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 Goes the Distance

This past weekend, RaceJoy was available for many different road races across the country, including two ultra distance courses where we experienced record-breaking usage by some incredible long-distance athletes.

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The longest usage of RaceJoy’s GPS tracking to date occurred at this past weekend’s Burning River 100 Mile event in Willoughby, Ohio with close to 30 hours of live tracking. One race participant in particular, Jeff, was tracked for more than 28 hours and was one of the finishers of the 100-mile race. Jordan was another solo runner in the 100-mile course and was live tracked for more than 26 straight hours. Yes, Jeff and Jordan had the harder job to do compared to RaceJoy, but that is some impressive tracking of some incredible athletes!

Jordan shared with us that he used an Android Turbo phone for the first 15 hours and at mile 75 he plugged his phone into an Anker portable charger. At that point he still had 35-40% battery left in his phone. Sounds like one charged up phone (pun intended), and 15 hours of GPS tracking before adding on a battery is definitely a record for us.

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Race organizers who work with RaceJoy have the flexibility to customize the GPS-based progress alerts issued through RaceJoy or to use our standard mile marker alerts. The Burning River race director provided us with specific locations and unique naming for customized Station alerts set up throughout the course. These Stations served as check points for solo runners and as transitions for the 100-mile relay participants. Some of the Stations along the Burning River were at locations such as:

  • Shadow Lake
  • Snowville
  • Pine Lane
  • Polo Fields
  • Old Mill

RaceJoy issued performance information as participants crossed these points on the course. RaceJoy also issued finish alerts for participants that were within 30 seconds of official race timed finish alerts. Not too bad for 100 miles of GPS-based tracking!

Race director of the Burning River, Jim Christ, shared:

I just had to send you a note to let you know the RaceJoy app was amazing over the weekend.

I tracked a 100-mile participant and a relay runner to see how it worked. At our post race social one of the 100 miler’s raved about how he knew whether he was on/off course, and his crew and family loved sending him cheers and tracking him. He tucked his smartphone in one race vest pocket and an extra battery in the other…connected them together and was all set.

I can’t tell you how satisfied we are with your app. Having the ability to track people in park systems (off road) on a 100 mile point-to-point course is so important at many levels, including potential medical emergencies.

Thank you!

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RaceJoy reached another exciting milestone this weekend at the Ultra Around the Lake race. Sarah, a marathon participant, used RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking for close to 8 hours without aid from external battery sources. Sarah used an Apple phone and did not have assistance from a Turbo boosted phone like Jordan. With most tracking apps lasting about 3 hours, this showcases RaceJoy’s impressive optimization of the phone’s battery. Along with live tracking, Sarah received GPS-based progress alerts at every mile along the marathon course.

With the determination of these ultra distance runners and the ever-improving technology of RaceJoy, participants across the country were able to have family and friends share in their impressive accomplishments and receive the support and motivation from those they care about. Thanks to all of you who used RaceJoy and a big congratulations to these dedicated finishers!

burningriverlogoThe Burning River Endurance Run & Relay is an exciting 100- and 50-mile solo run and 100 mile relay. The race travels through several of the Northwest Ohio region’s most scenic areas, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Summit Metroparks.

ultralakelogoThe Ultra Around the Lake race is held by the Somerville Road Runners and offers four events – 24-hour ultra, 12-hour ultra, 24-hour relay and a marathon. The courses are flat on sidewalks and paths around the scenic Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The 24-hour race raises funds each year for Wakefield Educational Foundation and Christmas in the City.