Map Matters

RunSignUp’s RaceJoy recently held a webinar to share information about map matters in relation to RaceJoy’s race day mobile app. Below is a summation of what was covered or you can view the recording here:

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Topics covered include:

  • Why Your Course Matters
  • Map Adjustments
  • Cell Conditions Verification
  • Extra Value:
    • Custom Map Markers
    • Custom Cheer Points

Why Your Course Matters

Your course map is the foundation from which RaceJoy applies a great deal of its technology. RaceJoy uses the path, which is your course map, and then measures participants’ proximity to milestones on that path to issue progress alerts.

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Features like Live Phone Tracking and GPS-Based Progress Alerts are highly dependent on the accuracy of your course map. You want to make sure you have an accurate course map loaded, or participants will appear that they are off course. Furthermore, the GPS progress alerts, which are typically sent out at every mile, include information like location, elapsed time, pace and estimated finish time. If the course map is inaccurate, this information will be wrong, leading to frustrated participants and spectators on race day. The goal with RaceJoy is to have a synchronized experience between what’s happening on the course and in the app.

The most important points on the course are the START and FINISH locations. The locations loaded in your course map should be at the exact actual locations at the race site. If these change, make sure they get adjusted in your map in RaceJoy. You can always call or send an email to support@racejoy.com on race day, if you aren’t able to access a computer.

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To improve the accuracy of your map, you may need to adjust the Start and Finish, and move mile markers in RaceJoy.

Map Adjustments

It is very easy to make course changes at any time all the way through race day. All you need to do is go to your race dashboard and click the Adjust Course Map button. From there, it’s a user-friendly tool to customize and correct the path and any markers by dragging and dropping necessary points. Learn more by watching this video about the Map Building Tool.

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We suggest having your lead vehicles use RaceJoy so you can track them. This will allow you to quickly address any issues with participants going off-course.

Checking Your Cell Conditions

You can use the Try RaceJoy feature to test the cell conditions on your course. This feature allows you to track yourself or someone else and provides freestyle GPS tracking. Races can use Try RaceJoy to drive the course and determine any trouble spots.

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If you have known weak cell areas on the course, we can apply a Poor Cell Zone graphic overlay on the map in RaceJoy to manage expectations. RaceJoy is designed to pick up the connection once the participant enters a functioning cell area.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Map

Customize Your Map

You can customize your map with various markers on the course like water stops, entertainment zones, medic tents, and sponsor locations. This can be done through your RaceJoy dashboard. You can add a label for the marker, a custom description and an icon to appear for that marker. See the webinar video for a quick how to.

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Custom Cheer Points

A new feature with RaceJoy is custom Cheer Points. This allows you to add gamification to your event and is a creative way to engage with participants during the race by delivering cheer messages to participants when they reach certain geographic positions on the course. Examples include sending supportive messages at known tough spots on the course, a congratulations finisher cheer or a sponsor jingle as they pass a local sponsor. You can issue RaceJoy’s pre-loaded cheers, load in your own audio file or type in a message that is then played in audio format.

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See the Map Matters video on how you can add custom Cheer Points to your course.

If you’d like more information about RaceJoy, please email info@racejoy.com or visit our website at www.racejoy.com.

 

RaceJoy Brought the Joy!

From Florida to Utah and Louisiana in between!

This past weekend RaceJoy was available at a lot of races, but three stood out with high usage from participants and spectators. These races showed that runners, walkers and spectators alike are embracing RaceJoy’s advanced tracking and cheers, opting for a special race day experience.

The three races that had the highest RaceJoy usage last weekend were:

RaceJoy provides an innovative race day experience with interactive features like live, real-time tracking, GPS-based progress alerts at every mile, and Send-a-Cheer.

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The highest usage award this past weekend goes to Zion Half Marathon in Zion Canyon, Utah. The race organizers provided RaceJoy as a free service to participants and spectators by choosing the RaceJoy buyout option. Clearly, this was appreciated because more than 350 runners were tracked on race day and nearly 1,100 people at Zion Half used the app over the course of the weekend.

