Racepass recently launched. They received some initial press (although Competitor.com took down their article) and that has elicited some concerns from some of the race directors who use RunSignUp. This blog will hopefully clear up any confusion and let you know your options.
UPDATE (5/13/2017): We have requested Racepass to take off any races that they have copied from our API off of their website and to seek permission directly from races until they have cleaned up a number of their operational issues. We are suggesting an opt-in process for races until they incorporate technology to have the participant sign waivers directly, but we will see how they respond.
UPDATE (5/12/2017): This from Chase Rigby of Racepass:
-The coverage has been overwhelming, we have had hundreds of runners signing up every day and more and more outlets are covering it. Runner’s World hasn’t pulled the article, we just did another interview with them today because it’s been so noisy so they are publishing another soon.-We are working hard on building out race director tools so that you can have access to runners data, emails, make bib transfers, special questions, donations, photos, etc. Those will roll out over the next months.-We’re constantly fixing the data (one of the messiest and hardest pieces) so that we won’t have duplicate listings (the Scott Coffee Run came directly from RunSignUp API, we just parsed it wrong, our bad) and eventually race directors will be able to own, edit and update their content because after all it is theirs and we only want to present it to the runner in the best way possible.
What is Racepass?
Racepass allows a runner to buy a yearly pass that then allows them to sign up for some number of races:
How does it work?
A runner registers for a Racepass and enters details like their date of birth, shirt size and emergency contact info. They see a list of races around where they are located, pick a race and signup with one click. Today Racepass manually takes that and goes to the registration provider and uses their own credit card to sign up for the race, entering the information of the runner. I (Bob) tried this yesterday, registering on Racepass around 8:30 AM and getting my confirmation (from RunSignUp) around 3:00PM.
Why this might be good
Making signup simple is good. If a race has multiple places where people can find them, they might get more participants.
Concerns for Race Directors Today
I have talked with Racepass and they assure me they are working on a tighter connection with the RunSignUp API for a more integrated experience. Until that happens, there are a number of concerns.
One primary concern for races is the fact the participant does not sign the waiver, and there is no smooth way to find the participants who have been entered by Racepass. If there is data required beyond shirt and emergency contact, that is not collected – think custom questions or USAT membership number, etc.
Races also miss out on getting to interact directly with participants. This takes the form of not being able to ask for a donation, or join a fundraiser, buy an add-on, the inability to create or join a team, inability to collect phone numbers for results txt notifications, missing page views for Sponsor logos, and so forth.
Participants also are not creating an account, so there is no ability to have self-serve participant management like transferring events or exchanging bibs.
Another concern that I saw for the race I help with, Scott Coffee Run, is they had it listed 4 times. I think this is because we have 4 Events, yet there is no differentiation between those 4 events on the Racepass website – so I have no idea if I am signing up for the 8K or the 1Mile.
Do you want Racepass for your race?
Racepass has gone to a couple of registration sites, like RunSignUp, and duplicated the race info on their site. RunSignUp has no way to control this, and some races may want to have the potential of extra registrations.
Therefore, if you want your race taken off of RacePass, please contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.