The Athlinks team is here to make sure you have the tools you need to join the running community as Virtual Races continue to gain popularity. Virtual Races likely aren’t going away anytime soon, so here’s everything you need to know about Athlinks’ Virtual Race product.
What Are Virtual Races?
As an in-person substitute, or as an additional course option to live events, Virtual Races allow your Athletes to run the [registered] race distance on their own, and then report and claim their time via Athlinks Virtual Race Pages. The best part is that they look nearly identical to a traditionally timed Race, so your athletes can consume results just like normal.
Creating Your Virtual Race on Athlinks
Athlinks built this feature on top of existing integrations, which means configuring your Event is as easy as creating an Event in CT Live and importing your Athletes — either through CT Live Registration, the RunSignup Integration or Athlete Import. After your Event is in CT Live, simply fill out this Virtual Race Google Form and the team at Athlinks will make your Virtual Race live!
Please note, you can request your race to be made virtual at any time, there’s no need to wait until the day you want it enabled! Within the Google Form you’ll have the ability to request which day you’d like your Virtual Event to go live. Our Athlinks team needs at least 24 hours notice to make a race virtual, and cannot be enabled on weekends or holidays, so make sure to request your go live date occurs well before the big day.
Where Can My Athletes Find Their Virtual Race Results?
Athletes can find their Virtual Race Results one of two ways:
- Virtual Race Page via direct emails from Athlinks
- Your Athletes will receive an email from Athlinks with a link to access their Virtual Race Page once your Virtual Race is live, but we suggest that you contact your Athletes ahead of time to let them know their race is going virtual.
- Athletes can also find your Event’s Result Page just like a normal Event.
- Athletes will be able to search for their name and enter a virtual time. If an Athlete goes this route, they must claim their result to unlock time entry.
For more information on the Athlete Experience, visit the Athlete FAQ Page, and feel free to post a link on your personal web pages or share with your Race Directors.
Athlinks Virtual Results Product Improvements
Since the original release of Athlinks Virtual Results, we’ve continued to make improvements to the user experience and product functionality. Check out our most recent improvements:
This update provides an additional option for Athletes to input their time without the need to login or claim their result. This link is provided to all Athletes via email and is especially impactful for athletes under the age of 16, but can be used by all Athletes.
After inputting their time on the “Time Input” page (image below) they will be forwarded onto their Individual Result Page where they can download their finisher certificate, claim their result, and join Athlinks. Newly added athletes receive their Athlinks VR email the following business day they register.
Athletes are still able to visit the race results page in Athlinks, claim their result, and input their time if they prefer. Same as before, any time can be entered if it fits within the min/max requirements.
After a time has been added for an athlete, they can only change their time by claiming their result or by contacting Athlinks at email@example.com.
With Athlinks, Race Organizers can now allow Athletes to switch courses upon time entry for Virtual Races on Athlinks.
The Thinking Behind the Feature
One of the Top 50 races in the US has a unique course set-up: Athletes have always been able to decide around the 2-mile mark if they want to continue to run the 7 Mile course, or if they want to take a shortcut and run 2 Miles. Taking this on-course race feature to the virtual world is the root of this request, but it’s been designed in a way that also provides support relief for your teams. Once enabled, Athletes will no longer need to get in touch with you to switch between race distances, as they can self-manage their race by switching between different courses/distances when they’re entering their Virtual Race result.
How it Works
When Athletes navigate to their Individual Results Page or Time Input Link to enter their Virtual Results time, they will have the opportunity to select the course before inputting their time. Athletes are only able to enter one virtual result time, and their original course length will automatically be selected by default.
How to Enable This Feature
As the Timer (or Race Director) only you have the ability to choose if this option is right for your event. To enable this feature, simply answer the corresponding question in the Virtual Race form to enable this feature.
Important Things to Know:
Once you enable this feature for an event, ALL course options will be presented to an Athlete to choose from — you cannot pick and choose which courses are shown and which are not. Please also note, if your race has course options with differences in registration fees, ie. $20 for the 10k and $40 for the Half Marathon, there is no way to upcharge athletes who decide to enter times for a different course.
By popular demand, we now support optional result fidelity by displaying links on the Individual Results Page to popular Activity Trackers. When an athlete chooses to submit their Activity Link as they are submitting their time, athletes can post a link to their activity, and that link will appear on the Individual Result Page. This addition is perfect for race directors and athletes alike looking to make results submission more official. Note: any privacy settings on the users Athlinks profile (including claimed results) and external trackers is observed, so not all results may be viewable.
Activity Trackers Supported:
Virtual Race FAQ for Timers and Athletes
Based on questions brought to light through interviews and conversations with fellow ChronoTrack Timers, Athlinks has put together this handy Timer Virtual Race FAQ.
As mentioned above, it may also be helpful to view the Athlete Virtual Race FAQ.If you would like to discuss more about Virtual Results on Athlinks, or have questions regarding how to enable Virtual Results, please reach out directly to the Athlinks Virtual Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.