FAQs for racers and sponsors

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Virtual racers

You create your personal Racery account and nickname at the moment you sign up for your first virtual race. (Not before!) This will happen on a URL created by the company, charity or club that’s sponsoring your event. You can later edit your nickname in your bio settings, assuming the new name you want is available!

Easy! Click on your avatar, top right, then 'my bio,' then 'edit my bio.' Update the information, then save.

You'll find this on your personal Racery page. (You can get there either by clicking on "my bio" beneath your avatar, when logged in, or by using your version of this URL: racery.com/yournickname .) Look in the right column and you'll see your bib. If you've updated your name or changed your team, the new information will show on the bib.

Write your race's sponsor. They've got a dashboard and can move you, assuming there's room on the new team.

In a laptop or Android phone, just click the gear symbol on the right side of the log. Then, if you want, resubmit the activity with the correct miles or minutes!

 

If you're using Racery's iOS app, take the following steps:

  • open the menu top left
  • click My Logs
  • find the relevant log and click its date (on the right)
  • click delete
  • confirm delete
  • submit a new log!

 

Would you believe some racers want more!?  Anyway, you can turn off any type of email by going to the bottom of the email, like below, and clicking the first unsubscribe link, which is specific to that email type. Don't click the last option, unless you want to disconnect entirely from your race!

 

In our cyclist-only virtual races that exclusively, every mile cycled counts on the route. But in our inclusive activity conversion races—with people doing yoga, swimming, tennis, running and 80-odd other activities—we try to keep the playing field level and fun for everyone. Conversions are based on effort, so an hour of swimming = roughly one hour of cycling = roughly one hour of running in route miles.

We’ve combined various academic resources that convert activities like dancing and swimming into steps to convert activities into route miles. Some race sponsors use custom conversion tables. Here's our standard list of the ~80 activities we convert.

We suggest you avoid this. Bulk uploading disrupts virtual race statistics, the race leaderboard, and your own “longest run” and streak achievements. You can use Racery however works best for you BUT, ideally, any backdated mileage should be attributed to the appropriate day using the Log Miles/Activity tab.

Many people don't use a tracking gadget and different brands have different exercise sensitivities, so Racery doesn't sync with these devices. Fringe benefits to this old skool approach: a) studies show that logging fitness activities manually boosts motivation and habit formation, b) logging via the site encourages more community involvement. You CAN log steps if you want, but to be fair to other racers, it is better if they're "intentional," ie above and beyond the essential walking you do to get through life.

To keep the playing field level and focus on boosting fitness, Racery suggests participants only log intentional exercise, ie periods when you go out of your way to add extra activities to your day, rather than all their daily steps. But each Racery event has its own rules, so check your race’s About section!

The virtual stickers for covering 26.2 miles or 100 miles (or 1000 miles!) are awarded when you first cover each distance. After the first instance, each type of sticker is only generated when cover that distance in fewer days.

 

You should have received a passcode on the day you joined Racery. You can update this at any time by clicking on "settings."

Then, when you click "login" when visiting Racery, check "use my passcode" and then enter your PIN.

You get to keep logging miles and competing until the race period is over! Once you (or your team) have finished the original distance and then next logs miles, you (or your team) will also appear in the ultra leader board, with your total miles tallied. The order of racers/teams that finished the first loop is reflected by their position in the first loop's leader board. (Backdated miles won't change order of "finished" competitors.)

In all our races, racers can track friends and colleagues using a filter we call "groups."

  • Anyone can join a group, and each racer can join multiple groups.
  • We track each group's total miles as well as its average miles per racer.
  • A group doesn't have an avatar or digital awards.
  • More on creating or joining a group here.

 

Some races have teams.

  • Each team has a fixed size and a captain.
  • Team members can message each other privately on the race message board.
  • Each racer can only belong to one team.
  • Each team can (depending on the race sponsor) have an avatar on the route.
  • Teams get digital awards for mileage and, in charity-linked events, their total donations.

We’re sorry! We love this email too. Research shows that nudges like this are very motivational for some athletes.

