Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Offers Two Forms of Runner Tracking

The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon had two forms of runner tracking available at this Saturday’s event: race-timed progress alerts delivered via text messages and live continuous tracking and GPS alerts with RaceJoy’s GPS tracking.  Participants and spectators paid 99 cents for RaceJoy’s features. People are clearly adopting RaceJoy’s advanced tracking with more than 1,500 people using RaceJoy this Saturday!

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Live tracking at 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon!

 

We are seeing larger race events such as this offer both types of tracking so that participants and supporting spectators can have more real-time information and increased interaction on race day. Gone are the days of guessing how runners/walkers are doing out on the course!

So, what is the difference between the two types of tracking?

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Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Runner Tracking Instructions

 

Race-Timed Progress Alerts:

These are based on the participant’s bib/chip crossing timing points on the course and updates are delivered via SMS text messages and social media. The participants do not need to carry a phone on race day since it is based on the timing chip and equipment transmitting timing information to text systems. It is a great way for people to know how someone is officially doing in the race and if they are meeting their goals. The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon used XACT for this weekend’s alert system.

The number of race-timed alerts depends on the number of timing points the race/timer decides to put out on the course. Most races will have a Start, one to two mid points, and a Finish spot. Larger venues such as the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon will put additional equipment out on the course to provide more updates.

GPS-based Tracking:

This is a newer form of tracking where people are able to track participants based upon the location of their GPS tracking device. RaceJoy uses the phone as the tracking device. This type of tracking provides a continuous map view of the participant as they travel the course. By using the power of the phone RaceJoy also offers interactive features like Send-a-Cheer, NearMe alerts (relay team favorite) and MeetUp for finding one another. Close to 1,600 cheers were sent by supporting friends and family to race participants at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon!

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So cool they get to run through Churchill Downs!

 

GPS-based Progress Alerts:

RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are a new innovation for the running industry. By using GPS technology, RaceJoy uses “virtual timing mats” to send progress alerts along the course. The alerts are sent through in-app notifications (not SMS text). People can go in at any time to replay alerts and spectators can go in after the race starts to look at past alerts.

The number of alerts and locations can be customized by the race. Otherwise RaceJoy will issue these at every mile for running/walking events and every five miles for cycling events. RaceJoy’s GPS based progress alerts provide updates on location, elapsed time, pace and estimated finish time. Participants receive these alerts and anyone they are tracking in audio format. They also have the option to have their progress auto posted to their Facebook or Twitter walls.

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GPS-Based Progress Alert

RaceJoy issued more than 9,700 GPS-based progress alerts at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon!

RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are not intended to replace official race timing information. But to provide valuable and continuous information to both the participant and spectator to fill in between the official race timed alerts. Typically, RaceJoy’s reported GPS time is within 5-20 seconds of the official timed results.

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Thank You!

Runners and spectators were able to experience the best of both worlds at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon! Thank you to those of you who used RaceJoy to add to your race experience and to race organizers for helping to spread the word. We hope you enjoyed using RaceJoy and that you had a great race!

Offer RaceJoy at a Race

Participants: if you have a race you’d like to use RaceJoy at, please let the race know. We just need their electronic course map.

Race Organizers: RaceJoy offers affordable buyout options and a free-to-the race option where participants and spectators pay 99 cents for RaceJoy’s features. More information can be found here.

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RunSignUp and Google Analytics (Part Three)

At this point, you’re almost a Google Analytics and RunSignUp expert. You’ve read about the basics of RunSignUp and Google Analytics, and you’ve configured your website and RunSignUp to support cross domain tracking. However, rather than linking to RunSignUp for registration, you are taking advantage of the RunSignUp widgets, and are hosing registration directly on your own website. Since these aren’t links to RunSignUp, configuring your website and RunSignUp as described in the previous articles doesn’t quite do the trick, as there is one more step to complete cross-domain tracking support for RunSignUp widgets. Don’t worry though; we’ve got you covered here too!

There are two separate walk-throughs on installing RunSignUp Google Analytics depending on the type of Google Analytics you have installed on your website. Below are the updates needed to install widgets that support cross-domain tracking on both Asynchronous and Universal Google Analytics. This installation is a tad more technical, so you’ll want to have your Webmaster nearby!

Both the Asynchronous and Universal Widget installations follow the same general principles. First the Google Analytics code is loaded, so it’s functions are available to the RunSignUp widgets. Second, a placeholder is installed in the location that the widget should be placed. Third, the RunSignUp JavaScript runs building the widget and placing it in the correct location. An important note of this part of the script is it will contain a “try / catch” so just in case there is a problem with Google Analytics the widget will continue to load correctly.

