Lively Connections at Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness!

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This past weekend, race organizers of the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness offered a fully-connected race using RaceJoy –  not just for the participants and spectators, but for the race operations team as well.

This was the first time the Wrightsville Beach Marathon used RaceJoy and people fully embraced the new technology – close to 2,400 people used RaceJoy’s interactive race day features and more than 800 participants and operations personnel were tracked through their phones on race day!

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Even though some users had a little hesitation using RaceJoy for the first time, like Gary (below), the response was overwhelmingly positive!

This Saturday I ran the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. Leading up to the race, I was a little annoyed to hear that all tracking would be done with RaceJoy via smart phones. This annoyance came from the fact that I never run with a phone, just my GPS watch.  My wife convinced me to take my phone so that she could track me.

I honestly couldn’t have been happier after realizing what a great app this is! It wasn’t even until during the race that I realized. My friend kept saying “your phone is talking?” I had the volume down, so I turned it up and enjoyed the mileage updates.

But the key moment for me, was around mile 18-19. I was struggling. My running buddies had pushed on as they are faster than me and I was not in a good place. I didn’t even know that messages could be sent through the app, let alone be read out to you. At this low point in the race, a message was read out to me “Don’t quit Daddy!  I love you” from my 11-year old daughter, 30 seconds later another message “Go Daddy, Go!” From my 7-year old daughter Anja.

These messages brought a tear to my eyes.  But they also gave me to strength I needed at exactly the time I needed it!  I went on to finish my first marathon.

Thank you RaceJoy. – Gary D.

Thank you Gary for sharing your story! This is exactly why we created RaceJoy – to connect family and friends and to support you through those rough moments!

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Kelley, Emma and Katie! — Photo Provided by Kelley M. – Wrightsville Half Participant

Kelley and her friends participated in the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon together and also used RaceJoy so their family and friends could see their progress along the way.

My name is Kelley and myself and two of my friends, Emma and Katie trained for the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon together and used the RaceJoy app during the race. Our friends and family loved being able to see our progress along the way and send us cheers! We also liked being able to find each other’s location using the app and know where each of us were. It’s a really great app!!

Emma’s boyfriend, Tyler (who is also my boyfriend Matt’s oldest brother) lost his vision to Retinitis Pigmentosa and completed his 5th full marathon that day!! He raised over $2,000 for The Foundation Fighting Blindness. Tyler and Matt’s parents completed the full marathon as well!  It was an amazing day  — Kelley M.

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Photo of Tyler M. – Wrightsville Beach Marathon Participant

Over the course of the race weekend, close to 33,000 progress alerts were issued giving people real-time progress updates at every mile! The updates included information like current location, pace, and estimated finish time.  Also, 5,500 cheers were sent on race day connecting supporting family and friends with participants real-time as they completed the course.

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Photo from Wrightsville Beach Marathon Website

 

Race Operations Live Tracking

Race organizers took things further by using RaceJoy to track the race operations team from the app and through RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring System. Race personnel could quickly see the location of rest of the team while they were working the race. Plus, the race used RaceJoy’s web console monitoring system to see a global view of operations along with the race participants using RaceJoy. The monitoring console also allowed staff to Send-a-Message to operations personnel like the race director using text to speech technology.

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The Race Organizers chose to use a unique bib number (9999) just for the race operations team. This made it super easy for the team to find one another in the app where they look up one bib number versus searching for individual names or code names. Most used the function they served as their name such as “Lead Men Half Marathon” and “Landfall/ Military Van”. This further simplifies things for everyone to see at-a-glance the status of the various roles of the team.

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For more information about using RaceJoy for race operations, please see this recent Webinar.

The Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness offers its participants a fast, flat and notorious course for personal bests with a peak elevation of only 32 feet. From first timers to veterans, the event weekend attracts a variety of runners! With a glimpse of what Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington have to offer, the course starts at the beach and runs through Landfall and finishes at UNCW Campus.

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Photo from Wrightsville Beach Marathon Facebook

We are glad we were able to be part of this fully connected and lively race day experience that offers something for everyone! Thank you, finishers, for using RaceJoy and for sharing your personal stories. Special thanks to race organizers for embracing new technology and helping to change the race experience!

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Want to expand your race day communications? RaceJoy has the answer!

RaceJoy offers a variety of communications options that offer real-time messaging with a highly engaged audience of participants, their supporting family and friends, and your race operations team.

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From pre-loaded text formatted messages that reach the masses to individualized text-to-audio messages, you now have a communication system that provides powerful assistance in managing your race day experience.

Mass Communication News Alerts: Races can send important race news to everyone who has entered their race in RaceJoy – participants, spectators and race operations. These are issued as an in-app notifications and appear like a text message with a one-click action to a formatted multimedia message. Messages can be pre-loaded and scheduled ahead of time or issued on-the-fly as needed.

The format of the messages can include text, images, URL’s and links to websites, videos, etc. Race organizers manage these messages from their RaceJoy dashboard shown below.

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2. Participant Only, Instant Text-to-Audio Messages: These are sent as needed on race day and can be sent to the following:

  • Direct to individual participants
  • Mass message to all participants in a particular course

Messages are typed in by the race organizer or timer in RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring System. The race organizer types in the desired message and it is played instantly in audio format through the RaceJoy app. The ability to communicate directly to a participant on race day is a major breakthrough for the industry and is extremely helpful in situations where an individual has gone off course, a personal emergency has occurred or there is a change in plans for the race like with impending weather.

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3. Race Operations, Instant Text-To Audio Communication: There are two ways to use RaceJoy to communicate with the race operations team on race day:

  1. Team member to team member: race personnel can send instant audio messages to each other in the app while they are out on the course by using RaceJoy’s Text-to-Cheer feature.
  2. Race management to team member: The race manager or timer can send instant text-to-audio messages through RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring system.

The race operations team can also track one another by using the GPS tracking feature in RaceJoy. To use the communications tools and tracking tools, the team members need to click “I Want to Be Tracked” and login as a race participant. Most races will use the role they are performing (Lead, tail, Sag Wagon, Race Director, etc.) or a code name (Top Dog, Who’s the Boss, etc.) instead of their real name.

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Messages can be reviewed or replayed at any time by going to the Buzz Section in the RaceJoy app.

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Many races use RaceJoy as part of their formal emergency communications plan. For example, some will pre-load emergency contingency messages should they need to close the course due to weather conditions.

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A few races have used RaceJoy to help communicate course closures due to poor weather conditions. In one instance, we were told by the race director that the participants and spectators at their race knew the course needed to close due to lightning before the police did because of RaceJoy’s messaging system.

Since RaceJoy involves high engagement and social sharing, it makes for a very effective platform for race day communications.

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“I love the app. I think it is seriously an awesome feature and I’m happy we were able to collaborate with you on enhancing our offering to those involved in this event.” –  Scranton Running Co.

If you have questions or want to learn more about all the race day communications and race organizer features available in RaceJoy, feel free to watch this How-To Tutorial on the Race Day Monitoring System or send us an email at info@racejoy.com.