We have added a comprehensive Free Corral Management System. Since there are so many ways that different races handle corrals, there are many options to setting things up. Here is a list of high level functionality, followed by details on how to make a variety of implementations work. The first three images on the right are examples of what a runner would see.
- Ask participants for estimated finish time (we include a handy pace calculator) and/or Corral during registration.
- Enable corrals on a per event basis.
- Events can have Minimum and Maximum times allowed in the event. This is used when runners are entering estimates so they do not put in 22:00 for a marathon.
- Events can have a Required Verification Time set – so that elite runner who enter under a certain time will be asked for a web link for their qualification time. For example all runners under 2:30 need to supply a link to their race results.
- Any number of Corrals can be defined.
- Corrals can have 1 or more Events.
- Corrals have a Name, Time, Description and maximum number of participants.
- Each Event in a Corral can have Minimum and Maximum times.
- Each Event in a Corral can have a Max number of participants. So the first corral could have a total Max of 1,000 participants and the Full Marathon could have 500 and the Half Marathon could have 750.
- Corral Assignment can be done During Registration and assigned by either Time or the runner picking the Corral.
- Corral Assignment Tool. Assign and reassign corral in bulk. Assign based on Estimated finish time or registration date (in case there are more qualifiers for a corral than there are spots). Set Default Corral (for people who do not have an estimated finish time) Override corral size limit option. Or upload your own CSV.
- Import participants with Estimated time and/or Corral.
- Ability to Edit Corral and Estimated Time in Participant Management. Note this allows races that have taken registrations to ask runners to go back into their Profile to enter their estimated finish time.
- Corral Size Estimator Tool. Allows you to enter estimated number of participants per event and it will extrapolate existing participants times into the corrals you have defined.
- Corral Time Estimator Tool. Helps you to build finish times that will give you corrals of approximately the size you define. This is based on the estimated finish times of those already registered, so this tool is most useful after a large number of participants have registered.
Here is a video overview of the system followed by detailed instructions below.
The setup can be done in pieces, or all together if you have well established corrals and times from previous years. These are the major parts to set up:
This contains several key configuration options:
- Estimated Finish Time. This becomes key if your race will be assigning corrals based on time.
- Min and Max Allowed Time. This is important to make sure people do not put in false information. For example a 5K might have a minimum of 14:00 and a maximum of 1:00:00. So if someone makes a mistake and enter :13, they will be asked to provide a time in the range.
- Verification Time. This is to facilitate Elite athlete qualified times. If you set a time of 2:30:00 for the marathon, it would ask for a web link for any times under that.
- Assignment Options.
- Do Not Assign at Registration. Use this when you will assign corrals closer to the race.
- Auto-Assign During Registration. This will assign corrals as people register based on their estimated finish time. If you do the Manual assignment say 4 weeks before the race, then you can turn this on for the remainder of registrations.
- Runner Self-Select. This allows a runner to select which corral they are in.
The other major step is to set up your Corrals. Here is an example:
- Corrals can have a Name and Time and Description. These are flexible text fields and can contain anything. The Name and Time fields will show in the drop-down list if you allow runners to pick their own corrals.
- Maximum Number. This is the maximum number in the entire corral. For example if you are assigning corral as people register based on estimated time, once this max is reached qualifiers by time will be put into the next available corral.
- Estimated Minimum and Maximum Finish Time. This is the range that will allow for assignment (either as people register or when you use the bulk assignment tool). As you add new corrals, the Min time will be 1 second larger than the max of the earlier corral. You should avoid leaving gaps or overlapping times to ensure assignment is done correctly.
- Select 1 or more Events per Corral. Some races segment their corrals based on event, but many races will start the Half and Full Marathons together. If you have multiple events, you can determine the maximum number of participants in each event. Please make sure these equal the overall limit – or simply leave the overall blank and fill in the Max on a per Event basis. For example Overall would be blank, the Half would be 500 and the Full would be 300.
