RaceJoy Goes Extreme in Alaska!

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This past weekend the inaugural Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon took place and was the first race in Alaska to provide RaceJoy’s advanced tracking and cheers. Offering one of the most challenging and breathtaking extreme triathlons in North America, this new race experience is sure to be on the top of serious athletes’ bucket lists.

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Alaskaman caps the event at 315 participants and takes athletes on an epic journey through the cold, crisp and clean waters of Resurrection Bay, along the beautifully scenic and mountainous passages of the Seward Highway, and up the extreme trails of Mount Alyeska over one of the hardest run courses in the sport. The swim-bike-run course length is approximately 144 miles in length with a total gain of 10,100 feet between the bike and run courses. Given such a challenging course, not all complete the tough terrain. There was a total of 153 finishers who fully earned their finishing medal!

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Quickly becoming known as one of the most challenging one-day endurance triathlon events in North America, safety was a key concern for race organizers. The Alaskaman required each participant to have their own support crew and to use RaceJoy so race organizers could use RaceJoy’s monitoring system to live track athletes on the course. Participants are also required to have an escort during the last seven miles of the run. Clearly, this is not your average race!

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More than 200 participants used RaceJoy’s live tracking and 2,200 spectators tracked participants and sent 3,500+ cheers through the app to offer encouragement and support. This 11 spectators per participant ratio is a record for RaceJoy where typically participants have about two people supporting them in RaceJoy.  This unique and significant achievement drew many family and friends to share in the experience and cheer on their athletes

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 Participants received audio progress updates every five miles that included information like pace, elapsed time and estimated finish time. The supporting family and friends received these as in-app notifications. RaceJoy issued 81,080 progress alerts at the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon – for its first year, that is an extreme amount of progress alerts!

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Much like the live-tracking in the app, RaceJoy’s monitoring system provides race organizers with an at-a-glance view of participants as they move along the course. The monitoring system also alerts the race organizers if anyone has gone off-course during the bike or run portions of the triathlon. They were also able to see how many participants had crossed specific milestones along the course and then drill into individual participants to see their performance information. Organizers could send instant audio messages through RaceJoy to individual participants, if needed.

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Prior to race day, race organizers did an excellent job of communicating and educating the athletes about RaceJoy so that participants could make full use of RaceJoy’s features, including the need to use a portable battery as a backup. As a safety precaution RaceJoy was listed on the Alaskaman website as a mandatory piece of equipment on both the bike and run portions of the course.

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In the weeks leading up to the race, the race organizers also posted to social media about the use of RaceJoy, encouraging participants to gain familiarity with the app before the night prior to the race. The organizers themselves did tests on the course using AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to gauge cellular coverage on the course, and posted a Cellular Coverage Map to notify participants and spectators.

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The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon race management team is clearly dedicated to creating a very unique challenge for athletes on an amazingly beautiful, but tough course. Thank you for including RaceJoy in your inaugural year! And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers!

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Race Organizers

If you’re interested in enabling your event for RaceJoy, visit our website or your RunSignUp dashboard to learn more or request a demo at info@racejoy.com. Please note we require a minimum two-week lead time before the race date and an electronic version of the course map (KML/GPX format preferred).

RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos Platform Goes Mobile with RaceJoy!

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RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos platform is now being delivered in RaceJoy’s race day mobile app. Participants can now have quick access to their race day photos in addition to RaceJoy’s live tracking and cheer sending.

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A free and open platform, RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos enables race organizers, photographers or timers with the ability to easily manage their race day photos. Uploaded photos are automatically tagged using Google Vision through participant identifiers like BIB tags or names.

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Photos can be manually tagged for those that aren’t captured by the automated detection. Users can then look up photos based on a specific location on the course like the start, finish, or a specific milestone.

RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos also enables races to place a sponsor or race logo on every picture. With photos receiving six times more views than race day results, this provides a significant opportunity for impressions and greatly enhances sponsor value.

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Quick Photo Access in RaceJoy 

Those races that use RaceJoy’s live tracking can now deliver their race day photos through RunSignUp’s photo platform. Photos are automatically paired with the participant’s profile in RaceJoy based on their bib tag number or name. When race day photos are ready, a photo banner ad appears in RaceJoy to let them know their photos are ready. The participant simply clicks on the banner to instantly see their personal tagged photos.

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RaceJoy’s integration with the photo platform is as instantaneous as the race, timer or photographer chooses. The tagged photos are immediately available in RaceJoy once they are uploaded to RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos engine.

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Photo banner ads also appear in the Results section of RaceJoy for those events delivering RunSignUp RaceDay Results through the app. One of the key features of RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos platform is the ability to automatically sync with results data, which generates “near time” tagging of the photos.

