How Great Technology Enables Marketplace Differentiation

At RunSignUp, we’re technology nerds. We love thinking of – and then creating – fancy new features and functionality, but in a vacuum that technology is useless.  Andy Harris from Columbus Running Company gave a great presentation at the 2015 RunSignUp Race Director/Timer Symposium on harnessing technology options to make your race stand out.

Topics covered include streamlining events, results, widgets, and packet pickup.

Rotpac Racing Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Rotpac Racing Case Study focuses on how a Timer can work with their Race Directors to create the best race experience. 

View the PDF Version of the Rotpac Racing Case Study

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Rotpac Racing and RunSignUp

Rotpac Racing works to educate and lead the races they time to help them get the most out of their Online Registration and Race Day options.


 

 

Picture3About Rotpac Racing

Rotpac Racing has been timing and managing XC meets, Road Races, and Cross Country Skiing races for 20+ years, and currently times 75+ races and manages 3.  Rod Yeacker talked to us about how they work with their Race Directors to create the best race experience possible.


The Race Director

Rod uses The Race Director Timing Software, and utilizes the integration between Race Director & RunSignUp.  He prefers to have Race Directors enter all their pre-race day paper registrations on RunSignUp ahead of time so that he can pull the data the day before the race to pre-assign Race Bibs.


Providing Guidance to Race Directors

Rod began using RunSignUp as it started to introduce integration with Timing Software and features beyond simple credit card processing for race registration.  As he transitions to RunSignUp, he finds that some are able to understand the process (and added feature options) better than others, and has implemented some steps for helping his Race Directors get up to speed.

  • Race Directors are given a walk-through sheet to show them how their results & awards should look, and how to set up events on RunSignUp to accomplish that.
  • Rod will go through upcoming races and review their categories to make sure they are correct.
  • Correcting race setups early helps not only that race, but affiliated races that are likely to copy setup from other, similar races.

It would be easier for Rod to just set up the races himself to ensure they are done correctly, but doing so would meant that Race Directors would never learn to do it themselves, so he provides tools and support instead of taking over the work.


“Technology has changed so quickly…it’s tough to try to get Race Directors who barely understand chip scoring to understand the reasonable investment of taking the time to set up a race correctly, send out email blasts, etc.  I’m trying not to set up every race myself, but doing corrections and giving ideas of what I think can help…but a lot of it right now is having people go through the process.”  Rod (Rotpac Racing)


Picture1Multipurpose Video

Rod uses video at his races in several ways: for timing backup, to improve the race experience, and to provide a marketing tool for his races.

  • Rotpac has around 6 different camera options (including ipads, etc.), and will generally set up a camera on a tripod and film a shot of the clock, starting with the first runner.
  • When possible, they also do a roaming camera – runners love the opportunity to see themselves.
  • As a check for the timing system, a Rotpac team member will operate a handheld camera and audibly say the race numbers of each runner as they cross the finish line.
  • Some of the races that are operated by running stores will use the video (or clips of it) as a marketing video to play in their store as a lead-up to the race.
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If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Tomoka Marathon Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Tomoka Marathon Case Study focuses on using RunSignUp as a central data point for everything from registration to race day and volunteer coordination. 

View the PDF Version of the Tomoka Marathon Case Study

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Tomoka Marathon and RunSignUp

Runners High Timing and the Tomoka Marathon use RunSignUp to maintain a central data point for various facets of their Race Management.


Picture1The Tomoka Marathon was the second edition of a local marathon, half marathon, and 5K.  They brought out 1,400+ runners to celebrate and enjoy the Old Florida Charm and beauty of their area. Don of Runners High Timing and Race management walked us through the outline of their event.


 A Professional Appearance

Picture2The Tomoka Marathon website is a beautiful, easily navigable, and informative website.  To keep things simple, and to keep runners on their website (instead of redirecting them), they use RunSignUp Widgets for Registration, Results, and Volunteer SignUp.


 Using the Integration with the Race Director

Don takes advantage of the two-way data syncing between RunSignUp and the Race Director to keep track of all his participants.

  • Leading up to Race Day, he manages all data from within RunSignUp.Picture3
  • He assigns Bibs for all pre-registered runners in RunSignUp, and exports them to Race Director.
  • On Race Day, Race Director becomes his master, and he enters all paper registrations and Bib Numbers into Race Director.
  • The integration allows him to load Results to RunSignUp (hosted on his website via a widget) live on Race Day.  While he will still need to double-check the results prior to awards, runners appreciate the ability to check their finishing times immediately.

“I like the integration with RD – it really makes things easier for me from a Race DirectorPicture4 & Timer perspective.  Previously, with other systems, I had to export, format, and import.  This way, I can have everything, including a results link – set up before the event – and when the race is done, I’m done.”

– Don, Runners High Timing & Race Management


 

Race Day Solutions

  • To make it easy for his runners to find their online results, Don includes a QR code on Picture6his Bibs that links to the results page.
  • In addition to online results, they print results at the finish line for runners less comfortable using the internet on their phone.
  • Tomoka Marathon offers text and email notifications to runners and spectators, and had a high adoption rate in 2015 – a total of 1,536 notifications were sent out.
  • The race was RaceJoy enabled as a tracking option for runners who planned to carry their phones.

Volunteer Coordination

Recruiting & Managing Volunteers: The first year of the Tomoka Marathon required more work to find volunteers, but they were able to draw on existing relationships from other races they manage, and are now able to build on that base and brin many of the groups back each year.  To manage their volunteers, they stress communication. The have a pre-race meeting, but also utilized the Volunteer email capability in RunSignUp to make sure Volunteers have clear directives.

Using the RunSignUp Volunteer System

Volunteers for the Tomoka Marathon used to be managed in a Spreadsheet – while that worked, it was time consuming.  The RunSignUp Volunteer System allows them to move all the data for volunteers into the same umbrella as their Participant Data, and provides easy emailing with Volunteers.

Tasks: Tasks are set up with Timeslots (some Tasks have multiple time slots), and minimums and maximums for each task. These Min/Maxs help them to keep track of what tasks need more volunteers when they view reports.

Categories: They have 4 categories of Volunteer: Course, Packet Pickup & Registration, Start/Finish Line, and Water Stops. Each Category has several Tasks that fall within that Category.

Volunteer Coordinators: Many Volunteer Tasks are staffed by groups.  A leader from the group can then be assigned the role as Volunteer Coordinator, allowing them to provide communication to the group for the Task they are responsible for.Picture5

By using RunSignUp for Registration, taking advantage of the integration with Race Director and utilizing the Volunteer System and it’s communication feature, the Tomoka Marathon is able to maintain a single database for each of the elements of the race.


 If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!