10th Anniversary DONNA Marathon Weekend Runs to Finish Breast Cancer and Breaks RaceJoy Records!

picture1

This past weekend, the 10th Anniversary running of the DONNA Marathon Weekend provided RaceJoy’s full interactive race day experience to participants and their supporting families and friends, courtesy of SpectraShield.  Close to 85,000 progress alerts were issued over race weekend giving real-time information to participants and spectators and breaking RaceJoy’s records!

picture2

SpectraShield, a manhole and wastewater structure refurbisher and installer, sponsored RaceJoy for its 3rd year to provide an innovative way for supporting spectators to encourage runners and walkers to share in this special race experience.

DonnaPhone.png

The Donna Marathon – the National Breast Cancer Marathon – is the only event in the country dedicated solely to the FINISH of breast cancer. This world-class event raises funds for groundbreaking research and to empower those living with breast cancer.

The event offers a variety of courses, including a 5K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and 110 mile Ultra. This past week, runners also had the option to participate in the Donna 10K for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the fight to finish breast cancer. The weekend attracted 7,200 runners and walkers from around the world!

RaceJoy had a great showing over the course of the weekend with more than 5,000 runners and walkers using the app! What a great way to FINISH IT!

picture3
Photo from DONNA Marathon Weekend

Thanks to SpectraShield’s sponsorship, people were treated to all of RaceJoy’s bells and whistles for free – this included two forms of tracking, instant race results, cheer sending and convenient access to race information.

Picture5.png

More than 1,600 runners were tracked using RaceJoy’s live phone tracking option, which allowed supporting family and friends to see exactly where they were on the course at any time during the race, whether they were at the race site or not.

picture4

This full marathon participant used live course tracking with every mile progress alerts for her family, with a battery life of more than 8 hours on race day. She said her husband was able to meet her along the course at several points with the help of RaceJoy.

picture6
Congratulations on finishing the Donna Marathon!

People loved sending RaceJoy’s audio cheer messages with more than 8,100 cheers sent! Talk about great support! Special cheers were also loaded for Donna Marathon Weekend.

Picture7.png

RaceJoy issued nearly 85,000 progress alerts over the course of the weekend – a record breaking number of alerts! These alerts included information like pace and estimated finish time. Alerts also included updates on the number of manholes participants crossed over in recognition of SpectraShield’s sponsorship.

Picture8.png

The progress alerts were delivered by integrating with the race’s timing company, 1st Place Sports as participants crossed milestones along the course. In addition to the race-timed alerts, participants who carried their phone also received GPS-based progress alerts at every mile based on the location of their device.

Picture10 9.36.56 AM.png

This integration with 1st Place Sports also allowed for the immediate delivery of scored race results available within moments of crossing the finish line!

picture9

It was a great 10th Anniversary weekend! We love catching up with repeat users of RaceJoy at the Donna Marathon Weekend each year.  Thank you for all your positive feedback and sharing your personal stories over the race weekend. Special thanks to Donna Marathon Weekend organizers and SpectraShield for including RaceJoy in the quest to finish breast cancer!

Picture11.png

Congratulations to all the race participants on a great race weekend! You FINISHED IT!

racejoyman_donnapink_200

RaceJoy Transitioning to “Free Only” Experience for Participants and Spectators

RunSignUp is changing RaceJoy’s business model to offer a “free only” experience for participants and spectators. Previously, race events were able to either purchase the buyout option or choose a consumer model where the participant and spectator paid an in-app upgrade fee of 99 cents for RaceJoy’s features. Key user features include continuous live tracking, GPS-based progress alerts and cheer sending.

The consumer model option will be phased out by the end of 2016 and will only be available for 2016 events that have already been loaded into RaceJoy. Going forward, race events that wish to have RaceJoy’s innovative race day experience will be required to offer the experience as a free service by purchasing the buyout option. RaceJoy’s pricing is set to be affordable for any race and includes significant value for the race itself.

picture1

Why are we doing this?  

Consistent Experience

There are many reasons that led to the decision to move to this free-to-consumers model. One of the main motivations is to ease user confusion and potential frustration – participants and spectators are often confused when some races are providing free tracking and cheers and others are not. Having a consistent, “always free” app will help overcome this.

Affordable Innovation

Participants are expecting some type of tracking to be provided and RaceJoy offers the most innovative solution in the industry. The buyout price is competitively set so that any race can afford to purchase the buyout or have a sponsor cover the cost.

Higher Engagement

In addition, those races that choose the buyout can more easily promote the availability of RaceJoy to all of their participants and spectators. We have seen much wider adoption and better feedback for races who offer a free option.

