The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon had two forms of runner tracking available at this Saturday’s event: race-timed progress alerts delivered via text messages and live continuous tracking and GPS alerts with RaceJoy’s GPS tracking. Participants and spectators paid 99 cents for RaceJoy’s features. People are clearly adopting RaceJoy’s advanced tracking with more than 1,500 people using RaceJoy this Saturday!
We are seeing larger race events such as this offer both types of tracking so that participants and supporting spectators can have more real-time information and increased interaction on race day. Gone are the days of guessing how runners/walkers are doing out on the course!
So, what is the difference between the two types of tracking?
Race-Timed Progress Alerts:
These are based on the participant’s bib/chip crossing timing points on the course and updates are delivered via SMS text messages and social media. The participants do not need to carry a phone on race day since it is based on the timing chip and equipment transmitting timing information to text systems. It is a great way for people to know how someone is officially doing in the race and if they are meeting their goals. The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon used XACT for this weekend’s alert system.
The number of race-timed alerts depends on the number of timing points the race/timer decides to put out on the course. Most races will have a Start, one to two mid points, and a Finish spot. Larger venues such as the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon will put additional equipment out on the course to provide more updates.
This is a newer form of tracking where people are able to track participants based upon the location of their GPS tracking device. RaceJoy uses the phone as the tracking device. This type of tracking provides a continuous map view of the participant as they travel the course. By using the power of the phone RaceJoy also offers interactive features like Send-a-Cheer, NearMe alerts (relay team favorite) and MeetUp for finding one another. Close to 1,600 cheers were sent by supporting friends and family to race participants at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon!
GPS-based Progress Alerts:
RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are a new innovation for the running industry. By using GPS technology, RaceJoy uses “virtual timing mats” to send progress alerts along the course. The alerts are sent through in-app notifications (not SMS text). People can go in at any time to replay alerts and spectators can go in after the race starts to look at past alerts.
The number of alerts and locations can be customized by the race. Otherwise RaceJoy will issue these at every mile for running/walking events and every five miles for cycling events. RaceJoy’s GPS based progress alerts provide updates on location, elapsed time, pace and estimated finish time. Participants receive these alerts and anyone they are tracking in audio format. They also have the option to have their progress auto posted to their Facebook or Twitter walls.
RaceJoy issued more than 9,700 GPS-based progress alerts at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon!
RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are not intended to replace official race timing information. But to provide valuable and continuous information to both the participant and spectator to fill in between the official race timed alerts. Typically, RaceJoy’s reported GPS time is within 5-20 seconds of the official timed results.
Runners and spectators were able to experience the best of both worlds at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon! Thank you to those of you who used RaceJoy to add to your race experience and to race organizers for helping to spread the word. We hope you enjoyed using RaceJoy and that you had a great race!
Offer RaceJoy at a Race
Participants: if you have a race you’d like to use RaceJoy at, please let the race know. We just need their electronic course map.
Race Organizers: RaceJoy offers affordable buyout options and a free-to-the race option where participants and spectators pay 99 cents for RaceJoy’s features. More information can be found here.