RaceJoy Keeps Runners on Course

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Burning River Offers Live Tracking and “Off Course” Alerts to Runners

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An exciting, 100- and 50-mile solo run and 100-mile relay held in Northeast Ohio, the Burning River Endurance Run & Relay travels through several of the region’s most scenic areas, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the Cleveland and Summit Metro Parks. This year, the race organizers of Burning River offered RaceJoy so that runners could be tracked based upon their actual location by supporting friends, family and the race operations team. Race organizers took things a step further and activated RaceJoy’s Off-Course alert system to help ensure participants stayed on course throughout the 100 miles.

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According to Burning River’s race director, Jim Christ; “If you are going to run 50 or 100 miles, it is a basic need for you and your support crew to know you are on course and your exact position. We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide RaceJoy to our participants. It truly helps increase the participant’s chances of completing a very challenging, long distance, endurance event. ”

RaceJoy’s Off-Course Alerts are available for race organizers using the Race Day Monitoring system and helps them to identify any trouble spots on the course, including the potential for tampering of course directional signage. Burning River, was the first to enable this where the participants could receive these off-course alerts straight from their phone in audio format.

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Burning River Run Well-Placed Course Markings

The Burning River Run and Relay is very well marked and race organizers take extra care to position well placed markings along the course. However, in longer distance routes like this, organizers are concerned with the safety of participants and want to provide a positive experience. Participants can get tired, distracted or find themselves in the “running zone” and they may not be as alert or paying close attention to their surroundings. So, the Burning River organizers chose to turn on RaceJoy’s Off-Course alerts to help guide any participants that accidently went off the course route.

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Ohh! Look at that!

Runner: misses turn while connecting with the wildlife.

RaceJoy: “You May Be Off Course”

(Fake Race News)

The alert notifies participants that they are off course by issuing the following audio warning. Participants can then access the course map in RaceJoy to see exactly where they need to go to get back on track.

Play to Hear the Alert

 

Off-course alerts are a standard feature included in RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring system. Organizers have the option of issuing these to participants’ phones when they go off course and simply need to request it be enabled and confirm the accuracy of the course map. From the monitoring system, if a participant is off course, the race organizers can also choose to type a custom message that is played instantly in audio format to let the participant know how to get back on course (i.e. “Tom, you need to go to the left to get back on the course. Look at your map in RaceJoy”).

At this year’s Burning River, approximately 500 runners used the app to be tracked by 1,500 supporting family and friends. That’s an average of 3 spectators per runner!

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Those spectators showed their support with more than 4,000 audio cheers being delivered. People really enjoyed using RaceJoy. Here is one of the many responses we received:

This was my first 100-mile distance and first time using RaceJoy and it all went perfect!  

The only finish time I had in mind for my first 100 was to beat the time cap of 30 hours and be able to finish, I ended up finishing in 25:11!  I got the biggest kick out of the cheers that family and friends sent me throughout the race!   I’m sure I didn’t hear all of them with my phone on my back in my waist pack, but I heard a lot of them!  I must have heard “Can’t touch this” at least a half a dozen times and it made me smile each time!  Hearing “It’s a lovely day for a walk in the park!” gave me a chuckle and hearing Mickey Mouse say, “Dreams really do come true!” brought a tear to my eye!! 

I absolutely loved the app and my friends and family did too, they knew when to expect me and it freed up their day to do other things in between meeting me at aid stations, like eat and sleep!  Even my friend’s 3-year-old son had fun watching the beeping dot go across the screen, his mom said he was obsessed with it and when he woke up Sunday morning, the first thing he told her was he wanted to check and see where Tracy was at!  

Thank you for adding to my wonderful race experience!  

 Best,
Tracy Finn

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RaceJoy’s GPS progress alerts were sent at every mile with information like current location, pace and estimated finish. There were 36,000 progress alerts issued over the course of the weekend!

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In addition to PhoneTrak, race organizers took full advantage of RaceJoy’s capabilities by delivering real-time BIBTAG race-timing split information at eight key checkpoints along the course as the race proceeded. These were delivered through the Race Day Results platform along with official scored results. This is provided at no-charge for RaceJoy events.

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Immediately after the race, participants were able to view their official race results in RaceJoy. Results were available by course option and then by overall finishers and age group divisions.

We were super impressed with how race organizers, Western Reserve Racing, fully embraced RaceJoy’s features! Thank you, Western Reserve Racing, for including RaceJoy again at this year’s event and congratulations finishers on an amazing race! What a challenge you took on and completed! You did it!

Check out Western Reserve Racing’s upcoming races here.

RaceJoy Ready Your Event

If you’d like to add your event to RaceJoy, you can do so by going to our website or your RunSignUp Dashboard. Please note that we require a two-week minimum load time prior to the race date and an electronic version of your course map (KML/GPX format).

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RaceJoy Record: Most Relay Teams at Colfax Marathon

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RaceJoy had the most usage of relay teams at a single race since its inception at this last weekend’s Colfax Marathon in Denver, Colorado with close to 700 teams using RaceJoy. RaceJoy recently released an industry breakthrough where it virtually ties relay team phones together to provide progress alerts for the team. Colfax is one of the largest relay marathons in the country and offers various relay team options, from two-person teams to five-person teams.

