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Eventrac Facebook checklist

Quick fire questions:

How long should you spend on your Facebook presence?

At least 30 minutes a day

Do I need to be a social whizz?

Nope! everything can be done step by step, our team can advise you

Is my event too small for this to be worthwhile?

Of course not, whether you want to boost entries or use it as a platform to communicate key race information it will work for you

Where do I start with Facebook ads?

Facebook ads can be very powerful tools to grow your race entries into the 1000s, get in touch for a free consultation

How will this help you?

  • Establishes a professional look for your brand or event that gives an air of digital credibility to the races you organise
  • Helps potential participants easily find your entry forms and important links as well as contact you quickly and efficiently so you can convert them into paying entrants
  • Allows you to build a community of people that can engage together on Facebook which increases post event activity such as positive reviews and helps retention rate for future races allowing you to spend more time tapping into new markets
  • Explains how you can best utilise Facebook pages, events, groups, photo albums and in built page shops

The checklist

  1. Have you created your Facebook page and added all the important content: Once you have made your page you will want to fill out all the important information about your business and race(s) you will want to edit your page ‘about’ section to include your location, your contact details, and some blurb about your goal as an event organiser. Make sure you add a high quality logo as your profile picture and a cover photo or video that shows off an exciting moment from one of your events. You can then hop into your ‘photos’ and ‘videos’ tabs to upload all your race content, this will give entrants an idea of what is is like to be at one of your events and also let people that have taken part tag themselves and friends to remind them of the experience, making them more likely to come back!
  2. Can people message your page to ask for more information: Sometimes potential participants are unsure whether to enter and just need that helping hand or quick bit of advice to push them to make that next step. Using Facebook you can use the platforms ‘auto-response’ service to include a welcoming message to people that visit your page encouraging them that you are there to assist. These messages are available to edit under your page settings and are very useful in optimising your digital customer service experience. Make sure you reply quickly to any queries so that you can help convert any potential entrants and also answer any important questions to make race day run more smoothly.
  3. Does your race or races have a Facebook ‘event’: If not then WHY NOT, this is a must for your race. It is straightforward to create a Facebook event. Once done you can add your race info, images and share the event to help build interest, you will be able to see who has marked themselves as ‘going’ and who is ‘interested’ and you can use your partners and sponsors to share your event to help get this in front of more people. This is a quick win to help get people inviting friends and also getting your race in front of people local to your event that are actively looking for something to take part in. You can also use your Facebook event to help get key messages across to runners or also promote things such as competitions or post entry links within the event to convert those that have marked an interest in taking part. Everytime you post in this event, participants will receive a notification which is much more effective than posting from your page.
  1. Do you use the ‘groups’ ‘reviews’ ‘shop’ or ‘community’ tabs: Being active on Facebook for you is all about building a group on entrants that can talk to each other and achieve their goals and feel a part of something. Facebook is great for building that feeling through the use of these extra tabs that you can add to your page. Promoting post race reviews on your Facebook page is also key to helping improve your credibility and compete with other events. Be sure to also reply to any negative reviews so you can act quickly to resolve these issues and turn them into happy future participants! If you sell merch it is also worth setting up a Facebook shop, this acts as an extra revenue stream for your business and a quick way to get rid of those race tees you have been stacking up!
  2. Have you tried Facebook ads: If not and you want to grow your race you are missing out on this pool of entrants just waiting to see your event, whether your budget is £10 or £500 you can gain 100s through easy to set up targeted ads, give us a shout.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions or would like some help on maximising your Facebook you can contact matthew@eventrac.co.uk

Eventrac Opening for Entries

Don’t miss those extra keen runners, what are you waiting for?

Quick fire questions:

How long should you spend on your Race Listing on Eventrac?

As long as you want, it is fairly quick to set up your event but bear in mind that the more time you put into it the more value you will get out. It is worth adding course maps, videos, extra information and directions. This will make your entrants feel confident in the race you are putting on.

Do I need to be a tech whizz?