Race Value

Another key reason for this adjustment is that RaceJoy is offering a lot of value not just to the participants and their supporting family and friends, but for the race as well. From sponsor promotion to race day monitoring, we are continuing to build and expand the features that help race operations. All of this requires significant resources in development and support. Some key offerings available through RaceJoy for the race and sponsor include:

Race Day Monitoring:

The RaceJoy Race Day Monitoring tool provides organizers with the ability to track runners/cyclists and operational staff live from a web console and have immediate access to information to manage race operations and respond to race day conditions. See more about this tool by reading this blog… 

Value for Sponsors:

RaceJoy provides a powerful way to provide sponsor promotion with a highly engaged and expanded audience through in-app advertising and branding opportunities.

picture4

Race Promotion:

RaceJoy provides an opportunity for the race to attract more registrants and to reach each participants’ network of family and friends through its race listing in RaceJoy, social media promotion and through every GPS-based progress alert issued on the course.

picture2

Race Operations Management:

RaceJoy offers the ability for organizers to track the location of key race operations like the Lead and Tail vehicle and to communicate with them. And, the Race News Alert system makes for a very useful emergency communications tool, and to inform races about race day changes or key information like parking and packet pickup.

Picture3.png

And yes, all of this is included in the buyout price. So, not only are races able to offer the most advanced form of tracking available in the market, they are able to then use this to help with their own management of race day.

Thank you, race organizers, for embracing RaceJoy and providing a one-of-a-kind race day experience and for your dedication to quality and innovation. Together, we are changing the race experience!

You can view additional information about offering RaceJoy here.

RaceJoyMan.png

New RaceJoy Race Day Monitoring System

monitoringvisual

We are very excited to share that our first version of RaceJoy’s Race Day Monitoring system is now available for race organizers who offer RaceJoy’s live tracking! Organizers can track runners/cyclists and the race operations team live from a web console and have immediate access to information to help them manage race operations and respond to race day conditions.

picture1

Organizers are able to see the exact location of its race operations team, including the lead and tail vehicle, and other key personnel. In addition, with a click of a button, organizers have a global view of participants out on the course, and access to the number of race participants who have passed certain milestones to better project the support needs on the course. Individual race participant progress information, including location, pace and estimated finish time is provided for every participant who uses RaceJoy.

Race organizers can also bring their race field to life for those who are on the race grounds by projecting the view of race participant’s traveling the course to a large screen display at the race site.

Soon to be released features include Off Course Alert System and Participant Replay. RaceJoy’s new Race Day Monitoring System is included with RaceJoy’s buyout option at no additional charge.

See the press release for more information…

RaceJoy Releases Split Pace Alerts!

RaceJoyMan.png

RaceJoy is rolling out split pace alerts for those using GPS-based progress alerts. RaceJoy’s progress alerts are typically issued at every mile for running and walking events and every five to 10 miles for cycling and longer distance events. The alerts include information like location, elapsed time, overall average pace, estimated finish time, and now, current split pace time between the course points.

picture1

Users of RaceJoy have requested this feature be added so they could manage their performance during the race. By providing real-time split pace information participants can gauge if they need to slow down or pick up their pace to meet personal race goals.

picture1

The alerts RaceJoy issues are sent to participants in audio format. Click to hear a sample!

Play a Sample Alert:

RaceJoy offers many other interactive race day features, including live, real-time participant tracking on the race’s official course.

Spectators also receive progress alerts for tracked participants. These are provided as in-app notifications.

picture2

Other race day features include Send-a-Cheer, allowing supporting family and friends to send fun, motivational cheers, NearMe alerts and MeetUp. To learn more about all the race day features available in RaceJoy, download the app to begin exploring today.

Many of RaceJoy’s features, like the new current split pace, come from the participants sharing their needs for race information and ideas about race day interaction. Feel free to share any of your ideas by sending an email to rockstar@racejoy.com.

Together, we are changing the race experience!

picture3

RaceJoy Overview Video for Race Organizers

Below is a new video we just put out that provides an overview of RaceJoy for race organizers thinking of offering advanced runner tracking for their event. The video is about 12 minutes and covers RaceJoy’s key features of live continuous tracking, GPS-based progress alerts and cheer sending. It also covers the additional value the race receives, including race operations management features, news alert system, sponsor advertising and race advertising. Many races will have a single sponsor cover the cost for RaceJoy and this video is a helpful tool to use with potential sponsors.

Click Below for the Video:

DonnaTent.png

A how-to video for participants and spectators will be available soon!
Please see RaceJoy’s Website for additional information or send us an email at info@racejoy.com.
Picture1
We look forward to changing the race experience with you!

Relay Races Hand Off RaceJoy to Runners!

relay.png

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.

phone

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.

track

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.

cheer

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!

iowa

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.

finish

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!

runners

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.

rj

twitter
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!

tunnel

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.

Picture7

How to Optimize Your Battery on Race Day: When Using RaceJoy’s GPS Tracking

RaceJoy does a lot to optimize your phone’s battery when using its advanced GPS tracking feature. Our testing has shown that you can expect an average of eight (8) hours of battery life for endurance events when using the RaceJoy’s tracking feature based on average cell conditions and phone battery condition. With newer phones, like Apple 6 Plus and Android phones, our testing has shown RaceJoy’s GPS tracking being used for 18+ hours without a battery backup.

