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 or by using 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.

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!

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! At the bottom of the athletes leader board, you'll find an ultra leaderboard. When you finish the original distance and then next logs miles, you also appear in the ultra leaderboard, your total miles tallied. The same goes for teams.

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.

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.

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!

(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. Check the "to" field of your emails from Racery. If you don’t think that’s the case, contact team@racery.com and we’ll get to the bottom of it!!!

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’!!

Put an @ in front of your team name, for example @teamblue or @therascals, in a message in the message board, and only team members will see the message. Team members will get an email notification of this message. If they reply to your post, even without the team name, their messages will stay private. Nobody will get an email to replies that don't contain @yourteamname.

(There's no team auto-suggest on the iOS app. So if you want to initiate a team thread, we suggest using desktop or mobile web. Any responses to an @yourteamname on iOS work like on all other devices.)

The experience looks slightly different between the web version of the race and the iOS version, but the outcome is the same: open the racer (or team) tab and you'll see yourself (or team.)

 

  • 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 operates on Eastern Time, so 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! Here's some info:
  • If you're in a team race, you can privately chat with teammates by adding 2team to your message. 2team will convert into your team's name.
  • Just use 2team without any extra characters like ":" or "-" !
  • Starting a thread with 2team 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 emails bottom.
  • Your teammates don't need to use the team name or 2team 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. 🙂
  • 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 versionof 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! 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.

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.)

Think bakery or brewery!

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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. 

Racery's 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. In larger prepaid races, the fee also covers additional features and service. Lots more on this in the second half of this summary of our virtual race features and fees

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.

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. But we can suggest some awesome swag companies for you to work with. We put 100% of our energy into making our virtual race as exciting, motivating and social as possible.

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.

The easiest approach is our custom route builder. If you want to revise a route or build a more complex routes, there are several options:

You can upload this route to your race using its "route dashboard."

Stripe is the world's leading 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 account. We never touch your racers' credit cards or cash. Whew!

While we've done a number of events with ~5,000 racers, our biggest race to date had 6,100 racers on 560 teams simultaneously logging miles. In hosting an event of that size, server loads are the smaller challenge; it takes years of work and steady feedback to create a UX that keeps an event of that size intimate and meaningful.

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.

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.