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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Steyning Stinger, Pic2Go, and Berkhampstead Half 2015 now live

A real success on Sundays races, the weather was perfect conditions despite the heavy overnight rain, and despite some gusting wind, there were very high turn outs for all the races.
Well done to all the race organisers on another hard weekends work, and also to the runners out there getting the miles in - excellent effort !

All go at the Berko Half 2015

Pic2Go in the UK
At the Steyning Stinger this year in addition to the normal free race photo download gallery that the event organisers include for their competitors, (and the free breakfast afterwards), we used the Pic2Go system to give people their photos as fast as possible.
This is far easier for the competitors than having to go to the website and get them after the race, and also much much quicker.

The Album Cover for the facebook folders

Some of you will have seen the barcodes on race numbers in the past 6 months, but we have really just been using them for cataloguing the races faster - helping us here in the back office. The full Pic2Go system is so much more than just image tagging, its a full image service - putting the right images into the registered users Facebook pages.
A typical pic2go barcode - but one of my favourites (a 1986 Galaxian)

Half way through the race at about 11am (there was a Marathon and Half Marathon) we began to collect in some of the photos and process the images through the Pic2Go system - it recognises the barcodes, knows who's facebook account to post them to (because the competitors have registered) and puts them into their customised Facebook album - instantly.

By 5pm all the images had gone through the Pic2Go system and shared to all the runners that had registered. Given the last runner crossed the line at about 2:45pm, and I had to get back to the office and eat my Stinger Breakfast (first food since 6am!) then we were all done and dusted within an hours more office work with the rest of the team.

The Stingers' Facebook Opengraph Sharing Stats and user wall - strange peak in 18-24yr old females in the age charts !

Effective !
The Steyning Stinger is a small race, not even half the size of the average races we cover, but it is a very special race due to it's unique challenges - namely the terrain and the size of the challenge with the four full "stings" up the south downs. It's a very friendly and well run event, not without it's risks when the weather turns nasty as it often does. They have always provided runners free photos through our normal gallery but we wanted to do something more this year - using the Pic2go system

By 5pm over 15,180 files had been identified and were being shared onto Facebook via the pic2go server - and the statistics show that by the end of Monday over 113 competitors had used the service and the photos had been seen with over 65,328 impressions, 232 comments and 1156 likes. (and I know that this will only go up over the coming week).

Given that the normal download gallery was made available as well - then the uptake of the Pic2Go offer was particularly impressive. Normally competitors can register before the race for Pic2Go (nice and easy in the sanctuary of their own homes), but in this race it is not possible because of the way that numbers are allocated to runners at race registration just before the start.
Pic2Go barcode identification at the start line for the Marathon
The extra barcode stickers helped too - although the wind saw to many of them getting blown off - you can't have the glue too sticky, and sometimes lycra has teflon coating...not an ideal combination - but sticky enough to have made a real difference on the day.

A new sponsor channel
If you wanted to "boost" a company page post on facebook to advertise your company you'd probably end up spending more than it costs for Pic2Go to be used at an event for the same reach - so if you're a company already advertising on Facebook - you might be interested in this channel - which is so much more than just an advert on facebook (photo, memory, achievement, etc)

Just to compare - those nice guys at Samsung sponsor the race photos at the Tel Aviv marathon last Friday - somehow I don't think they could have found a better advertising channel !
Pic2Go used at the Tel Aviv Marathon - Samsung get the best race coverage
So - Pic2go - you heard it here first (ish) - if you're a race sponsor or event organiser - get in touch quickly !!!

Race Gallery link

Berkhampstead Half Marathon and Fun Run 2015

Steyning Stinger Half and Full Marathon 2015

Normal Free downloads and pic2go facility 

Here's some shots from the days racing:

Berko (Berkhampstead) Half Marathon and Fun Run

It takes a lot of effort to run a Half Marathon like this... 
Focussed on the Fun

For the win

Bowling in to the finish at pace

Running can help as part of a calorie controlled diet...

Buggy team into the finish

High Five for the finish !

Excellent choice of designer Buff wear...

The joy of finishing

Busy at the halfway mark

Holy sunshine batman - it's only just March
The injustice of longer legs

Nothing like a few friends on the course to cheer you on !
The Steyning Stinger 2015
It was slippy on the course from the rain the night before

I didn't go up the hill due to the mud - cut up from the MTB ride the day before

Chanctonbury from the 5 mile point

If you look closely you can see competitors crossing the field before Washington

Yes, because that's where your number is

Jim finishes all in a flap (tri belts don't work BTW)

Double thumbs up at 6 miles for the best number pinning

Helen flew in at the finish

Team finish, you can see the typical challenge we face here in cataloguing race numbers

Ruth recovers after completing the marathon off minimal training - excellent result. Time for breakfast !

Matching man-bags for the enduro trail survivalists

Top timekeeping and quick results turn around this year
So that's about it for this week, hopefully we will be able to bring you more news about Pic2Go races and free downloads in the future as sponsors start to get interested in cheaper and more effective ways to reach and engage with their customers (yes - that's you). If you know anyone that might want to do that - then get in touch and let us know !

It's the Nuts Challenge next weekend, as well as the excellent Surrey Half Marathon - and the weather forecast for both days is warm - so for the runners - make sure you don't put too many layers on at the start - because by the finish you will end up overheating if you do.

Plan ahead if you are running, use gloves and a hat at the start not baselayers. It's going to be 10 degrees warmer than you are used to at the end... and that is a LOT.
16 degrees Centigrade forecast - that's Tshirt weather... plan accordingly. For the Nuts Challenge - no you probably still want a neoprene body suit...the water is freezing...

until next time

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