Competitive Timing is grateful for all the race directors who have reached out to us in the past few days. Hearing more preference to postponing your event instead of cancelling makes us optimistic! Our hearts go out to those that have no choice but to cancel. However, those that cannot reschedule might want to consider working with us on switching your event to a virtual event. It’s important to us that we can still add value to your event during these weird times and we think we have a good solution in place to allow some runs to continue virtually.
We have a plan in place to offer virtual runs and host those results on our website. We would be able to post overall results, gender separated results, and age group results like our normal events with virtual run data. We can even generate address labels for your award winners in the case that you want to mail awards.
We have two virtual divisions in place that participants can choose from in order to submit their results. One is “Running the Certified Course” for those that actually run the course. The other, is “Virtual Non-Certified Course”, for those that can’t run the certified course but run the same distance on a treadmill or other route. We can publish the results from the two divisions separately or combined; however you prefer.
“Running The Certified Course” Division
The first division, “Running The Certified Course” utilizes the free Strava GPS App on participants’ phones.(Strava is a social media platform for runners and cyclists where they can record and share their activities with GPS. Segments can be created where athletes can compare their times and rankings.)
Participants would run your course with the app recording, save their activity and upload it to Strava. Alternatively, participants could run your route with a GPS watch and as long as their GPS is synced to their Strava account we could get their run data. The Strava App also allows you to follow a course so if participants were uncertain of the course, they could follow the course within the app while they are walking, jogging, or running with their device recording.
As the race director, you would need to establish the time period the run needs to happen. This might be a weekend for a smaller race, or a week for a larger race. The goal is to prevent a high density of runners running the course at the same time so that we can adhere to social isolation guidelines.
A key step in this process is that you or someone with Strava would need to run or walk your course and upload it to Strava. Then we would need to create a segment from that activity of your 5k or 10k so that when participants ran your course they would show up on that segment’s leaderboard. We can help you with this and provide recommendations on how to best create your segment.
Competitive Timing then would be able to sort through the Strava data excluding people that didn’t register for your race and those that ran outside the time frame and process the data in our results software. We would be able run result reports such as overall combined gender, gender seperated, and age groups and host the results on our website like usual.
“Virtual Non-Certified Course” Division
For those that live out of town, prefer to run on their treadmill, or run a different course we can create this division in RunSignUp where registered participants can simply click a button on the results page and enter their time. We can keep these results separate from the certified-course division. We can also make this the only division in case you do not want your participants running your particular race course for whatever reason.
Awards and T-shirts
We can help you generate address labels for your awards and/or t-shirts if you want to mail these to your participants
Creating Community while Social Isolating
Right now people are anxious and spending less physical time with each other. We recommend creating an online community through your virtual run by creating a Facebook event and a Strava Club for your event. In these two locations, we suggest encouraging your participants to take a funny selfie or picture before, during, or after their run and a short recap to highlight how it went. These programs if implemented and encouraged can greatly increase conversation and sense of community during a potentially lonely and stressful time.
Summary and Pricing
We want those that can’t reschedule their event and who already sent in their timing deposit to still get value from us. Therefore for those that implement a virtual event, your timing deposit will go towards us helping you manage a virtual run. Competitive Timing doesn’t feel right charging a full timing service fee such as $3.50/registrant for a virtual run but we do think it adds much more value than not holding an event at all. We are in uncharted territory so we are proposing for these instances to implement a $2.00/registrant fee for managing virtual run results and helping you implement a virtual run. Your timing deposit will be going towards that fee with most timing deposits covering that fully. We are happy to help you with technical assistance through the whole process.
Please let us know if you have any questions and if you’d like to move forward with this option. If you have other creative ideas on how we can help, we are open ears! Of course, situations can change which may prevent the viability and safety of a virtual run but for the time being we think this could be a fun alternative that can work within CDC guidelines! We appreciate all of you and hope you are staying safe, practicing good hygiene, and self isolation so we can get through this time quickly.