Participants and Spectators Celebrate with RaceJoy!

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This past weekend, RaceJoy was offered at two premier road races, the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin and the Charlotte Marathon in North Carolina. The races provided RaceJoy’s live phone tracking, progress alerts and cheer messages to participants and their supporting friends and families.

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Another big weekend for RaceJoy, with 12,400 people using the app and more than 145,000 progress alerts issued, the Madison and Charlotte Marathon events contributed to more than half of the users and alerts over the weekend.

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The Madison Marathon starts and finishes in beautiful Capitol Square, taking runners through some of the most iconic areas of Madison, WI, attracting 3,500 runners and walkers. Race organizers offered RaceJoy for the second year, and had an overwhelming response with more than 130% usage – that’s a total of 4,550 runners and their supporting family and friends using RaceJoy!

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The Charlotte Marathon is a race for all runners, enabling them to experience the sights and sounds of the Southeast’s fastest growing city, including the Queen City’s signature tree lined streets, historic landmarks, major sporting venues and the most eclectic neighborhood parties. The race attracted 4,000 runners and walkers. In its first year offering RaceJoy, there was an awesome showing with more than 3,600 participants and their supporting family and friends using the app!

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Both of the races did a great job of promoting RaceJoy, posting information on their websites and social media platforms. This had a significant impact on the usage at both events.

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Madison Marathon Website

 

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Charlotte Marathon Facebook

Between the two events, a staggering 13,000 cheers were sent to participants! That’s what we like to see!

A very dynamic race, dedicated to providing a unique race day experience, Charlotte also utilized the Geo Cheer Point feature, sending custom cheer messages to participants as they passed certain milestones along the course.

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The race director set up the geo cheer markers through his race dashboard. One of the cheers included a message toward the end of the race encouraging the runners to the finish. It said, “One. More. Mile. To. Go. You’ve got this! Let’s crush it and enjoy that finish festival!” This text-to-audio message was combined with one of RaceJoy’s pre-recorded cheers, Celebration, and was sent to participants as they crossed the last mile marker before the finish.

Here’s what the cheer sounded like on race day:

 

Thank you race organizers for embracing the technology and including RaceJoy in your race day experience. And, congratulations finishers on a job well done – you did it!

 

RaceJoy Ready Your Event

If you’re interested in offering RaceJoy at your upcoming event, check out our website or your RunSignUp dashboard for more information. Please note: we require a minimum two-week lead time prior to the race date and an electronic version of your course map (KML/GPX format preferred). To request a demo or if you have questions, feel free to send an email to info@racejoy.com. We’re happy to help!

The Hartford Marathon Brings the Joy to its Race Day Experience with RaceJoy’s Advanced Tracking!

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One of the most known and largest races in Connecticut, the 2017 Hartford Marathon was all about determination, passion and community. The course showcases the revitalized riverfronts of Hartford and East Hartford with breathtaking views of the Connecticut River and classic New England charm of Old Main Street.

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And, to add to the scenic course as part of the race day experience, race organizers offered RaceJoy to participants and spectators for live tracking, progress updates at every mile, and fun and motivational audio cheer messages.

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Thousands of individual runners and relay teams used RaceJoy on race day. Participants and teams took advantage of RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking so that others knew their exact position on the course.

We received very positive feedback from participants. One half marathon participant said:

This was only my second half marathon and at mile 12 I was struggling with leg cramps! All of a sudden, I received a cheer from my daughter through RaceJoy saying “if Janet Jackson can have a baby at 52, you can do this”! Ironically, I was listening to Janet Jackson tunes at the same time! It cracked me up and surely helped motivate me! This app is great from both a motivational perspective and safety too! My cheering squad knew exactly where I was and how I was doing!  Love this idea!!! Keep up the good work 😀

– Lise A. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant

Another participant shared:

Using RaceJoy was a blast! My family tracked me and sent a “Woohoo!” cheer at every mile.

– Kayla G. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant

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A top-notch marathon experience with high-energy crowds is a keystone feature of the Hartford Marathon. More than 5,000 cheers were sent over the course of the weekend, and we even had a few supporting fans reach RaceJoy’s 50 cheer limit to a given participant on race day. Now, that is some serious support!

Special congratulations to Melissa on attainting her PR at Hartford, but more importantly on her new baby. Hubby gets a gold star, too! 😉

I am a new mom, just ran the Hartford Half with my PR! I fit training in with runs with the stroller, making a race with no stroller feel easier! I’m lucky to have a wonderful supportive husband. For the race, my husband and 7-month baby could follow me on RaceJoy. Thank you!

– Melissa G. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant

Those who used RaceJoy were also able to receive progress updates at every mile, which included information like pace, estimated finish and elapsed time. Relay teams made full use of this feature and received alerts for the active leg and over all team time. RaceJoy issued an impressive 43,000 alerts on race day!

