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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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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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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May Brings New Usage Records for RaceJoy!

Part One!

Record Usage over One Race Weekend and One Race

We are seeing record RaceJoy usage on multiple fronts in this popular running month of May! This is a three part series demonstrating the full adoption of RaceJoy’s innovative race day technology.

First up is the record for overall usage over a single race weekend and at one race in particular. This involves a massive amount of data flowing instantaneously from RaceJoy, including 342,500+ progress alerts being issued to participants and those tracking them. And that’s not all…

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May 6-7 Race Weekend Records:

RaceJoy Records: Highest Usage, Most Progress Alerts, Most Cheers over one weekend!

The first weekend in May brought record breaking RaceJoy usage at races across the country, including:

These races chose to offer RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking, progress alerts at every mile and cheer sending for participants and their supporting friends and family.

Highest Usage: 39,000+ Participant / Spectators using RaceJoy over the weekend.

Most Progress Alerts: 342,500 Progress Alerts Delivered instantly through RaceJoy.

Most Cheers: 55,000 Cheers Delivered to participants

It was great to see that RaceJoy’s system handled the load without issue and alerts and cheers were issued without delay. 

Record Breaking Usage at Single Race

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Picture3The Pittsburgh Marathon’s participants and spectators used RaceJoy to its fullest and now represents the winning race for most usage, progress alerts and cheers delivered at a single race:

Highest Usage: 12,800 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Most Progress Alerts: 157,500 Progress Alerts Delivered (Glass City Marathon previously held this record)

Most Cheers: 23,500 Cheers Delivered to Participants

 

 

“I ran my first Half Marathon today and used the RaceJoy app for the first time as well. I have to say it was one of the major reasons I made it through. Getting cheers from my friends and family was amazing. Also getting updates on my progress and pace was incredible. My family loved using it to track my progress. I really appreciate this app and how it got me through this huge accomplishment. Thanks!!” – Jessica K.

Runner Up!

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Picture5The Flying Pig Marathon who previously held the record for most cheers was very close on all usage points with:

Usage (so close!): 12,300 Participants / Spectators used RaceJoy

Progress Alerts: 141,800 Progress alerts delivered

Cheers: 19,300 Cheers delivered

 

 

 

“What a fun way to race!!! I really enjoyed having all my family near and far in my “pocket” as I did the Flying Pig Half Marathon. It was so encouraging to see love from all over pouring in as I did my race. I would highly recommend it.” – Becks 

Special shout out to all the races who offered RaceJoy and gave your participants the opportunity to use RaceJoy and the ability to have their friends and family support them during the race. Those 48,000 cheers means a great deal to many of the runners and walkers and helps them to achieve what they set out to do at your event. Also, thank you to all of you who used RaceJoy and for posting your positive reviews to help encourage others to try RaceJoy.

Together, we are changing the race experience!

“I used this app for a half marathon race and enjoyed the mile splits, finish time estimates and (what was really enjoyable) the cheers from family and friends that were tracking me race. I hope other races will consider using this app!”  – Apple App User Review from H. Gaitonde

 

Stay tuned for the Next RaceJoy Record in May: Fastest runner to ever use RaceJoy…

 

First Race to Use RaceJoy’s New Relay Release!    

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RaceJoy’s newest relay release made its debut this last weekend at Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races.

RaceJoy’s latest release breaks new ground for relay teams and runners at this Connecticut race were able to be the first to experience it!

 

Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races

Cheshire Road Races offers a half marathon, a 2-person 13.1 relay and a 5k. A flat and fast scenic course that runs through Cheshire and Hamden Connecticut, the event takes place on significant stretches of the historic Farmington Canal Trail.

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The Cheshire Half Marathon & 5K Foundation was formed in 2012 as a nonprofit to help special needs children. At this year’s event, the signature charities supported by the Foundation were Abilities Without Boundaries, SARAH Foundation, Best Buddies of CT and Cheshire Lions Club – all of which are dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

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Photo from Event Facebook Page

RaceJoy for Relay Teams

RaceJoy’s newest release focuses on providing live tracking and progress updates for a relay team regardless of the number of people in the team.

