40 Years of Results

The Vestal XX recently posted over 40 years of results for their 20KM race.  They had the original data and were able to upload all of it to RunSignUp Results for free.  The result is great looking results, simple searching, Age Ranking, etc.

The 1978 results hold special meaning to me – I was in them!

It was a memorable race.  I was a 9:40 2 miler in high school, and Chip Boehm was a year ahead of me and was New York State Champ in XC and the 2 Mile – he was VERY good and I was kind of average in high school.  So he was my hero from afar.  This race was in the summer after my junior year and his senior year in college (he ran for Tennessee, I ran at Bucknell).  We both just kind of hopped in the race.

Chip Boehm beating Bob Bickel to the line in 1978.
Chip Boehm beating Bob Bickel to the line in 1978.

It was almost like an out and back except on two different roads.  On the way out we ran about 33:30 and it was pretty flat and we were with 2 other guys.  At the 10K point Chip and I had the same idea on a steep hill to just break away.  We get to the top of the hill and kind of look at each other and the race was on.  VERY hilly second half of the race and we ran about 31:30.  I remember trying to break him on corners (I always liked to accelerate on corners and try to break away) and he just could not be shaken.  We came onto the track for the finish and with the final 50 meters I still remember my legs just gave away and turned to rubber.  He separated by a couple of feet.  I lost but somehow it was OK since it was to my former hero.

Sorry for the Slow Response Time!

We had deployed an update last night which apparently affected one of our web servers.  So for the past 12 hours some of our users (half) experienced slow response times (>2 seconds).  We think all transactions were complete if people had patience.

The ironic part is that this is one of the steps we are taking over the next month or two to improve the scalability of our site so it can handle 50,000 registrations in 10 minutes with everyone happy.

Also note that Amazon will be doing a rolling database upgrade the week of November 5. We are set up with redundancy in multiple zones so there should be no impact on RunSignUp users.  If there is, the impact will be for 3 minutes.  We will monitor and report as part of our efforts to be transparent on availability of our service.

October Race Director Newsletter

A Real Life Bib Transfer & Refunds Example

One of our race users just ended their open bib transfer and refund period, and we thought the experience might be interesting to other races considering this option.  The race opened in June and sold out (4,250 runners) in early September.  They enabled a Wait List, which had 540 entries reserving 651 spots (a runner can sign up to reserve more than one spot).  They set the end of the Refund and Bib Transfer capability for 4 weeks before the race.

There were 26 people who took advantage of the free event transfer – all moving from the 10K to the 2 Mile.  They had 116 people who requested and received refunds.  They were charged a $5 fee for this service.  When refunds were granted, runners on the waiting list were automatically notified and given two days to register, otherwise they were disqualified and the next person on the wait list was invited to register.

The one thing that was learned is that there were a number of last minute refunds.  Since a person on the wait list was notified only when refunds were issued, not all spots were filled on the same day that registration ended – only 71 of those 116 refund spots were filled.  If Refunds had ended perhaps a week earlier those remaining spots would have been filled.

On the bib transfer side, there were 57 bib transfers.  Of those 36 were “gifted” from one runner to another, meaning the first runner paid the race fee.  In this case there was no additional fee.  The other 21 transferred the bib to the new runner and the new runner paid the race fee and the original runner was given a partial refund as above (less a $5 fee set by the race plus a $2.50 processing fee from RunSignUp).

The race has gotten great reviews for being runner friendly.  They shut down transfers about 4 weeks before the race so they have plenty of time to prepare bibs.  With the automation that systems like RunSignUp bring, perhaps it is time to evaluate your refund and bib transfer policies.  You can see how RunSignUp handles these functions in our videos:

Notifications

You have probaby seen how some of the big races let friends and family sign up to get notifications about a runner’s progress.  With the recent addition of Result Notification, this is now available to any race – for free!  Notifications are sent via email or TXT to anyone who wishes to get a notification.  We do limit the number of TXT notifications to 10 per runner.  If your race wants to do splits notifications or expects more than 60 notifications per minute, please contact us to properly configure this.

This Month’s Popular Race Director Blogs

You can also see the webinar replay with Bob talking about RunSignUp Payment Processing on the Bill.com website.

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

May all your races run well!

– Bob Bickel, Jordan Desilets & the RunSignUp Team

RunScore Results Integration

RunScore is our first partner who has taken full advantage of the RunSignUp Open API to make life simple for timers and race directors who want to get results posted FAST!

Alan Jones of RunScore did the integration. It goes full circle.  From within the RunScore system, you can click a couple of buttons and download participants from RunSignUp.  You can add participants in RunScore (like many timers do on race day), and easily upload them to RunSignUp as well.  Once results start to roll in, it is easy to click a utility that uploads and updates all race information.  If edits are made in RunScore, those are reflected in RunSignUp.  This is supported in RunScore Version 7.4.5.4 Level 2012.10.18.  (Support for RunSignUp for: (1) Download of registrations, (2) upload of registrations and correcting of registrations on RunScore and having them appear right away on the RunSignUp site, and (3) Upload of results. Once uploaded, you can click on a link in Tools on RunScore and see the results on the site.)

Alan has done this video to show how easy it is.  As he says “This is the slick part” – starting around 4:35 into the video.  But you should watch the earlier part too…

This video shows how Splits work:

And of course the results are available in that beautiful new format with Google-style searching, easy drag and drop layout and customizable headings.  Here is another video that shows what a user sees.

Results Notifications

Now that RunSignUp has all these cool Results Posting and Results Viewing options, we have added Notifications!

Race Directors need to enable “Find A Runner” and “Results Notifications” under the Customize Tab.  Then whenever results are posted, whomever signs up for notification will get that notification via either email or cell phone.  This makes it easy for a runner, their family and friends to get notifications as soon as they are posted online.  Just pick the runner from the “Find A Runner” page (image below), and the notification pop-up will appear (above).  Enter your email and/or cell phone.  And of course your information is totally private and will NEVER be used for spam!

This service is free for final time results.  We also offer notifications for Splits – for example if notifications should be sent at each mile point for a runner for an additional modest charge.  Please refer to our pricing page for more information.

Mobile Timing How-To Videos

We now have videos to help you use our iPhone Mobile Timer application. See more about the Timer Application, or view the open source code! This is perfect for timing small races and providing real time results to runners – even with txt notifications. Pretty cool.  (And a special thanks to Billy Connolly, our iPhone developer who created this awesome mobile app)

Overview:

Timer:

Chute:

Results for Runners (this is what runners will see):

Paying Our Customers

We take our fiduciary responsibility seriously here at RunSignUp.  We’ve done a number of upgrades this year that help our customers understand exact details about how we pay them and the ability to drill down to the transaction level on what for.  This was always one of my big complaints when I used Active.com as a race director.  I’m sure they’ve improved since then, but I could never figure out when or why we were getting checks.

I was invited by our partner Bill.com to do a webinar on how we are using their system to automate and improve the way we pay our customers.  Feel free to register for the session being held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 2Pm Eastern.  I’ll describe how our weekly process works in detail to make sure we pay every race director owed over $200, or who’s race has completed.  Bill.com has helped us automate this process and makes sure we keep our costs low so processing fees can be minimized for runners.