If you are not auto-assigning corral positions during registration, you can use the Corral Assignment Tool.
- CSV Upload. You can use Excel to create your own system and easily import that into the Corrals. There are really only two columns needed – the registration ID from RunSignUp and the Corral assignment. This gives you lots of flexibility, but also allows for Corral information to be part of the database. Then you can include a Corral Tag in your emails to runners before the race to remind them which Corral they are in along with the Corral description. Note that is you are doing this, you can skip a lot of the set-up steps above like min and max times since you are making those decisions and not the RunSignUp system.
- Bulk Assignment. RunSignUp will do a bulk assignment of all existing participants based on the setup defined above. There are a variety of options:
- Event(s). Select which event or events you want to assign. Separating events has two purposes – first it allows you to define separate rules for each. Second, it allows you to give preference to one event over another if there is a maximum in a shared corral. For example if the Full and Half Marathon share the first corral and there are only 200 spots you can assign all the qualified Marathon participants first.
- Reassign. This let’s you redo your previous assignments. Very convenient for experimenting with the system.
- Ignore Corral Limits. This allows you to decide to make assignments based solely on time qualifications.
- Assignment Order. You can use either Estimated Time or Registration Date. For example if you choose Registration Date and the first corral has a cut off time of 3:00:00 and there are only 200 spots but 300 people who are under 3 hours, then the system will take the people who signed up first. This means some faster people might not get into the first corral.
- Default Corral. This is used for anyone who does not have a qualifying time. For example you may have imported participants. Or you may suspect someone of putting in an incorrect estimated time and you delete that time. The default corral is typically the last corral.
Use the Participant Report to customize a view to see corral assignments as demonstrated below. The two new fields that are available are Corral and Estimated Finish Time. Remember that you can save your report so you can reuse it easily.
Corral Size Estimation Tool
The Estimation Tools are available from the Corral Setup page as shown on the right. The size estimator is a quick way to estimate how many will be in each corral based on the current participants estimated times. In the example below I have 10 people signed up for this race so far – 3 in the first corral, 5 in the second and 2 in the last. If I expect 5000 people, it autocalculates the estimate for each corral:
Time Build Tool
The second tool for estimating is estimating the times for each corral based on the size of the corral. In the example below we say how many people can fit into each corral (500, 2,000 and 2,500) and the system automatically tells us the estimated times(<22:59, 22:59-35:00, and >35:00) to use based on the estimated times of the participants who have signed up already and our event size of 5,000 (yes, the data looks screwy because there are only 10 participants in this test race and I put in times that were very, very fast):
This tool is pretty slick when you have a fair amount of data and you have multiple events in each corral.
Using for Existing Races
If you are in the middle of registration and you want to use the new Corral feature there are three options.
To use any of the three, you will need the estimated finish time to make things really work. You probably have a Custom Question asking for time, and you will need to turn on our new standardized time estimation and turn that question off. We do not have a tool at this time to easily import old custom time questions into the new estimated time, which will make conversions a bit awkward and will likely cause most races to use Option 1 if your race has many people already signed up.
Option 1 – CSV Import. If your race has had corrals in the past you are probably already collecting data and have a process to assign corrals in a spreadsheet or scoring software tool. You would define the Corrals in RunSignUp as stated above and then do the import. You would keep your custom question.
Option 2 – Full Corral Migration. This is a bit tough since you will have to manually convert your custom question times into the new standard Estimated Time field. The nice thing about this option is that you can use all of the tools and automation of the new system.
Option 3 – Mix. This is probably your best option. Assign existing runners based on your existing custom question. Then switch over to do auto-assign at registration for any new runners signing up using the full Corral System.
Wee look forward to receiving comments and feedback on this new free system. Note that it is in fact a free tool and could be used by race directors and timers for races without registration on RunSignUp. All you need to do is set up a draft race and import your data and use the tools as stated above.