Technology Change Rates

I attended a talk by Thomas Friedman last night. He showed a slide that relates very much to what we do here at RunSignUp:

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His point was more global – that technology is changing faster than human’s ability to keep up with the change. For example at one point in the US, 98% of the population was agrarian, and it is now 2%. That change took many, many years, allowing humans to make the adjustments. Now, there is not the luxury of time – to be successful you must harness technology and leverage its power.

He pointed out 2007 as a key year that was the initial start of this next wave. That was the year the iPhone came out and Amazon became really serious about the AWS Cloud (who could have imagined a website like RunSignUp that had a half a million page views from cell phones on Thanksgiving day 10 years ago?). This democratization of technology brought a huge shift that allows many, many downstream technology enhancements that simply were not possible before. Many people are having trouble with this pace of change.

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, RunSignUp is on the right side of technology. We are bringing out new technology that races can use for free or very inexpensively. Race Directors who are stuck in the past will get passed by with advances like GPS tracking with phones, Photos, marketing and promotional tools. And much like Amazon’s success with AWS, the key to our strategy is the democratization of technology for races – even little 5K’s can have the types of tools that used to be available only to races like New York or Boston.

As we continue to pour out technology, we want to make sure you can take advantage of it. This is the reason for our extensive How To’s, our Case Studies, Customer Videos, the RunSignUp Symposium, our Webinar Series, and of course our customer support and account management teams. But as Thomas pointed out, the new world driven by technology only works well for the humans who adapt to it and spend the time to learn about how to make the technology part of their lives, businesses – and races.

Runners Blasted Off with RaceJoy at the Space Coast Marathon!

49,000 Progress Alerts   –   93% Usage   –   6,500 Cheers   –   1,200 Phones Tracked

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At the 45th anniversary of the Space Coast Marathon & Half Marathon participants and their supporting friends and family were treated to an out-of-this-world experience with RaceJoy’s interactive race day features. Courtesy of Thales Group, those who downloaded the mobile app had access to RaceJoy’s features for free. With a 93% usage rate (includes spectators and is based upon finishers), 49,000 progress alerts, 6,500 cheers and close to 1,200 phones tracked participants and their friends and family made the most out of RaceJoy on race day!

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The Space Coast Marathon organizers, Running Zone, were among the first to embrace RaceJoy and have been offering the experience at this race to its participants since 2013! Key features participants and supporting friends and family were treated to included:

  • Real-time, live phone tracking – tracking of up to 50 participants on a live map view of the official course.
  • Progress alerts – alerts sent to participants and spectators as they completed the course with information like pace and estimated finish time.
  • Send-a-Cheer – fun pre-recorded or personalized Text-to-Cheer messages sent in audio format.
  • Immediate, official race results – within moments of crossing the finish line, scored results were available in RaceJoy that included individual, age group and overall stats.
  • And so much more!
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49,000 Progress Alerts Sent on Race Day!

Another unique feature of RaceJoy allows participants to post their progress on social media (Facebook and Twitter). Participants can select to post all their stat information for each milestone, just the start and finish, or the alerts without time. Close to 1,000 progress alerts were posted to social media on race day!

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The Space Coast Marathon Weekend offers 26.2- and 13.1-mile options. The event attracts many repeat runners and the half marathon distance sells out every year. Race organizers do a lot to make sure their runners have a high quality experience, where every aspect of the race is thought through and provided for. From amenities like great food for everyone (not just the participants, which makes for a nice family experience) to the great race swag (like the Space Coast Marathon towels) to the advanced race day technology with RaceJoy.

If you’ve yet to participate in this event, the Space Coast Marathon is a bucket list race you should definitely add to your list!

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RaceJoy creators, James and Shelly Harris, landed at the Space Coast Marathon Weekend on Saturday for the expo and made their appearance at the RaceJoy booth on race day.

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We always love coming out to the race sites to meet RaceJoy fans and to cheer on the participants! And we’re not the only ones – almost 6,500 cheers were sent in RaceJoy by supporting family and friends to motivate runners!

While at the race site, we also enjoy hearing stories about what brought them to run and the challenges they have overcome. Many of the people we saw were some of the first to ever use RaceJoy.

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Congratulations finishers of the Space Coast Marathon weekend! A special thank you to Thales Group and Running Zone for including RaceJoy at this year’s event.

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If you’d like to add RaceJoy as part of the race experience for your participants and spectators, you can enable in a few simple steps and at an affordable price by visiting RaceJoy’s Website or your RunSignUp race dashboard.

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Photo Upload Optimization

rdgo_photosWe have released an optimization to photo uploads to make sure that a photo is only uploaded once. This solves the situation of where a batch was uploaded and maybe some did not complete, or there were photos added and it was just easier to pick a folder and upload the whole thing.

This is now automatically performed on the race photo location level.

This feature is automatically performed on modern browsers that support IndexedDB and localStorage, such as Google Chrome.

A back-up of the metadata is also made every 15 minutes, so if someone comes back the next day on another computer, it will download the meta-data for the race, and use that to determine if the photos being uploaded should be processed.

This is done locally to avoid unnecessary time and bandwidth uploading photos that are not needed.

If someone uploads 1,000 photos, and 5 fail, they can try again by uploading the same 1,000, but only 5 will be uploaded and processed.

1,000 Registrations per Minute

Bayshore Marathon opened this morning and along with other traffic put a load of 1,000 registrations per minute on our system.

Response time was 2.6 seconds with peak loads of over 6,000 pages per second.

Registration opened at 9:00 and there were 861 people signed up within 2 minutes – meaning they breezed thru the registration process.

Here are some pretty graphs below. We did not expand the system because we wanted to see what the behavior of the default config is under this load and what areas we should expand when we do our annual infrastructure refresh in February.

Browser Response Time:

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3 NGINX Servers (m4.large):

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4 Web Servers (c4.2Xlarge) (Note: we will be expanding these in February)

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Primary Database (r3.2xlarge), Backup, Shards (r3.large): (Note: the main database has plenty of capacity – need to enlarge or break up the shard in February when we do our annual refresh).

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