Fast Registration – TXT and Email Notifications

In our pursuit of having the fastest registration platform, we now give users the ability to save their preferred TXT and EMail notifications in their profile. This means when the next race wants the same information, it automatically populates.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 7.26.22 PMThese are saved automatically when a participant signs up for them either in the Results notifications, or with the standard TXT Notification question that Race Directors have the option of asking.

Users can set this up themselves as well by editing their Profile:

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Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run Case Study focuses on tiered pricing for a sellout race, building bib labels, and differentiating your race to create positive word of mouth. 

View the PDF Version of the Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run Case Study

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Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run and RunSignUp

Picture1 The 2015 Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run came to RunSignUp after hearing about the integration with Race Director during a Webinar, and seeing results of a poll indicating that a high percentage of Race Director users prefer RunSignUp.  The important factors in the move included a lower cost (the race chooses to absorb processing fees), and the potential to better integrate with their club system.

About the Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run:

2015 marked the 12th edition of the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners’ Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run, directed by club member Daniel Todd.  The event was initially named to indicate that runners’ “dogs” (feet) would get dirty…but someone suggested that Daniel allow actual dogs as well, and the idea took off.  Dogs are not only allowed to participate, but are actually encouraged and provided accommodation (at no additional cost).

Offering Low Cost, Tiered Pricing with a Sellout Race

While the race started with just 63 runners, it has grown over the years and now caps out each year. Because of this, Daniel is able to use a unique tiered pricing system that allows him to reward early registrants.

  • The first 100 Runners pay just $15
  • The next 150 Runners pay $25
  • The remaining Runners pay $35Picture2

To accomplish this in the RunSignUp system, Daniel sets the race at $35, and uses publicly posted coupon codes (limited to the number of users for that price range) for the discounted options.

This year, Daniel used the RunSignUp Loyalty Program to give last year’s runners first access to the $15 slots by allowing them to register earlier.  60 runners took advantage of the Loyalty Program access; the remaining $15 registrations sold out in a few hours when regular registration opened.Picture3

Because the race sells out, the tiered pricing allows Daniel to know ahead of time exactly how many registrations will be sold at each price point, and budget accordingly.  This also helps him to maintain a low price point on the race: his goal each year is just to collect enough in registrations to offer runners a good process, make a donation to a local animal shelter, and put a little bit of funding into the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners Club.

 Building Bib Labels for an Easier Packet Pickup

DPicture4aniel used to do Bib Assignment in Race Director; this year, he assigned his bibs in RunSignup and then synced it with Race Director.  He was able to customize his bibs to include ALL information that volunteers at Packet Pickup might find important, including information collected in custom questions (like whether they have a dog and need a bandana).  The system saves his Bib preferences, so he can re-use that bib label.Picture5

The Bib label builder was very easy and saved automatically. Always, no matter what system I use, somewhere in the mix the labels get screwed up and print off the label…this time, every page printed perfectly.  In other words…it WORKED.  That’s the key.”
– Daniel Todd

Communicating with Runners: Widgets & Email Marketing

The Dirty Dog 15K is listed on the WVMTR’s website; to keep traffic there (and engaged with the club), they use a widget on their Club site for sign ups.

“I really like the addition of widgets.  It appears that people are staying on your website; you can customize it and really make it a part of the site.  Our entrant list on our website is just a widget to RunSignup.”

The second tool that Daniel used to keep runners informed was the new Email Marketing system.  He likes to send both pre and post race emails to his runners, and values the ability to use RunSignUp to communicate effectively with those runners.

“One thing we try to do is to make the race a little bit better each year: that much more organized, that much more efficient…the only way you get a good word of mouth is by putting on a good, efficient race with a positive experience for runners.”

Differentiators:  Creating a Unique Race Experience

The goal of every race is to create an experience that differentiates it from other race options. While allowing dogs was more of a post-naming accident, it has become an integral part of why runners to Charleston, West Virginia from throughout the area for the 15K trail run. In 2015, they had runners from 15 states, as far as Florida and Ontario, Canada.

Runners can bring 1-2 dogs; dogs must be on a leash for the first mile, but can run the rest of the race off-leash within eyesight, and running dogs receive a bandana.  There is also a “Top Dog” prize for the first dog to finish.  A full 107 runners (27% of the race) indicated that their dog was running as well.

