How to Build Your Own Race Map!

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To have a race loaded into RaceJoy, races need to submit an electronic course map in GPX or KML format so that RaceJoy’s system can create an interactive race course for the event. These maps are then used to track race participants and to provide GPS Progress Alerts at every mile. The alerts sent are based upon the map you provide. So, map accuracy is essential for a positive user experience for your race.

An accurate course map is a must for a positive experience for your race.

Each race is different and, up until now, many have used PDF files to share their maps with others. Building and customizing your map is easy and below is some help to get your race loaded with the most accurate course map possible.

Existing Map Tool

First, whatever map building tool you are using, you can keep using it! You will simply need to convert the file to GPX or KML to load into RaceJoy.  If you are using a map building tool like MapMyRun, RunningAHEAD, AllTrails or MapoMeter, you can still use it to import, maintain and customize your RaceJoy course map. If you use Google Earth or Google Maps, these will also directly produce the KML file RaceJoy needs. Follow the simple instructions outlined in the videos below to help you load your map according to the format you currently use.

No Map Tool

If you aren’t currently using any map building tools, no worries! There are great, free tools for you to use. Google Earth is a free, downloadable application you can use on any computer and then upload into your RaceJoy dashboard to customize. Or you can use RaceJoy’s map builder. You can also take advantage of tools like MapMyRun by walking, running, or biking the official race course and then importing your new file. The videos below can guide you on how to build your map using any of the tools you might choose.

Customizing your map:

You will want to customize your map by adding points along the course such as mile markers, water stops, aid stations, entertainment and so on. Some map building tools offer this ability, but you can choose to use RaceJoy’s map editor to customize your map. The videos also show you how to place your course’s mile markers according to your course certification document or the most accurate mile readings based on GPS.

Maintaining your map:

We know that courses change frequently. However, maintaining your map to be as accurate as possible is very important to ensure a positive user experience at your race. Below are a couple of options to maintain your course map:

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  1. Maintain with RaceJoy’s editor :
    1. If you don’t currently use a map building tool, you can maintain the map using RaceJoy’s Map Builder to make any changes to the course.
  1. Maintain in your current tool(s) and reimport the path:
    1. If you are already using a map building tool for other purposes, like for your website, you can update the course in your map building tool and just reload the map to the RaceJoy dashboard.

Helpful Videos

You can find these helpful how-to map building videos when setting up your race with RaceJoy.

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The videos are between 5 and 12 minutes long and cover topics like how to import your electronic course map, how to maintain your course map, and how to build a map using RaceJoy’s Map Builder or with tools like Google Earth. 

Accuracy is crucial! Many features in RaceJoy, like the GPS-based progress alerts at every mile, are dependent on the accuracy of your course maps. Participants and spectators receive progress alerts with information like current mile, pace and estimated finish time based on the mile markers on your course maps. Any changes in your course should be reflected in your RaceJoy course map to provide your participants and spectators with the best race day experience possible. Also, please make sure to do a thorough review of the map loaded into RaceJoy prior to race day.

If you have any questions about how to build your own map, please contact us at info@racejoy.com.

Together we are changing the race experience!

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Author: RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, RunSignUp Go for Race Day, RunSignUp RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Blacklight Run, Bubble Run, Night Nation, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2015, over 10,000 races used the system to register more than 2.7 million participants. In 2016 over 14,000 races will use the system to process over 4.3 million paid registrations. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit www.RunSignUp.com.

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