England Athletics website

A group running hub engineered to get people of all abilities running in England.


RunTogether - building a group running hub

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RunTogether is an initiative commissioned by England Athletics designed to get more people involved in social running at all levels of ability, in as many locations across England as possible. Running in tandem with the RunTogether brand project, England Athletics needed a promotional yet fully functional website (Umbraco), fronting a bespoke web-based CRM and booking engine application. The two sites needed to be seamlessly integrated and share data, including searchable content and geo-locational based structured data. Ultimately, the Umbraco website needed to drive user sign ups to the CRM and encourage more people to get into running across the entirety of England, through helping them find appropriate local running groups for their level of ability and predefined run routes in their area.

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The main objective was to create a single destination group running hub. Firstly, the hub had to attract Run Leaders to register with the platform and use it to promote and manage their run groups and bookings, ultimately moving them away from an independent model into a more unified one. Secondly, the hub had to attract and convert people interested in trying group running into active participants by surfacing appropriate content and nurturing them through to completing a booking.

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Through a series of discovery workshops, planning sessions and prototype deliveries, we were able to prioritise the key functionality required to put together a minimum viable product for launch with future additions planned for later phases. Our solution required a highly flexible and highly extensible CMS in order to achieve some of our core technical requirements including geo-spatial search, single sign-on, multi-faceted free text site search, and cross platform user-generated content. The Umbraco CMS provided us with a solid framework on top of which we could build highly bespoke .NET code to surface content and manage user data between the two separate systems.

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The website launched in early January 2017 and within the first 2 months enjoyed over 1,000 active run groups registered and:

increase in website traffic

new run group bookings

increase in visitors from organic search

“Great to see our new participation programme grow significantly since launching in January. RunTogether now has over 1000 groups using the new website platform and tools that have been designed to make it easier for volunteers. With over 80,000 bookings already, it's fantastic to see the growth potential. Lots of things to look at and continue to refine, but really rewarding to see something have a positive influence on the wider community. It's great to support brilliant and inspiring volunteers!”

Dan Parkinson Product Development Manager – Running Participation