Bringing the Magic
RunGo focuses app attention on the RUN experience
It’s hard to believe it’s been only five months since the 2020 Running USA Industry Conference in Las Vegas, where members of the RunGo team absorbed all the information they could from race directors and other industry professionals in order to continue to improve their already popular running app.
“At the conference, we realized that we could have an impact on the RUN part of the virtual race experience,” said Noah Bloom, Co-founder and Head of Partnerships at RunGo. “We feel that this is the most important part of any virtual race – the actual run. And it was very quickly afterward that we began to focus our efforts on perfecting that piece.”
RunGo is especially popular with runners who are traveling to new places and want to find new routes. Pre-coronavirus, it also had a strong business line with hotels and hospitality providers who wanted to target active lifestyle customers. And if there is one bright spot in a very tough 2020 for events, it’s that more people are out running than ever before.
“Consumer downloads, as well as daily and monthly usage, is sky rocketing and I think that’s common across the running app world right now. Route creation is also through the roof for us,” Bloom said. Long time runners are turning to virtual races to get their competitive fix, while new runners are using apps like RunGo to find good places to run and get some audible encouragement along the way.
As the pandemic drags on in the U.S., events are working to combat virtual event fatigue and create virtual experiences that stand out. RunGo helps do that in a variety of ways, including:
- Virtual races and leaderboard. Watch a video at rungoapp.com/virtual-races
- Virtual modes. Watch a video at instagram.com/p/CCMhSL_HXMP/
- Live tracking. See an example at twitter.com/RunGoApp/status/1270869659445690368
“We are offering these features at no cost to races in 2020,” Bloom said. The hope is that continued industry wide collaboration will further enhance the product and deliver stronger user experiences. “And if a new user of the app has a great first experience, they’re going to be a user for a long time,” said Bloom.
Running USA event members have already used RunGo to provide different types of virtual experiences. The BMO Vancouver Marathon created a virtual course that could be run from anywhere in the world or on a treadmill.
“You could watch Google street view as you go through the course for an immersive experience and feel like you were running along the Vancouver sea wall no matter where you are,” Bloom said. The race also got audio clips from past elite competitors to share encouragement while runners traverse the route. Running USA members Run Local® in Northern California and WHY Racing Events in southern Washington have also created customized virtual events through the app.
Since its origins, audio cues have been one of RunGo’s key features. Not only do they help anyone run in a new place without having to stop and consult a map every few blocks, they have enabled blind runners to traverse new routes safely, providing enhanced access to the sport.
“Voice-guided running routes are ever more important when we're now running alone and possibly running complex courses,” noted Bloom. You can watch a video on this feature here: facebook.com/RunGoApp/videos/2771092426323292/
As new runners lace up their shoes and log miles for the first time, RunGo’s hope is to turn them into lifelong running fans.
We’re the running app that is most involved with the RUN part of the experience. Runners are hankering for something new and different, and we want to help deliver that,” Bloom said.
To learn more, please reach out to Noah Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit rungoapp.com/virtual-races