RaceJoy Goes Extreme in Alaska!

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This past weekend the inaugural Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon took place and was the first race in Alaska to provide RaceJoy’s advanced tracking and cheers. Offering one of the most challenging and breathtaking extreme triathlons in North America, this new race experience is sure to be on the top of serious athletes’ bucket lists.

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Alaskaman caps the event at 315 participants and takes athletes on an epic journey through the cold, crisp and clean waters of Resurrection Bay, along the beautifully scenic and mountainous passages of the Seward Highway, and up the extreme trails of Mount Alyeska over one of the hardest run courses in the sport. The swim-bike-run course length is approximately 144 miles in length with a total gain of 10,100 feet between the bike and run courses. Given such a challenging course, not all complete the tough terrain. There was a total of 153 finishers who fully earned their finishing medal!

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Quickly becoming known as one of the most challenging one-day endurance triathlon events in North America, safety was a key concern for race organizers. The Alaskaman required each participant to have their own support crew and to use RaceJoy so race organizers could use RaceJoy’s monitoring system to live track athletes on the course. Participants are also required to have an escort during the last seven miles of the run. Clearly, this is not your average race!

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More than 200 participants used RaceJoy’s live tracking and 2,200 spectators tracked participants and sent 3,500+ cheers through the app to offer encouragement and support. This 11 spectators per participant ratio is a record for RaceJoy where typically participants have about two people supporting them in RaceJoy.  This unique and significant achievement drew many family and friends to share in the experience and cheer on their athletes

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 Participants received audio progress updates every five miles that included information like pace, elapsed time and estimated finish time. The supporting family and friends received these as in-app notifications. RaceJoy issued 81,080 progress alerts at the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon – for its first year, that is an extreme amount of progress alerts!

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Much like the live-tracking in the app, RaceJoy’s monitoring system provides race organizers with an at-a-glance view of participants as they move along the course. The monitoring system also alerts the race organizers if anyone has gone off-course during the bike or run portions of the triathlon. They were also able to see how many participants had crossed specific milestones along the course and then drill into individual participants to see their performance information. Organizers could send instant audio messages through RaceJoy to individual participants, if needed.

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Prior to race day, race organizers did an excellent job of communicating and educating the athletes about RaceJoy so that participants could make full use of RaceJoy’s features, including the need to use a portable battery as a backup. As a safety precaution RaceJoy was listed on the Alaskaman website as a mandatory piece of equipment on both the bike and run portions of the course.

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In the weeks leading up to the race, the race organizers also posted to social media about the use of RaceJoy, encouraging participants to gain familiarity with the app before the night prior to the race. The organizers themselves did tests on the course using AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to gauge cellular coverage on the course, and posted a Cellular Coverage Map to notify participants and spectators.

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The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon race management team is clearly dedicated to creating a very unique challenge for athletes on an amazingly beautiful, but tough course. Thank you for including RaceJoy in your inaugural year! And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers!

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Race Organizers

If you’re interested in enabling your event for RaceJoy, visit our website or your RunSignUp dashboard to learn more or request a demo at info@racejoy.com. Please note we require a minimum two-week lead time before the race date and an electronic version of the course map (KML/GPX format preferred).

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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Rock Lobster Relay Rocks RaceJoy!

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This past weekend the 2nd Annual Rock Lobster Relay, a multi-day 200 mile course along the scenic Maine coastline, offered RaceJoy for the second year in a row. 52 teams competed and 614 runners and supporting spectators used RaceJoy over the weekend!

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The Rock Lobster Relay is known for its firsts…

 

This relay is the first of its kind in Maine.

A truly unique experience, the relay is a 36-leg 200-mile course completed by teams of 7 to 12 runners. The race starts in the beautiful town of Bar Harbor on Friday and runs through the night, ending in Portland’s famous Old Port on Saturday. Runners enjoy Maine’s eastern rocky coast in its most beautiful time in the summer, soak up the historic Portland neighborhoods, and wind their way to the finish passing unique stores and micro-breweries.

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Photos from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

 

Rock Lobster Relay is organized by a company first to offer RaceJoy in Maine.

This relay is managed by GiddyUp Productions, a race management company that was the first to offer RaceJoy at a number of events in Maine, including the Maine Coast Marathon and the Old Port Half Marathon.

