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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.