Nope! everything can be done step by step, our team can advise you. The Eventrac platform is built for ease of use and is optimised for Race Organisers who don’t want to spend their limited time being hands on with the admin behind managing entries.

Is my event too small for this to be worthwhile?

Of course not, an effective race listing can help your current entrants feel confident and committed to your events whilst also attracting new participants.

What to I get out of this?

The race experience for your entrant begins the moment they see your race listing and think about entering. If you provide content rich information this helps gain their trust and interest and helps you compete with similar events!

 

 

What to do

So this year’s race has just finished, what do you do? If your race went to plan and you are confident that you are going to go ahead for next year then open for entries ASAP! What are you waiting for? Once you have the permission and the basics confirmed such as a rough route, license and you are all go then there is no reason to hold back from accepting entries.

 

Entrants from this year may be keen to enter again and you want to capture them whilst they are still relishing their latest achievement taking part in your event. The moment you start gaining entries these are all people that will start talking about your race to their friends and family and they can utilise the Eventrac social sharing tool to help spread the word.

 

Opening your race up for entries a few months sooner can capture 20, 50, 100, or even 300+ entrants or more depending on how well you market your race’s USPs. Eventrac has a Email Marketing tool that is simple to use and you can communicate to your database – giving them the latest information about your route, medal, goody bags, sponsors or special offers that will help prompt them to sign up.

 

When you have more information about your race you can edit your Eventrac race listing and add in your course maps, videos, merchandise and more. The more time you spend optimising this the more chance there is that someone looking to enter your event will enter. You will want to make sure your website and race listing is accurate and looking at it’s best before you start looking at any paid marketing such as Facebook ads so that it gives you the best possible chance to convert that traffic into participants.

 

One trick you can do is to take advantage of the ‘new year’s resolution rush’ this is a great time to promote your race to people looking to enter their next big event for next year. Between the months of October – January you should be looking into pushing your new year’s message our on all your platforms to let everyone know why your race is the best new year’s challenge!

 

Finally, make sure you keep all your entry data secure and safe, this is what you will be using to market your race entries for years to come.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions or would like some help on maximising your Race Listing you can contact matthew@eventrac.co.uk

Carbohydrates – a simple or complex debate?

Carbs are a hotly debated topic – apart from the old wives tales and myths, the running & fitness magazines are full of dietary tips and hints and carbohydrates get a lot of exposure both positive and negative.  Carbs have had a bit of a bad press of late.   We have special diets and recipes telling us one thing then are faced with the array of tubes, packets and boxes on the supermarket shelves all telling us what is in our food in different ways.   There is so much information being thrown at us that it is no wonder we are all a bit confused.  Of course, then there are always those who will quote what they believe to be true or love to share what works for them – and why not – the sporting community might be competitive but we do look after our own!   One thing is for certain, what we eat can have a huge impact on our physical well-being.

As sports persons we need to know what we need and when we need it to perform our best every time we get active. We also want to have an easy life and not spend hours slaving in the kitchen preparing complicated meals when we are on the run or just back from one! The battle of carbohydrate versus protein is just another distraction that takes us off our course and leaves us wondering what we should take in to keep our fitness levels fine tuned.

So what exactly is a Carbohydrate?  If you remember your school days, there are simple carbs and complex carbs. Carbohydrates are one of three nutrients that form a large part of our diet found in food – the others being fat and protein. Hardly any foods contain only one nutrient and most are a combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in varying amounts. There are three different types of carbohydrates found in food: sugar, starch and fibre.

Sugar is found naturally in some foods, including fruit, honey, fruit juices, milk (lactose) and vegetables. Other forms of sugar can be added to food and drink such as confectionary, biscuits and soft drinks during manufacture, or we can add when cooking or baking at home.

Starch is actually made up of many sugar units comprised together and is found in foods that come from plants. Starchy foods, such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes, provide a slow and steady release of energy throughout the day.

