We are seeing an increase in interest for long distance endurance relay events where runners can share in a challenging, memorable experience together. With this, we’ve been doing a great deal of work with RaceJoy to deliver the features that the teams and that race organizers want that are specific to the unique nature involved with these types of events. This weekend, we had two new endurance relays offer RaceJoy and it was great to see participants and race organizers take full advantage of RaceJoy.
We were very pleased to have The Buck Fifty, a 150-mile relay in Ohio, and the Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay, a 73-mile relay in the Carolinas, offer RaceJoy’s live phone tracking and cheer sending. Those looking for an endurance relay next year should check these out – held at a perfect time of the year and both offer courses in scenic areas of the country.
The Buck Fifty started on Friday afternoon and ended on Saturday night. Race organizers donate an impressive 100% of race profits to programs in the community that work to keep teens drug free. With beautiful views running through three state parks and a course that incorporates miles of trail runs, with hills, peaks and valleys, participants received an experience that stimulated their senses and challenged the muscles and minds of runners at all skill levels.
The Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay took place on Saturday, April 14th and celebrated the beautiful region from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC. It is a 73-mile team running event that traveled from the peaks to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, through local craft breweries, and into quaint southern towns. Note: This is a relatively new race and sells out fast. So, sign up early!
Relay teams were able to track team members as they progressed along the course in real-time on an interactive map of the course to help manage the relay team handoff and provide support as needed. Spectators tracking the teams used RaceJoy to track runners from the convenience of their home. Watch the live tracking at The Buck Fifty:
Tracking also included GPS-based audio progress alerts at every mile for the participant that included information like individual leg pace, team pace, current location and estimated finish time. For relays of this distance, knowing when to expect someone at the next milestone is always a huge benefit. Overall Team Progress alerts were issued every 5 miles and at exchange points for the teams and their friends and family. Here’s a sample of a progress alert issued during the event:
Getting through any rough areas was made a bit easier with the fun and motivational cheers that spectators sent to the athletes during the event. More than 10,000 cheers were sent to runners through RaceJoy over the course of the weekend.
Check out the weekend’s most popular cheers:
- Rocky intro song
- Eye of the Tiger
- Yabba Dabba Doo
- Run Forrest Gump
Here’s the Rocky cheer clip:
Race organizers also used RaceJoy as a safety precaution to monitor participants as they progressed along the course through the RaceJoy Race Day Monitoring System. In long distance relays such as these, safety concerns often arise especially when they extend into the evening hours. Both races enabled the RaceJoy off course alert system for participants, which really paid off as seen by one user’s feedback on their review in the app store: “I was grateful for the warning I was off course during one of my legs!”
In addition, Race Operations could see if any participants got off course and had the ability to send instant audio messages to individual runners or to all runners on the course. The Buck Fifty’s Race Director, Dave Huggins, sent us a quick update while the race was taking place:
This thing is really cool for us to see live. Nice work RACEJOY!!!!
The race organizers of the Ville to Ville event also used RaceJoy’s Geo Cheer Points feature to automatically issue sound files as participants as they crossed certain points on the course. These included directional tips as participants came across areas that may be confusing to avoid anyone getting lost and supportive fun, cheer clips. Below are a couple examples of what the participants received while out on the course:
Here is some feedback we Ville to Ville’s race director, Zack Hall:
We used RaceJoy to improve the runner experience and enhance the quality of our event. I wanted those running to feel comfortable with the route and for their teammates to cheer them on. Our event is very social and for the team to be able to connect with the active runner while out on the course adds to the overall experience for the team and runner.
Special thanks to Zack for making RaceJoy part of the experience, and for all the relay teams who openly embraced new technology. It is always great to see what you create be used to its fullest!