4 ways to keep runners happy – online
WEB DEVELOPMENT, WORDPRESS, NATURE | SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
THIS race has taken athletes over the Overberg mountains for 42 years. It has hosted the likes of Elana Meyer, Frith van der Merwe, Olympic gold medalist Josiah Thugwane and Charl Mattheus.
With such history and status behind the Voet van Afrika marathon, it was just as important to capture this in the new Voet van Afrika website. So LoveGreen teamed up with the marathon race organisers, including talented graphic designer, Lize Venter, to create a digital home that runners could use easily to access key information.
And here’s what we learnt about runners surfing the web along the way:
1. No frills, please!
A running audience wants the key information, quickly. These questions should ideally be answered with one quick scroll through the home page:
- How long till race day?
- When is the last day I can enter online?
- And where do I enter? (Link, please).
Even races such as the Boston Marathon, London Marathon and others don’t waste time on long explanations on the home page. They’re to the point – they assume runners know that they want to run their race, so marketing the race is limited.
2. OK, I’ve got the basics of the race. Now I want the detail.
Yes, runners want a clean, easy-to-use home page (and website in general). But once they’ve decided to enter, they often have many follow-up questions. And the website needs to answer as many of these questions as possible – to put a runner’s mind at ease.
That’s when we get into the detail – creating separate pages for each race, answering as many of these questions as possible. Here we include info on waterpoints, elevation, cut-off points and times and landmarks along the way. (This also helps them to decide whether their fitness levels are sufficient for the race).
And they want info on the race logistics, like transport to the start (the Voet van Afrika 42.2km and 21.1km races have different starting points, so transport is provided), and number collection.
“I can’t find an answer to my question – what now?”
Aside from race pages for each distance, the LoveGreen team also added an FAQ section on the Voet van Afrika website. The aim? If you struggle to find the answer on the home page or race pages, the FAQ section should provide the answers you’re looking for.
3. A ‘new’ kind of runner – one who chooses to ‘go green’.
More runners are asking questions about race ‘greening’. For both the Voet organisers and the LoveGreen team, this is vital.
On the Voet marathon, innovative steps are being taken to ‘green’ the race. Runners are encouraged to run with their own water supply (a re-usable bottle). And there are demarcated littering zones – followed by NO LITTERING zones (especially in our beautiful Fynbos landscapes).
This was captured on a Going Green page on the new website, which gave tips on how runners can also help to run their race in harmony with nature.
4. What does it mean to run – and finish this race?
The Voet van Afrika is like NO OTHER marathon. It’s pretty tough. Full marathon runners will run over a mountain on gravel and jeep tracks. And then just when they think the worst is over, they have a 17km run on tough tar, overcoming one hill after the next.
The website had to capture the heart of this marathon: The toughest race with the warmest heart. The look of the site had to pull in the Voet branding; but also speak to the unique selling points of this race: the beautiful landscape, the welcoming people along the route, and the testing run.
Heather is our content writer. She enjoys helping our clients formulate their message and loves to run her way across beautiful mountains, to explore new places and is always ready for an adventure.
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