People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay Offers Premium Race Experience!

VermontPhone

People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay is one of those premium races that surrounds the runner and spectator with race centric services that you don’t see at every race. Race organizers at RunVermont truly focus on ways in which to add to the race experience, and not just for race participants, but spectators as well. This is evident in their multiple relay options and services they provide before, during and after the race. One, of which, was RaceJoy!

People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon and Relay is a single 26.2 course, but with five different ways of completing the race – from solo to relay teams in many different combinations and award categories (2, 3, 4 and 5 person teams -26.2 miles to 5.24 mile relay legs). This is brilliant because it means everyone in the race is doing the marathon – whether as a solo rock star or part of a rock star band. 🙂

For more on the Vermont City Marathon & Relay and RaceJoy’s integration, visit RaceJoy’s Blog.

Rotpac Racing Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Rotpac Racing Case Study focuses on how a Timer can work with their Race Directors to create the best race experience. 

View the PDF Version of the Rotpac Racing Case Study

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Rotpac Racing and RunSignUp

Rotpac Racing works to educate and lead the races they time to help them get the most out of their Online Registration and Race Day options.


 

 

Picture3About Rotpac Racing

Rotpac Racing has been timing and managing XC meets, Road Races, and Cross Country Skiing races for 20+ years, and currently times 75+ races and manages 3.  Rod Yeacker talked to us about how they work with their Race Directors to create the best race experience possible.


The Race Director

Rod uses The Race Director Timing Software, and utilizes the integration between Race Director & RunSignUp.  He prefers to have Race Directors enter all their pre-race day paper registrations on RunSignUp ahead of time so that he can pull the data the day before the race to pre-assign Race Bibs.


Providing Guidance to Race Directors

Rod began using RunSignUp as it started to introduce integration with Timing Software and features beyond simple credit card processing for race registration.  As he transitions to RunSignUp, he finds that some are able to understand the process (and added feature options) better than others, and has implemented some steps for helping his Race Directors get up to speed.

  • Race Directors are given a walk-through sheet to show them how their results & awards should look, and how to set up events on RunSignUp to accomplish that.
  • Rod will go through upcoming races and review their categories to make sure they are correct.
  • Correcting race setups early helps not only that race, but affiliated races that are likely to copy setup from other, similar races.

It would be easier for Rod to just set up the races himself to ensure they are done correctly, but doing so would meant that Race Directors would never learn to do it themselves, so he provides tools and support instead of taking over the work.


“Technology has changed so quickly…it’s tough to try to get Race Directors who barely understand chip scoring to understand the reasonable investment of taking the time to set up a race correctly, send out email blasts, etc.  I’m trying not to set up every race myself, but doing corrections and giving ideas of what I think can help…but a lot of it right now is having people go through the process.”  Rod (Rotpac Racing)


Picture1Multipurpose Video

Rod uses video at his races in several ways: for timing backup, to improve the race experience, and to provide a marketing tool for his races.

  • Rotpac has around 6 different camera options (including ipads, etc.), and will generally set up a camera on a tripod and film a shot of the clock, starting with the first runner.
  • When possible, they also do a roaming camera – runners love the opportunity to see themselves.
  • As a check for the timing system, a Rotpac team member will operate a handheld camera and audibly say the race numbers of each runner as they cross the finish line.
  • Some of the races that are operated by running stores will use the video (or clips of it) as a marketing video to play in their store as a lead-up to the race.
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If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Tomoka Marathon Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Tomoka Marathon Case Study focuses on using RunSignUp as a central data point for everything from registration to race day and volunteer coordination. 

View the PDF Version of the Tomoka Marathon Case Study

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Tomoka Marathon and RunSignUp

Runners High Timing and the Tomoka Marathon use RunSignUp to maintain a central data point for various facets of their Race Management.


Picture1The Tomoka Marathon was the second edition of a local marathon, half marathon, and 5K.  They brought out 1,400+ runners to celebrate and enjoy the Old Florida Charm and beauty of their area. Don of Runners High Timing and Race management walked us through the outline of their event.


 A Professional Appearance

Picture2The Tomoka Marathon website is a beautiful, easily navigable, and informative website.  To keep things simple, and to keep runners on their website (instead of redirecting them), they use RunSignUp Widgets for Registration, Results, and Volunteer SignUp.


 Using the Integration with the Race Director

Don takes advantage of the two-way data syncing between RunSignUp and the Race Director to keep track of all his participants.

  • Leading up to Race Day, he manages all data from within RunSignUp.Picture3
  • He assigns Bibs for all pre-registered runners in RunSignUp, and exports them to Race Director.
  • On Race Day, Race Director becomes his master, and he enters all paper registrations and Bib Numbers into Race Director.
  • The integration allows him to load Results to RunSignUp (hosted on his website via a widget) live on Race Day.  While he will still need to double-check the results prior to awards, runners appreciate the ability to check their finishing times immediately.

“I like the integration with RD – it really makes things easier for me from a Race DirectorPicture4 & Timer perspective.  Previously, with other systems, I had to export, format, and import.  This way, I can have everything, including a results link – set up before the event – and when the race is done, I’m done.”