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This addition of race day photos is yet another way in which RaceJoy is helping events to change the race experience by delivering real time race day services like tracking, progress updates, race news and results. If you’re interested in learning more about the app, check out the RaceJoy Website or contact info@racejoy.com. For more about RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos Platform, click here.

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May Brings New Usage Records for RaceJoy!

Part One!

Record Usage over One Race Weekend and One Race

We are seeing record RaceJoy usage on multiple fronts in this popular running month of May! This is a three part series demonstrating the full adoption of RaceJoy’s innovative race day technology.

First up is the record for overall usage over a single race weekend and at one race in particular. This involves a massive amount of data flowing instantaneously from RaceJoy, including 342,500+ progress alerts being issued to participants and those tracking them. And that’s not all…

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May 6-7 Race Weekend Records:

RaceJoy Records: Highest Usage, Most Progress Alerts, Most Cheers over one weekend!

The first weekend in May brought record breaking RaceJoy usage at races across the country, including:

These races chose to offer RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking, progress alerts at every mile and cheer sending for participants and their supporting friends and family.

Highest Usage: 39,000+ Participant / Spectators using RaceJoy over the weekend.

Most Progress Alerts: 342,500 Progress Alerts Delivered instantly through RaceJoy.

Most Cheers: 55,000 Cheers Delivered to participants

It was great to see that RaceJoy’s system handled the load without issue and alerts and cheers were issued without delay. 

Record Breaking Usage at Single Race

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Picture3The Pittsburgh Marathon’s participants and spectators used RaceJoy to its fullest and now represents the winning race for most usage, progress alerts and cheers delivered at a single race:

Highest Usage: 12,800 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Most Progress Alerts: 157,500 Progress Alerts Delivered (Glass City Marathon previously held this record)

Most Cheers: 23,500 Cheers Delivered to Participants

 

 

“I ran my first Half Marathon today and used the RaceJoy app for the first time as well. I have to say it was one of the major reasons I made it through. Getting cheers from my friends and family was amazing. Also getting updates on my progress and pace was incredible. My family loved using it to track my progress. I really appreciate this app and how it got me through this huge accomplishment. Thanks!!” – Jessica K.

Runner Up!

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Picture5The Flying Pig Marathon who previously held the record for most cheers was very close on all usage points with:

Usage (so close!): 12,300 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Progress Alerts: 141,800 Progress alerts delivered

Cheers: 19,300 Cheers delivered

 

 

 

“What a fun way to race!!! I really enjoyed having all my family near and far in my “pocket” as I did the Flying Pig Half Marathon. It was so encouraging to see love from all over pouring in as I did my race. I would highly recommend it.” – Becks 

Special shout out to all the races who offered RaceJoy and gave your participants the opportunity to use RaceJoy and the ability to have their friends and family support them during the race. Those 48,000 cheers means a great deal to many of the runners and walkers and helps them to achieve what they set out to do at your event. Also, thank you to all of you who used RaceJoy and for posting your positive reviews to help encourage others to try RaceJoy.

Together, we are changing the race experience!

“I used this app for a half marathon race and enjoyed the mile splits, finish time estimates and (what was really enjoyable) the cheers from family and friends that were tracking me race. I hope other races will consider using this app!”  – Apple App User Review from H. Gaitonde

 

Stay tuned for the Next RaceJoy Record in May: Fastest runner to ever use RaceJoy…

 

First Race to Use RaceJoy’s New Relay Release!    

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RaceJoy’s newest relay release made its debut this last weekend at Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races.

RaceJoy’s latest release breaks new ground for relay teams and runners at this Connecticut race were able to be the first to experience it!

 

Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races

Cheshire Road Races offers a half marathon, a 2-person 13.1 relay and a 5k. A flat and fast scenic course that runs through Cheshire and Hamden Connecticut, the event takes place on significant stretches of the historic Farmington Canal Trail.

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The Cheshire Half Marathon & 5K Foundation was formed in 2012 as a nonprofit to help special needs children. At this year’s event, the signature charities supported by the Foundation were Abilities Without Boundaries, SARAH Foundation, Best Buddies of CT and Cheshire Lions Club – all of which are dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

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Photo from Event Facebook Page

RaceJoy for Relay Teams

RaceJoy’s newest release focuses on providing live tracking and progress updates for a relay team regardless of the number of people in the team.

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Plus, participants at Cheshire Road Races were able to take advantage of two ways to be tracked using RaceJoy:

  1. GPS tracking of each member’s actual location on the course using the live phone tracking feature.
  2. Team progress alerts as members pass over milestones throughout the course using the GPS-based progress alert feature. RaceJoy does this by virtually tying the team members’ phones together.

