RunSignup Mobile App Collaboration

RunSignup Mobile App Collaboration

RunSignup Mobile App Collaboration

RunSignup is an organization that specializes in providing footrace management tools for the running community. From promotion to fundraising to technology, RunSignup has tons of tools at their disposal for anyone who is interested in hosting or managing a race.

Recently, RunSignup teamed up with a group of Rowan students in order to develop a phone app that could be used to help manage races. The Rowan students split up into two teams – known as Team Tigers and Team Lions – and got to work developing their app. Team Tigers consisted of Patrick Conway, Marc Harris, James Gregory, Gabriel Cicione, Nicholas Rossi, and Jeremy Mongeau. Team Lions consisted of Marko Pantovic, Andrew Servis, Nathanael Costa, Ryan Schwegel, Ariestle Diza, and Anthony Polanco. The two teams worked hard over the course of 12 weeks, and were recently able to show off the culmination of their efforts.

The ultimate goal of this app was to create a system for keeping track of racers as they cross the finish line. This process is usually done manually, but with the help of an app, the process can be partially automated. Using an app like that, the whole process would go much faster.

Here’s how the it usually works: As runners cross the finish line, a volunteer hits a stopwatch to record each of their finishing times. Then, the runners organize themselves into a single-file line based on the order they finished, while a second volunteer tears off their numbered tags to record the order they finished. Then, the two volunteers compare the finish times with the order of the tags to determine the finishing time of each runner.

Large-scale professional races tend to have sophisticated timing equipment that makes this process a bit less tedious. However, such equipment isn’t always available to smaller-scale races. The purpose of this new app is to make similar equipment more accessible to smaller-scale races through the use of smartphones.

The smartphone app, known as the RunSignup Mobile Timing App, has two distinct modes: Timing Mode and Chute Mode. Going by the process described earlier, the Timing Mode is for the first volunteer. It records the finishing time of each runner, and allows the volunteer to make edits in case there are any mistakes. The Chute Mode is for the second volunteer. It allows them to quickly type the numbers of the runners’ tags as they pass by.

When working on the app, the two Rowan teams worked in the independent programming language React, which allowed them to make the app compatible with both Apple and Android devices. The teams worked over the course of 12 weeks, which were divided into a series of 2-week “sprints.” Following each sprint, they provided updates on their progress. Professor Jack Myers led both teams of students, mentoring them and pushing them to do their very best in the project.

After 12 weeks, the project was complete, and the students were able to give a final presentation and demonstrate the results of their work. During the demonstration, RunSignup employees were actually able to download and test the app themselves. Team Lions even held a mock race in the hallways of the RunSignup building to test the app’s functionality.

Overall, the test was a great success, and the RunSignup staff were very impressed. According to RunSignup's VP of Development, Bruce Kratz, "RunSignup has a great partnership with Rowan and are continually impressed with the quality of students we get the opportunity to work with. The recent Rowan Field Experience Class was no exception – 12 students collaborated on and produced a commercially viable solution."

At the time of publication, RunSignup has not made any definite plans for commercialization of the app yet. However, they have made the source code available as an open source project under the Apache 2 license. This way, anyone can use the code and take the necessary steps to make it available in various app stores.
Written by Cole Goetz  |  Posted 2022.4.21