February Race Director Newsletter

Timer CollaborationHow to work with your Timer

Ask any race director, and they will say the most important person they work with is their timer. Working together with your timer, you can enhance the experience for the runners in your race. There are several ideas that we have seen race directors and timers implement with RunSignUp recently:

Participant Sharing – Race directors can now allow their timer to have access to participant information. If the timer uses RunScore or Race Director, they can download participants with the click of a button. They can even upload race day participants and changes. This keeps race directors and timers in sync.

Results Posting – Race directors can also allow their timers to post results on RunSignUp. Again, most timers use either Race Director or RunScore for their timing software. These systems can easily upload results for easy search and display.

Results Notifications – If timers have Internet access at the race, they can continually post results online. Coupled with Notification support, runners can get a TXT or EMail of their results sent directly to them as soon as they are posted.

iPad KioskKiosks – Through proper planning with your timer, you can implement kiosks that allow both registration and results searching. And you can extend this to enabling every runner’s smartphone to do race day registration and result searching with things like QR codes on bibs.

Remember, the timer-race director partnership can help make your race special!

RunSignUp First Tuesday Webinar

This month we will be reviewing ideas for How to work with your Timer. We will also open the floor to questions and try to answer all of them!

See our last webinar by clicking here.  And join us on our next First Tuesday Webinar on January 8 at 7PM Eastern. Click here to register!

This Month’s Popular Race Director Blogs

Remember, you can stay current with all our news and suggestions at our Facebook Page or our Blog.

Keeping Ahead of Growth

GrowthWe are growing very fast thanks to all of the great word of mouth we are receiving from race directors, timers and clubs that use us.

Our challenge is to make sure we can handle the growth.  Fortunately we have been involved with several companies in the past and we’ve been paying attention to several key areas:

  • Stable Product.  We’ve worked very hard to make sure we have a solid web service.  While we do have occasional bugs, we fix them quickly.  More importantly, we have done lots of testing and use an incremental approach to continually get better.
  • Repeatable Product.  We do not do custom solutions.  If a customer needs a feature and we can fit it in our schedule, then we build it into the service for general use.  We’re doing this right now for Corporate Teams – so large Corporate Team races will be able to use us in lots of different ways, but all as part of the standard offering.
  • Ease of Use.  We get a dozen + or so new races every day on our site.  While we still have much higher aspirations for ease of use, we find it gratifying how few support emails and calls we get.  We are being successful in creating a self-service platform that people can easily use.
  • Videos.  We have invested a lot in videos for training.
  • Customer Service.  We get lots of rave reviews because of our availability to help customers.  We will continue to try to make sure we have the prompt, enthusiastic and educated staff to serve you!

Thanks to everyone for helping us grow.  And of course for all the feedback and help.  We intend to keep up with the rising demand and provide a great web service for the running community.

Geek Time – Open API and uploading Divisions and Awards winners

This will interest very few people in terms of the technical details, but it is another example of how software providers can use the Open API.  We are currently working with a results software company and they want to upload Division Winners and Awards.  A common (but complex) example is that the overall Male and Female winners are listed in a Division and they are removed from their Age Group.

At the bottom of this blog is the JSON you would post to https://runsignup.com/API/race/:race_id/divisions/divisions/POST to create the divisions.  This is set up to automatically put people into divisions when you post results.

You can remove the “auto_selection_criteria” key if you want to manually post division placements.  For that, you would use https://runsignup.com/API/race/:race_id/results/manual-divisions-placements/POST and follow the JSON on that page.

Here is the example JSON:

{
"overall_division": {
"awards_for_top_num": 0
},
"race_divisions": [
{
"division_name": "Top Male",
"division_short_name": "Top Male",
"show_top_num": 1,
"allow_winner_of_higher_priority": "F",
"auto_selection_criteria": {
"gender": "M"
}
},
{
"division_name": "Top Female",
"division_short_name": "Top Female",
"show_top_num": 1,
"allow_winner_of_higher_priority": "F",
"auto_selection_criteria": {
"gender": "F"
}
},
{
"division_name": "Male 10 and Under",
"division_short_name": "M0010",
"show_top_num": 3,
"allow_winner_of_higher_priority": "F",
"auto_selection_criteria": {
"min_age": null,
"max_age": 10,
"gender": "M"
}
},
{
"division_name": "Female 10 and Under",
"division_short_name": "F0010",
"show_top_num": 3,
"allow_winner_of_higher_priority": "F",
"auto_selection_criteria": {
"min_age": null,
"max_age": 10,
"gender": "F"
}
},
{
"division_name": "Male 11-15",
"division_short_name": "M1115",
"show_top_num": 3,
"allow_winner_of_higher_priority": "F",
"auto_selection_criteria": {
"min_age": 11,
"max_age": 15,
"gender": "M"
}
}
]
}