Individual participant tracking was also available and was fully embraced by runners with more than 4,500 progress alerts being issued!

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RaceJoy’s latest release offers a simplified way to bring real-time performance and split information to the team and those who are tracking them. The key of this release was to allow individuals to carry and use their own phone, versus using additional tracking hardware.

People simply use RaceJoy on race day by selecting the leg they are completing and clicking Start My Leg when they begin their leg. This begins the clock for that leg and automatically issues out progress alerts at every mile for running events and every five miles for cycling event.

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Thank you to race organizers of Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races for including us in this years’ events and congratulations finishers on a job well done!

RaceJoy continues to bring innovation to the race industry and is laser focused on the race day experience. This is just one of the many releases RaceJoy has planned focused on relay teams.

 

Race Organizers: If you’re interested in having your relay event loaded in RaceJoy, check out our website for more information or your RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time prior to the race start date and the official course map in GPX/KML format.

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Get the Scoop on the RaceJoy Tools Available for the Race Operations Team!

We’ve taken RaceJoy’s foundational live Race Day features that are focused on the participant experience and repurposed them to provide powerful information for race operations.

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The key features available for Race Organizers are:

Tracking:

  • In-app live GPS tracking of race operations team

Monitoring:

  • At-a-glance view of race operations and participants on the course
  • Performance stats at your finger tips
  • Off-Course Alerts
  • Participant Route Replay

Communications:

  • In-app audio messaging through Send-a-Cheer
  • Direct audio messaging to participants and race operations
  • Race News communications tool

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So how can some of these tools help you? Read below for a short synopsis and watch this video for detail on how to get the most out of RaceJoy’s innovative and interactive features for the race management team.

 

Live Tracking

Available during race hours, race organizers have the ability to use RaceJoy to track the race operations team – for example, the lead and tail vehicles, the race director and emergency personnel. You can do this through the app so you have the flexibility to freely move about on race day, while staying connected and informed.

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Monitoring

Another way to track the race operations team is through the monitoring system on your RaceJoy dashboard.  From this system, you can also track participants who are using RaceJoy. The Race Day Monitoring System provides an at-a-glance view of those using RaceJoy and the ability to instantly access performance information like pace and estimated finish time. You can also access global stats like how many people have passed certain milestones.

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Through the monitoring system, race organizers can also receive off-course alerts when a participant goes off course. This is helpful in understanding problem areas on your course for next year. Another feature of the monitoring system is the participant route replay. This is a valuable tool for verifying the path a person took and is often used as a backup when issues occur with bib tags not reading at the timing points along the course.

 

Communications

Through RaceJoy, race organizers have the ability to instantly communicate with race operations and with participants in a number of ways.  Race operations using RaceJoy can send instant audio messages through the Send-a-Cheer section of the app. By using text-to-cheer, you can send custom messages that will be played in audio format within seconds of sending.

Similar to the in-app audio messages, race organizers can also send individual audio messages to specific race operations personnel or to specific race participants through the monitoring system. You can also select more of a mass audio delivery such sending to the entire race operations team or to all those that are doing a specific course, like a marathon.

Race organizers also have a Race News System with RaceJoy, where important race news can be issued on a mass scale to anyone who enters the event in RaceJoy, including participants, spectators and race operations personnel. These are sent out as in-app notifications and appear like text messages. These alerts can be pre-scheduled or sent out instantly.

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If you’d like to know more information about how to use these tools, please Watch the video here.

Let us know if you have any questions about how you can get the most out of RaceJoy. We are happy to help! Send emails to info@racejoy.com.

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Lively Connections at Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness!

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This past weekend, race organizers of the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness offered a fully-connected race using RaceJoy –  not just for the participants and spectators, but for the race operations team as well.

This was the first time the Wrightsville Beach Marathon used RaceJoy and people fully embraced the new technology – close to 2,400 people used RaceJoy’s interactive race day features and more than 800 participants and operations personnel were tracked through their phones on race day!

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Even though some users had a little hesitation using RaceJoy for the first time, like Gary (below), the response was overwhelmingly positive!

This Saturday I ran the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. Leading up to the race, I was a little annoyed to hear that all tracking would be done with RaceJoy via smart phones. This annoyance came from the fact that I never run with a phone, just my GPS watch.  My wife convinced me to take my phone so that she could track me.

I honestly couldn’t have been happier after realizing what a great app this is! It wasn’t even until during the race that I realized. My friend kept saying “your phone is talking?” I had the volume down, so I turned it up and enjoyed the mileage updates.

