Get a recording of the extremely popular Permits & Finances webinar, meet the event directors of the 5K Foam Fest, read about the record-setting number of ACTIVE employees who competed at IRONMAN Arizona, and more. | Not Subscribed Yet? Subscribe to The Edge Now!

Edge Newsletter
NOVEMBER 2013   Facebook   Twitter   RSS Feed
Get the Permits & Finances
Webinar Recording

You can now watch on-demand our Permits & Finances webinar, presented by RaceHQ’s Anton Villatoro, so if you’re one of the many event directors who have questions about how to get permission for your event, or how to balance the books, this edition of our newsletter might be one of your favorites! Plus, we’ve got articles featuring the brains behind the 5K Foam Fest, our record-setting employee participation in IRONMAN, and a few product tips. Enjoy!

In this issue:

I hope you enjoy these articles. Feel free to share your feedback and ideas for future newsletters with us.


Lisa Martin

P.S. Find out the fastest, best way to set up your next Instant Ads campaign! Receive a $50 Instant Ads coupon when you attend one of our upcoming how-to webinars: November 26th, December 5th or December 12th.

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Race Director Blog
Recording Now Available: Permits & Finances Webinar


Wow! We had 700+ people register for our webinar on Permits & Finances: Event Planning Essentials, presented by Anton Villatoro of RaceHQ. We knew this would be a hot topic, but its popularity surpassed our expectations…which means we’ll have more coming your way on planning essentials soon.

If you missed it, or attended and want a replay, here’s the recording… Read the full article.

This article was posted on our blog on October 22nd. If you want to know as soon as an article is posted, subscribe to our blog and you’ll get an email alert. Click here to subscribe.

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Tips & Tricks
How to Search for a Participant

Tips and Tricks

There are a variety of reasons you need to track down a registrant’s information and you may not always have their name. Or you do have their name and it’s John Smith…which brings up 100 guys. To help make this process easier, you can now search by registration or order number, as well as by name.

Click here to learn how

Watch instructional videos and get more tips and tricks in the Help Center.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of ACTIVE Works, register here for FREE live product training.

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Event Director of the Month
Dave Ballard & Ryan Cook 5K Foam Fest

Dave Ballard
Dave Ballard
Ryan Cook
Ryan Cook

Dave Ballard and Ryan Cook are the co-founders of the 5K Foam Fest. The event is described as “all the mud, the dirt, and the grime of a mud race, plus all the obstacles seen on TV shows like Wipeout and Ninja Warrior…and then throw that entire muddy obstacled mess inside the largest and foamiest carwash ever built.” Dave, CEO, and Ryan, CFO, have been friends since they were 13 years old, and it’s obvious that a big part of their success is the hardworking, fun, and resourceful mentality they’ve brought with them all the way from the Boy Scouts to this unique Mob™ event.

How did Round House Racing, the 5K Foam Fest’s parent company, get its start?
Ryan: My degree is in construction management and I worked for a home builder for many years. When the market tanked, the company went out of business. At that point, Dave and I began talking about starting our own company. We’ve been friends since we were 13 and it’s something we’ve always wanted to do.

Dave: I previously worked as a purchaser and product development manager with some overseas companies, so I had some connections and insight into product development. Ryan and I decided originally to found a cycling store called Noble Sports, as we got more involved with local events we were motivated to start our own type of event. We saw how much opportunity the running industry had and decided to give it a go. That’s how Round House Racing came about and our first 5K Foam Fest event was in 2011.

How did you come up with the idea of 5K Foam Fest?
Dave: With Noble Sports we went to a lot of endurance events. We’d offer free photography to get people to come to our website. Running seemed to be a profitable industry, but we wanted to find a niche—we didn’t want to be another mud run and didn’t want to only appeal to a hard core audience. The goal was to create something unique and authentic that would attract a broad audience.

Ryan: Seeing the foam parties gave us the idea of translating that into a really cool and fun event. We knew that the Mob events were really successful and one in particular got nearly 5,000 participants at their first event. We thought we could do that…but it turned out that only 200 people came to our first event in 2011. But the next one was 600-700 participants and it boomed in 2012.