– Don, Runners High Timing & Race Management


 

Race Day Solutions

  • To make it easy for his runners to find their online results, Don includes a QR code on Picture6his Bibs that links to the results page.
  • In addition to online results, they print results at the finish line for runners less comfortable using the internet on their phone.
  • Tomoka Marathon offers text and email notifications to runners and spectators, and had a high adoption rate in 2015 – a total of 1,536 notifications were sent out.
  • The race was RaceJoy enabled as a tracking option for runners who planned to carry their phones.

Volunteer Coordination

Recruiting & Managing Volunteers: The first year of the Tomoka Marathon required more work to find volunteers, but they were able to draw on existing relationships from other races they manage, and are now able to build on that base and brin many of the groups back each year.  To manage their volunteers, they stress communication. The have a pre-race meeting, but also utilized the Volunteer email capability in RunSignUp to make sure Volunteers have clear directives.

Using the RunSignUp Volunteer System

Volunteers for the Tomoka Marathon used to be managed in a Spreadsheet – while that worked, it was time consuming.  The RunSignUp Volunteer System allows them to move all the data for volunteers into the same umbrella as their Participant Data, and provides easy emailing with Volunteers.

Tasks: Tasks are set up with Timeslots (some Tasks have multiple time slots), and minimums and maximums for each task. These Min/Maxs help them to keep track of what tasks need more volunteers when they view reports.

Categories: They have 4 categories of Volunteer: Course, Packet Pickup & Registration, Start/Finish Line, and Water Stops. Each Category has several Tasks that fall within that Category.

Volunteer Coordinators: Many Volunteer Tasks are staffed by groups.  A leader from the group can then be assigned the role as Volunteer Coordinator, allowing them to provide communication to the group for the Task they are responsible for.Picture5

By using RunSignUp for Registration, taking advantage of the integration with Race Director and utilizing the Volunteer System and it’s communication feature, the Tomoka Marathon is able to maintain a single database for each of the elements of the race.


 If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Ford Timing Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Ford Timing Case Study focuses on Integration with the Race Director, Widgets for existing Websites, and RunSignUp GO features. 

View the PDF Version of the Ford Timing Case Study

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Overview: Ford Timing, a technologically adventurous Timing company in California, chooses RunSignUp for its tight integrations and easy Race Day features.

About Ford Timing: Ford Timing was founded by Aaron Ford in 2009.  They provide Timing Services for Road Races, Cross Country & Track Meets, Triathlons, Duathlons, Stair Climb Challenges…and any other kind of race you might come up with.  Ford utilizes The Race Director Timing Software and Chronotrack Chip Timing for the events they work with.  Currently, Ford Times 70-80 Races each year.

“I think it’s safe to say, in this day and age, my Race Directors expect more than just Timing, and if we’re able to deliver the Live Results, the Notifications, etc, than that’s a real competitive advantage for our business.” – Aaron Ford, Ford Timing Owner


RunSignUp and Integration with The Race Director

Aaron came to RunSignUp with an established trust in the Timing Software he used (The Race Director), and it was crucial to him that his registration company have the ability to work with The Race Director instead of requiring that he change software.  Aspects of the integration with The Race Director that are especially important to Aaron include: 

  • Picture5The Race Director allows for Push & Pull Changes: Changes made to data in The Race Director can update the information in RunSignUp, and changes made to the data in RunSignUp can update the information in The Race Director.
  • Using The Race Director means that most of the work is done locally in the software, so the internet requirements are limited.  The race can be scored even with a weak internet connection.
  • There is control over sending results: Aaron can review result information before publishing it.  For this reason, Aaron chooses Manual Publishing of Results, instead of Automatic.Picture6

“With RunSignUp, because youhave control over when to send up results, you can ensure that they are correct.  I like being live, but I want to be RIGHT, so that I can send that right text message the first time.”
– Aaron Ford


RunSignUp and Integration With Your Site

Picture4Aaron uses widgets to make RunSignUp a seamless part of the Races he times.  Widgets can be placed directly into the website of the Race so that runners can register without ever leaving the Race Website. Similarly, Results Widgets allow RunSignUp Results to “live” on the Race Website.

Integrating registration and results into an existing Race Website brings more traffic to the Race Website, and removes roadblocks for Runners.


RunSignUp Go: Testing Race Day Technology

While there are features of RunSignUp Go that Aaron uses regularly, he also tries to test out new features on a per-race basis.  For the Moraga 4th of July Fun Run that he timed, he tested out leaving Online Registration open through the start of the race. People could sign up online before leaving their house in the morning, on their phone on the way to the race, or as they walked up to Bib Pickup, and their information was immediately available to the volunteers at Bib Pickup.


Considerations When Allowing “Pre”(Online) Registration Through Race Day Morning

  • Registration periods on RunSignUp were set so that the price increased to Race Day price at midnight
  • Runners registering online (instead of by paper) are more likely to input accurate data
  • Runners can pay by credit card online, instead of needing cash.