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Plus, participants at Cheshire Road Races were able to take advantage of two ways to be tracked using RaceJoy:

  1. GPS tracking of each member’s actual location on the course using the live phone tracking feature.
  2. Team progress alerts as members pass over milestones throughout the course using the GPS-based progress alert feature. RaceJoy does this by virtually tying the team members’ phones together.

Individual participant tracking was also available and was fully embraced by runners with more than 4,500 progress alerts being issued!

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RaceJoy’s latest release offers a simplified way to bring real-time performance and split information to the team and those who are tracking them. The key of this release was to allow individuals to carry and use their own phone, versus using additional tracking hardware.

People simply use RaceJoy on race day by selecting the leg they are completing and clicking Start My Leg when they begin their leg. This begins the clock for that leg and automatically issues out progress alerts at every mile for running events and every five miles for cycling event.

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Thank you to race organizers of Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races for including us in this years’ events and congratulations finishers on a job well done!

RaceJoy continues to bring innovation to the race industry and is laser focused on the race day experience. This is just one of the many releases RaceJoy has planned focused on relay teams.

 

Race Organizers: If you’re interested in having your relay event loaded in RaceJoy, check out our website for more information or your RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time prior to the race start date and the official course map in GPX/KML format.

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Glass City Marathon Offers Live Race Day Experience with RaceJoy!

138,000 Progress Alerts Issued!

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As one of the first marathons to ever offer RaceJoy, the 2017 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon delivered a live race day experience for those at the race site and for remote spectators. RaceJoy was a significant component of this along with the event’s live streaming and interviews on race day. And clearly people embraced the technology with 138,000 progress alerts being issued through RaceJoy – breaking the record for most alerts at a single race.

 

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Photos from Glass City Marathon Facebook

The Glass City Marathon likes to bring new race day experiences and this year race organizers implemented a new live race day page on the Glass City Marathon website. This offered quick access to the RaceJoy app, a live leaderboard, which provided instant official results information, and a live streaming video of the race. This was really awesome since it wasn’t just a static streaming of the finish line. It also included the local news anchor from BCSN The Blade covering the race day and performing live interviews with participants. It also included a split screen where you could watch finishers come in while seeing what was going on at other areas of the finishing area in the Glass Bowl. In addition, for those participants that setup their profile for auto tweeting of progress, their alerts showed in the twitter live streaming (#RunGlassCity) shown on the live race page.

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Screenshot from the Glass City Marathon Website

With the RaceJoy app, Glass City Marathon also provided participants and spectators with live race day features like continual progress updates, live phone tracking, cheer sending, and scored results within moments of crossing the finish line. This year, more than 7,000 people used RaceJoy at the Glass City Marathon!

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The Glass City Marathon is one of the few races RaceJoy also offers Bib tag tracking along with RaceJoy’s industry first GPS-based progress updates. This meant that thousands of participants and spectators were receiving progress updates at every mile on the course. Updates included information like location, pace, and estimated finish time. Participants also had the option of posting their progress to their Facebook and Twitter walls. A record breaking number of alerts were sent out over the course of the Glass City Marathon weekend, with 138,000 progress alerts being issued!

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One of the great things about Glass City Marathon offering both tracking in RaceJoy and the live streaming of the finish line is that supporting family and friends could track participants’ blue dot as it moved along the course in the app and then watch them live in the streaming video as they crossed the finish line. Most runners have a friend or family member that can’t make it to the race. So, this offered an easy way to support the participant remotely and share in the race experience whether at the race site, at home or in another country (we saw you Canadians and Brits tracking your runners!)

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Watch This Video!

Supporting family and friends were also able to track runners live as they moved along the course by using RaceJoy’s GPS phone tracking feature.

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Supporting friends and family sent close to 9,000 cheers to Glass City Marathon participants! Way to support the runners!

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The Glass City Marathon takes place in our nation’s “Glass City”; Toledo, Ohio and is hosted by the Toledo Roadrunners Club. Northwest Ohio’s largest springtime event finishes in the Glass Bowl and the race organizers go all out to provide a special race experience. on. Thank you race organizers for including RaceJoy again this year, and congratulations finishers on a job well done!

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Photo from Glass City Marathon Facebook

Race Organizers: If you’d like to be on the forefront of race day technology, get your event loaded in RaceJoy by checking out our website for information or go to your RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time prior to the race start and an official course map in KML or GPX format.

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