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At the end of the race the post-race party offered all the pomp and circumstance with a festive celebration in Bushnell Park with beer, live music and food. And, of course, the participants got to show off their special swag after earning their bragging rights for finishing the race.

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Photo sent from Kendra C.      RaceJoy User and 5K Participant

Race organizers also used RaceJoy to track key race operations like the lead and tail female and male runners so that they, at any given time, knew the exact location of the top finisher and final person on the course. Thank you to the race organizers for including us at the 2017 Hartford Marathon and congratulations finishers on a great race day!

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If you’d like to offer RaceJoy at your event, check out our website or your RunSignUp dashboard for more information. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time and an electronic version of your course map (KML/GPX format preferred).

 

RaceJoy Geo Cheer Points, How-To

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Below are instructions on how to add custom Geo Cheer Points to your map in RaceJoy. If you would prefer to learn about this feature in video format, click here

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With RaceJoy’s Geo Cheer Points, you can schedule audio messages to be automatically played as participants reach certain geographic positions on the course.

This tool allows you to add an element of gamification to your event and is a creative way to engage with participants during the race.

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Examples of this include encouraging messages at the start, a tough spot on the course, a congratulations cheer from a sponsor, a message as participants are passing by a local sponsor, or as they pass by an important place of interest. You could also use these to alert participants of special directions on the course, for areas you know that are difficult, or where people tend to get off course.

Click here to hear a sample:

Adding Cheer Points

1. Access Your Course Map in RaceJoy

It is super easy to add Cheer Points to your course in RaceJoy’s mapping tool. You simply apply the cheer points to the map you have loaded in RaceJoy by going to the race dashboard and the map area and click Adjust Course Map.

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2. Choose the Cheer Point Location

You can either add a cheer message to play at one of the existing mile markers or at any place in between the markers.

Existing Milestones/Markers

Consider that participants are receiving audio progress updates at each of the existing mile markers. These provide them with their elapsed time, split pace, and estimated finish time. If you add the cheer point to an existing milestone the message would play about 30 seconds after the audio progress alert.

To add a cheer to an existing mile marker, click on the existing marker and then click the Cheer Point tab on the upper part of the pop up.

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Watch Here:

New Markers

If adding a cheer point somewhere in between the existing mile markers, add a cheer marker by following these steps:

-Click the pinpoint icon in the upper right part of the screen

-Click the location you want the cheer to play

-Select the hand tool at the upper part of the screen

-Enter a name for the cheer point

-Choose the Audio Marker Category

-Select an Icon to be displayed on the map

Watch Here:

 

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3. Audio Message Set Up

Next, add the audio file to be played.  You can choose from the following options:

-Use one of RaceJoy’s Cheer clips

-Load your own pre-recorded audio file

-Type in a message to be played as audio using Text-to-Speech

 

Pre-Recorded Audio Files

You can choose to use one of RaceJoy’s pre-recorded audio cheer files or create your own audio file.

RaceJoy Cheer files: RaceJoy has many cheer files to use from and these are listed in the Choose Cheer drop down on the screen. You can sample these cheers by accessing the cheer section of the app.

Custom Audio Files: You can also upload your own custom mp3 file, such as a sound file recorded by your event, sponsor or you could use a short music clip. Make sure to keep these brief. We recommend you keep these under 30 seconds.

Example of Historical Highlights at Jamestown Rhode Race:

Custom Typed Messages

You also can choose to simply type in a custom message that is played to the participants in audio format. For example, one race used ‘Smelling Starbucks? Get a free treat at the finish line!” NOTE: there is a 255-character limit on custom, typed messages.

Pre-Recorded Combined with Custom Typed Messages

You can also blend a pre-recorded audio file with a text-to-speech message. The audio clip is played before the custom typed message.

Sierra Nevada was a sponsor at The Pittsburgh Marathon and race organizers combined RaceJoy’s cheer clip with a text-to-audio message.

Watch an Example:

 

4. SAVE!

Once you’ve added your cheer point, click save.

 

RaceJoy Recommendations

We highly recommend that you avoid using straight advertising in your Geo Cheer Points to encourage user satisfaction. The messages should be contextual to the course, providing a relevant message to what the participants are experiencing in that moment.

Also, we recommend no more than four or five Cheer Points on courses for the average half marathon or marathon distance. Consider the fact that participants receive audio alerts at every mile for their progress updates and many play music throughout the event to help keep their pace. The goal should be to add elements of surprise without disrupting their race experience.

You are now set to creatively engage with your participants during the race in a fun and unique way! Any questions? Email support@RaceJoy.com.

RaceJoy for Relays

Attention race organizers of relay events!