But if you don’t open one type of email for seven days, we automatically opt you out of that SPECIFIC email type. We then send an email asking whether you’d like to continue getting that email. If you say YES, we’ll start sending that email type again! If you’d like to restart that email, then please search for that email (subject line: “We've unsubscribed you ”) and hit YES!

Unless the race sponsor says otherwise, ABSOLUTELY! On the virtual race page, open the the ABOUT section and select the JOIN NOW! Button. Confirm your device and BOOM, you’re racing!
If you have exercise from prior days, you can backdate.

Yes! Go to the LOG MILES or LOG ACTIVITIES tab for your virtual race, pick the appropriate date, add your activity plus maybe a location, comment and/or photo, and hit “Submit.” If you have multiple days to add, we recommend logging each day separately so your motivational stats (like streak or longest workout) stay correct! You can only backdate mileage back to the start date of the race. Also, you cannot add miles in a race that is closed or ended.

Note that backdated miles won't move you or your team ahead of an individual or team that's already finished the route. But the extra miles will move you and/or your team up in the "ultra" leader boards! (Why? We don't want to undo awards we've already mailed out AND we want to avoid situations in which competitors keep finding "old" miles to edge ahead of a team that's already finished.)

Adding a hashtag or two to your activity log (#AMrun or #rumba or #nopain) makes it easy for you to compare workout notes with others using the same hashtag in the race. Hashtags on logs are also a good way to keep track of photos posted around certain themes (or treasure hunts) like #whatmotivatesme or #exercisebuddies.

YES! Click the camera icon on the LOG tab and upload. Formats are jpeg, gif, png or bmp. Size is limited to 10 MB for pictures, so you may need to edit your photo before uploading.

Yes, but all their miles will show up as your miles, which other racers may not think is fair! This is a good question to direct to your race’s sponsor!

Racing is much more fun when you know people! Inviting other racers is as simple as sharing the virtual race’s link — through email, Twitter, Facebook, Post-It-Notes — however you’d like!

If you want to invite racers to join your team, just click on your team's avatar in the team leader board and then share the resulting link.

(Some races count how many racers get other racers to sign up. You can use the personal referral link on the race page once you’ve signed up! Find it in the About tab!)

We figure charities should keep what’s donated, so Racery keeps 0% of funds raised! (Some competitors charge as much as 80%. Crazy, right?) The secure payment processor we use, Stripe, charges 2.9% for all credit card fees and .30 cents for each donation transaction. Racery pays its own bills by charging an entry fee for each racer.

It's possible that you're inputting a different email address than the one you originally registered with. If you're getting Racery emails, check the "to" field of the emails you get from Racery. If you're not getting any emails from us, contact team@racery.com and provide your name and email address. Sometimes people mistype their email address, surprisingly, twice.

Yes!  There's an "ultra" leader board beneath both the individual and team leader boards. If you (or your team) has finished the route, the leaderboard for the first loop shows the order in which you finished that distance. You (or your team) can continue to jostle to complete the most miles over the full duration of the race in the "ultra" leader board lower down in the same tab.

Before emailing us, first, please make sure to check your spam folder and other folders. Every once in a while our emails end up there. Also, some corporate and university email servers block messages coming from sites they don’t know -- this sometimes includes Racery! If necessary, you can switch your email to a personal account rather than a corporate email address.

Yes! You’ll get an email two days before the race begins. Keep your eye out for a subject line “Just two days until the start of ‘race-name-here’!!

When you pick the "team" option in your race's message board, only team members will see the message. They'll also get an email notification with your message. If they reply to your comment, even without the team name, their messages will stay private.

If you're logged in, open the racer (or team) tab and you'll see yourself (or team.)  Here's a video...

  • Our virtual races include significantly more features, vs our competitors, that boost morale, competition, camaraderie and fundraising.
  • Unlike our competition, we don't charge setup fees for race sponsors.
  • Our racer fees pay numerous bills. These include: servers and bandwidth; staff time invested in designing and programming new features; staff time spent supporting racers and race sponsors. (We spend very little on marketing. Word of mouth sells Racery.)
  • Unlike a lot of Internet companies, Racery isn't VC-funded, which means we depend exclusively on racers' fees to pay bills. It also means we can call our own shots, and we can be patient in growing the market for virtual races.
  • Unlike many virtual race companies, Racery charges nothing on charity race donations.