Fibre is the name given to the diverse range of compounds found in the cell walls of foods that come from plants. Good sources of fibre include vegetables with skins on, wholegrain bread, whole wheat pasta and pulses (beans and lentils).

Being a time poor veggie, I am particularly fond of ingredients that provide a one stop shop of a healthy balance of calories, carbs, protein, fibre and fat. I often turn to those that are readily available from my local supermarket such as Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat, Durum Wheat (Macaroni), Whole Barley, Coucous (I love the giant variety), and if you hunt you can also get those less well known ones such as Cassava, Sago, Millet, Taro and Buckwheat (which can be a nice alternative to rice).  All of these contain carbohydrates and can be used as the basis for some brilliant and mouth watering recipies that don’t take hours to prepare but will keep well in the fridge.

Jane Griffin, a Sports Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant in an article entitled “Mood Foods” says that “Carbs are good” (I’m liking this lady) Jane says “The glucose in our blood comes from carbohydrate-rich foods and the body really likes to keep a steady level of blood glucose at all times…. The main sources of simple carbohydrates are fruit and fruit juices, milk and milk products, honey and sugar. Sources of complex carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereals, pulses and sweetcorn. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy in the diet, being the primary energy source for exercising muscles, the brain and central nervous system.

Just eating sensibly and not over indulging is the best advice and the bottom line is that Carbs can be good and bad for you. You just need to choose your carbs carefully. Check out this article by Nicole Lana Lee  which I found interesting to read.  It dispels some of the carbohydrate myths and offers some sound advice.

Perhaps just keeping an open mind, a balance of dietary information, a healthy dose of common sense  and eating sensibly will be your recipe for success.

A useless piece of information – did you know that the first known use of the word Carbohydrate was in 1851! We’ve come a long way since then on both the sporting and the dietician front haven’t we.

Got an opinion or do you want to share some advice? We would love to hear from you on this debate – or perhaps you might like to share your favourite recipe.  Please send comments or articles through to info@eventrac.co.uk*.

 

 

*submitted articles will be subject to approvals and we cannot offer any guarantee we will publish

Hot tips for summer running

It’s not officially summer yet but the weather forecast for the next week or so is looking continually optimistic. We are all due to get a good dose of vitamin D it seems.  Wonderful.  It’s hotting up across the country – with predictions in some areas, of rising temperatures possibly getting above 30 degrees this weekend.  But this isn’t about forecasting the weather, its about making sure our runners make the most of it wisely and safely.

The heat is the most difficult element for runners to train in and the weather conditions can impact on performance in both the long-term and short-term.  During training or taking part in a race in the heat, your performance suffers for several reasons:-

Firstly, your overall body temperature increases. The higher your core body temperature, the worse you are going to feel.

Second, as soon as the body starts to heat up, blood is diverted to the skin, where cooling takes place through sweating and evaporation. Therefore, less blood is available to deliver oxygen to your working muscles. Less oxygen means you can’t run as fast or as hard and the effort to maintain or increase your pace dramatically increases.

Finally, you become more easily dehydrated in hot and humid conditions. When fluid levels drop, your body’s cooling methods, mainly the ability to sweat, erode and you have a harder time controlling your body temperature. This in turn causes the core body temperature to rise faster and that limits your performance.

So what can you do to help?

Choose the right running gear
Wear loose-fitting and light coloured clothing. Technical t-shirts that are designed to allow perspiration to pass through them and evaporate, may help to reduce core temperatures.

Protect yourself
Wear sunglasses, wear a loose-fitting hat or wear a visor. Apply sunscreen and a little bit of petroleum jelly (or specialist lubricating product) on the feet, under arms and in other sensitive areas help to prevent chaffing or blisters forming.

Get your timing right
Avoid running between noon and 3.00 pm when the sun is strongest. You will enjoy the fresher morning air quality if you go out early.

Pick the right route
Choose shady routes, avoiding hot roads. If you are lucky enough to run by the coast then the sea breeze will be cooling. Running by water or through the woods is also stimulating and can be refreshing.

