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!

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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RaceJoy Introduces Course Gamification for Race Organizers and Sponsors

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass City Marathon Offers Live Race Day Experience with RaceJoy!

138,000 Progress Alerts Issued!

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As one of the first marathons to ever offer RaceJoy, the 2017 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon delivered a live race day experience for those at the race site and for remote spectators. RaceJoy was a significant component of this along with the event’s live streaming and interviews on race day. And clearly people embraced the technology with 138,000 progress alerts being issued through RaceJoy – breaking the record for most alerts at a single race.

 

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Photos from Glass City Marathon Facebook

The Glass City Marathon likes to bring new race day experiences and this year race organizers implemented a new live race day page on the Glass City Marathon website. This offered quick access to the RaceJoy app, a live leaderboard, which provided instant official results information, and a live streaming video of the race. This was really awesome since it wasn’t just a static streaming of the finish line. It also included the local news anchor from BCSN The Blade covering the race day and performing live interviews with participants. It also included a split screen where you could watch finishers come in while seeing what was going on at other areas of the finishing area in the Glass Bowl. In addition, for those participants that setup their profile for auto tweeting of progress, their alerts showed in the twitter live streaming (#RunGlassCity) shown on the live race page.

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Screenshot from the Glass City Marathon Website

With the RaceJoy app, Glass City Marathon also provided participants and spectators with live race day features like continual progress updates, live phone tracking, cheer sending, and scored results within moments of crossing the finish line. This year, more than 7,000 people used RaceJoy at the Glass City Marathon!

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The Glass City Marathon is one of the few races RaceJoy also offers Bib tag tracking along with RaceJoy’s industry first GPS-based progress updates. This meant that thousands of participants and spectators were receiving progress updates at every mile on the course. Updates included information like location, pace, and estimated finish time. Participants also had the option of posting their progress to their Facebook and Twitter walls. A record breaking number of alerts were sent out over the course of the Glass City Marathon weekend, with 138,000 progress alerts being issued!

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One of the great things about Glass City Marathon offering both tracking in RaceJoy and the live streaming of the finish line is that supporting family and friends could track participants’ blue dot as it moved along the course in the app and then watch them live in the streaming video as they crossed the finish line. Most runners have a friend or family member that can’t make it to the race. So, this offered an easy way to support the participant remotely and share in the race experience whether at the race site, at home or in another country (we saw you Canadians and Brits tracking your runners!)

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Watch This Video!

Supporting family and friends were also able to track runners live as they moved along the course by using RaceJoy’s GPS phone tracking feature.

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Supporting friends and family sent close to 9,000 cheers to Glass City Marathon participants! Way to support the runners!

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The Glass City Marathon takes place in our nation’s “Glass City”; Toledo, Ohio and is hosted by the Toledo Roadrunners Club. Northwest Ohio’s largest springtime event finishes in the Glass Bowl and the race organizers go all out to provide a special race experience. on. Thank you race organizers for including RaceJoy again this year, and congratulations finishers on a job well done!

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Photo from Glass City Marathon Facebook

Race Organizers: If you’d like to be on the forefront of race day technology, get your event loaded in RaceJoy by checking out our website for information or go to your RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time prior to the race start and an official course map in KML or GPX format.

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Race Organizers: Why Sign Up for RaceJoy Before Registration Starts?

Before your registration opens, make sure to get your race enabled for RaceJoy. Here are the top five reasons for enabling sooner rather than later.

Reason One: Promotion and Visibility = Increase Registrations

The sooner you get your race loaded and live in RaceJoy, the sooner your promotion begins. RaceJoy’s Race Calendar currently includes more than 9,000 events and is a source for runners to locate an event near them or at a destination they plan to travel to.  RunSignUp races are automatically listed in the calendar section and include a “Register Now” banner ad.  However, if you enable RaceJoy, your event is also listed in the Featured Races section giving your event increased visibility with potential registrants.

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With more than 330,000 users to date, this is a great opportunity to get exposure and draw additional registrations.

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Reason Two: Alternative Pricing Option

RunSignUp customers have a distinct option of having the participant cover the cost of RaceJoy by adding on a nominal amount to the general registration processing fee*.

  • 50c per registrant for 10K and longer distance
  • 25c per registrant for events under 10K

*This option is only available if at least one of your events is a 10k distance or longer.

 You can always choose this option after registration opens, and the race would then cover the fees for any past registrants. Though, enabling RaceJoy before registration opens helps to avoid this.