 

First ultra-distance relay course to use RaceJoy’s newest relay team release.

And, this year, the Rock Lobster Relay claims another first – its participants used the new team release of RaceJoy that provided progress alerts every five miles and included location, team pace, leg pace and estimated finish time. This was the first time RaceJoy had a course of this length use the team progress alert feature and nearly 5,000 alerts were issued over the course for the weekend.

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Over the course of the two days 300 runners opted to use RaceJoy’s live phone tracking feature. This is one of RaceJoy’s most popular features – it allows users to know where team members are at any given time by watching the runner’s blue dot move along an interactive course map in real-time. RaceJoy uses the runners’ phones as GPS trackers, so it shows users the true position versus a simulated location.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Website

For the runners, RaceJoy provided a real-time, interactive map of where the runners were on the ground at all times. This made it easier for teams to meet at transition points.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Runners also experienced real-time support while they were running the long course from their team members and family and friends through RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature. 1,300 cheers were sent as encouragement while the runners completed their legs.

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Additionally, RaceJoy provided the race management team a safety tool, providing continual live tracking of runners’ locations during the overnight portion of the course. The race operations team could watch participants through the RaceJoy Race Day Monitoring system or have them loaded into the app on their phones. Through the monitoring system, the race ops team could also view how many teams had crossed milestones along the course to better plan or be alerted if participants were off-course – a concern for many ultra-distance courses with overnight legs.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Relays are growing in popularity and we see more and more races offer relay options at their events. Relays offer a great way to achieve something with others and to participate in a race you might not do on your own. The team spirit of accomplishing this Rock Lobster Relay was evident and it was great to see the reception from both the relay race organizers and the participants on race day!

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Congratulations finishers and thank you GiddyUp Productions for your continued support of RaceJoy.

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If you’d like to offer RaceJoy to your participants and spectators at an upcoming event, you can easily load your race through RaceJoy’s website or your RunSignUp dashboard. We require a two-week minimum load time and an electronic version of your course map (preferably in GPX/KML format).

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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 Introduces Course Gamification for Race Organizers and Sponsors

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 1.08.58 PM.pngGeo-Positioning of Customized Audio Messages to Participants

May 26, 2017 – Moorestown, NJ – RunSignUp’s race day mobile application, RaceJoy, announces its newest feature, custom Cheer Points, for race organizers of running, walking and cycling events. Race organizers can now schedule custom audio messages to be delivered to participants’ phones at designated geographic positions along the event’s course. RaceJoy is the industry’s leading race day technology solution with live, real-time tracking, GPS-based progress alerts, audio cheer sending, and race day monitoring for the operations team. This newest feature gives the ability for race organizers to creatively engage with participants and innovatively to showcase sponsors.

Continue reading…

RaceJoy Record: Most Relay Teams at Colfax Marathon

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RaceJoy had the most usage of relay teams at a single race since its inception at this last weekend’s Colfax Marathon in Denver, Colorado with close to 700 teams using RaceJoy. RaceJoy recently released an industry breakthrough where it virtually ties relay team phones together to provide progress alerts for the team. Colfax is one of the largest relay marathons in the country and offers various relay team options, from two-person teams to five-person teams.

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Relay teams using RaceJoy have two ways to be tracked using RaceJoy. The first is the ability to see where team members are on an interactive map showing the official Colfax Marathon course. RaceJoy tracks the GPS location of the participant’s phone. So, people were able to see each other’s location in real-time. Also, as team members drew close to one another, they received NearMe alerts that included a cowbell alert sound along with a pop-up message.

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The second form of tracking includes Team Progress Alerts when team members cross each mile on the course. Alerts are issued in audio format to the runner on the course and as in-app notifications to the rest of the team. Alerts include location, elapsed time for the team, split time for current leg, and estimated finish time for the team. Relay teams and individual runners clearly made full use of RaceJoy at Colfax with 78,000 progress alerts being issued in RaceJoy.

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Relay teams could also use RaceJoy to support and communicate with each other during the Colfax Marathon using RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature. We saw more than 11,000 cheers delivered on race day. People could send pre-loaded audio cheer clips and ‘Can’t Touch This’ was the top cheer used.

Also, runners and supporting spectators made full use of RaceJoy’s text-to-cheer feature with more than 1,800 messages being delivered. This is where people can type in a custom message and it is delivered in audio format.