Tomorrow (your time)! Racery clocks are set to Eastern Time, so in this case, your submission is logged in our servers as 2 AM ET.  Though we've got racers around the world and races have to start and end at a set time. So we had to pick one time zone to govern all submissions.

Teams can chat in the message board without other teams spying! Starting a team chat sends everyone an email notification. As with all our emails, if this type of email annoys individuals racer, she or he can unsubscribe using a link at the email's bottom. Your teammates don't need to use the team name to keep their replies private. To reply to a team thread, please use the chat icon (see image) below the initiating post to avoid spamming your teammates' inboxes! (Or revealing team secrets to other teams. 🙂 More details below!
  • Some teams may prefer Facebook, Slack, email or WhatsApp. But if everyone on your team doesn't use a single platform, you're welcome to use our team chat function to stay in contact.
  • To delete your message, use the gear on its right. If you're on the iOS app, do it to the web version of the race on your laptop or phone.
  • This team chat feature is new. Feedback welcome at team@racery.com!
  • Note that race administrators can view your messages.

Sorry about that! First, congrats on your long run. Wow, that's more than any of us do in a month. This limit exists because sometimes people log mistakenly 15 miles as 150 and win a race. We can input the 105 miles for you manually, so drop us a line at team@racery.com.

Our software adjust bib numbers to reflect the actual number of people in the race. So when someone drops out, higher bib numbers drop by one. (Sometimes the bib changes when the race sponsor changes the bib background.)

In most races you can backdate your activity, so it adds to your total miles in the leader boards. Note that a backdated log will not affect the standing of racers or teams that have already finished the race.

Depending on where you (or your team) finish, we give different awards. Finishers in the top 50% get their rank out of total number of competitors; finishers bottom 50% get their total miles.

When you cross the finish line for a race, we display the Google Street View at that point. But frequently you've run (exercised) a little further, so we display the Street View for the actual distance in your activity log.

Yes, use @nickname or @teamname to do this in a log's comments or in the message board. They'll get an email and message also will be public to all race participants!

Think bakery or brewery!

Virtual race sponsors

We offer two options. In many races,  each racer pays a registration fee to Racery, with no fee to the company or charity sponsoring the race. In other races, the race sponsor buys pays for racer entries up front. There's no fee on donations in either case. 

No! Race fees are determined only by the duration of the actual race. We encourage you to open registration as far in advance as possible.

Racery's per race fee fee covers all our technology (both fitness and fundraising functionalities), racer bling, racer support, and our advice on best practices based on six years of experience with other fundraising races. See a list of our per racer fees here. In larger prepaid races (tiers here), the fee also covers additional features and service. 

No! If your organization prepays $10,000 in racer fees for a one month charity race, you'll get 1,000 free racer entries AND the various premium features and enhanced branding that go with that level of prepay.

Zero! That’s right, we retain no portion of donations!

Yes! We can configure a race to take a single type of miles (running, swimming, cycling, etc) OR to accept any kind of exercise, using Racery’s minutes-to-miles activity converter. n more inclusive race can include gardening, yoga, unicycling… your call! (We’ve even had races awarding miles for memorizing Bible verses!) 

Using our DIY forms, you can build a race in a matter of minutes. A complex race, with more branding and customization, can take a week to build.

Write team@racery.com and we'll send you a URL where you can pay for a bunch of coupons they can use.

The easiest approach is Racery's custom route builder, which is available for corporate and charity races. Just input up to ten locations (all on the same body of land) and you're done.

If you plan on revising a route or building a more complex route, for example one jumping across bodies of water, you should build one more more GPX segments and upload them with your race's route management dashboard. The most powerful option for route building is Plotaroute.com. Watch Plotaroute's explainer videos before you try to build or edit a route. (You can do this without paying for the product.)

One you've created a route, export a GPX file, and then upload it to your Racery event using its "route dashboard," which is accessible below your avatar (top right) on Racery.