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Races also have the option to select the flat buyout option for RaceJoy. Many races that choose this buyout option will load the event right away and find a sponsor to cover the cost after it is already loaded.

Reason Three: Issue Race News Before the Race

Another reason to load your event before registrations starts is the ability to schedule race News Alerts to users who have accessed your race in the app to let them know registration is now open or other important race news. If you used RaceJoy last year, you can even send a news alert to everyone who accessed your event in 2016 to help encourage the registration of repeat runners.

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Reason Four: Increase RaceJoy Usage

The sooner you have your event enabled for RaceJoy, the more time you have to build usage of the app. This is especially important if you are going to be showcasing a sponsor or sponsors in RaceJoy. Participants using RaceJoy posts messages like the one below that help raise awareness for your race and sponsor.

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Reason Five: Before They Ask!

Runners are expecting some type of tracking from running/walking events and inevitably someone is going to ask you what you are offering for Runner Tracking. By enabling RaceJoy earlier you can get ahead of the questions; RaceJoy information will show on the registration page and they will be emailed information about RaceJoy tracking as they register.

What Type of Tracking Do We Have? 

RaceJoy Bells and Whistles

Here is a recap of RaceJoy’s innovative race day features:

For the participants and spectators:

  • Live phone tracking in a map view
  • GPS-based progress alerts, typically at every mile
  • Send-a-Cheer and Text-to-Cheer
  • NearMe and MeetUp

For the race organizers:

  • Race operations team tracking & communications
  • Race Day Monitoring system
  • Variety of communications tools
  • Participant route replay
  • Off-course alerts

More information about RaceJoy is available in this Race Organizer Overview video.

Getting your event RaceJoy Ready also includes all the Race Operations Tools covered in this webinar video.

If you have any questions, or need help getting things set up, please contact info@racejoy.com.

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Get the Scoop on the RaceJoy Tools Available for the Race Operations Team!

We’ve taken RaceJoy’s foundational live Race Day features that are focused on the participant experience and repurposed them to provide powerful information for race operations.

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The key features available for Race Organizers are:

Tracking:

  • In-app live GPS tracking of race operations team

Monitoring:

  • At-a-glance view of race operations and participants on the course
  • Performance stats at your finger tips
  • Off-Course Alerts
  • Participant Route Replay

Communications:

  • In-app audio messaging through Send-a-Cheer
  • Direct audio messaging to participants and race operations
  • Race News communications tool

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So how can some of these tools help you? Read below for a short synopsis and watch this video for detail on how to get the most out of RaceJoy’s innovative and interactive features for the race management team.

 

Live Tracking

Available during race hours, race organizers have the ability to use RaceJoy to track the race operations team – for example, the lead and tail vehicles, the race director and emergency personnel. You can do this through the app so you have the flexibility to freely move about on race day, while staying connected and informed.

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Monitoring

Another way to track the race operations team is through the monitoring system on your RaceJoy dashboard.  From this system, you can also track participants who are using RaceJoy. The Race Day Monitoring System provides an at-a-glance view of those using RaceJoy and the ability to instantly access performance information like pace and estimated finish time. You can also access global stats like how many people have passed certain milestones.

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Through the monitoring system, race organizers can also receive off-course alerts when a participant goes off course. This is helpful in understanding problem areas on your course for next year. Another feature of the monitoring system is the participant route replay. This is a valuable tool for verifying the path a person took and is often used as a backup when issues occur with bib tags not reading at the timing points along the course.

 

Communications

Through RaceJoy, race organizers have the ability to instantly communicate with race operations and with participants in a number of ways.  Race operations using RaceJoy can send instant audio messages through the Send-a-Cheer section of the app. By using text-to-cheer, you can send custom messages that will be played in audio format within seconds of sending.

Similar to the in-app audio messages, race organizers can also send individual audio messages to specific race operations personnel or to specific race participants through the monitoring system. You can also select more of a mass audio delivery such sending to the entire race operations team or to all those that are doing a specific course, like a marathon.

Race organizers also have a Race News System with RaceJoy, where important race news can be issued on a mass scale to anyone who enters the event in RaceJoy, including participants, spectators and race operations personnel. These are sent out as in-app notifications and appear like text messages. These alerts can be pre-scheduled or sent out instantly.

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If you’d like to know more information about how to use these tools, please Watch the video here.

Let us know if you have any questions about how you can get the most out of RaceJoy. We are happy to help! Send emails to info@racejoy.com.

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