Example Universal Google Analytics Widget Installation

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So what does this all mean?!  Well, the code is broken into three different sections. First is the main Google Analytics script, this should already be installed on your website if you’ve already setup Universal Google Analytics. The important thing to note about this first section of Google Analytics code, is that it needs to be running before the RunSignUp widget since the widget will rely upon Google Analytics functions.

The second piece of this code is the Widget Placeholder. This part of the code should be installed on your website exactly where you want the widget to appear. There is no customization needed in this second piece of code, it is simply holding a location on the website for the widget to appear once it has been loaded and configured. Without this placeholder, the RunSignUp widget would automatically build at the bottom of the page, once the rest of the site’s content has loaded.

The third piece of this code is the part that actually builds the RunSignUp widget, and then tells the placeholder it is ready to load. There are a couple of important customizations that must be made when installing your specific widget based on this code. First, you’ll need to switch the “widgetId” parameter in both locations it is listed replacing the placeholder with your specific widget ID. Second, if you have an affiliate code, you will want to replace affiliate token placeholder with your token. If you do not have an affiliate code, simply delete the placeholder (including the “&” symbol prior to the parameter). Once you’ve switched the placeholders with your IDs, you should be all set!

Example Asynchronous Google Analytics Widget Installation

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As with the Universal Analytics installation, this code is segmented into three areas. The first section of the code is the Google Analytics script, which should already be installed on the site from the previous setup steps. The important thing to note here is that the Asynchronous Google Analytics must be loaded onto the site prior to executing the RunSignUp widget.

The second section of code here is a simple placeholder. This should be placed on the website exactly where you want the RunSignUp widget to load. If you don’t include this placeholder, then the RunSignUp widget will load at the bottom of the page after the rest of the website’s content.

The third and final part of the script is the process that builds the RunSignUp widget, and then tells the system that it is ready, and loads the widget into the placeholder. There are two important parameters that should be updated in this third part of the script, the “widgetId” placeholder and the “aflt_token” if you have one. If you do not have an aflt_token, then you can remove this parameter from the widget script. Also be sure to update the placeholders in both the “try” and “catch” section of the code, to make sure even if there is a problem with Google Analytics, your widget loads correctly.

Installation Complete!

If you’ve followed all of the steps from Part One, Part Two and this, the last installment of the RunSignUp and Google Analytics series you’re RunSignUp and Google Analytics should be fully configured. Your Google Analytics will now support cross-domain tracking, and will include full E-commerce information including the number of transactions, dollar amounts, and correct attribution of the transactions to their original sources. As always though, be sure to run a couple of tests to make sure that the widget was installed correctly, and that Google Analytics is correctly processing information prior to launching your major media campaigns.

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Did Mercy Health Glass City Marathon offer RaceJoy?!

You Bet Your Glass!

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon race organizers are always looking for new ways to offer a unique experience for its participants. Three years ago they showed their dedication for this with their early adoption of innovation by being one of the first to offer RaceJoy.  As part of their 40th year celebration this year, race organizers offered RaceJoy’s advanced interactive race day features again for their participants and spectators. People were treated to all of RaceJoy’s bells and whistles, with access to instant race results, race information and official timing system based progress updates. Users could also purchase a minor 99 cents upgrade for access to live GPS tracking and audio cheers, including Text-to-Cheer.

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The marathon weekend takes place in Toledo, Ohio with its setting at the University of Toledo. So, why is it called the Glass City Marathon? The race gets its name from the City of Toledo’s nickname, the Glass City. Toledo took this nickname because of its long history and influential role in the American glass industry with well-known glass manufacturers such as Owens Corning, Libbey Glass, and Pilkington being staples of Toledo’s economic history. A new addition to the race this year was the ability to have individual custom awards created at the finish area that were showcased in a sweet looking glass-looking frame.

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The Glass City Marathon weekend offers many course options, including a Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Marathon, attracting nearly 8,000 runners and walkers. RaceJoy had a great showing this weekend, with close to 7,100 people using the app for Glass City! This was one of our record breaking usage races at 130% based upon finishers (includes spectators).  Each runner/walker had, on average, close to two people tracking them in RaceJoy.

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Tracking and Results

RaceJoy issued an amazing 78,000 race timed progress alerts and 2,500 cheers as runners and walkers crossed timing points on the course that offered pace and estimated finish time updates. People are able to go in and view these at any time during or after the race. We see people checking these at all hours of the day and night!

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These progress alerts were delivered by integrating with the race’s timing company, Gault Race Management, a timing service icon in the running industry. This integration allowed RaceJoy to immediately deliver the progress alerts along the course and scored race results – available moments after crossing the finish line. No need to stand in long lines at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon! Note: RaceJoy typically offers only live phone tracking, and GPS-based progress alerts. This timing integration is only available for RaceJoy’s first adopters.