But the key moment for me, was around mile 18-19. I was struggling. My running buddies had pushed on as they are faster than me and I was not in a good place. I didn’t even know that messages could be sent through the app, let alone be read out to you. At this low point in the race, a message was read out to me “Don’t quit Daddy!  I love you” from my 11-year old daughter, 30 seconds later another message “Go Daddy, Go!” From my 7-year old daughter Anja.

These messages brought a tear to my eyes.  But they also gave me to strength I needed at exactly the time I needed it!  I went on to finish my first marathon.

Thank you RaceJoy. – Gary D.

Thank you Gary for sharing your story! This is exactly why we created RaceJoy – to connect family and friends and to support you through those rough moments!

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Kelley, Emma and Katie! — Photo Provided by Kelley M. – Wrightsville Half Participant

Kelley and her friends participated in the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon together and also used RaceJoy so their family and friends could see their progress along the way.

My name is Kelley and myself and two of my friends, Emma and Katie trained for the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon together and used the RaceJoy app during the race. Our friends and family loved being able to see our progress along the way and send us cheers! We also liked being able to find each other’s location using the app and know where each of us were. It’s a really great app!!

Emma’s boyfriend, Tyler (who is also my boyfriend Matt’s oldest brother) lost his vision to Retinitis Pigmentosa and completed his 5th full marathon that day!! He raised over $2,000 for The Foundation Fighting Blindness. Tyler and Matt’s parents completed the full marathon as well!  It was an amazing day  — Kelley M.

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Photo of Tyler M. – Wrightsville Beach Marathon Participant

Over the course of the race weekend, close to 33,000 progress alerts were issued giving people real-time progress updates at every mile! The updates included information like current location, pace, and estimated finish time.  Also, 5,500 cheers were sent on race day connecting supporting family and friends with participants real-time as they completed the course.

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Photo from Wrightsville Beach Marathon Website

 

Race Operations Live Tracking

Race organizers took things further by using RaceJoy to track the race operations team from the app and through RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring System. Race personnel could quickly see the location of rest of the team while they were working the race. Plus, the race used RaceJoy’s web console monitoring system to see a global view of operations along with the race participants using RaceJoy. The monitoring console also allowed staff to Send-a-Message to operations personnel like the race director using text to speech technology.

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The Race Organizers chose to use a unique bib number (9999) just for the race operations team. This made it super easy for the team to find one another in the app where they look up one bib number versus searching for individual names or code names. Most used the function they served as their name such as “Lead Men Half Marathon” and “Landfall/ Military Van”. This further simplifies things for everyone to see at-a-glance the status of the various roles of the team.

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For more information about using RaceJoy for race operations, please see this recent Webinar.

The Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness offers its participants a fast, flat and notorious course for personal bests with a peak elevation of only 32 feet. From first timers to veterans, the event weekend attracts a variety of runners! With a glimpse of what Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington have to offer, the course starts at the beach and runs through Landfall and finishes at UNCW Campus.

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Photo from Wrightsville Beach Marathon Facebook

We are glad we were able to be part of this fully connected and lively race day experience that offers something for everyone! Thank you, finishers, for using RaceJoy and for sharing your personal stories. Special thanks to race organizers for embracing new technology and helping to change the race experience!

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To Click or Not to Click “Start My Race” in RaceJoy

We frequently get asked, ‘Do I really need to click the Start My Race button as I cross the start line?’ We understand that some would rather not worry about clicking the button at the start of the race, and the simple answer to this question is: No, you do not have to click the Start My Race button. The purpose of RaceJoy’s Start My Race button is to provide greater accuracy with the GPS-based progress updates, which are typically sent out at every mile.

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Do I Need to Do Anything, if I DON’T Click “Start My Race”?

Yes, you must enter the app on race day so we can get a connection with your phone. You can choose to just turn your tracking on prior to the race starting by clicking the green blinking TrackMe button on race day and tuck your phone away. Tracking is activated 30 minutes prior to the race start time.

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But if I Don’t Click Start My Race, Then What Happens?

If you don’t click the Start My Race button as you cross the start line, RaceJoy will automatically detect your location and will provide progress alerts based upon your average pace.  Your estimated finish time is based on your average pace and your total time is reported from the time you reach the first milestone on the course which is typically mile 1.

What Does Clicking “Start My Race” Do?

Clicking Start My Race gives you a more accurate total duration on the course based on your personal start time and clicking Start My Race will send a START notice to those following you that you have begun the race.

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For the most accurate performance reporting in the app, clicking the Start My Race button as you cross the start line is the way to go. Otherwise, just make sure you go into RaceJoy to start your tracking before the race starts.

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To learn more about the features available check out this Tutorial Video or our RaceJoy’s website for more on the innovative race day experience available in the RaceJoy app.

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