There are a few other bells and whistles that Daniel uses to set this race apart:

  • Notifications: Because of the remote location, there is no internet and runners cannot get instant notifications; however, notifications are still turned on and go out as soon as an internet connection is made.  For a 400-person race, this is a nice perk even with the delay.  In 2015, 187 SMS notifications, and 168 Email notifications were sent out.
  • Results Scrolling on a TV Screen: Daniel further addresses runners’ desire to see their results instantly by setting up a scrolling results screen on a TV within about 10 minutes of the first runner finishing.
  • Video Results: There are video results for all runners.  This is complicated by the off-sets of having wave starts for a non chip-timed race, but is popular with the runners regardless. Video Bonus: it also helped Daniel to recognize and disqualify a few runners who were running under someone else’s bib, and had “placed” in an incorrect division.Picture8

Why it matters: As a custom question, the race asks runners a multiple choice question regarding how they heard about the race. 40.8% indicated that they had heard from Family/Friend; another 34.4% were previous participants coming back.

That means an overwhelming 75.2% of participants are registering because either they, or someone they know, had a great race experience.Picture7

Photo credit to Mary Shannon Johnstone…fantastic photos and a fantastic race!

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Notifications at McGuire’s St. Patricks Day Race

McGuire's St. Patrick RunWe continue to see more races adopt notifications in partnership with their timers. This service is provided for free to races that use RunSignUp for registration and very inexpensively for races even if they do not use RunSignUp for registration.

This past weekend a race of over 10,000 pre-registered runners, the McGuire’s St. Patricks Day Race used results notifications. Here are the details on TXT vs. Email preferences and the numbers sent:

Result Notifications

Run Thru the Woods Thanksgiving Day Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Run Thru the Woods Case Study focuses on building a community event and making Race Day easy. 

View the PDF Version of the Run Thru the Woods Case Study

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rtwlogoOverview: In their 25th year of putting on a Thanksgiving Day, Community-Oriented Race, Run Thru the Woods used RunSignUp for the first time.  They found the system to be a time-saver, and consistent with their goal of driving early, online registration.

About Run Thru the Woods:

The Run Thru the Woods celebrated its 25th year on Thanksgiving Morning of 2014.  The race originated as a small fundraiser for Operation Graduation for a local high school; after a few years, they approached the YMCA about partnering on the race, and in 1995 it moved the race day to Thanksgiving morning.  With the partnership, the race expanded from 50 participants to 100, to 1200 in 1995, and today draws over 5,000 annually.

Current Run Thru the Woods Race Director Roxanne Davis has been involved with the race in some capacity through out the 25 years.  In 2014, based on a recommendation from another Race Director, Run Thru the Woods moved to RunSignUp for registration. 

Building a Community Event:

Expanding Charitable Reach:  While the race still benefits Operation Graduation, as well as the YMCA, they also donate to a local JROTC program, a Food Bank (Can-n-Keys), and an Educational Outreach Program at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, a center for Performing Arts. Including a range of charities allows the race to connect with the community in multiple arenas.

Thanksgiving Date: There is a reason that Thanksgiving has become such a big race day: it is a great time to bring people together!

Family Involvement: The race has 4 event options:

  • family5 Mile Run
  • 3 Mile Run
  • 3 Mile Walk
  • 1 Mile Kids Run

This encourages family participation regardless of age or running ability.  While a family focus can always encourage more participation it is especially important on Thanksgiving, when there is so much emphasis on family togetherness.

Timing the Kids Run: Unlike many races, which keep the kids event untimed, Roxanne times the 1 mile run.  This acts as something of a differentiator by recognizing kids as equal competitors to adults.

“The race truly is a community affair.  What makes it such a community event is that it benefits so many organizations and group and brings surrounding communities together for a quality, fun event in a safe area.  There’s family involvement – it is  part of their holiday tradition.”

– Roxanne Davis, Race Director


 Making Race Day Easy

Roxanne’s goal in Race preparation is to have her checklist basically complete prior to Race Day to free her up for double-checking safety measures and putting out unexpected fires.  Roxanne took 2 approaches to make Race Day run more smoothly:

Discourage Race Day Registration:

  • Significant price increases for late registrations (for the 5-mile, an increase from the initial price of $35 to $50).
  • Setting a race cap to drive demand: in addition to ensuring a safe number of runners, the announced cap of 6,000 created a sense of urgency to register.Picture1

Race Morning Kiosks:

  • This year, for the first time, all Race Day registrations were done online via kiosk instead of through handwritten paper registration forms.