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Relay Team Fun

Glass City Marathon has really grown the relay segment of their race with over 320 teams competing in 2016. Drawing on younger runner teams from the University of Toledo and other community and organizational teams, the race offers relay team participants a great way to share in a Marathon achievement with friends and family. We saw many creative team names out there:

You Bet Your Glass (our favorite😉

Buns on the Run

Deviled Leggs

Easier Said Than Run

Glass Kickers

Got the Runs?

Live Long and Perspire

Meg is Preg

Peanut Butter and Jelly Legs

Should’ve Ran the 5K

The Young and the Breathless

Time Wounds All Heels

4 Beauties and 1 Beast

A Mailman – Two Nurses – A Cop and A Rockstar

Beer>Bananas

Live Continuous Tracking

Runners had the option to also use RaceJoy’s live phone tracking and cheers. We tracked Stacey for more than six hours and got to see her at the finish line. So proud of you for such an amazing achievement!

 

Some live phone tracking shots on race day:

 

Glass City Marathon: Add to your 2017 race calendar (4/23/17).

Runners! Add Glass City to your bucket list especially if you are wanting to qualify for Boston. It is also a great race to do with a group of friends because of their relay team option and the course is nice and flat.

Toledo has a mid-western warm nature amongst the people living there and there are many local experiences to enjoy, such as the Toledo Museum of Art (amazing glass art and paintings on display), MacQueen’s Apple Orchard (crazy good donuts that are great after a long run), MudHens baseball games (for a home town authentic baseball experience), and Toledo’s beautiful parks that offer impressive options for trail running, paved running and cycling.

Thank you, Mercy Health Glass City Marathon race organizers for adopting innovation and including RaceJoy for a third year at this wonderful race weekend! Congratulations to all the race participants on a great race!  WE LOVE TOLEDO!

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Click for more information about offering RaceJoy.

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RunSignUp and Google Analytics (Part Two)

So you’ve read about RunSignUp and Google Analytics and you realize how helpful it can be to track the web traffic related to your event. You’ve added your Google Analytics information to your RunSignUp race but you’ve got your own race website and are either linking to RunSignUp for registration, or are using the RunSignUp widgets on your website and you’re concerned about cross-domain tracking. Don’t worry; RunSignUp has worked out the process for all of the common implementations of Google Analytics and RunSignUp registration. The only thing you’ll need to know to get started, is which version of Google Analytics your website is currently running.

Asynchronous or Universal Google Analytics?

The easiest way to figure out which type of Google Analytics you have implemented is to view the “source” of your website. Once you’ve selected “View Source” for one of the pages on your site, you’ll look for the Google Analytics tags. If you have a JavaScript snippet containing several instances of “_gaq” then you are running the asynchronous version. If you instead see several instances of “ga(”, then you are running the Universal Analytics. Note: While it is not required to update to Universal Analytics, it is recommended that if you are currently using Asynchronous that you look into upgrading to Universal Analytics. If you use a content management system such as WordPress, check to see if it supports any Google Analytics plugins to make installation easier.  You can find the full Google Analytics guide to locating your trackingID and code snippet located here.

Once you know what type of Google Analytics you are running on your website, you’ll need to update the site-wide code to support cross-domain tracking. The exact update you’ll need to make will depend on if you are running the Asynchronous or Universal version of Google Analytics.

Updating Universal Google Analytics

If you are using the Universal Version of Google Analytics, you will want to make the updates shown below in red being sure to replace ‘example-2.com’ with ‘runsignup.com’. This will tell your Google Analytics setup that when linking to RunSignUp, it should automatically include the additional information needed to support cross-domain tracking. If your Google Analytics is already configured for cross-domain tracking, simply add RunSignUp to the list of supported domains.

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To view the full reference on updating Universal Analytics to support cross-domain tracking see the Google Support Guide located here.

Updating Asynchronous Google Analytics

If you are using the Asynchronous version of Google Analytics and have chosen not to upgrade to the universal version, you will want to make the updates shown below in red.

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If you are using an unmodified version of the Asynchronous Google Analytics, then you will be adding two lines of code to this snippet, the setDomainName, and the setAllowLinker. Be sure to set the domain name listed to be your website’s domain. If you’ve already setup your Google Analytics to support cross-domain tracking for another website, you will not need to make any changes to your site-wide script.

To view the full guide on updating a website to support cross-domain tracking, you can view the Google support document located here.

