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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Bring on the Chocolate Town Challenge!

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Runners and walkers can’t resist the draw of the Chocolate Town Challenge in Hershey, Pennsylvania – the Sweetest Place on Earth!

The challenge consists of two events; one in the Spring that was held this last weekend and offers a 10k distance and then a Fall half marathon event in October.

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This past weekend held the 6th Hershey 10K Race and RaceJoy was a new addition that race organizers brought to the experience. Participants who downloaded RaceJoy and carried their phones during the race were also treated to innovative race day experience with live tracking, progress alerts and cheer sending.

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So, while runners made their way through Hersheypark, they received continual progress updates letting them know their pace and estimated finish time. Friends and family used RaceJoy to watch their blue dot move through the park and knew exactly where they were on the course. More than 3,000 progress alerts were sent on race day!

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And while participants were passing the many attractions like Fahrenheit, Wildcat and Skyrush, they were receiving supportive cheers from friends and family.

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Photos from Chocolate Town Challenges Facebook

 

Close to 900 cheers were flying on race day – That’s some seriously sweet motivation!

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Photo from Chocolate Town Challenges Facebook

The Hershey Half Marathon is scheduled for October 15 and offers single and relay options for runners and walkers. What a nice way to treat yourself to some sweet memories!

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Hershey The Sweetest Place On Earth

When Milton S. Hershey opened his first chocolate factory in the middle of a Pennsylvania farm field, he dreamed of one day building the perfect town where his employees could live, work, and play. Since 1903, Hershey has become a year-round resort destination offering deluxe accommodations, unique culinary events, distinctive golf, a chocolate-themed spa, and a world class theme park for families and guests of all ages.

You can find out more information about the Chocolate Town Challenges here.

 

If you’d like to add your event to RaceJoy, follow the easy setup wizard on our site, or your RunSignUp dashboard. To learn more about all the features available in RaceJoy check out this Organizer Overview or review RaceJoy’s Website. Please note, we require a two-week minimum load time and an electronic copy of your course map (in KML/GPX format).

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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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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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Tobacco Road Marathon Offers RaceJoy’s Live Tracking on Picturesque Course!

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The 2017 Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon offered RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking and cheer sending for the first time! This popular race weekend offers more than 20 miles of picturesque experience along the American Tobacco Trail in Cary, North Carolina.

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The Tobacco Road race weekend has grown to attract runners from around the world and has donated more than $760,000 to charities, such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, various military veterans’ organizations, and the American Red Cross. The fast, flat nature of the course, ideal running temperatures and picturesque trails draw runners with all fitness levels.

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Photo by Dennis Gelser – Tobacco Road Marathon Facebook Page

This year, participants and spectators were also treated to the interactive, real-time race day features available in RaceJoy.

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550+ Participants carried their phones and used RaceJoy to be tracked during the race and 1,200 supporting friends and family tracked them live as they moved along the course. These 1,750 people made full use out of RaceJoy’s features!

“Just wanted to thank you for this great app! Yesterday I ran the Tobacco Road Half Marathon in Cary, NC. Thanks to the app, my husband and three young kids were able to follow me and show up at the right spot at the right time (which is a challenge with 3 young kids), so my boys were able to finish with me! A great experience and a great memory for the rest of my life. Thanks for helping to make that possible!” –  Petrie T.

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Finisher Photo of Petrie T. – Congratulations!

Participants and spectators who took advantage of RaceJoy received progress alerts at every mile that included information like location, pace and estimated finish time. Participants received these as audio alerts, a helpful feature when out on the course to avoid looking down at a phone. Spectators receive the progress updates as in-app notifications accompanied by a cowbell sound. Over the course of the weekend, 18,000 progress alerts were issued to participants and spectators!

“Sharing my joy as I was only steps from the finish line. Thank you for putting on a great race!” – Jade C.

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Photo provided by Jade. C – Finisher of Tobacco Road Marathon

Another popular feature of RaceJoy is the cheer sending. Users can send fun, prerecorded audio clips or personalized Text-to-Cheer messages in the days leading up to, during and after the race event. The Tobacco Road Marathon users showed some great support by sending more than 2,600 cheers to participants!

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“My first full marathon experience!” – Carmen M.

This is a unique and attractive race option for those seeking to qualify for the Boston Marathon or to achieve a new personal record. Whether it’s your first, like Carmen, or your 50th, the fast, flat course combined with the ideal running temperatures found in spring time in North Carolina make the Tobacco Road Marathon a race you should add to your race list!

Thank you race organizers for including RaceJoy in your 17th running of the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon! And special thank you to all of you who embraced RaceJoy. We hope it helped to bring a little more joy to a special race.

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Race Organizers:

If you’d like to add your event to RaceJoy, follow the easy setup wizard on our site, or your RunSignUp dashboard. To learn more about all the features available in RaceJoy check out this Organizer Overview or review RaceJoy’s Website. Please note, we require a two-week minimum load time and an electronic copy of your course map (in KML/GPX format).

 

Picturesque Seaside, Florida Offers A Special Race Experience for a Great Cause!

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The Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K is known for its picturesque setting in north Florida. People love doing this race with its out-and-back course featuring quaint beach towns (resembling homes like those in the Truman Show), dune lakes and beautiful beaches. This is the race that you hear about that gives a Vera Bradley gift for all finishers (thanks to Vera Bradley being one of the sponsors). This 2017 event had the special addition of RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking and cheer sending extending the quality experience for spectators to enjoy as well.

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Photos from Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K

Those who downloaded RaceJoy added to their Seaside race weekend with continuous live runner tracking, GPS-based progress alerts that were sent at every mile, fun audio cheers, and official timing scored results delivered in real-time courtesy of the race organizers!

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Participants who carried their phones had the opportunity to let their supporting family and friends live track them, whether at the race site or from the convenience of their home.  RaceJoy’s live phone tracking allows spectators to see their tracked participants’ blue dot move along a map view of the official course in real-time.

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“On March 5th I ran my first 1/2 Marathon. Each mile status provided by RaceJoy, and all the cheers from friends and family kept me going. I can honestly say my race experience would not have been as pleasant without RaceJoy. Thank you Seaside School Half Marathon & 5k and RaceJoy.” – Mary B.

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Congratulations on your first Half Marathon Mary!

Those who used RaceJoy also had the ability to receive progress alerts at every mile along the course. Participants received the alerts in audio format, and spectators received them as in-app notifications. The alerts included information like pace and estimated finish time. For many participants, RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are a great way to know how they are doing and adjust their pace as needed throughout the event.

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“I participated in the Seaside Half Marathon this weekend. I truly enjoyed using the RaceJoy app so that my family could track me as I ran and cheer me on with the audio messages! It made my race experience even more positive and it helped me track my pace and progress easily.” – Hannah W.

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We are so glad you enjoyed using RaceJoy, Hannah!

Seaside School Half Marathon participants were also able to receive official scored results in RaceJoy within moments of crossing the finish line. Skipping the line for results, participants who used RaceJoy could see their individual race results as well as age group and overall results.

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This is a special race and one race you should definitely add to your list for next year and it is for a great cause. The Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K gives 100% of the race profits to the Seaside School. Seaside is a tuition-free, local neighborhood school serving students who not only live along Hwy. 30-A, but also across Walton County. The Seaside School opened in 1996 to thirty-six students, two faculty members, and one administrator serving students in sixth through eighth grades. Today, the school has expanded to fifth through twelfth grades serving over 330 students and currently looking to add grades K-4.

 

Interested in Offering RaceJoy at Your Event? Check out RaceJoy’s website for information on all the features available to both the race organizers & sponsors and the participants & spectators.

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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.