Spotlight on the Sport: RunPix

Leah Etling, Running USA
No Source
June 12, 2017

Parsing performance intelligence for races to highlight hard-earned achievements

 

No matter what your industry or occupation, it’s a fair bet that the term “business intelligence” is one you’ve heard before. But how about “performance intelligence?” In this case, we’re talking about the data associated with completion of a road race.

It’s information that is not hard to pin down if you’re looking for it in the post-race results, such as where you stacked up in the overall field, among other runners of your same gender, and within your age group.

In RunPix, it’s presented in a graphically friendly format that you might want to post on your Facebook or Instagram account. And for a new runner or inexperienced racer, it’s broken down in such a way that you can quickly grasp exactly what your overall performance entailed.

RunPix, a Running USA member, is the brainchild of founder/CEO David Duignan, a New Zealand resident and database consultant who was inspired to create the product by one of the most effective methods for inspiration – personal experience.

“Some time ago I was humming along in the mid-field at a Mother’s Day fun run in Calgary. The course was such that runners ahead of us were occasionally visible through the downtown streets on the next block, running back in the opposite direction,” Duignan explained.

“The unusual situation made me wonder just how far behind the leading bunch I was. On reflection, I figured this sort of information should be calculable and could be placed on a web page on the Internet. After many late nights, the basis of RunPix emerged.”

After much programming and fine-tuning, the product now has 50 clients around the world, ranging from Virgin London Marathon to Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Being based in New Zealand has broadened the reach of the product, and also presents an unexpected time zone advantage. “Our geographical location (in Auckland) often works for us in terms of compiling U.S. races during our office hours,” Duignan noted.

Read on for more about RunPix and how it works.

What is RunPix, for those who aren’t familiar with it?

Duignan: The primary concern on any runner’s mind at the time of crossing the finish line is to ascertain his/her time and placing. RunPix addresses this desire with three pages of colorful, interesting, unique infographics available from a website dedicated to the particular race. Our graphical output is carefully designed to be fun, not technical.

How does it work and why is it cool?

Duignan: Files are received from the official timing company after the race is completed. This data is parsed in detail by RunPix’s in-house systems and the resultant files are loaded to our servers. Runners returning to the race’s results page are then offered a link to their personalized graphical analysis.

What kind of feedback have you received?

Duignan: Events are very supportive of the way in which RunPix enhances the post-race atmosphere. We are able to provide a feature which keeps the race alive for days and weeks after the chutes have closed and the medals distributed.

Why do runners like it?

Duignan: Having invested considerable time in their training program, runners are anxious to receive as much feedback as possible about their achievement. After all, the actual race is over in a fraction of the time it takes to prepare for it. RunPix lets finishers relive their race, and dwell on their feelings of satisfaction for a task well done.

How can races offer this to their participants?

Duignan: From an organizers standpoint, RunPix implementation is remarkably simple. We require an introduction to your timing company and some background media resources such as photos of the event. Organizers place a link on their home pages.

We work directly with a sponsor to ensure that their creative artwork is placed appropriately on the site.

On race day, we generally have no need to contact organizers, except to