Ultra Distance Runners Embrace RaceJoy’s Course Tracking!

This past weekend RaceJoy was offered at two ultra distance events: The Fred Running Relays and Burning River. These long distance events took place over night and had runners on the field for 30+ hours, making RaceJoy’s live tracking a very valuable tool for runners, friends and race organizers.  The response from participants and spectators was awesome to see, with more than 1,300 runners and their supporting family and friends taking advantage of the live tracking and cheer features! RaceJoy also issued 8,000 GPS-based progress alerts giving real-time on the ground performance updates.


The Fred Running Relays offers 100- and 200-mile course options. The Fred 200-Mile Relay includes 36 legs, each ranging from 2 to 9.5 miles in distance, spanning the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail from Comstock Park to Cadillac in Michigan. The Ed 100-Mile Relay includes 18 legs, running along the return trip of The Fred Relay beginning in Cadillac and finishing in Comstock Park. Race organizers offered RaceJoy to its participants and spectators as a complimentary service.


The other ultra distance race to use RaceJoy was the Burning River Endurance Run & Relay, which offers a challenging 100- and 50-mile solo run and a 100-mile relay held in Northeast Ohio. The race travels through several of the region’s most scenic areas, including Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Summit Metro Parks. Race organizers offered RaceJoy for a second year and participants and spectators could have access to RaceJoy’s interactive race day features for a minor 99 cents in-app purchase.


The most popular feature is the live phone tracking, which allows users to know where tracked participants or support vehicles are at any time by watching their blue dot move on an interactive course map. The runner’s phone is used as a GPS tracker. More than 1,300 participants and spectators used this live tracking feature on race day between both race events.


Race organizers of these overnight, ultra distance races like offering RaceJoy because it addresses some safety concerns, especially when runners can often get off course. The runners on the course were able to quickly look at the interactive course map in RaceJoy at any time to make sure they are were on the course. Friends and family were reassured by knowing their location at all times and send them audio messages if they saw their runner veered off the course.

A feature that is especially appreciated by relay teams is the NearMe alerts, that notify users when a tracked participant is drawing near so they can prepare for the handoff. Relay teams also frequently use the MeetUp tool that allows users to see where they are in relation to a tracked participant on a map view.


The Send-a-Cheer feature, which allows people to send fun, pre-recorded audio cheer clips, is another favorite. 3,600 cheers were sent out over the course of these two races!


This cheer sending feature includes Text-to-Cheer, allowing personalized messages to be sent in audio format. When support vehicles and teammates need an easy communications tool with the runner during these longer endurance events, this feature provides an easy and quick way to communicate as the text is converted to speech so the runner doesn’t have to look at their phone while running.

Participants were also able to get progress alerts through RaceJoy and are based on the GPS location of the runners’ phones. The Fred Running Relay alerts were sent every 10 miles. Nearly 1,100 progress alerts were sent to Fred Relay participants and their supporting family and friends.


Race organizers of The Burning River took advantage of custom progress alerts in RaceJoy and had these issued at various checkpoints along the course, including the Polo Fields, Shadow Lake, Boston Mills, and Memorial Parkway. More than 6,800 alerts were sent to Burning River participants and spectators!


Many runners in Burning River used RaceJoy for continuous tracking for up to 30 hours as show in the above image and used portable batteries to keep their phone’s batteries going.

Burning River also provided official results information through RaceJoy. One of the top finishers used RaceJoy’s tracking and after more than 20 hours on the course, his GPS finish time was within 56 seconds of his official scored finish time! Way to go, David!

Congratulations to all the amazing finishers of these two races. You Ultras are a different breed and we regular runners look at you with awe! Thank you, Groove City Events (The Fred Running Relays race organizers) and Western Reserve Racing (Burning River race organizers), for helping to build team spirit and bring together runners on race day through the use of RaceJoy – together, we are changing the race experience!

Upcoming relay and ultra distance running and walking events in RaceJoy are:

Free Tracking:

99 cents:

You can offer RaceJoy at your event by easily loading your race through RaceJoy’s Website or on your race’s RunSignUp dashboard. Please note that we require a two-week lead time and an electronic copy of your course map(s) in KML/GPX format. Buyout options are available.


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