Stay hydrated
Drinking 500ml of fluid two hours before a run is recommended – try water, a sports drink or diluted fruit juice – and another 150ml of fluid just before you run, you’ll have enough time for your body to clear what you don’t need before you set off. Getting the balance right before, during and after the run is important. It makes sense to carry some liquid with you – if you don’t like carrying a bottle you can get a running belt that accommodates bottles or wear a hydration back pack. It’s also best to avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol before runs as they increase urine output which can make you even more dehydrated.  It just makes sense to be prepared.  See our “pure hydration blog

Pace yourself and know when to stop

Start your run at a pace that is slower than usual. It will take you longer to overheat. If you feel you are getting overly uncomfortable take a rest and go into some shade. Illness caused by heat exhaustion can be serious. If you experience headaches, confusion, loss of muscular control, flushes, clammy skin or upset stomach then this could be a sign that something is wrong. If you feel any of these then STOP.
All that said, there is nothing nicer than getting out for a long scenic run on a glorious day. It promises to be a great bank holiday here in the UK so get out and enjoy it if you can. We wish you happy and safe training and look forward to seeing your entries in some of our forth coming events.

Pure Hydration

Continuing the theme of elements (last month focussing on “earth” – ie Mud Runs), today’s blog turns to water. When you think of water you think of living! After all we could not be without it. Running round it, swimming through it, skating across it, sailing or rowing over it – water offers boundless opportunity in all its forms and dare I say it in in the company of athletes, its not half bad with a bit of gin poured over it when frozen into cubes!

I woke up thirsty this morning with H20 definitely on my mind this a very timely blog! Last weekend Hermes Running held the Bewl Water Half, Full and Ultra Marathon. Bewl is one of a series of events organised by lead organiser David Ross throughout the year and the courses circuit the reservoir that spans across the Kent/East Sussex Border. A hidden gem hidden behind woodland just off the main A21 London to Hastings Road, Bewl is not just a pretty sight – it is the largest reservoir in south east England providing drinking water for catchments across East Sussex and Kent. A superb place to circum-navigate. The three routes take in forested areas, open countryside trails overlooking the lake and along quiet country rural roads with record numbers taking part this year, loyal followers who return year on year for their Bewl fix plus many newcomers – it is a great event and you even get a medal with a fish on it! But, if you missed the “jewel that is Bewl” then don’t throw in your towel yet, you can still soak up the atmosphere – check out this Youtube video and a date for your calendar is coming very soon.

To drip feed you with an additional spot of good news – Bewl is only part of the Hermes Series journey which continues to navigate close to water as the events unfold – turning upstream this time to Surrey to follow the course of the Thames. There are two 2017 dates to choose from either 12th August or 4th November and even better a new date is about to be set for March 2018. Each date offers the option of a half or full marathon. Why not put the kettle on and check out this superb video produced by Stephen Cousins of FilmMyRun. Taking part in the marathon event himself last year – he offers great insight into the route, the people he meets on the way and gives his own honest and personal experience. His film which lasts just over 9 minutes – gives a great flavour to whet the appetite and steer you towards entry for either the August or November event this year.

What do they say – you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink! Ok so that’s enough of the watery puns – I promise. Seriously though hyrdration before, during and after an event involving strenuous exercise is important. There is a so much written about the subject it can be confusing but according to Matt Fitzgerald – author and Training Intelligence Specialist “the exercise hydration advice is in fact to drink according to your thirst. As long as you keep an adequate supply of palatable drink accessible during your runs, you will naturally drink enough to optimize your performance if you just drink as often and as much as your thirst dictates”. There are plenty of water stations on all the Hermes routes – make sure you get what you need.
Check out all the events that Eventrac has to offer – both watery and on dry land – a real cocktail of experiences to have with on us…

Cheers!