Exactly how fast has the 5K Foam Fest grown?
Ryan: We had 3 events in 2011, 12 in 2012, 24 this year (2013), and plan on doing a total of 35 national runs next year. Each events attracts anywhere from 3,000-10,000 participants, depending on the location.

How do you market the 5K Foam Fest?
Ryan: We invest a lot in marketing. We get the word out different ways, everything from digital channels, like Google or Facebook ads, to grassroots marketing where we hire a local person to go around town and talk to gyms, set up booths at other events, etc. Having that combination of digital and local has helped for sure.

Dave: We have a team of marketers. They meet frequently and always come up with new ideas, looking at the different channels we use to see what’s working. They’re really good and always focused on ways we can be different and better.

Why do you think the events have been so popular?
Dave: Participants want to do something different. Something that challenges them, makes them stand out, and defines who they are. They want that experience and that’s what the Foam Fest is.

Ryan: We differentiate by continually adding more obstacles and redesigning the popular ones we want to carry over to the next year. Every obstacle we have is getting a redesign for 2014. Our philosophy is to focus on the obstacles and make them different or people won’t come back. As fun as the race is, people want to experience a whole new level the next time they participate.

How have your backgrounds helped you with creating and managing the 5K Foam Fest?
Ryan: I would be managing up to 70 homes at one time as a residential contractor, so a lot of those skills translate to event management. I’m used to having a lot of people on the job site and juggling different balls—you can ask Dave, when I get out in the field, I get really bossy.

Dave: My background in product development has taught me that if you want to do something, put in some elbow grease and ask lots of questions and work to make it happen. That doesn’t mean that making the 5K Foam Fest a success was easy. Developing this event series is a continual learning and growing process. We’re lucky to have great partners and great people surrounding us and helping us along the way.

What’s next?
Dave: We have several new events in the works for 2014, including international events. It looks to be a good year and we’re really excited. Taking on new challenges is something we both enjoy, so expanding and improving our events is what motivates and drives us.

Learn More About:
5K Foam Fest
Round House Racing

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What’s new
A Record-Setting 17 ACTIVE Employees Compete in IRONMAN Arizona

Ironman Logo

We were very excited and proud that 17 of our employees headed to Tempe to compete in IRONMAN Arizona on Sunday, November 17th! That is the largest crew we’ve sent so far…in fact, we set a record because it’s the largest number of employees anyone has sent to a single IRONMAN race!

One of those 17 was Andy Reilly, who is the son of Mike Reilly, the famous Voice of Ironman. It was incredibly inspiring to watch this dad call out “You are an IRONMAN!” to his son!

In total, ACTIVE employees have competed in more than 120 IRONMAN events. Two of our best and brightest, Arch Fuston and Rob Klingensmith, crossed the finish line at this year’s IRONMAN® World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We think what they had to say sums up how we all feel about this iconic event:

The energy around IRONMAN is just about as good as it gets. It's filled with so much emotion, from the competitors to the spectators to the volunteers. And it lasts from the wee hours of the morning until the darkest of the night. It's one of the best experiences in sport.

I was fortunate to participate in my first Hawaii IRONMAN in 2004, and I consider that to have been the best sports day of my life…Having attended thousands of events and participated in hundreds, I can confidently say that nothing compares to the Hawaii IRONMAN. The anxiety and anticipation prior to the start; the equal parts of Zen and chaos in the swim; the loneliness of the bike; the struggle of the run; and the exuberant energy of the finish line are all unparalleled!

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Team Member Spotlight:
Adam Horton, Account Executive

Adam Horton

As an account executive, my job is to learn about customers’ events, introduce them to the products and services that best fit their needs, and explain not only features, but benefits of what we offer. I help all types of endurance events in Washington, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina and Nebraska.

Outside of work I enjoy doing any and everything outdoors, especially activities in and around America’s Finest City!

MTB. Snowboarding. Golf. Fitness. Beach Time.

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