Rock Lobster Relay Rocks RaceJoy!

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This past weekend the 2nd Annual Rock Lobster Relay, a multi-day 200 mile course along the scenic Maine coastline, offered RaceJoy for the second year in a row. 52 teams competed and 614 runners and supporting spectators used RaceJoy over the weekend!

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The Rock Lobster Relay is known for its firsts…

 

This relay is the first of its kind in Maine.

A truly unique experience, the relay is a 36-leg 200-mile course completed by teams of 7 to 12 runners. The race starts in the beautiful town of Bar Harbor on Friday and runs through the night, ending in Portland’s famous Old Port on Saturday. Runners enjoy Maine’s eastern rocky coast in its most beautiful time in the summer, soak up the historic Portland neighborhoods, and wind their way to the finish passing unique stores and micro-breweries.

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Photos from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

 

Rock Lobster Relay is organized by a company first to offer RaceJoy in Maine.

This relay is managed by GiddyUp Productions, a race management company that was the first to offer RaceJoy at a number of events in Maine, including the Maine Coast Marathon and the Old Port Half Marathon.

 

First ultra-distance relay course to use RaceJoy’s newest relay team release.

And, this year, the Rock Lobster Relay claims another first – its participants used the new team release of RaceJoy that provided progress alerts every five miles and included location, team pace, leg pace and estimated finish time. This was the first time RaceJoy had a course of this length use the team progress alert feature and nearly 5,000 alerts were issued over the course for the weekend.

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Over the course of the two days 300 runners opted to use RaceJoy’s live phone tracking feature. This is one of RaceJoy’s most popular features – it allows users to know where team members are at any given time by watching the runner’s blue dot move along an interactive course map in real-time. RaceJoy uses the runners’ phones as GPS trackers, so it shows users the true position versus a simulated location.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Website

For the runners, RaceJoy provided a real-time, interactive map of where the runners were on the ground at all times. This made it easier for teams to meet at transition points.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Runners also experienced real-time support while they were running the long course from their team members and family and friends through RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature. 1,300 cheers were sent as encouragement while the runners completed their legs.

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Additionally, RaceJoy provided the race management team a safety tool, providing continual live tracking of runners’ locations during the overnight portion of the course. The race operations team could watch participants through the RaceJoy Race Day Monitoring system or have them loaded into the app on their phones. Through the monitoring system, the race ops team could also view how many teams had crossed milestones along the course to better plan or be alerted if participants were off-course – a concern for many ultra-distance courses with overnight legs.

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Relays are growing in popularity and we see more and more races offer relay options at their events. Relays offer a great way to achieve something with others and to participate in a race you might not do on your own. The team spirit of accomplishing this Rock Lobster Relay was evident and it was great to see the reception from both the relay race organizers and the participants on race day!

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Photo from Rock Lobster Relay Facebook Page

Congratulations finishers and thank you GiddyUp Productions for your continued support of RaceJoy.

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If you’d like to offer RaceJoy to your participants and spectators at an upcoming event, you can easily load your race through RaceJoy’s website or your RunSignUp dashboard. We require a two-week minimum load time and an electronic version of your course map (preferably in GPX/KML format).

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Relay Races Hand Off RaceJoy to Runners!

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We are seeing a trend of relay races – from marathon distances to multi-day 300+ miles – requesting to load their events into RaceJoy so that they can offer live runner tracking and cheers to their participants and spectators.

RaceJoy provides interactive, real-time features to help relay teams on race day and for their supporting family and friends to encourage them along the way.

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One of the most popular features available is live phone tracking, which allows users to know where team members are at any given time by watching the runner’s blue dot move on an interactive course map or the location of their support vehicle. RaceJoy uses the runner’s phone as a GPS tracker. So, it is the person’s true position, versus a simulator. Many of the relay race directors like this feature as a safety precaution – especially for the longer distances where some people could run off course.

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Participants can also receive NearMe alerts to notify them when their team member(s) are drawing near to them so they can prepare for the handoff.

Another popular feature used to motivate team members is the Send-a-Cheer feature where people can send fun pre-recorded audio cheer clips. Supporting fans can also use Text-to-Cheer for personalized messages that are delivered in audio format. This is very popular with long endurance relay events where you need an easy communication device with your runner. The text is converted into speech for the runner and they do not need to look at their phone while running.

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The most recent relay to offer RaceJoy to its participants and spectators was the Relay Iowa this past weekend. This was the longest relay distance to offer RaceJoy to date: a relay course taking place across 3 days, 2 nights and 339 miles. Relay Iowa is known as the World’s Longest Relay Run!

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The teams consist of up to 12 people running some of the most beautiful and challenging landscapes Iowa has to offer. The route took the runners from Sioux City all the way to Dubuque. The goal is not to win, not to come in first, but rather to work with the team to make it across Iowa in sixty hours or less.

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Race organizers of the Relay Iowa offered RaceJoy to its participants and spectators for free, and more than 400 people took advantage of the interactive race day features! 144 participants had their phone’s tracked and received more than 850 cheers!

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Participants are also able to get progress alerts through RaceJoy. Relay Iowa alerts were sent every 10 miles based on the GPS location of the runners’ phones. Nearly 2,700 progress alerts were sent over the course of the weekend.

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These alerts are also able to be automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter in real-time.

Team members wishing to receive the alerts during relays are required to hand a phone off as they would a relay baton. With longer distance events, like the Relay Iowa, teams often choose to use a backup phone battery. After testing different portable phone chargers, our preferred brand is Anker.

Check out some of the upcoming relay’s offering RaceJoy:

  • Rock Lobster (free tracking)– Takes place in Bar Harbor, ME from June 24-25; Course is 200 miles
  • The Fred Running Relays (free tracking)– Takes place in Comstock Park, MI from August 5-6; Course options include a 200 mile relay and 100 mile relay
  • Peak to Brew (free tracking)– Takes place in Wilmington, NY from August 12-13; Course options include a 238 mile “full” relay and a 115 mile “half” relay
  • Burning River (99 cents)– Takes place in Willoughby, OH on August 6; Course options include a 100 mile, 50 mile and Back 50 mile

Relays offer a great way to achieve something with others and participate in a race you might not do on your own. There is nothing like that team spirit of accomplishing a goal together and encouraging one another along the way. It is great to see the reception from the relay race organizers and their use of RaceJoy to help build this team spirit and bring the runners together on race day! Go Get Em!

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If you’d like to offer RaceJoy to your participants and spectators, you can easily get your race loaded through RaceJoy’s Website or on your race’s RunSignUp dashboard. We require a two-week minimum load time. Buyout options are also available.

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