Do you want to provide tracking specifically for your relay participants and their teams? Are you interested in having access to a race day monitoring system that includes direct communication with your participants and key race day personnel? The RaceJoy for Relays video answers why relays use RaceJoy and how the app’s innovative features have been developed with the relay team experience in mind. Check out how you can use RaceJoy specifically for relay events by watching this video.

Participants Respond to RaceJoy at HAP Crim Festival of Races!

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Every August, the City of Flint comes to life as thousands of runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts take part in the HAP Crim Festival of Races. A weekend-long celebration, the courses take racers through some of Flint’s most beautiful neighborhoods and challenging hills, with legendary entertainment and encouraging spectators all along the way.

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The race organizers of the Crim Festival of Races rolled out the red carpet in its offerings, including the biggest celebration of the year with music, dancing, food and fun. This year participants and supporting family and friends were treated to RaceJoy’s race day app courtesy of Walmart.

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The festival offers a 10-mile, 8K, 5K and 1-mile option for runners and walkers and a 10-mile bike event. Close to 10,000 runners and walkers crossed the finish line on Saturday. Participants and spectators made full use of RaceJoy for tracking along the course and cheer sending.

Listen to one of the top cheers sent at Crim Festival of Races:

We thought we’d let the participants tell you what their experience was using RaceJoy at the Crim Festival of Races:

Thank you for providing this service! My husband who isn’t able to attend races with me was so excited to be able to follow my event! He even called my sister to tell her when to expect me at the finish as I crossed the 9-mile mark lol.

Thank you again and we look forward to using this app and service again. 😊 

– Beverly K.

The RaceJoy app was AMAZING!!! It kept me on pace and it made it seem like I had a personal coach with me the entire race. It was also so much fun to have my daughter track me from Chicago and send me lots of inspirational messages and cheers. Thank you for helping me achieve my 10-mile PR at age 51.

– Deborah G.

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I used your app for the Crim yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised. Easy to use and I LOVED the mile marker updates. They really helped to ensure I was on pace. Will use again!

–  Lori D.

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What a weekend! The Crim was my first experience using RaceJoy, and I loved it! It was so fantastic “starting the race” then just going out and doing my thing. Several from our Playmaker’s group had PR’s. I received cheers in the app throughout the race, and that was very cool as well. The mile progress rates were really neat! It was nice to see the projection of where I would finish.  

Thank you RaceJoy for this tremendous app. I highly recommend it to all my fellow racers.

Archie H.

Through the app, supporting family and friends could track up to 50 participants live as they moved along the official course map. Close to 20,000 progress alerts were issued providing real-time updates on participants’ progress on the course.

Click to Watch RaceJoy’s Live Tracking:

Thanks to all of you for your supportive emails and app reviews. We love that you loved RaceJoy! And special thanks to race organizers and Walmart for bringing the RaceJoy experience to the HAP CRIM Festival of Races!

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Interested in Offering RaceJoy?

Check out our website or your RunSignUp dashboard for more information and to RaceJoy Ready your event. Or contact us at info@racejoy.com to request information or a product demo.

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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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Apple Changes the Rules for Event Apps

Apple has changed the rules for what passes as a valid app (Will Apple’s App Store New Guidelines Trouble Event Apps?) and has started removing hundreds of thousands of apps based on these new guidelines.

What this means: If your race has a light weight app that is basically content, or is created from a core app specifically white labeled for your race, then you are at risk Apple will remove your app from the App Store. (And good luck getting specific guidance from Apple on whether your app will ever be removed at some future release or in some random housecleaning they do.)

DoubleDutch has a very positive spin on this – Event Technology Just Took a Giant Step Forward (With a Little Help from Apple).

We’ve long known that the White Label Event App model (siloed, disposable apps for each customer) was not ideal.  It was bad for attendees, overly complex for our customers, and inefficient and inelegant as a way to deploy software. Apple is now pushing mobile event app vendors away from the White Label Event App model towards a Slack or Gmail-like model; a single, secure, vendor-branded app that lives in the App Store containing all of the accounts and event instances within a single app (we’ll call this the “Universal App” model).

Of course, we have disappointed many race directors over the years declining to “white label” RaceJoy. We did this for a number of practical reasons:

  • If we had 1,200 (the number of races who provide RaceJoy to their participants) white label apps for individual races, each time we had a release of the software we would have to upgrade 1,200 apps. And because there is so much functionality in RaceJoy and we continue on a very aggressive product roadmap, we have a lot of releases. The model would simply not be affordable or scalable.
  • Runners expect more from an app than web pages – even if those web pages are split times on a course.
  • This won’t be popular to say, but there are very few races who have the brand equity to afford the investment in a real app.
  • Runners don’t want 1,200 apps.

One final word of caution – if you are using a vendor who is white labeling their app for your race, and you are doing a lot of promoting of that app – make sure it does not disappear from the Apple Store (and get that in writing from the vendor and from Apple).