: Running
  • Course: Saulkrastu Stirnu Buks event
  • Location: Saulkrastu, Latvia
  • Date: March 23, 2024
You need to find the race course. Start by looking at the race page to see if you can download the course.

If you can't find a course to download, you can look in Garmin Connect, Strava and other services to see if someone has uploaded the course or logged an activity from the race. From that you can get the course. If you can't find the course then you have to create the course some other way. Maybe just draw the course yourself from the information you know.

The courses for this race are found here:
There is even a link to the course in Garmin Connect:
Click the link and in Garmin Connect you click to download the GPX.

Now you can do it in two different ways.
Either you just use the course and create an activity from it or you use a run that you have logged and combine the course with your data.
It is a little less cheating if you actually do the run, but at a different location. Like a virtual run.

For both methods you need to use
That is a service that can convert and combine data. You have to donate $10 minimum to get all functions (for life). The function you want is the option to create FIT output files.

Adjust the timestamps of the course:
Select the GPX
Set time zone for the race
Set start time (make sure it is the correct date 2023-03-23, time doesn't matter much but use a sane value)
Set desired average speed
Select to use elevation in calculating speed
Click Upload
Select Output File Format FIT
Set a Garmin device as gps type and Running as activity type
Set Embedding distance to Calculate distance
Then scroll all the way down and click the big button:
Click Here to Process the File Using Above Parameters

A new FIT file is downloaded in the browser.

Just using the course

The FIT file downloaded in the last step above is all you need. 
Scroll down in this post for how to upload it to Garmin Connect.

Combine the course with an activity

I found a run that was 5.5 km long.
Download the FIT file (export original) and extract the zip file.

Upload both files.
Click Upload.

You can now select what data you want from each file.
You want position and elevation data from the course file and not from the activity file.
Select Output File Format FIT.
Make sure the device is a Garmin device and that the type is Running.
The course doesn't have an embedded distance so it must be recalculated.
Then scroll all the way down and click the big button:
Click Here to Combine GPS files Using Above Parameters

A new FIT file is downloaded in the browser.

Uploading to Garmin Connect and final editing to get the badge

Browse to the import page in Garmin Connect:
Select the new FIT file and click Import Data
When you see Import Complete, click View Details

It might take a minute or two before you get the badge, but it should come. Refresh the page a few times.
If it doesn't or you need to adjust some of the data you click the pen to Edit the activity.
Do your changes.
Click Save.
Wait a minute or two. Then refresh the page and you should have the badge.

Questions that I don't have answers to yet:
  • Exactly how close to the official course do you have to run to get the badge? Are the start and finish the interesting points or are more points along the course used? It can pretty easily be tested. Create different courses and see if you get the badge.
  • Multisport race badges - How to get them?

Garmin Badge Database
Garmin Connect
Change country setting


  1. I have been using fit file repair tool for a couple of years now to do this (posted in a much earlier blog). Import a fit file longer than the run/ride and use FFRT to change timestamps and import a gpx file of the route. Even works with the FFRT demo version. I have got the Garmin Ride Badges since 2021 using the method.

  2. Do I need to change the country settings back to Latvia before start this process?

    And even a past event like this will earn me the badge right now?

    1. The country setting doesn't matter for the race badges.
      It can be earned afterwards. It is only the challenges that can't be earned after the date has passed.

    2. So in theory I can get all the past race badges?

    3. Yes, it should be possible. It is the same with all badges. Except the challenge badges.

  3. Will you also be able to somehow hack badges that are available only if you own special edition watches? I think there is 4 of them. Thank you.

    1. You can't get the badges that require that you add a watch to your account. The badges that just require that you log activities with a specific watch can be aquired by changing the device that logged the activity. For that should be enough to use.

    2. Yes, I know about fitfiletools so I already got all of them. But the question was whether this is really not possible because you tried and did not succeed - with your IT skills and knowledge about garmin generally.

  4. Thanks Andy - what about the Outessa badges where there isn't a race?

    1. I think those badges work the same way. It says "Record a GPS activity at...".You just have to find a course at the right location. Since the description is that wague I guess Garmin Connect will not be that hard on awarding badges.

    2. Cześć Andy. Jakim sposobem ktoś ma po kilka odznak zdobytych po max x250?

    3. 250 is the max count for repeatable badges. If anyone got a higher count then they got it before the 250 limit was added.

    4. How is it possible that someone did 250 repetitions in a short time?

    5. It is very easy to cheat to get badges. Just log a 1 second activity and then edit it to say 100 miles of running and you got the Insanity badge.

  5. Is there another way to get the badge without donating anything on the fitfile app?
    I can't make this donation and that's why it doesn't generate the correct file.
    Can someone help me?

  6. Hallo an alle, gibt es eine Möglichkeit, seinen Schlafwert zu sehen bevor man aufsteht. Wenn ich weiß das mein Schlafwert 74 schlafe ich noch eine halbe Stunde länger, wenn er über 75 ist würde ich früher aufstehen, grüße und danke an alle.

  7. I have successfully tested a free way of getting these badges.

    Find the course you are after – Garmin Connect is one option, other websites are available. Check the course matches the one on the course website (some have the right name but aren’t close to a match). Download the course as a fit file. Make sure you know how long this downloaded course is (the 10K for Olathe was longer than 10K, for example).

    On the day, run the race as a Treadmill Running activity. This means there won’t be a GPS record. You can still run the race outside if you wish, but keep an eye on your distance as it may vary from what you are used to. Run longer than the course you previously downloaded (I added an extra 0.5km for safety). Save the result. You can record this as a normal Running activity but there are more steps involved.

    In Garmin Connect, change the activity to Running. It will warn that the data fields may change – this is fine because you want to add a GPS field. Download the now-Running activity as an Original (fit file). Go to the fitfiletools website (free) and use the File Combiner to merge both the fit file for your activity and the fit file with the course in it.

    This keeps the pacing/distance/speed etc that you actually did and just adds the GPS course, which, when you delete your original and upload the new file will give you the badge.

    If you do a Running activity with a GPS attached, there’s an extra step because when you merge the course, it uses the new course end point but keeps your original course start point (no idea why; apparently I ran hundreds of miles in under an hour). You need the same fitfiletools website and the Section Remover tool. Remove Location from your original Running file, then use the File Combiner on the new file to add the GPS course as above.

    Have used the Treadmill method with the Olathe badge and the Running method with the Saulkrastu Stirnu Buks badge, and successfully got both badges.

    fitfiletools also has an option to change the date and time the file was created, so presumably it would be possible to get race badges in the past if you run it in the future, change the date and time, and then add the GPS as above. I haven’t tested this method yet. I also haven’t tested other file types to see if they will successfully add the course.

    1. see my file how it turned out..I didn't get the badge...


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