Aaron could then use dynamic bib assignment to get each of the late-registrants assigned bibs (discussed in more detail later), and push the late registration information into The Race Director to ensure that his participant data was updated prior to the start of the race.

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RunSignUp Go: Using Dynamic Bib Assignment

For mid-to-large races (over 200 runners), Aaron utilizes Dynamic Bib Assignment for Bib Pickup.  The logistics of Race Day, Dynamic Bib Assignment:

  • To manage Race Day, Aaron keeps a stock of cheap, refurbished Chromebooks that can be used either as kiosks for registration, or by volunteers assigning bibs.
  • No bibs are pre-assigned and labeled.
  • As Runners enter, volunteers look them up by name on their Chromebook, take timage001he next bib off their pile, and assign their bib number.
  • For a race with 1,500 runners, Aason has found that 8 stations are adequate to keep Bib Pickup moving smoothly with Dynamic Bib Assignment.
  • Using Dynamic Bib Assignment, Ford has checked in over 600 runners in under 2 hours, using 8 laptops.

Note: it is important to ensure that there is a strong internet connection in order to use Dynamic Bib Assignment.

Benefits of using Dynamic Bib Assignment 

  • Eliminates wasted Bibs: If you have pre-assigned bib, and 10% of your runners don’t show up, you have wasted 10% ofyour Bibs.  That cost can accumulate over the course of multiple races.
  • Saves time: limits line back-up for common letters, and removes the need to search through Bibs to find the correct one.
  • Better evaluate the effectiveness of pre-race Packet Pickup and/or a specific Volunteer/Pick-Up location: RunSignUp reporting will show you when your bibs were picked up, and how many were picked up by a specific User.

RunSignUp Results

Beyond the simplicity of one-click push of results from The Race Director to RunSignUp, Aaron finds some advantages to RunSignUp Results:

  • The ability to do SMS texting and email notifications.
  • The text on SMS & Email notifications is customizable.  For example. Aaron removes Age Group Place from his results notifications because that is more likely to change with chip timing.
  • RunSignUp results are Mobile Responsive, so Runners can access their results quickly on their phones, or on a tablet or laptop kiosk that is set up at the Race.
  • Results are searchable by bib number or name.
  • Results can be hosted as a widget on the website for the race to that result can be found on the Race Site immediately when they are published from The Race Director.Picture1Picture2

Summary: Ford Timing prefers RunSignUp because it combines “flashy” Race Day features that runners want with technology integrations and manual controls to allow them to ensure consistency and accuracy.

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

RunSignUp Integration with Agee Timing Software

RSU-AgeeAgee Race Timing Software has partnered with RunSignUp to provide a comprehensive integration with their Race Timing Software.

Brian Agee has put together a complete manual for the integration here.  A few highlights:

Race Setup

AgeeRSU1If you have existing races on RunSignUp and want to download the information into your  AgeeRSU2Agee Software, simply use the Options menu to sign into an External (RunSignUp) Account, using your RunSignUp login information, and elect to “Create Race”, “From Account”.

When you download your participant information from RunSignUp to Agee, you will receive a few prompts that relate specifically to the way information is defined within the Agee system:

  • Agee separates “Runners” and “Walkers” and will ask you to either create a Custom Question in RunSignUp requiring participants to select one, or to allow Agee to automatically create the custom question for you.  Note: allowing Agee to create the custom question will delete any existing custom questions you have on RunSignUp.  If you have already set up any custom questions, you should add the Runner/Walker question yourself.
  • Agee will suggest you either set up your “Giveaway” (if you have Tshirt for your race), or let Agee create your Giveaway automatically.  Note: allowing Agee to create the Giveaway will delete any existing Giveaways on RunSignUp.

AgeeRSU4You will also be given the option to download Bib Numbers as they were assigned in RunSignUp, or set new Bib Numbers.

 

A unique piece to this integration is Agee’s ability to initiate Race Creation directly within the Timing Software for you to complete within RunSignUp.  To start your race on Agee:

  • AgeeRSU3Use the “Create Race”, “New Race” option and fill in the basics of your Race.  You will be able to verify the URL for your Race Web Page and pass the information with the click of a button by choosing “Create Website”.
  • Agee can automatically create the Runner/Walker Custom Question and Giveaway Setup for you.

Data Syncing

At any point, you can click the “Sync” button in Agee to pull down new participant data or changes from RunSignUp.  Additionally, you can update Race Information in Agee and choose to “Update Website” to sync those changes to the RunSignUp Web Page, or jump directly to RunSignUp to access all our regular features.

AgeeRSU5Results

Use a simple “Publish Results” button to manually upload results into RunSignUp.

 

 

If you are using RunSignUp and Agee, please go to the ART/RSU Login Page to Sign In.  This will help us if you need any support with the integration.

“I use RunSignUp as my online registration vendor already.  I like them because they give a little “widget” that I can paste directly onto a webpage on my site that makes it look like runners are signing up at Ohio Race Day.  Now that RunSignup integrates with Agee Race Timing, I’m really excited.”
– Michael B

We’re excited about this integration as well. Please let us know how it is working for your race.