Picture1

Each phone, cell provider and the cell conditions of the area play a factor. Your cell provider may not have the same strength of service at the race site as you do at home, and this will deplete your battery at a faster pace. However, there are things you can do to get the most from your battery on race day.

Battery Optimizers

1. Fully charge your phone’s battery prior to the race start

This is an obvious one, but needs to be reminded! Tip: Use car chargers or portable battery charging devices right up to the race start. Wait to turn the tracking on until about 10 minutes before the race starts.

2. Do NOT use Wi-Fi

Most people will connect to Wi-Fi to save on data and to overcome their provider’s limited service for a given area. This is fine when you are stationary, but it doesn’t work well with GPS tracking across race courses. Using Wi-Fi can cause your tracking to turn off as you move away from the Wi-Fi area. Plus, your battery will drain more as you move along the course and your phone attempts to make new Wi-Fi connections. GPS tracking and Wi-Fi technologies don’t mix well right now– so, please make sure you are using your cell provider with RaceJoy’s GPS tracking.

3. Consider a new phone, or a replacement battery

Clearly, this wouldn’t just be for RaceJoy, but it is something we recommend when people are experiencing difficulties with battery life in general. We consistently see that older phones have less battery life than newer phones. The constant recharges over multiple years will deteriorate the battery. In addition, the new phones and software are designed to make more optimal use of the phone’s battery. So, if you are one of those out there with a tiny phone from prehistoric times (as in 3-4 years ago), consider getting a newer phone.

Picture2

4. Turn phone off in poor cell zones

Some race courses have poor to no cell service due to the geographic terrain. Your phone will continue trying to get a connection in poor cell areas and this will drain your battery at a much faster rate. We suggest you temporarily turn your phone off in known trouble areas. When races let us know of poor cell zones on the course, RaceJoy will show a red poor cell zone graphic overlay on the map image.

Picture3
Ogden Marathon course – runners waited to turn tracking on at Mile 5.

5. Use a portable battery charger

These can be purchased online and are ideal for both participants and spectators. They are lightweight and a good option for those who expect to be out on the course for a longer period of time or who wish to keep other apps running during the event. We’ve tested many different portable battery chargers and prefer the Anker Mini.

Picture4

6. Avoid or limit phone camera and video taking when using Live Tracking  

Participants and spectators should avoid using the device’s camera and, especially, video functions. These significantly utilize the device’s battery and should be avoided unless you have a battery backup plan.

7. Turn off other tracking apps.

Some tracking apps have come a long way with optimizing your phone’s battery. However, if you are using a training app that you know drains your battery, it will drain your phone battery that much faster on race day. We suggest you either use RaceJoy or your preferred tracking app.

8. Turn off non-essential applications.

RaceJoy works well with other mobile apps. However, many applications continually pull on your phone’s resources behind the scenes and should be temporarily shut down to prolong your phone’s battery life.

  • Examples: Facebook, Twitter, Email and games. Playing music does not appear to have any significant impact on the phone’s battery during our testing.
  • Apple users: double click your home button and swipe to close applications.
  • Android users: select the Menu button, then Applications, and Running to select those you wish to close.

Battery Drainers

  1. Poor Cell Provider Coverage – Each cell data provider’s coverage is different for a given region and race – some provide strong coverage while others have weaker coverage. We see this change from race to race (AT&T is stronger than Verizon or vice versa). If you are at a race and your cell provider’s service is weak as shown with the number of bars on the top of your screen, then this is going to drain your battery at a much faster rate as the phone re-attempts to make connections. There really isn’t anything you can do to get around this other than be aware and maybe turn off your phone or tracking temporarily if you see the battery is depleting fast.

Picture5

2. Poor weather conditions – When there are significantly poor weather conditions this can affect GPS technology and will cause your phone to attempt to make connections with GPS satellites – further depleting your battery. Though, for most weather conditions, this isn’t an issue as GPS technology has improved over the years.

3. Viewing the screen – The more you view your screen, the more your battery will get used. Participants don’t have this issue as much as spectators tracking runners/cyclists. We suggest supporting family and friends have a backup battery plan if they are going to be at the race site.

4. Shorter Distances Drain Faster – RaceJoy is programmed to provide highly accurate positioning for shorter distance events, such as 10Ks and 5Ks. For these events, frequent location updates are transmitted, which will drain the battery at a faster rate.

What’s Using Your Battery?

You can check to see how much each app is pulling on your battery by looking at your phone’s settings area (For both Android and Apple devices, you can find this under Settings > Battery).

Picture6

Share any of your battery saving tips by sending them to rockstar@racejoy.com. For more information about RaceJoy, please visit www.racejoy.com.

Picture7