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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Introducing RaceJoy’s Real –Time Progress Board Monitoring!

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RaceJoy introduces a real-time progress board as part of its Race Day Monitoring System, continuing to provide the new technology breakthroughs for race organizers. Race organizers and timers can now use RaceJoy to monitor the progress of individuals and relay teams as they complete milestones or exchange points on the course in a grid view. Races can also use this to project a leader board to a large screen at the race site to showcase participants using RaceJoy’s live tracking.

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Recently, the Peak to Brew Relay, the Northeast’s longest most scenic overnight team relay race at 220+ miles, used RaceJoy’s new progress board to monitor the progress of relay teams as shown above. This is especially helpful to see which teams have completed segments along the course.  RaceJoy’s progress board can be filtered and sorted to focus in on specific milestones on the course. It can also be exported into an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis of the data.

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To use the progress board, go to your race monitoring page from your RaceJoy access page, select Course Actions, then Progress Board.

Play to see how to view your leaderboard and export the data:

The progress board is one of many features RaceJoy offers events to help manage race day. Another recently introduced feature RaceJoy offers is the ability to issue off-course alerts to participants in audio format. This feature is especially helpful for trail races and ultra-distance races and relays. The Peak to Brew Relay activated this feature and it was especially helpful for participants during this challenging course and helped keep participants on course as shown below.

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Interested in offering RaceJoy? Contact us at info@racejoy.com. Check out our website or go to your RunSignUp dashboard to enable. Please note that we require a minimum two-week lead time prior to the event and an official, electronic version of the course (KML/GPX file preferred).

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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).

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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