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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Fifth Third River Bank Run Brings Innovation!

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This past weekend, the Fifth Third River Bank Run offered RaceJoy’s live tracking and cheers as an extra service for participants and spectators. The technology was highly embraced with a usage rate of almost 40% of the race’s finishers taking advantage of RaceJoy’s interactive race day features across all courses.

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The 39th Annual River Bank Run took place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and offered a full race experience – from the pre-race Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday to the post-race Finish Fest on Saturday. The race provided many different course options so that all could participate, including a 25K, 10K, 5K, Wheelchair 25K and a Handcycle 25K.

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The USATF certified loop course started in downtown Grand Rapids on Monroe Avenue and headed south, leaving the city to weave through parks and along the Grand River before finishing back downtown on Ottawa Avenue at Lyon Street.

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Continuous GPS Tracking

Race organizers treated participants to RaceJoy’s live continuous GPS tracking, as captured below. Friends and family, both at the race site and from their homes, tracked participants and knew exactly where they were throughout the race.

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GPS-Based Progress Alerts

Participants and spectators also received progress updates at every mile that included location, pace and estimated finish time. At this year’s Fifth Third River Bank Run, 32,200 progress alerts were sent! RaceJoy’s GPS-based progress alerts are just one of the many ways race organizers or sponsors can extend their branding when they opt for the buyout. The sponsor showcased at this year’s race was Starbucks Double Shot Protein as shown with the progress alerts below.

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Race organizers of the Fifth Third River Bank Run customized their progress alerts for a sponsor, Starbucks.

 

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Participants can also choose to post these alerts to Facebook and Twitter, providing Fifth Third River Bank Run and Starbucks with additional branding promotion by reaching an extended audience.

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Cheer Sending

Another very popular feature of RaceJoy is Send-a-Cheer, which includes the ability to instantly send fun pre-recorded cheers or custom text-to-cheer messages to participants at any time. Supporting friends and family embraced this by sending close to 7,000 cheers to race participants! This was a much higher number of cheers per participant than what we normally see. Now that’s some serious support!

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Thank you to the race organizers of the Fifth Third River Bank Run and to Starbucks for providing RaceJoy. Congratulations to all the finishers and thank you to the supporting family and friends! Don’t forget to sign up for next year’s 40th year as race organizers are sure to roll out the red carpet!

You can offer advanced tracking and cheers at your next race by creating a race in RaceJoy at no cost and in a few simple steps through RaceJoy’s Website or your RunSignUp dashboard. If you would like to provide these features to your participants for free, please see our buyout options during the RaceJoy setup.

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Alert: RaceJoy Discount Ends this Week!

Time is running out to take advantage of RaceJoy’s discounted buyout pricing. With the buyout races can offer RaceJoy’s advanced GPS Tracking and cheers for free to unlimited participants and spectators!

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The 20% discount pricing ends March 31 and makes RaceJoy’s advanced runner tracking affordable for any race. If your race is scheduled at a later date, you can still take advantage of this great discount by purchasing the buyout before the promotion ends.

Pricing for the buyout varies and is based upon the number of participants and the course distance:

Flat Buyout Pricing Discount (Total Participants Across All Events)

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*Call for events larger than 15,000 participants.

Participant Value, Sponsor Value, and Race Value!

Races that purchase RaceJoy’s buyout are able to deliver a truly innovative race experience to participants and spectators including free:

  • Live, real-time tracking along the course
  • GPS-based progress alerts at every mile with pace and estimated finish time
  • Send-a-Cheer including Text-to-Cheer for truly personalized messages
  • NearMe alerts as tracked participants draw near

Many races are having a single sponsor cover RaceJoy and give them prominent recognition in RaceJoy with sponsor banner ads, customized progress alerts, and logo placements in users’ Facebook and Twitter posting. In addition, sponsors offering RaceJoy are provided an effective tool to reach a broader consumer base that embraces remote spectators. Read this blog about sponsor value through the buyout.

Races also receive:

  • Listing in Featured Races area in RaceJoy for cross promotion
  • Custom, basic race information
  • Logo placements
  • Link to race website
  • Customized banner ads
  • Interactive course map(s)
  • Custom GPS alerts to showcase race/sponsor
  • Countdown/start clock

Races Across Country Offering Free RaceJoy

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Races across the country are offering free live tracking in RaceJoy! Races either offer RaceJoy as their exclusive tracking option or as an additional continuous tracking option to complement their traditional timing mat progress alerts.