Updating Links to RunSignUp

If you are using the Universal version of Google Analytics, you’re already done! When using the Universal version of Google Analytics, the code automatically detects all links to the supported domain and adds the Google Analytics information to all links. If you are using the Asynchronous version of Google Analytics, you must tag all links to RunSignUp to add the information needed to support cross-domain tracking. In order to do this, you must add the information shown below in red to any links pointing to RunSignUp…

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Be sure to replace the example url listed above with the page you are linking to on RunSignUp. This update will let your website know that whenever someone clicks on the link, that Google Analytics should get the extra information needed for cross-domain tracking and include it on the link to RunSignUp.

Updating RunSignUp Widgets… Next Week!

Using RunSignUp’s widgets on your website? Stay tuned for the next installment on RunSignUp and Google Analytics coming next week. It will walk you through the process of how to support cross-domain tracking when including widgets directly on your website. It will include the code necessary to support the tracking, and a line-by-line breakdown of the update.

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RaceTec Timing & Results Integration

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.39.55 AMRaceTec is an advanced race scoring and results platform developed by Graeme Vincent. It is widely used around the world for large and small races across many race types. It is known for many advanced features and instant web-based results.

RaceTec has done an integration with RunSignUp so that timers can easily sync participant information. Here are the instructions:

To access your RunSignup races and competitor data directly from within RaceTec, open the Data Import module, click the small dropdown arrow on the Import button, and click From RunSignup.

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If this is your first time you will be prompted to enter your RunSignup user name and password.

Your list of races will appear and you click a race to view the events in that race.

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Highlight the events you want to import and click Import. Field mapping is done for you, and RunSignup to RaceTec event mapping is done as normal at the beginning of the import process. So it really is as simple as clicking the Import button and a few seconds later the data will be in your RaceTec database.

You can choose to import all data every time, or incrementally, which will only download competitor records you don’t already have.

If you want to view the competitor data first, or make changes to the import template, click OK and the data will be downloaded, but you will be returned to the main import screen where you can make any changes you wish to make.

Further information is in the help file.

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Bib Exchange Kiosk

We have released a Bib Exchange Kiosk to help races facilitate onsite person-to-person transfers at a race expo. The kiosk bib exchange allows race volunteers to search for and initiate a registration transfer quickly without needing participants to go to their email to get a transfer link. This is useful when race transfers are turned off in participant management, but races still want to allow person-to-person transfers at pre-race packet pick-up.

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Here are the steps to enable and use the Bib Exchange Kiosk:

  1. Go to Participants>>Participant Management>>Bib Exchange
  2. Choose Enable Kiosk Transfers
  3. Enter a kiosk password (Volunteers will need to know and enter the kiosk password for each transfer)
  4. Enter a transfer fee
  5. Set the transfer options
  6. Use the separate kiosk link for the bib exchange kiosk

 

Once kiosk transfers are enabled, there will be a separate user interface for the race volunteers to access:

  1. Type in kiosk password and search for the original participants transfer:Untitled1
  2. Select the registration to transferUntitled2
  3. There are two types of transfers to choose from
    1. Refund: The original runner will receive a refund of their registration fee, less any refund processing fees. With this option, the new runner will pay the current price of the registration plus the transfer fee. (Note, this option is only available if the original registration was completed online and there is a registration fee associated with the registration)
    2. Gift: The original runner will not receive a refund of their entry fee and the new runner does NO pay the event entry fee. If a transfer fee is entered in the bib exchange kiosk transfer settings, the new runner will be prompted to pay that fee before completing the gift transfer
  4. Enter the new runner’s contact information and any necessary notes, then confirm the transferUntitled3
  5. The system takes the runner into expo mode, so they can complete their full registration information, sign the race waiver, and answer any race questions.Untitled4
  6. Once the registration and payment are complete, a NEXT REGISTRANT button appears on the confirmation page. When selected, the system will take you back to the beginning of the bib exchange kiosk.

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Transfer Settings:

  • When transferring, keep the same bib number and chip numbers for the new registrant – If this option is selected and bib numbers are assigned in the system, the new runner will automatically be assigned the original person’s bib number. This is helpful for timers using the RunSignUp timing integration, old runner will be removed and the new runner will automatically update with the same bib number.
  • When transferring, allow the new registrant to register for any event even if normal registration is closed (up to the date that transfer requests close) – If this option is selected, the new runner will have the option to register for any event, regardless of what the original runner was registered for.

 

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View Races Options

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.07.32 PM.pngWe have added a new settings option (the little rotating gear next to the Menu in the upper left of your Race Director Dashboard) for race directors and partners who manage more than one race.

The new option allows you to select which races you see in the “My Other Races” on the right of the top of your race director dashboard.

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The options are:

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This is useful for partners who want quick access to flip between races they commonly access.

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