  • Click on the blue cross top right on the route dashboard.
  • Click "upload" and upload your GPX file.
  • Click Save.
  • Now you can add more segments or shuffle the order of the segments you see or, if you want to delete a segment, click on its edit icon, and then click delete, bottom right.

Racery offers two ways to create extra competition and socializing in a race.

Teams:

  • fixed size (generally)
  • teams have their own tab and finish awards (both miles and fundraising)
  • each racer can only belong to one team
  • each team can have its own avatar on the route (optional)

Groups:

  • racers can belong to multiple groups
  • provide a filter in large races, allowing racers to keep track of friends or colleagues on a group specific URL
  • group mileage and average miles (or dollars) per member are tallied

For races for a company or organization's staffers, we recommend allowing at least two weeks on your side for registration before the race starts. For nonprofits recruiting racers from a larger, less networked pool, we recommend at least one month of open registration before the race starts. 

We do not. We focus all our energy on building experiences for racers, making our virtual races as exciting, motivating and social as possible. If you're looking for medals, we recommend Crown Awards. For tee shirts, we recommend supporting tee shirt company that's local to you.  

A virtual race's ideal duration depends on the demographics and competitiveness of the likely participants. While most physical races (5ks, marathons, etc) take place in a single day, most virtual races allow participants to log miles for between one and six weeks. Versus a single day event, increasing the duration and distance allows people to get extra value out of the experience and magnifies the camaraderie and competition (and funds raised!)  Charity races often last one to four weeks, since beyond that duration fundraising tends to flatten out. Company races tend to be longer—some go on for years—since people know each other better and the race can be integrated in company life.

All funds are immediately deposited in the charity's Stripe account. Creating a Stripe account takes two minutes. (Stripe works with hundreds of big companies.) 

While some companies and charities prefer races in which only individuals compete head to head, teams can add an extra layer of fun and competition to a race.

  • In addition to individual leaderboards, team races have mileage and (in a charity race) fund raising leaderboards
  • Team members can communicate with each other privately on the messageboard
  • Each team has its own leaderboard and activity feed, adding intimacy to a big race
  • Every team receives awards for completing the route and total mileage and (in a charity race) funds raised
    The one small downside to a virtual race with teams: we recommend only displaying team avatars, so the route doesn't get too cluttered.

If your race's entries are >$1250, we can invoice your company or nonprofit. For smaller amounts, just add /bulkbuy at the end of the virtual race's URL. So, for example, www.racery.com/r/race-name/bulkbuy

Racery's classic virtual race is usually one to six weeks long (though we've got some that have been going on for years.)  Racers their miles (in many races, minutes of exercise can also be logged also)  based on the honor system. The leader board is ranked by which person (or team) has gone the furthest, and when the race distance is completed, a digital award is given with each person (or teams) finishing position. Even when the distance is completed, racers (or teams) can loop the route, continuing to compete on "ultra" leader boards and trying to rack up as many miles as possible during the race's total duration.

A Racery virtual 5k is only for runners and walkers. It's much shorter, lasting 1 to 7 days. Racers track their time and distance using Racery's Apple or Android app. The race's leader board is ranked by each racer's 5k time. In a 7 day event, racers can race multiple times, with only each racer's best time displaying on the leader board for times. A second leader board (and set of awards) displays total miles run by each participant during the race. Teams can also compete, both for shortest total time and longest total miles.

Most virtual races are being produced by the providers of traditional road races. They provide a leaderboard and medal based on a single run and that's it.

In contrast, Racery has spent the last six years building robust, multi day experiences packed with multiple social and fitness nudges that keep racers motivated and entertained.

We get this question a lot! We can configure a race to take a single type of miles (running, swimming, cycling, etc) OR to accept any kind of exercise, using Racery’s minutes-to-miles activity converter. An more inclusive race can include gardening, yoga, unicycling… your call! (We’ve even had races awarding miles for memorized Bible verses!) 