We have seen that those that choose the buyout option to offer RaceJoy’s interactive race day features for free gain higher adoption from race participants and supporting spectators. Read this blog about how free tracking relates to higher usage rates at races. This translates to greater promotion for the race and sponsors.

Some of the races offering RaceJoy’s interactive features for free are:

  • California Classic Weekend
  • Folsom Blues Breakout
  • Two Cities Marathon & Half
  • Steamboat Marathon
  • Rehoboth Seashore Marathon and Half
  • Tomoka Marathon
  • Valparaiso Half Marathon
  • Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon
  • KY History Half Marathon
  • Urban Bourbon Half Marathon
  • Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon
  • Rock Lobster Relay
  • Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon
  • Maine Marathon
  • Annapolis Running Classic
  • Fifth Third River Bank Run
  • Milford Labor Day 30K
  • Beauty and the Beach Run
  • Wineglass Marathon
  • Flying Pig Marathon
  • HOKA ONE ONE Columbus 10K
  • Alamo 13.1
  • Zion Half Marathon
  • Vermont City Marathon
  • Lake Monona 20K
  • Madison Half Marathon
  • Lake Mills Triathlon
  • Wisconsin Triterium Triathlon
  • Devil’s Challenge Triathlon
  • Madison Marathon
  • Relay Iowa

RaceJoy Ready Your Race – Simple Process

To get your race loaded in RaceJoy is a very simple process.  We just need an electronic version of your course map and then for you to let your participants know you are offering RaceJoy. You can easily get your race loaded into RaceJoy through RaceJoy’s Website or on your race’s RunSignUp dashboard. We require a two-week minimum load time.

Races that want to offer RaceJoy are still able to offer the free-to-the-race option in which the participant and spectator pay 99 cents at a given race.

Contact us for more information about the Buyout Discount before the promotion ends on March 31 and offer your race for free to participants and spectators.

Let’s change the race experience together!

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Trend Setters Reaping High Usage with Free Tracking

Races across the country are getting their races RaceJoy Ready so they can offer advanced runner tracking, GPS progress alerts at every mile and cheer sending on race day. Trend setters seeking to provide innovation for their events and reach a larger audience are choosing the buyout option and offering these features for free. As a result, they are gaining a high adoption from race participants and their supporting family and friends.

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The more participants who use RaceJoy, the more supporting family and friends will also use RaceJoy. This increases your brand awareness and introduces your race to an increased number of spectators who could be potential participants next year! If you have a sponsor of RaceJoy, they in turn receive significant value by being promoted on multiple fronts with a highly engaged audience. See this recent blog as an example of sponsor promotion.

The 26.2 with Donna race offered RaceJoy’s tracking free this year and usage of these interactive features increased by 125%! This year’s race had more than 1,100 race participants use RaceJoy to be tracked via their phone during the race where last year there were just under 500 race participants who opted to pay the 99 cents for the live phone tracking. Couple this with an average of two people tracking a given runner and that means a very impressive growth in usage. In addition, the number of cheers sent increased by 149% with 2,220 cheers being issued in 2015 to 5,525 cheers this year.  Now, that is an engaged race audience!

Race organizers can choose to offer RaceJoy’s innovative experience by choosing one of the following options:

  1. Consumer Model: there is no charge to the race organizers – participants and spectators pay an in-app 99 cents fee per race.
  1. Buyout Option: the race organizers or sponsor purchase the buyout option to provide these features to participants and spectators at no cost to them.

 

Here is a break down of all that’s offered through both pricing options.chart

The buyout option is affordable enough for any race or sponsor to provide RaceJoy’s PhoneTrak features at their race. The buyout option provides the race/sponsor many promotion opportunities to increase awareness and to be prominently recognized for offering RaceJoy’s live phone tracking and cheers.

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Check out all the races that are offering RaceJoy for free in the Featured Race area in RaceJoy!

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You can easily get your race loaded into RaceJoy through RaceJoy’s Website or on your race’s RunSignUp dashboard. We require a two-week minimum load time, and you will need to load your electronic course map in GPX or KML format or build your own map using our Course Builder tools.

