New Mobile App, Digital Gift Bag Debut for Big Sur Marathon Participants
App enhances runner experience; iGiftBag offers special deals for runners
Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012
From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA
CARMEL, Calif. - (April 18, 2012) - Runners hailing from 35 countries to participate in the Big Sur International Marathon can now be connected in advance of their journey to the California coastline. A new mobile app is debuting this week, and the runners' virtual goodie bag will be digitally delivered the week of the April 29 race.
Big Sur Marathon's new mobile app features news and events, course maps, frequently asked questions, local restaurants and attractions and runner tracking features. Designed for iPhones and Android smartphones, Big Sur Marathon information will now be at the fingertips of the 11,000 registered runners in six distance events, as well as their families and friends throughout the world.
The basic app is free to users with premium features such as runner tracking, push notifications of progress, syncing with runners' Facebook and Twitter accounts, and results being offered for a small fee. Users can enter the words "Big Sur Marathon" or "Big Sur Events" to locate and download the app which includes additional information for the organization's other two signature events, the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay and its annual Mud Run.
In addition to the app availability, the Big Sur Marathon will soon be delivering its iGiftBag to runners. The virtual gift bag is full of special offers and coupons for merchandise and services that are available locally during race weekend, as well as discounts for products that are available online from any location. The iGiftBag displays an interactive spinning carousel of offers from such companies as Ghirardelli Chocolate, Dole Foods, Ventana Wines and the Big Sur Marathon Expo store. In addition to the 10 premium offers, an additional 12 coupons are available from participating merchants.
The Big Sur Marathon helped pioneer the concept of virtual goodie bags in an effort to reduce paper waste generated by the thousands of coupons that were formerly provided to runners. Several races throughout the country are now offering digital race bags in their efforts to become greener.
"We're really excited to be able to offer these tools to our runners," said Julie Armstrong, Marketing Communications Director of the Big Sur International Marathon. "The app will help runners navigate their way around our local area, provide answers to often-asked questions, and for the first time ever, be able to track runners from key areas along our remote course."
The new digital offerings were created in conjunction with two offsite companies. The mobile app was developed by XLRun, a division of Innovative Timing Systems. XLRun has developed apps for more than 30 races, most recently the Chevron Houston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, and the 36,000-person Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, South Carolina. The virtual goodie bag is a product of iGiftBag which produces digital gift offerings for races, local events and national conventions.
In addition to these offerings, the Big Sur Marathon has also just overhauled its website to provide a new look and user experience. The robust website, designed in conjunction with Active.com, offers a wealth and depth of information and images from Big Sur's four key events: the Big Sur International Marathon (April), the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay (November), Big Sur's Mud Run (March) and the JUST RUN youth fitness program (year-round for schools and youth organizations). Visit www.bsim.org for more information.