The result of the dual effort was a success.  Only 71 participants registered on Race Morning (compared to several hundred in previous years), and the kiosk registration was much smoother than having to manually key in individual information.

“The system on race day was effortless: we only had to work with one database, and there were no lost registrations or duplicates.  It was a very much streamlined process.” – Roxanne Davis

2014 Run Thru the Woods: By the NumbersGraph1Graph3Graph2

“I’m sorry I didn’t find this earlier, because it made my life easy.  I would highly endorse it to anyone.”

– Roxanne Davis

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

RunScore Results

RunScore ResultsWe are pleased to announce that RunScore has licensed the RunSignUp Results technology platform to create a new offering for RunScore timers – RunScore Results.

RunScore Results allows any RunScore timer to simply upload results to the web and provide finish notifications to runners and their friends without the usual complications. If you know how to produce local results reports with RunScore, then it will be intuitive how to get them on the web.

RunScore Results is available in pre-release form now – Here is a short video that explains how it works:

Create a Race

The process is very simple and can be all done within RunScore without adding any fields.

Create a Race
The first step is to Create an account (if you are already a RunSignUp user you can use your existing account since we are built on the same cloud platform).  Then you can Create a Race (again, if you are a RunSignUp timer and have a race already, RunScore will show you a list of your races already and will tie the existing Online Race to your RunScore PC race). Note RunScore is smart enough to know the Events you have on the PC and creates those online.

Upload ResultsTo simply publish results, go to the Listing File that you usually print from. You will see a new options to publish Online. The output online will look exactly like you have defined it in your listing file with all the columns displayed in the same order that they would be printed.

Here are the results output to the local terminal:

Local Results

Here are the same results online:

RunScore Results Online

Mobile Design
The results are displayed in a “Responsive Design”, which means they look great on mobile phones as well. This is important as many runners are checking your website for results right after the race.

Automatic Uploads
You have the ability to turn on automated “Incremental Uploads”, which will upload any people who get a new or different result every 30 seconds. This is nice because runners can look online right after they finish and see their results. This also means that any adjustments you do to participant data or to the results  in RunScore PC will get updated online automatically. Change the spelling of a name and within 30 seconds it is corrected online!

Widget on Your Website
The online results have a specific URL that you can share. To embed these results on the race website and your timing website, you can simply click the “embed” link at the bottom of the results page and copy and paste that code into your webpage and you get these beautiful searchable results:

Results Widget

Upload RegsitrationsTo enable Notifications, you must do two things.  First click on the “Enable Notifications” in the Race Menu on the right.  Second, and just as important, is you must upload your registrants as seen on the right to the online site so that people can sign up to get the notifications.

Online the participants will by default be displayed with data similar to what is in the Results (Name, Age, City, State).  The Online system has a configuration to adjust what data is shown or to force people to enter the correct name to sign up for notifications. In either case, the runners as well as any family members can go online to sign up for notifications. They simply click on the name and specify whether they want TXT and/or EMail.

Result Placeholder OptionsThe Timer Dashboard online gives you the ability to set up custom notifications with custom text and specific fields to be displayed (see examples on the right).  For example, you can create a TXT that says something like “Congratulations Bob on completing the Budweiser Rotary 5K in a time of 17:32. Your overall place was 32 and your gender place was 28.”

RunScore and RunSignUp look forward to your feedback to make this even simpler and more powerful. Let us know your ideas and feedback!

Giving Thanks for Results and Notifications

Thanksgiving has become a big day for races.

Just as we are seeing an increase in Thanksgiving Day Races, we believe runner demand for notifications is increasing.  Turkey day was also a big day for us to gauge how our new Results 3.0 system is working for customers.  A few quick facts:

  • Total RunSignUp Registration for Thanksgiving Day: 184 Races, 121,000 Registered Runners
  • Total Results posted to RunSignUp: 55,390
  • Total Races utilizing Notifications: 23
  • Total Notifications Sent: 31,000+Notifications1

If you have a Race that is using notifications, you can view a Notification report like this one to compare SMS and email notification opt-ins.

Also interesting to see from our Thanksgiving day surge: 

  • During peak hour, we were experiencing about 300 requests per minute, over half of which were from Mobile devices.
  • The average page load time remained consistent throughout the peak times.notifications2