Most races offer some form participant tracking as it has become a standard expectation of participants and spectators alike. However, each race is different in the types of tracking that is being offered. Some may issue just a start and finish alert, others issue alerts at points along the course, while others may offer continuous GPS tracking. We recommend races get ahead of the race day questions by actively promoting the type(s) of tracking they are offering. In addition, usage of the tracking service being offered is mostly attributed to awareness and the event’s promotion of its availability. So, proactively communicating that tracking is available will increase usage and value for any sponsors of the event’s tracking.
One of the most effective ways to get the word out and clearly communicate what is being offered is by having a Participant/Runner Tracking section on the event’s website. To help with this, RunSignup recently added a participant tracking section and screen that appears automatically on RunSignup race websites.
RunSignup offers both Bib/Chip-based tracking and RaceJoy’s GPS-based continuous tracking. The type of tracking provided at an event will differ based upon the race profile and goals for the race organizers. A standard 5K event may offer just a finish alert that is sent through email or text, and a marathon event may offer both continuous GPS tracking and bib/chip progress alerts. The new Participant Tracking section that is automatically loaded as part of the race website helps to not only promote that tracking is available, but to explain the type of tracking to help ward off questions.
Here is an example race to demonstrate what would appear on the race website if both RaceJoy and Bib/Chip-based tracking are being offered. If only have one of these tracking options are activated, the system will detect this and will automatically only display the service you are offering.
Other ways to effectively promote tracking is through emails to participants and social media. We see that participants get more engaged and want to know about tracking the week of the race. Doing a Facebook post and sending an email the week of the event and then the day before the event are effective ways of getting the word out. We then see a social behavior takes place where participants and spectators help spread the word and race day usage typically doubles from the night before the event.
Note: If you are offering RaceJoy, RunSignup automatically issues RaceJoy emails to your participants to help you with usage and communicating its features. You can adjust these and add sponsor information in the Automated Email section of your RunSignup dashboard.
Participant Tracking Available Through Timers
Races can get with their timers to explore options that will meet your needs and budget. RaceJoy’s GPS tracking and cheer sending is available through RaceDay Certified timers. Check to see if yours is certified!
Timers wishing to become RaceDay Certified can do so at RunSignup’s Summer Symposium, July 27 in Philadelphia, PA.