Race List for Running Stores and Clubs

Race ListAll running stores and clubs would love to have a list of races on their website.  And make it easy for race directors to post races and results.  RunSignUp’s Affiliate program is the perfect way to do this.

With a single line of code on your website, you can have a list of all the races on RunSignUp as well as on Active.com (they allowed us to sign up as an Affiliate of their race list, which was very nice) within a radius of a zip code.

After joining the Affiliate Program, you have access to a Race Widget Builder.  You have lots of options for chose from in terms of fonts, colors, size, what information appears, etc.  Watch this video for more information!

Confirmation Page Customization – Next Step

We’ve added a cool new customization for your race registration confirmation page – the ability to specify a “Next Step” with a custom button.

Confirmation Next StepThis is a nice feature to make it easy for your runners to get directed to your website.  One of our Partners, IR4C, is an innovative way to enable Fundraising.  This is an easy way to encourage runners to go to their website for additional fundraising opportunities after they have registered for a race.

Configuration is simple and flexible.  Access it thru the Customize Tab and Misc Settings Sub-Tab under your race:

Confirmation Next Step

 

RunSignUp Achieves Record Performance for Runner Registration and Results

RunSignUp completes Scalability Project.  Demonstrates registering 50,000 runners in 7 Minutes and 120,000 Results Lookups per Minute.  Creates new offering for Large Races.

Moorestown, NJ – January 21, 2013 – RunSignUp, the leading innovator of online tools for Races and Running Clubs, today announced record performance for registration and result searches at the Chronotrack Conference in St. Petersburg, FL.  By demonstrating the ability to register 50,000 runners in 7 minutes and handle over 120,000 result requests per minute, RunSignUp is now the ideal high performance Cloud Service for large races.

RunSignUp founder, Bob Bickel, stated “our project was inspired by a race this past spring where we faced frustrations in trying to register ourselves (on a different registration system).  Users were subjected to timeouts, no response and uncertainty as the system took over 5 hours to process 30,000 registrations.  We also witnessed similar issues looking up results for many large races.  Given our technology expertise and Cloud Architecture, we decided to solve this difficult problem.”

The scalability project took most of 2012 to complete.  In addition to setting records for large races, the RunSignUp service has now benchmarked to be twice as fast as Active.com.  In addition, major Availability advances have been instituted such as redundant servers and advanced monitoring in multiple data centers to help assure race directors of the stability of the service for their runners.

The test processed over 64,000 web pages per minute.  Well over 400,000 runners could be registered in an hour.  The average wait time for the confirmation page was 10.5 seconds.  For other pages, the average wait time was 1.1 seconds, with a range of 1.6 seconds for the first Race Info page and a low of 0.84 seconds for the donation page.  The maximum wait time for a page to respond was 25 seconds for the confirmation page, and 26 seconds for the Race Info page.  The average runner took 5 minutes and 2 seconds to register – completing all 9 pages from getting Race Info to getting a Confirmation.

In a test of Results searching, over 120,000 requests were processed per minute with an average page display time of 0.5 seconds.

Large Race Offering
RunSignUp is now offering this scalability as an enhanced service for large races.  There is a test mode offering (testing RunSignUp as well as other competitive services such as Active.com), for opening of registration and for posting results.

More Information:
Scalability Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RWxiJvQYmM
Scalability Project Overview – https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/scalability-update/
Detailed Technical Results – https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/50000-registered-users-in-7-minutes/
RunSignUp Twice the speed of Active.com Benchmark – https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/runsignup-twice-as-fast-as-active-com/
New Relic Monitoring – https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/monitoring-runsignup/
RunSignUp Availability 99.84% for 2012 – https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/2012-availability-report/

About RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for Races and Running Clubs.  Services include RunSignUp for race registration, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RunSignUp Sites for creating free websites for any running related organization.  Over 1,000 race directors, timers, and running club officers use these services today.  Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions like race registration or club membership renewals.  RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community.