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Most marathons offer a relay component to give more choices to runners. However, there aren’t many options in the running industry for tracking relay teams, and using the traditional bib tag tracking is typically very limited, if offered at all. Plus, many of the established larger events are hesitant to introduce new technology to their races. We want to recognize the race organizers of the Colfax Marathon for embracing RaceJoy’s technology to provide an interactive experience for their participants and supporting spectators. They also did a lot to help educate people on the new technology to ensure a positive experience. Thank you, Colfax Marathon, for helping us to change the race experience!

 

May Brings New Records for RaceJoy!

This is the third RaceJoy record in the month of May! We also had record breaking overall usage and the fastest runner to use RaceJoy. What’s next?! Stay tuned for the first to offer custom geo-positioning Cheer Points for race organizers!

Vermont City Marathon

This coming weekend brings another relay focused event on the other side of the country at Vermont City Marathon. RunVermont was the first marathon with a significant relay focus to offer RaceJoy. If you have a group of friends you like doing relays with, both Vermont City Marathon and Colfax Marathon offer a great race experience in beautiful parts of our country!

 

 

May Brings New Usage Records for RaceJoy!

Part One!

Record Usage over One Race Weekend and One Race

We are seeing record RaceJoy usage on multiple fronts in this popular running month of May! This is a three part series demonstrating the full adoption of RaceJoy’s innovative race day technology.

First up is the record for overall usage over a single race weekend and at one race in particular. This involves a massive amount of data flowing instantaneously from RaceJoy, including 342,500+ progress alerts being issued to participants and those tracking them. And that’s not all…

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May 6-7 Race Weekend Records:

RaceJoy Records: Highest Usage, Most Progress Alerts, Most Cheers over one weekend!

The first weekend in May brought record breaking RaceJoy usage at races across the country, including:

These races chose to offer RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking, progress alerts at every mile and cheer sending for participants and their supporting friends and family.

Highest Usage: 39,000+ Participant / Spectators using RaceJoy over the weekend.

Most Progress Alerts: 342,500 Progress Alerts Delivered instantly through RaceJoy.

Most Cheers: 55,000 Cheers Delivered to participants

It was great to see that RaceJoy’s system handled the load without issue and alerts and cheers were issued without delay. 

Record Breaking Usage at Single Race

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Picture3The Pittsburgh Marathon’s participants and spectators used RaceJoy to its fullest and now represents the winning race for most usage, progress alerts and cheers delivered at a single race:

Highest Usage: 12,800 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Most Progress Alerts: 157,500 Progress Alerts Delivered (Glass City Marathon previously held this record)

Most Cheers: 23,500 Cheers Delivered to Participants

 

 

“I ran my first Half Marathon today and used the RaceJoy app for the first time as well. I have to say it was one of the major reasons I made it through. Getting cheers from my friends and family was amazing. Also getting updates on my progress and pace was incredible. My family loved using it to track my progress. I really appreciate this app and how it got me through this huge accomplishment. Thanks!!” – Jessica K.

Runner Up!

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Picture5The Flying Pig Marathon who previously held the record for most cheers was very close on all usage points with:

Usage (so close!): 12,300 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Progress Alerts: 141,800 Progress alerts delivered

Cheers: 19,300 Cheers delivered

 

 

 

“What a fun way to race!!! I really enjoyed having all my family near and far in my “pocket” as I did the Flying Pig Half Marathon. It was so encouraging to see love from all over pouring in as I did my race. I would highly recommend it.” – Becks 

Special shout out to all the races who offered RaceJoy and gave your participants the opportunity to use RaceJoy and the ability to have their friends and family support them during the race. Those 48,000 cheers means a great deal to many of the runners and walkers and helps them to achieve what they set out to do at your event. Also, thank you to all of you who used RaceJoy and for posting your positive reviews to help encourage others to try RaceJoy.

Together, we are changing the race experience!

“I used this app for a half marathon race and enjoyed the mile splits, finish time estimates and (what was really enjoyable) the cheers from family and friends that were tracking me race. I hope other races will consider using this app!”  – Apple App User Review from H. Gaitonde

 

Stay tuned for the Next RaceJoy Record in May: Fastest runner to ever use RaceJoy…