Peddles and Progress at Cactus Cup


Originating in 1991, the Cactus Cup stands tall as Arizona’s original mountain bike stage race, and its recent 2024 event proved to be another successful experience that offered something for everyone. Gail Hughes, with Virtual Roster and the event’s race director, shared insights into the seamless integration of RunSignup’s cutting-edge technology. With a deep understanding of the platform’s diverse tools, Gail leveraged the latest advancements, notably the RaceDay CheckIn App with QR codes, to streamline operations during the Cactus Cup. Reflecting on the event, she emphasized the importance of tailoring these tools to meet the unique demands of each race:

“No race is ever identical to any other. The ability to tailor the tools to the Race Director/event race-specific processes is critical.”

Breathtaking and Something for Everyone

Amidst the backdrop of Arizona’s breathtaking desert landscape, riders enjoyed in a fantastic weekend of cycling and camaraderie.

Over the course of three days, the event catered to riders of all levels, offering a total of nine adult races and five kids races/camps. With a great turnout of close to 900 riders and 1,240 participations from 30 U.S. states and four countries, the Cactus Cup drew athletes of all types with varying goals in mind. The event not only showcased competitive and fun races, but offered a festival atmosphere, complete with live music, an event expo, and refreshments from local food trucks.

Official Race Merchandise

Innovative technology played a large role in enhancing the participant experience. This included RunSignup’s online retail store, which provided participants with the opportunity to purchase a wide array of merchandise ahead of the event, totaling 22 unique items. This then led to an on-site shop during the race weekend. This is something that all races should consider applying and is an effective way to increase revenue for the event.

RaceDay CheckIn App: Rapid Check-Ins

In addition, Gail made use of RunSignup’s RaceDay CheckIn app to provide for an efficient check-in process. Participants received QR codes ahead of time, enabling rapid pack pickup as volunteers seamlessly scanned their codes. Gail shared it will definitely take a while for some groups of their customers to think electronically, but they had many ways to keep the lines moving on their key packet pick up (PPU) window. She was very impressed with those that adopted the new technology with ease and commented:

“What I love is seeing the number of folks who actually do have their cell phones in hand.  I know that since we called out to have your app/QRcode/bib# ready as you approached, these are folks who were doing just that – and in most cases holding on to their bikes at the same time – HAH!!”

For on-site registrations and participant data adjustments, the RaceDay CheckIn app facilitated real-time updates, simplifying administrative tasks for organizers. Gail reports “all were super simple for me to manage over the weekend and the timer set up a direct connection to the RunSignup files so just pulled updates before each race.” 

Sedona Stumble

Gail also provided insights into the application of similar technology at their recent Sedona Stumble trail race, held the following weekend. With dynamic bib assignments and the RaceDay CheckIn’s efficient name lookup processes, they were able to assign 221 bibs within 70 minutes by just 2.5 race staff.

Thank you, Gail Hughes, for bringing today’s latest technology to your events!

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