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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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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RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos Platform Goes Mobile with RaceJoy!

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RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos platform is now being delivered in RaceJoy’s race day mobile app. Participants can now have quick access to their race day photos in addition to RaceJoy’s live tracking and cheer sending.

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A free and open platform, RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos enables race organizers, photographers or timers with the ability to easily manage their race day photos. Uploaded photos are automatically tagged using Google Vision through participant identifiers like BIB tags or names.

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Photos can be manually tagged for those that aren’t captured by the automated detection. Users can then look up photos based on a specific location on the course like the start, finish, or a specific milestone.

RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos also enables races to place a sponsor or race logo on every picture. With photos receiving six times more views than race day results, this provides a significant opportunity for impressions and greatly enhances sponsor value.

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Quick Photo Access in RaceJoy 

Those races that use RaceJoy’s live tracking can now deliver their race day photos through RunSignUp’s photo platform. Photos are automatically paired with the participant’s profile in RaceJoy based on their bib tag number or name. When race day photos are ready, a photo banner ad appears in RaceJoy to let them know their photos are ready. The participant simply clicks on the banner to instantly see their personal tagged photos.

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RaceJoy’s integration with the photo platform is as instantaneous as the race, timer or photographer chooses. The tagged photos are immediately available in RaceJoy once they are uploaded to RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos engine.

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Photo banner ads also appear in the Results section of RaceJoy for those events delivering RunSignUp RaceDay Results through the app. One of the key features of RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos platform is the ability to automatically sync with results data, which generates “near time” tagging of the photos.

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This addition of race day photos is yet another way in which RaceJoy is helping events to change the race experience by delivering real time race day services like tracking, progress updates, race news and results. If you’re interested in learning more about the app, check out the RaceJoy Website or contact info@racejoy.com. For more about RunSignUp’s RaceDay Photos Platform, click here.

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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…

Fastest Runner to Run with RaceJoy! Places First in 2017’s Maine Coast Marathon

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“Being able to share my race experience with my family and others with an improved level of detail via RaceJoy was pretty awesome.”

Rob Gomez

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On May 14, Rob Gomez, placed first and won the Maine Coast Marathon with a finish time of 2:34 averaging 5:54 minute miles. Rob’s time would have been even less if it weren’t for an unintentional detour at the race caused by a volunteer accidently sending people the wrong way (something we actually see more than you would expect and something all race organizers and runners clearly wish to avoid). It was a cold and rainy day and Rob chose to run with his phone and use RaceJoy so that his family could track his location and progress since they could not make it to the race site.

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We get some of the faster elite runners using RaceJoy, but many prefer not to carry their phone and are concerned that the extra weight might slow them down. Clearly, this was not an issue for Rob as he flew through the course.

We asked Rob a few questions about using RaceJoy…

-Why did you use RaceJoy?

Both my mom and my daughter wanted to follow my progress in the race but neither could make it to the course to watch in person. So, I thought using the RaceJoy app would be a great way for them to follow my progress more closely from afar than more traditional online tracking methods allow.

-Were you concerned that carrying your phone would slow you down?

A little bit, but I had run with my phone in my hand on numerous occasions before, even during workouts, and I realized that it didn’t bother me that much to carry it that way. It was raining pretty hard on race day so before the race I just started the tracking on the app and then put my phone in a Ziploc bag before stuffing it in an iPhone carrying arm band. The phone stayed perfectly dry and the arm band kept the phone close to my shoulder and therefore closer to my center of mass; that way, I was able to expend less energy carrying the phone during the race (as opposed to carrying it in my hand). Besides, an iPhone 6S is only a little over 3oz, so we’re not talking a lot of weight. In the end, carrying the phone didn’t bother me at all. An extra 3oz of weight isn’t going to slow anyone down very much – we’re talking maybe a few seconds over the course of an entire marathon. I was more than willing to make that trade-off.

-What was your experience with using RaceJoy? Did you like it? Did those tracking you like using it?

RaceJoy has a very easy-to-use and self-explanatory interface and it performed exactly how I expected it would. Not only were my family members able to follow along without any trouble, I found out after I had finished that other folks were following my progress as well on the app. Being able to share my race experience with my family and others with an improved level of detail via RaceJoy was pretty awesome.

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RaceJoy was designed to meet the needs of all runners. Our initial planning meetings included a product roadmap that met the needs of what we call the “Serious Steves”, the “Novice Nancies”, and the “Fit & Fun Fran & Frank”. Where cheers may mean a lot to the first time marathoner, the Serious Steve may be more interested in just having the ability for others to track his/her progress with mile splits.

If we could, we also would recognize the slowest runner/walker in RaceJoy since those coming in last have an equally impressive story to tell. We’ve talked to many of you and know the struggles you have faced and the determination it takes to keep going and complete the goal you set out to accomplish. During the race, we live monitor the race field from RaceJoy’s monitoring system and we don’t stop until the last runner is in. If you are in the last of the pack and are using RaceJoy, know that one of us is tracking you and rooting you on!

For those of you that would like some coaching guidance on your running, Rob is actually a personal coach and offers a variety of options for all types of runners that you can do with him remotely. He has a strong background in running and in 2013 was New England Runner Magazine’s Maine Runner of the Year. Clearly, he knows what he is doing! You can find more information here: https://www.easternshoretraining.com/.

Thanks, Rob, and all of you who use RaceJoy and continue to support us in changing the race experience. We will catch you at the next race!

Special thanks to Maine Coast Marathon race organizers and Shipyard Brewing Company for offering RaceJoy again this year and being one of the original races to bring RaceJoy to Maine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…