Across all three races, close to 11,370 GPS-based progress alerts were sent out! Zydeco Marathon took the lead, with more than 5,600 alerts sent. The progress alerts are sent at every mile along the course based on the GPS locations of the participants using their phones as trackers. People sent thousands of cheers over the weekend showing encouraging support to runners.

The Gate River Run was one of the first races to offer RaceJoy back in 2014. It’s exciting to see nearly 1,000 people came back to experience all that RaceJoy has to offer since first being launched to the race industry.

Thank you to all of you for embracing RaceJoy this weekend and congratulations on a great race! We enjoyed tracking you at such beautiful race courses!

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Download RaceJoy to see the latest in interactive race experiences!

You can easily add your race into RaceJoy through RaceJoy’s Website or, if you use RunSignUp, on your race’s dashboard. There is a free to the race option or an affordable buyout option for providing RaceJoy as a free service for your race. We require a two-week minimum load time, and you will need to load your electronic course map in GPX or KML format or build your own map using our Course Builder tools.

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Let’s change the race experience together!

How to Build Your Own Race Map!

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To have a race loaded into RaceJoy, races need to submit an electronic course map in GPX or KML format so that RaceJoy’s system can create an interactive race course for the event. These maps are then used to track race participants and to provide GPS Progress Alerts at every mile. The alerts sent are based upon the map you provide. So, map accuracy is essential for a positive user experience for your race.

An accurate course map is a must for a positive experience for your race.

Each race is different and, up until now, many have used PDF files to share their maps with others. Building and customizing your map is easy and below is some help to get your race loaded with the most accurate course map possible.

Existing Map Tool

First, whatever map building tool you are using, you can keep using it! You will simply need to convert the file to GPX or KML to load into RaceJoy.  If you are using a map building tool like MapMyRun, RunningAHEAD, AllTrails or MapoMeter, you can still use it to import, maintain and customize your RaceJoy course map. If you use Google Earth or Google Maps, these will also directly produce the KML file RaceJoy needs. Follow the simple instructions outlined in the videos below to help you load your map according to the format you currently use.

No Map Tool

If you aren’t currently using any map building tools, no worries! There are great, free tools for you to use. Google Earth is a free, downloadable application you can use on any computer and then upload into your RaceJoy dashboard to customize. Or you can use RaceJoy’s map builder. You can also take advantage of tools like MapMyRun by walking, running, or biking the official race course and then importing your new file. The videos below can guide you on how to build your map using any of the tools you might choose.

Customizing your map:

You will want to customize your map by adding points along the course such as mile markers, water stops, aid stations, entertainment and so on. Some map building tools offer this ability, but you can choose to use RaceJoy’s map editor to customize your map. The videos also show you how to place your course’s mile markers according to your course certification document or the most accurate mile readings based on GPS.

Maintaining your map:

We know that courses change frequently. However, maintaining your map to be as accurate as possible is very important to ensure a positive user experience at your race. Below are a couple of options to maintain your course map:

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  1. Maintain with RaceJoy’s editor :
    1. If you don’t currently use a map building tool, you can maintain the map using RaceJoy’s Map Builder to make any changes to the course.
  1. Maintain in your current tool(s) and reimport the path:
    1. If you are already using a map building tool for other purposes, like for your website, you can update the course in your map building tool and just reload the map to the RaceJoy dashboard.

Helpful Videos

You can find these helpful how-to map building videos when setting up your race with RaceJoy.

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The videos are between 5 and 12 minutes long and cover topics like how to import your electronic course map, how to maintain your course map, and how to build a map using RaceJoy’s Map Builder or with tools like Google Earth. 

Accuracy is crucial! Many features in RaceJoy, like the GPS-based progress alerts at every mile, are dependent on the accuracy of your course maps. Participants and spectators receive progress alerts with information like current mile, pace and estimated finish time based on the mile markers on your course maps. Any changes in your course should be reflected in your RaceJoy course map to provide your participants and spectators with the best race day experience possible. Also, please make sure to do a thorough review of the map loaded into RaceJoy prior to race day.