Note: RaceJoy usage rates vary depending on how much you promote the use of the app to your race participants. There is a Promotion Center with all the tools you need to spread the word.

Let’s change the race experience together!

 

RaceJoy Offers Innovative and Prominent Ways to Showcase Sponsors

Customized Recognition for Free Runner Tracking & Cheers

February 4, 2016 – Moorestown, NJ – RaceJoy, the leading real-time race participant tracking solution for running and triathlon race events, offers new and innovative ways to recognize and promote race sponsors. Race sponsors of RaceJoy’s buyout option receive prominent recognition for providing free tracking and cheers for participants and supporting spectators. Brand visibility is offered on multiple fronts, including custom GPS Progress Alerts issued at every mile, linkable banner ads, and race participant social media postings. Sponsors receive significant recognition while reaching a highly engaged and expanded audience that embraces race participants’ family and friends who are at the race site, in the local region, and around the globe.

To read more, please click here…

Space Coast Marathon Weekend Blasted Off with RaceJoy! 43,600 Progress Alerts at Warp Speed!

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phoneThis last weekend’s Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon in Cape Canaveral, Florida offered participants some serious medal bling, a fun venue and the latest in race day technology with RaceJoy. The Space Coast Marathon has been a long-standing local favorite and has grown in popularity as a destination race attracting people from across the nation. Race organizers go the extra mile to offer a quality experience for participants and also embrace the needs of supporting friends and family members.  We had a great showing with 4,600 people using RaceJoy for the Space Coast Marathon & Half Marathon. Way to blast off with the technology, runners and fans!

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Her name is Joy!

Thanks to the race organizers, people were treated to a futuristic race experience with all of RaceJoy’s bells and whistles, including two forms of runner tracking, instant race results, audio cheers and convenient access to key race information, like places of interest and the weekend’s schedule. Runner tracking included free race timed alerts as runners and walkers crossed timing equipment on the course.  Participants also had the option to purchase advanced GPS tracking for 99 cents where fans tracked their blue dot moving along the course.

During the races, RaceJoy issued 43,600 race-timed progress alerts as runners and walkers crossed timing points along the course. Running Zone provided high quality (as in one of the best we have seen) timing services and uses ChronoTrak timing equipment to time the race – which enabled RaceJoy to deliver these real-time updates.  Many race participants showed their adoption of social media and technology by opting to post their progress on Facebook and Twitter. More than 1,200 updates were posted to participants’ walls as they completed the race.

Hundreds of runners and walkers took advantage of the phone tracking option as well so that their supporting friends and family could see exactly where they were on the course.

We personally tracked one participant for more than eight hours on the course. Now that is someone truly dedicated to staying the course! We like that the race director goes out and personally cheers on the very last runners.  It shows he values the very last runner as much as the very first.

It was great to see people use RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature as well. More than 2,300 cheers were sent, including RaceJoy’s new text-to-cheer feature.  All kinds of messages were sent from heartfelt to quite humorous to, yes, even risqué cheers. Its always fun to be the one monitoring the cheers. 😉

RaceJoy’s integration with the Running Zone also allowed for the delivery of immediate, scored results for finishers, and these were available within moments of crossing the finish line. Finishers can now view their official race photos from their results page in RaceJoy thanks to the integration with MarathonFoto.

One of the big attractions of this race is the amazing medals they give out. Finishers received an additional third year medal if they have done the race for three years in a row. Below is a friend of ours who came back from a year- long trip away just so she wouldn’t miss the third race experience. Supposedly, the fifth year medal is the size of a plate!

Third Year Runners – Third Year Bling

A cool thing about this race is how many people stick around after the race. People set up little party areas and laid out their Space Coast Marathon earned towels on the grass and enjoyed some good eggs, pancakes, pizza, beer, soda, OJ, fruit – and they didn’t run out! There was plenty of food for spectators too, which is nice for those who have been out there for hours to support participants. The music was great and people made their own dance floor and everywhere you looked someone was shakin’ their groove thing.

