One of the necessary benefits for a race, especially a large one, is online pre-registration. In fact, most of the larger races today only offer online pre-registration. And this makes sense for the larger races; handling a multitude of participants with online pre-registration is much easier. On race day, it simply becomes too much of a burden to manually register a large number of participants, even when you publicize and allow what should be enough time to do so. We all know that if on-site race day registration lasts from 7:00am – 8:30am for a 9:00am start, 90% of the participants will show up at 8:20am.
When asked how to time a race, I always respond first with a question of my own: how is registration being handled? One way or the other, all of that participant registration information (name, gender, age bracket, home town, etc.) needs to be readily accessible in whatever race timing software is used. Online pre-registration sites usually make it easy to download registration data. It typically involves logging on with the credentials you were given, and selecting a download link that will generate either an Excel file or a text file that you can download to your computer. But now what?
Good Times Software comes with the Good Times Import & Export Wizard to help load that participant information into Good Times. We also provide a Microsoft Excel template so you can open up the file you downloaded from your online pre-registration site, manipulate it in the template so the format is correct, and then re-save it so the Import & Export Wizard can read it.
This can be an easy endeavor, regardless of what online pre-registration site you use. If you haven’t done so already, please check out the video on our YouTube Channel called: Importing Participant Information. You’ll see an actual demonstration of using the Excel template and then importing the information using the Good Times Import & Export Wizard.