If you have any questions about how to build your own map, please contact us at info@racejoy.com.

Together we are changing the race experience!

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Flying Pig Offers Two Ways to Track Runners – Bib Tag Alerts and Live GPS

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This last weekend, one of the nation’s favorite races, The Flying Pig Marathon, offered two ways for participants to be tracked.

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Screen capture from Flying Pig Marathon’s Website.

The race offered text alert tracking as participants crossed certain mile points on the course based on their bib tag crossing these points. This provided supporting spectators with the participant’s pace and estimated finish time. Spectators set this up through the Flying Pig Marathon’s official mobile app found in the app store.

Organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon went a step further and let people know that there was a second way to track runners through RaceJoy’s GPS-based phone tracking. Close to 400 participants registered in RaceJoy and activated tracking the morning of the race. Approximately 500 supporting spectators used RaceJoy to track their runner’s blue dot on race day.

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In addition, participants using RaceJoy received audio progress alerts at every mile letting them know their elapsed time, pace and estimated finish time. Spectators tracking them also received these alerts in the form of an in-app notification. RaceJoy issued more than 9,100 progress alerts for the Flying Pig Marathon and Half Marathon.

Since the Flying Pig Marathon race organizers were getting the word out about RaceJoy, we added a banner ad for them to brand their race in RaceJoy, and we referred people to their official mobile app for further information on the race.

We also loaded fun pre-recorded pig cheers just for the occasion. Clearly, spectators had fun with this since they sent close to 1,400 cheers to participants during the race. The pleasant sounds of “…an oink oink here and an oink oink there…” and “look it’s a flying pig!” prompted many a smile on race day.

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Race organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon clearly embrace innovation and sought out ways it could help their participants and mass amounts of spectators. Another mobile app they corralled into the mix was Uber; they made special arrangements with Uber to ensure transportation on race day. Not only does this race have a great theme that just requires us runners to put it on our bucket list, but organizers offer a fresh, modern experience that we all can appreciate and enjoy. So add this one to your list!

Ble ble ble… That’s All Folks!

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If you are a race organizer and would like to get your race added to RaceJoy, simply enable RaceJoy in the RunSignUp GO platform and provide your course map electronically (KML, GPX or link to map). You can also email this to addrace@racejoy.com. We require a minimum of two weeks to load and will send you notice and promotion toolkit once it is active. This is free to the event and the participant and spectator pay a 99 cents per race upgrade fee. Buyout options are available for race organizers to offer RaceJoy for free. For more information on the buyout option, please see our PhoneTrak Pricing Flyer.

PhoneTrakPhoneRaceJoy key features: 

Live phone tracking

Audio cheer sending

Near Me Proximity alerts

MeetUp mapping feature

Now Available! GPS Progress Alerts

Course Maps

Upload Course MapWe have had the capability to add a MapMyRun Map for your race for a while. With the introduction of the new race wizard, you can now also upload an image or a PDF with your course maps(s).

This is simple to do if you have a course map stored as an image or a PDF already.  Go to Step 6 of the Wizard or the “Race Page” -> “Content” page on the Dashboard to create a Custom Section.  You can upload your map there.  Create different sections for each event in your race – for example a custom section of the 8K map, for the Half Marathon and for the Full Marathon.

Course Map on Race PageIf you do not have a map, then you can create one easily with any of the many tools out there for creating a map.  I like http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/.  It is quick and simple, creates mile markers automatically, will follow streets automatically or you can turn off the street following to draw your own lines if you are drawing a cross country course like the one show in this example.  You can also show a street view or satellite view (or both since you can upload multiple maps!

Also, since we store your map on Amazon CloudFront for free, you can copy and paste the URL of the map image itself (here is an example) to include in your own website and email blasts. This is the fastest download hosting you can get since your image gets caches on dozens of hosts across the US.

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MapMyRun Course MapWe have integrated MapMyRun maps into RunSignUp.  This makes it easy to show runners your course map right on the Race Info page.

This is very simple to do – just put the MapMyRun URL for your course into the Race Director Social -> MapMyRun page.

Here is a quick video on how to do this: