RunSignUp has introduced a new TXT Service for Virtual Races. According to the technology provider, this ‘transforms virtual events into vibrant participatory events and connects athletes in remote locations.’
RunSignUp notes that virtual races – events in which participants sign up to run a prescribed distance at a location and time of their choice and self-report their results – have grown in popularity in recent years. This is seen to create a demand for more interactivity with virtual participants.
Virtual races can take two forms:
Standalone event, often with a broad range of time (weeks or months) for participation from competitors in disparate locations.
Add-on to an existing in-person event, allowing runners who are unable to participate due to geographic distance, time constraints, or participation caps to join in the festivities from a distance. Add-on events can often appeal to previous participants, family members of friends of current participants, or supporters of a race’s cause.
Many virtual events ask participants to report their race times and collate them into results. Virtual TXT Service allows race organizers to communicate with virtual racers in pre-set text exchanges, and lets the participant respond back with their time for the event.
These responses are fully integrated with the RunSignUp Results platform, allowing the participant to be added to official results with an auto-calculation of pace and age-grading, as well as personal finisher pages and finisher certificates.
RunSignUp adds that ‘People can even sign up for txt notifications alerting them when a virtual runner reports a finish time – just like spectators can get notifications about the finish of a ‘real’ race.’
Virtual TXT Service can be used to enhance virtual events in a variety of ways, including to send a video, offer congratulations, or provide a coupon from a sponsor. It can also bring ‘a sense of community and accomplishment of a typical race day to an otherwise isolated athletic feat.’
Setup of the service is flexible, allowing for custom messages, time ranges for reporting that can be broad or narrow; and race directors can elect to post times automatically or require approval before posting.
RunSignUp is a leading technology provider for races and timers in the United States. More than 16,000 races use RunSignUp to manage their events, registering more than 4 million participants each year. RunSignUp’s platform provides a hub for registration, fundraising, race promotion and race day management, with a convenient CRM view of a races’ participants, donors, sponsors, and more.
RunSignUp products include RaceDay Timer product offerings, RunSignUp Clubs program to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for live tracking and race day mobile experiences.
Customers include leading organizations such as the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Amway River Bank Run, Philadelphia Marathon, Komen Race for the Cure Philadelphia, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, Vermont City Marathon, Sports Backers, Race Day Events, Glass City Marathon, Tulsa Run, Space Coast Marathon, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more.
RunSignUp adds that it is founded by runners for runners, using technology innovation to benefit the running community.