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

This weekend Ashdown Primary School are holding their annual mud run and will be having lots of fun raising funds for the school PTA.  We wish the families and kids taking part well and hope they raise loads for their PTA.  This muddy experience has prompted me to look into the mud event phenomena.  Ashdown join a host of other event organisers who are turning to mud to challenge and entertain and a whole industry has sprung up in recent years. Mud is gaining ground!

Its not uncommon on a weekend to see exhausted people walking along the road covered head to toe in the brown stuff looking like they have been dragged behind a tractor on a rainy day!  The dirtier you get, it seems, the better you will feel and yes, this is exercise!

Crawling through tight muddy tunnels, wading across icy water, dodging electric wires and jumping over fire. This is not everyone’s idea of fun – but a multimillion-pound industry has grown on the back of increasing numbers of women and men doing just that.  A recent BBC article:  Mud, Sweat and Cheers,  gives some fantastic and seemingly incredulous examples around the world of mud and challenge runs that would make you feel dirty and exhausted just looking at the photos and leave the reader wondering  how on earth anyone makes it to the finish line alive!  (I quickly step in here and say don’t be alarmed – a primary school’s event will be very safe and they won’t be doing all of that!)

But what draws participants to these ultimate challenge events?  Perhaps lives have just become too clean and safe.  Perhaps there is a need to reconnect with the experiences of ancestors who had to endure extreme hardship just to survive. Perhaps these events are seen as the next level of endurance race.  Everyone may have a different reason to take part but once you do, what appears consistent is that you become well and truly embedded in the concept.

Spending time in mud is good for us too apparently.   A Telegraph article written (about children) last year by Linda Blair: Mind Healing the Psychology of Getting Dirty: tells us that parents should encourage children to get muddy.  It says that there are many advantages and cites “Spending time outside encourages the production of endorphins, our natural painkillers that trigger feelings of wellbeing and being outdoors helps set our biological clock and promotes more restful sleep”. Ashdown Primary may be leading the way here!

Well done if you have taken part your own mud challenge. We look forward to hearing how you do and good luck to all in the Ashdown Primary School event this weekend.

Useful links:

Obstacle Course Race Association is a governing body formed to ensure that this type of event is safe – check out http://www.ocrauk.org.uk.  “Train safe, Race safe.”

PHOTO by Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs

First ever marathon? Harness the energy!

On Sunday 23 April thousands and thousands of runners will take part in the UK’s biggest running event – the London Marathon – we wish them all a great race experience.  If you are one of these then you will have spent many gruelling months training and getting race ready.  For many participants,  this will be their first ever marathon event.  Some will go on to take part in many more events but others may just feel that they want a break and for them taking part in such an iconic event will be a one-off achievement.   After any major event you need to rest your body – all the running coaches and magazines will tell you this and it is the right thing to do – the body needs to recover but that doesn’t stop your mind continuing to run at a reasonable pace!  To keep the psychological momentum at its fitness peak spend some time looking up other events or even consider joining a running club.  You worked so hard so you owe it to yourself to continue thinking about running, pat yourself on the back, hang up the medal and consider your next challenge.  Harness all that energy you created to plan ahead.  There is so much potential out there to exercise your running psyche and keep your body fitness levels high.

Supporting local events offers you some great experiences and some of them have pretty decent medals too if you are wanting to start a collection of trophies.  They may not be such high profile events as the London Marathon but there are some fantastic events out there that would be equally rewarding (and cheaper) to enter that take you on routes across beautiful scenery or perhaps past wonderful heritage, day time or even at night, in land or on the coast, in the country or in the town etc,  that are extrememly well organised and where you can meet others of like mind.

The Eventrac website has a host of events for you to browse whilst those muscles recover – all organised by passionate sports organisers for the experienced competitive or novice fun runner.  So why don’t you run your eyes over a great selection of events – check out our listings  -while you put your feet up after the last race.  There could be another event  just around the corner with a number waiting for your name to go on!  Support your local area and take part in friendly and welcoming local events.    Well done – now put all that pent up energy to good use and set yourself your next goal and let Eventrac take the strain out of the entry process.