No! We've got four main reasons:

  • Rather than diverting valuable programming hours into keeping up with wearable devices' APIs, we can spend more time building the great features racers and sponsors suggest.
  • We find that wearables often fail to synch, creating headaches for racers, race sponsors and Racery.
  • While Racery events celebrate intentional exercise, many wearables track all steps. This creates an uneven playing field, giving people wearing gadgets a 20-50% advantage because of incidental steps.
  • Wearables create a false sense of objectivity, when in fact, the reports of two devices, say a Fitbit and an iWatch, may vary by up to 20% for the same workout. (One researcher found that GPS-based devices underestimated distance by more than 50% on a curvy, wooded route.)
  • Research shows that actively logging physical activity creates habit reinforcement and positive psychological benefits that are not triggered by passive logging.

Stripe is the world's leading online credit card processor. Connecting your charity's Stripe account to the Racery race means your portion of the registration and 100% of donations are immediately credited to your Stripe account. We never touch your racers' credit cards or cash. Whew!

Stripe's evaluation of your account's risk determines when it forwards the money to your bank account. For new accounts, this usually happens within 1-2 weeks. After that, payments speed up.

While we've done a number of events with ~5,000 racers, our biggest race to date had 10,000 racers on ~800 teams competing simultaneously logging miles. Ironically, in hosting an event of that size, server loads are the lesser challenge; it takes years of work and steady feedback to create a UX that keeps an event of that size intimate and meaningful for participants.

Absolutely! Just create a race and then let us know what currency you'd like to use. 

Nope. We’ve never seen this work as well. Stick to email blasts and posts on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram where people can tag each other.

Because your race will be connected to a Stripe account, the funds will be credited to your Stripe account immediately. Go here and here for information about how frequently Stripe sweeps funds to your bank account.

Unfortunately, we've found that some races with fee splits, whether for charity or a small business, invest lots of time in asking basic questions, but don't follow through on launching a successful race. This prepay helps defray our costs and ensures the the sponsor will diligently test our software and follow-through to launching its race. (If you've already used Racery's DIY race-building tool to do a test race and connected it to your Stripe account without Racery's assistance, the prepay minimum likely does not apply.)

Racery relies on Stripe for processing credit card payments for registrations and donations. In a charity race, Stripe fees (published here) are deducted from each donations and the charity's portion of each entry fee.

Yes. When joining a race, new racers need to either join a team or start a new team. To help solo racers find a home, we recommend you use the team management dashboard to create some 'rando' teams (funsters1, funsters2, etc) and then promote these, by name, as you're promoting the race.

Yes! You can do this in the route management dashboard. Note that the distance on everyone's bib will change, but racers can find an updated version of the big on their bio pages.

Yes! As long as Racery's per racer fee is covered, either by prepayment or the racer's entry fee, you can set the fee at any level desired. (Here's a blog post that explains how sometimes the entry fee lower sometimes boosts total funds raised.)

Yes. If you need to change the duration of a race you've built, just write team@racery.com with specifics. We'll also change Racery's per racer fee (fees here) to fit the race's new duration.

In most races, we send emails to welcome the racer, remind the racer that the race is starting, plus daily reminders to log miles. In longer races, we also send emails noting when racers or teams pass each other. When the race concludes, we send an email with the racer's award. If you'd like to experience all these emails in context, please create and test a free trial race! Sponsors of larger races can select which emails go out and edit some of the emails.

Sponsors of GPS tracked events (5k and up)

No! A race can be set up with a longer distance. A person can cover the distance in one go or can start/stop the timer multiple times while covering the entire distance.

Meaning "Did not finish," this indicates that the racer hasn't yet completed the race's distance.

Because it only periodically samples location, GPS is notorious for cutting corners on measuring. One researcher found that GPS-based devices underestimated distance by more than 50% on a curvy, wooded route.

No way! This is a virtual race and people can run where they want.

You have to download either our iPhone or Android app. We suggest you do this well before race-day so if you have any questions than can be answered in time. (We recommend against 1 day races for this reason!)

You'll get a ranking in the original leaderboard AND in a leaderboard for longer distances. The first is based on time and the second is based on distance.

You'll need to run again, unfortunately. Your mobile phone's GPS tracking does not always work perfectly. To maximize the odds that your app records accurately, be sure to run in an open area in a straight line.