Endurance Swimming Discovers RaceJoy!

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This past weekend RaceJoy hit the water with its first all-swim event, the Portland Bridge Swim.

The Portland Bridge Swim is approximately 11 miles. The course runs under 11 of Portland, Oregon’s Willamette River bridges, through downtown and beyond. This is a significant challenge and a huge accomplishment for the participants.

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Safety is Key!

Safety is a key concern for open water swim events like this and most event organizers require participants to pre-qualify for the event and to arrange for individual escorting as seen at the Portland Bridge Swim. Frequently, event organizers of endurance swim events will seek a tracking solution so that they can keep track of the swimmers in the water. Many try out various options like renting tracking devices and may even explore developing their own app. These options can get very expensive and events report that they typically don’t provide the capabilities they are seeking.

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Organizers of the Portland Bridge Swim saw an opportunity to use RaceJoy’s live tracking by taking advantage of the escorting kayakers’ role and having them carry a phone and use RaceJoy during the event. Organizers then used RaceJoy’s web-based monitoring system to see an at-a-glance view of the swimmers’ locations as they completed the 11-mile course.

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Because RaceJoy uses GPS and Cellular technology, the person monitoring the race day activity could see exactly where the swimmers were real time. Organizers were also able to see how many swimmers had crossed certain milestones along the course and track key personnel like the safety boats out on the water. The monitoring system provides race organizers with the ability to directly communicate with specific kayakers or all kayakers, if needed, through the Send-a-Message feature.

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Friends and Family Showing the Love!

Swimmers were also able to be tracked by their friends and family by using the RaceJoy app. Supporting spectators tracked the participant’s blue dot move along the river course shown in an interactive map view. Because this was such a significant accomplishment we saw a greater ratio of spectators than we typically experience for road race events with close to four spectators tracking each swimmer. Where with road race events, we typically see one to two people tracking each runner using RaceJoy. This kind of support is so encouraging to those taking on such a challenge and is great to see.

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Supporting fans also received progress alerts at every mile notifying them of the swimmer’s location, pace and estimated finish time. RaceJoy issued 5,000 progress alerts at the Portland Bridge Swim. Spectators received these alerts real-time and could plan to meet the swimmer at the various bridges and the finish line. Swimmers after the event reviewed their progress alerts splits and we received feedback from one swimmer how valuable this information was to their accomplishment.

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Next Swim?

This weekend, on the other side of the country the Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim will be offering RaceJoy to its swimmers and spectators.  The 5.5 mile open water swim finishes at Gilbert Park in Brightwaters, New York. Like the Portland Bridge Swim, each swimmer will be accompanied by a kayaker who will carry a phone and enable RaceJoy’s tracking along the course.

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Offer RaceJoy?

If you’d like your event to offer RaceJoy, sign up through our website or on your RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a two-week lead time prior to the race date and an electronic version of the official race course (KML/GPX format preferred). Feel free to contact us at info@racejoy.com for more information and to request a product demo.

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The Biggest Loser RunWalk Race Series Helps to Encourage Race Participants with RaceJoy!

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The Biggest Loser RunWalk race series offers a motivational, non-intimidating race experience at multiple premier destination locations across the country and throughout the year. Organized by former contestants of “The Biggest Loser,” Dan and Jackie Evans, the race series includes a variety of race distances, including 5K’s, 10K’s, Half Marathons, Off-Road Challenges and Kids’ Races. The Biggest Loser RunWalk race series encourages people of all fitness levels to achieve their fitness goals.

As part of the 2015 race series experience, race organizers have been working with RaceJoy to ensure course maps for each RunWalk event are loaded into the RaceJoy platform so that participants can add to their race experience with its race-centric features like real-time GPS tracking, progress alerts at every mile and fun audio cheers. Each of The Biggest Loser RunWalk 2015 races will be available in RaceJoy.

Many  who participate in The Biggest Loser RunWalk races have put forth tremendous determination and discipline to get to race day. For some, this will be their very first race and it is a special day that can be filled with an uncertain anticipation combined with a “Let’s Do This!” excitement. RaceJoy helps to add to this very special day by connecting the runner/walker with their friends and family throughout the race experience.

Live phone tracking at The Biggest Loser Run/Walk race in Erie, Pennsylvania on June 6, 2015.

How fast a participant goes may vary, but regardless of their fitness level, each have a common goal: Start and finish the race. What happens in between varies by the runner or walker. It varies based on their individual fitness levels, emotional and physical state and even what they had to eat that day. RaceJoy’s main role is to help with the time between start and finish. To encourage the participant by giving them real-time updates on their progress and motivate them with the knowledge that others are tracking their progress live and sharing in their experience even if they aren’t there at the race site. There is something uniquely motivating about knowing someone is watching you. It confirms they care about you and what you are going through and helps propel you along.

Live phone tracking at The Biggest Loser Run/Walk Mobile, Alabama on April 19, 2015.

The cheers sent through RaceJoy further communicate to the participant that their friends and family are still there watching them and wishing them well. RaceJoy cheers sent at this last weekend’s Biggest Loser RunWalk race in Erie, Pennsylvania included:

  • You Can Do it!
  • Chin Up!
  • And Never Give Up!
  • Go Mommie Go!

If you are thinking about participating in your first running/walking endurance race, you may want to check out the Biggest Loser RunWalk premier destination race options that are coming up across the country. As the name suggests, walkers are welcome and equally encouraged to participate. The next race is in Rockford, Illinois and then in Killington, Vermont. Note: To use RaceJoy’s features there is a 99 cents, per race fee and the participant must carry his/her phone and activate tracking on race day.

Biggest Loser RunWalk website: http://www.biggestloserrunwalk.com