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Race Website Tips

In order to maintain our directory, we visit hundreds of race websites every week. We have some tips for a successful race website.
Year Round Web Presence
Odds are, runners will find out about your race on the internet. A year round web presence is key. Even when your race is months away, runners will want to learn about your race. Runners who ran your race, may want to refer back to your site for results or a course map. Runners considering your race may want to see the course map, and check out past results to number of participants, and winning times.

Runners who travel often like to do a race in their destination city. They may know their travel plans months in advance. Even if you haven't updated your information for next year, keep the old stuff there. People will check it out, and keep checking for updates.
Keep the Link to Your Race Information The Same Every Year
This makes it so much easier for people to find your race next year.

If you must change it every year, please keep a pattern so that people can try to guess your new link.
Prominently Display Basic Information on your Main Race Page
  • Race Name
  • Race Date
  • Start Time
  • Race Distance(s)
  • City AND State!!
This seems obvious, but several times a day, we come across a website where we have to search and search and search for some of these pieces of information.

Be sure to include these in clear text, not only in an image or attached document. Not all browsers will display your images nicely.
Include the Date And Year
With so many web pages out there, you need to explicitly include the year of your race in your date. This will assure people that your race is happening this year, and your page has not been neglected since 2002.

Even if your race falls on a holiday, please explicitly include the actual race date. Thousands of upstanding citizens do not have every holiday memorized. Putting the date assures them they will show up at the right time.
Use PDF Format for your Race Flyer
A pdf format is a universal format. Most browsers can display a pdf document. They also are generally smaller in size, making them faster to load.

Using Word documents, Publisher files, MS Works or other formats, is frustrating to users that do not have these programs. They will not be able to open your documents.

There are many free pdf creators. Most can be used with common programs that you'd use to create your document. Use any search engine and search 'free pdf creator' to find one.
Single Location for your Race Flyer
Rather than sending a copy of your pdf race flyer to us, or other race directories/calendars, save yourself and others time and resources, and just send them the LINK to your race flyer on YOUR site. This way, if you need to update or change your flyer, you only need to upload it to your one single location, and everyone will get the current copy when they click the link you provided.
One Name for your Race Flyer
If you do need to update your race flyer, keep the same name, and over-write the previous version of your flyer. That way, anyone who has linked to your race flyer, will always have the current version.
Accomodate Visitors Who Go Directly to Your Race Page
Keep in mind, people will post links to various pages of your site on their sites, on social networks, and send them to friends through email.

You CANNOT assume people will come to your home page first. Be sure that every page in your site has enough information, and enough links to the rest of your site, to be an entry point into your site.
Make Sure Images are Sized Appropriately
If you include a very large picture, but force it to be displayed small, it will cause the page to load very slowly, and could be distorted on many browsers.

If you size your images to display nicely without forcing a re-size on the page, the internet will be a better place for all.
Assume Your Website Visitors are Not Local
Visitors to your site will be from all over the planet.

When listing your race location, include the name of the facility, the address, city AND state.

If your site simply says 'Central High School', that may be adequate for people who are already familiar with your event and city, but for the people who stumbled across your website, they don't know if that is Central High School in THEIR city or YOUR city.
Include a Course Description
Tell visitors why they should run your race. Is it flat and fast, or challengingly hilly? Is it scenic, or will runners be challenged to find visual interest. Is it unique, or is it comfortably familiar?