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Relay teams using RaceJoy have two ways to be tracked using RaceJoy. The first is the ability to see where team members are on an interactive map showing the official Colfax Marathon course. RaceJoy tracks the GPS location of the participant’s phone. So, people were able to see each other’s location in real-time. Also, as team members drew close to one another, they received NearMe alerts that included a cowbell alert sound along with a pop-up message.

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The second form of tracking includes Team Progress Alerts when team members cross each mile on the course. Alerts are issued in audio format to the runner on the course and as in-app notifications to the rest of the team. Alerts include location, elapsed time for the team, split time for current leg, and estimated finish time for the team. Relay teams and individual runners clearly made full use of RaceJoy at Colfax with 78,000 progress alerts being issued in RaceJoy.

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Relay teams could also use RaceJoy to support and communicate with each other during the Colfax Marathon using RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature. We saw more than 11,000 cheers delivered on race day. People could send pre-loaded audio cheer clips and ‘Can’t Touch This’ was the top cheer used.

Also, runners and supporting spectators made full use of RaceJoy’s text-to-cheer feature with more than 1,800 messages being delivered. This is where people can type in a custom message and it is delivered in audio format.

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Most marathons offer a relay component to give more choices to runners. However, there aren’t many options in the running industry for tracking relay teams, and using the traditional bib tag tracking is typically very limited, if offered at all. Plus, many of the established larger events are hesitant to introduce new technology to their races. We want to recognize the race organizers of the Colfax Marathon for embracing RaceJoy’s technology to provide an interactive experience for their participants and supporting spectators. They also did a lot to help educate people on the new technology to ensure a positive experience. Thank you, Colfax Marathon, for helping us to change the race experience!

 

May Brings New Records for RaceJoy!

This is the third RaceJoy record in the month of May! We also had record breaking overall usage and the fastest runner to use RaceJoy. What’s next?! Stay tuned for the first to offer custom geo-positioning Cheer Points for race organizers!

Vermont City Marathon

This coming weekend brings another relay focused event on the other side of the country at Vermont City Marathon. RunVermont was the first marathon with a significant relay focus to offer RaceJoy. If you have a group of friends you like doing relays with, both Vermont City Marathon and Colfax Marathon offer a great race experience in beautiful parts of our country!

 

 

RaceJoy Debuts Race-Managed News Alerts

We are excited to share the press release below that announces race news alerts in RaceJoy!

Leading Race Day Tracking App Launches Newest Feature

July 18, 2016 – Moorestown, NJ –  RaceJoy, a RunSignUp product, is the leading real-time participant tracking app for running and cycling events. Its newest feature, designed specifically for race organizers, allows races to administer news alerts through RaceJoy’s mobile platform. RaceJoy’s key features include live phone tracking, GPS-based progress alerts typically sent at every mile and Send-a-Cheer audio messages, including Text-to-Cheer. The app is available for all races in the United States, with more than 260,000 downloads from users in more than 65 countries.

RaceJoy provides a simple administration tool to set up and customize their races in RaceJoy. Race organizers are now able to use RaceJoy as a communication tool to interact with participants and spectators on important race news like weather conditions, road closures, cancellations or venue changes. Races can pre-load and schedule news alerts or send urgent messages on race day in real-time. Messages can include graphics, videos, links to other sites, sponsor logos and more.

buzz

 

“RaceJoy’s news alert system allows races to communicate important news and key race information to a highly engaged audience. We’ve already had races use RaceJoy to communicate severe weather conditions and closing of courses and have been told RaceJoy was a valuable part of their emergency communications. Now this tool is provided to race directors for self-management right from their dashboard. There really is no other more effective way to easily and quickly communicate with participants and spectators that are in dispersed locations,” said Bob Bickel, the founder of RunSignUp.

 

Race organizers can load content through RaceJoy’s web-based administration tool at any time and select when to send the message. The news alerts are sent as in-app notifications to those who have downloaded the app and logged into the event on their Apple or Android device. These news alerts provide races with an interactive and instantaneous delivery tool to supplement other emergency response communications. Due to the nature of RaceJoy’s key tracking and cheer features, users are highly engaged in the days leading up to and during the race – creating an effective communications platform.

“We have had a lot of requests from race organizers to have a way to easily announce race news to their participants and spectators on race day. When things come up at the race site, like emergency weather conditions, we want to make sure this is communicated as quickly and effectively as possible.  By opening up the ability for races to self-manage news alerts, we’ve expanded the value RaceJoy brings to organizers,” said James Harris, RaceJoy’s creator.

Earlier this year, RaceJoy announced the release of it’s simplified RaceJoy administration system, which allows races to RaceJoy Ready their event in a few simple steps through a setup wizard online. The process allows races to manage information loaded to the app about the race, upload or build a course map, select sponsor options and customize progress alerts and social messages, download promotional tools, and see usage reports. The launch of the race-managed news alerts is an additional tool for races looking to offer an innovative experience to their participants’ and spectators’ race experience.