We were hanging out at the RaceJoy tent giving out results to those that didn’t have their phone. It was nice talking with the runners we’ve gotten to know at the races and to see their staying the course on their running journey –an amazing vivacious cancer survivor, another who had just started running when we launched RaceJoy and are now going to Boston, some who have never thought they would run a marathon – it is these personal stories that get us revved up!

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Cancer Survivor, Lover of Life!

The Space Coast Marathon Weekend races start in the historic and quaint Cocoa Village and finish with a lap around the Riverfront Park amphitheater where family and friends can cheer and watch participants finish. The race is held within the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center and the entire event revolves around a space theme with fun photo opportunities and amazing medals.  The half marathon sells out every year within moments of registration going live – so this is one you’ll want to put on your calendar (2/15/16). For more: http://spacecoastmarathon.com/

We’d like to thank the Running Zone Foundation and Space Coast Runners for continuing to adopt innovation and include RaceJoy in such a historic race for the 3rd year! You are amazing to work with and we appreciate all the race participants and supporting friends and family who embraced RaceJoy!

Together, we are changing the race experience!

Cape Cod Marathon is the First Massachusetts Race to Deliver RaceJoy!

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In its 38th year, the Cape Cod Marathon Weekend delivered an innovative race experience to race participants and their supporting fans with RaceJoy. Hosted by Falmouth Track Club, the race is put on by runners who know what runners truly want in a race experience. The race organizers provided RaceJoy’s full premium experience as a complimentary service to its participants and spectators.

Thanks to race organizers, people were treated to a unique race experience with all of RaceJoy’s bells and whistles, including two forms of runner tracking with official race timed progress alerts and GPS tracking, instant race results, audio cheers, and key race information.

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More than 2,300 people took advantage of RaceJoy’s technology over the course of the Cape Cod Marathon Weekend. This represents a 120% usage rate (includes spectators and participants), This is some of the highest usage percentages we’ve seen! Way to embrace technology, runners and fans!

Runners took advantage of the free phone tracking option the race was providing (typically there is a 99 cents upgrade fee) with close to 700 people carrying their phones. Spectators from around the country were tracking participants as their blue dot moved on the map and knew exactly where their runner was on the course.

Live Tracking on Race Day!

Spectators were also able to track runners by receiving official race timed progress alerts from the start, midway and finish. Participants received these on the course and are able to review their splits in RaceJoy at any time. RaceJoy sent out more than 13,200 progress alerts as runners and walkers crossed milestones along the course.

RaceJoy delivered these alerts by integrating with the race’s stellar timing service provider, Granite State Race Services. They used ChronoTrack timing equipment and were great to work with and provided a high quality service.  We display what we get and they were spot on!

Many Cape Cod half marathon and full marathon participants opted in to have their progress posted to their personal Facebook and Twitter walls so their friends and family could be aware of their progress on the course.

By integrating with Granite State Race Services, RaceJoy also delivered immediate, scored results for finishers, including individual, overall and age-group results. Finishers were able to receive these within moments of crossing the finish line.

First Place Marathon Finishers!

Spectators and participants made use of RaceJoy’s Send-a-Cheer feature, sending more than 2,500 audio cheer clips. Users also got to test out RaceJoy’s newest Text-to-Cheer function. This feature allows users to type a custom message and have it immediately delivered in audio format to a selected participant. We saw some pretty creative and heartfelt cheers being sent on race day!

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The Cape Cod Marathon Weekend takes place over two days, with the full marathon event held on Sunday with a relay team option. Relay members took full advantage of RaceJoy’s tracking features, including NearMe alerts where they received alerts when their teammate is drawing near so they can get ready for the handoff.

The Cape Cod Marathon Weekend offers participants many options for runners and walkers. The event offers a Marathon, Relay, Marathon Half, and Clam Chowdah Challenge for those who wanted to race both days. The race course is a crazy beautiful scenic, one-loop course that is mostly flat, but has a 70 foot, 1.5-mile climb. Add this one to your bucket list: http://www.capecodmarathon.com.

We’d like to issue a huge shout out to race organizers and the Falmouth Track Club for embracing innovation and including RaceJoy in such a historic race!  Special thank you to Granite Timing and ChronoTrak for your superior technology and openness.  And, of course, you the runner – it is for you that we built RaceJoy! And it is comments like the one below that tell us we are on the right track. Together, we are changing the race experience!

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