We have recently done a number of upgrades to our infrastructure to try to improve our service. As discussed in an earlier blog, we are trying to be transparent on how we operate.
One of the biggest things that worries us about providing our service is what happens if it goes down when our customers need us. Runners are now signing up on our site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Race Directors are adding races, making changes, getting Participant Reports all of the time. You are putting your trust in us to be there when you need us.
As we have talked about in the past, we are built on the largest and most advanced Cloud infrastructure available – Amazon Web Services. We recently upgraded our database to use the Amazon RDS Multi-zone configuration. This basically keeps an exact, up-to-date copy of our database in a separate Amazon data center. This means if our main database goes down for any reason, there is a complete and functioning backup that should allow continuous operation of our service.
We did this upgrade earlier this week. We are happy to report that the process took less than 8 minutes, and there was ZERO DOWNTIME for our overall service. Not a single runner signing up for a race was affected, and there were ZERO ERRORS reported in our New Relic monitoring system.
We have a number of design elements meant to try to eliminate single points of failure. See the RunSignUp Infrastructure for a diagram or how we configure multiple web server and load balancers in multiple data centers.
We can’t promise we will be always available, but it is safe to say that we have the most redundant system of any registration company you can chose to use. We will keep working hard to make sure we keep improving.
Are you interested in giving your results a fresher look? Do you wonder why your runners can’t search them like you are used to with Google? Wouldn’t it be nice to have race info, signup, confirmation, donations and results all available in an easy single place for your runners to access?
This is something that has always bothered us as race directors and runners. Take a look at this example of the new RunSignUp Results. There are a bunch of cool features we have brought to results display.
- Beautiful, easy to read layout and font.
- Sort on any column by clicking on it.
- Google-like search – if you want to look for “Jim”, or bib “937” just type it in.
- Drag and drop Columns to make it look like you want.
- Auto-calculated Age-based grading and pace.
We have made it very easy to upload full results to RunSignUp. We are compatible with Race Director or RunScore native CSV output formats. This also works with other custom developed systems that output a similar format. You can either ask your timer for the file and upload it, or you can now give access to your timer to download participants and upload results. This greatly enhances the hand-off between race directors and timers and saves everyone time and aggravation!
Timers also now have the ability to easily download Participant information directly to Race Director or RunScore.
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From the beginning, we have been focused on trying to make it easier for race directors and timers to work together. Recently we have made some major progress in this area by making it easy for timers to download participant information and upload results.
One of the issues is how to handle security. In some cases, race directors have no problem giving their timers full access to their races on RunSignUp. We have also always had the ability to let certain email addresses get access to certain participant information so a timer could download the list of participants.
We have recently enhanced this by allowing a race director to specify a timer. Once the timer registers, they have access to all of the participant and results related functionality for that race. Not only can they download participant lists and post results, they can also take advantage of features like setting up divisions and age groups, assigning bibs and printing out bib labels, and customizing the look of the results on the webpage – picking which columns to display and in what order.
If you have the bib assignments already done in RunSignUp, you can quickly upload a file with just bib numbers and times. RunSignUp will match the bibs and give a great looking results display.
A race director/timer used the Agee Timing system this past weekend and here is how easy it is for them to upload and display results in this video below:
We have seen several races beginning to use Groupon or other similar coupon sites to attract runners. Runners will buy a Groupon and be issued a unique coupon code.
RunSignUp now has a simple way to import those coupon codes quickly and easily. The video below shows you how to import the codes. Once they are in, runners can register on RunSignUp and enter the coupon on the checkout page to get a discount (typically 100% since they are paying Groupon).
We are announcing two basic ways to post Results to RunSignUp today:
- Link to a Webpage. This makes it easy to put all of the results from previous years if you can not get access to the raw results files.
- Upload Native Timer Results. Upload the native results files from Race Director, RunScore or even custom timing systems into RunSignUp for a set of beautiful Results webpages.
This video shows an overview on how to upload your results. Note these features are still changing as we receive feedback. A full How To video will soon be available on our website.
We are continuing to our roll out our Results capability in RunSignUp! We are really excited today because we are giving race directors a major new capability to upload results and let runners view them.
These results can be viewed live at https://runsignup.com/race/results/?raceId=21&eventId=1506. There are a bunch of features above and beyond what you are used to seeing with results!
- Good Looking. Welcome to the 21st century! No more courier font! Make your race look more professional.
- More Information. Because we are importing native data from a timer into our database we can do real things like calculate age group ranking and pace.
- Sortable Columns. Click on a column and sort by it.
- Simple Search. Enter anything – first name, last name, city, etc. We do auto-complete, or general search.
- Advanced Search. Build your own custom search string – like all the Mike’s in Moorestown. Or click on “Advanced Search” for more capabilities.
- Fast! We use some cool Ajax technology to download the result set to you so searching and sorting is literally instantaneous.
We also give you an “old school” look to results as well. This is useful for Google being able to pick up the page for searching. Here’s a quick video overview: