Saturday, May 30, 2015

motigo app review: part I

If you noticed on my Twitter feed last night, I posted how I had spent an hour and a half on a post, to have it be deleted. For whatever reason, Blogger wasn’t autosaving, I pressed save and tried to close, and it said I’d lose all unsaved changes. I clicked cancel, saved it, and tried again. Same message, and while I was thinking hit cancel and copy your work before closing it, I hit cancel by mistake. Woe is me. Why 'OK' is the main option for such an event is unclear to me... shouldn't it be 'Cancel'?! Anyway, I’m back re-writing, and have decided to break up my review into two parts since the original had been so long.
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Disclaimer: I received a 25 free cheers to send on Motigo to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!



I don't know about you, but when I come across people on the sidelines of a race, and they're cheering (for me, or just generally for everyone), I get so excited and happy. If I'm feeling crappy or like the race isn't going well, they make me smile and keep me pushing hard to finish strong.

Have you ever been to a race that had little to no spectators/people cheering? I have. It makes the race a little sad, at least for me. Well, Motigo is here to save the day. It's a nifty iPhone app that allows other people to record audio for you, choose what mile of your race it plays, and cheer you on during your race, even if they can't physically be there to do so.

The app is currently only available for iPhone users, but they do have on their website a place to put your email address to be notified when it's available for Android, so I'd say it's in the works. There is hope, Android users!

The app was created by a couple in Denver. Dan was running a marathon in Arizona while Celeste was back in Denver. Although he received some cheers from strangers along the way, it wasn’t enough to get him through the agonizing final miles. It’s then that the idea for Motigo came about. You can read more and watch a short video here.


Ok, so now onto how the app works for when you are running an event and want to add it your race list.

MOTIGO FOR RUNNERS

First, you need to download the app from the iTunes App Store. Easy. Next, you register with an email address and create an account.

Go to the bottom of your screen, and ap on race if it isn’t already selected. At the top, there is a ‘Select Your Event’ Option. Within that page you can search for your race. If it isn’t there, go back a ‘page’ and select ‘Request New Event’. This opens up an email, in which you send to the Motigo folks the details of your race – Name and Date.

I had to do this for my first race. I was concerned because I didn’t send the email until 4pm on Friday and my race was Sunday morning. Not only was it not much time, it was also almost the weekend. Lucky for me, I received an email (to the account I registered with) stating that the race had been added and that it was in my event list. Yay! The email was personalized and offered some words of encouragement - bonus points for Motigo.


Another cool feature is that once you select your event, you can share it on twitter, which sends the link to others so they can download the app and cheer you on!

After you choose an event, you’ll receive an email saying that you’ve added the event successfully. The night before the race, I received another email giving me tips on how to use the app while running, and some ways to save battery life. My phone is old and usually dies during half marathons unless I bring my external charger with me, so this was definitely a concern for me. I use Spotify and Nike+ during races, so who knows what my phone would do with another app running. I turned off bluetooth, as suggested, and also changed my mail ‘Fetch’ to every hour instead of every 15 minutes, hoping this would help. You also need to make sure you have GPS enabled (Angie accidentally went into airplane mode for a race, and didn’t get her cheers). It also helps to close all other apps that aren’t being used during the event. I found the email very helpful in figuring out the best way to use the app without draining my battery too much. My phone actually made it till the finish without dying OR using the external battery - JOY! It was about 32% at the finish line (remember though, I take a long time to finish a half marathon ;) )


I use Spotify for my music, and you are able to set up a playlist through the app, but unfortunately that’s through iTunes, which I don’t use. I was nervous about how the app would work if I was also using Spotify, and tweeted my concern to another Pro who had just used the app for a race. He used iTunes, so it wasn’t any help for me, but Motigo responded and let me know that as long as I didn’t close out of Motigo and had it running in the background, I could use Spotify and the app without any issues.

At the race start, I got my phone ready to go, had Motigo open and at the event. When the race began, I hit ‘Start Event’ on my phone, started my Spotify playlist (offline, not streaming), and ran. The app lets you know how many cheers you have for each event, and for this one I had one. I listened for something the whole race, and at mile 12 fellow Pro Angie’s voice came playing through my yurbuds. She sent me a great cheer which made me smile and laugh – a welcome treat since I had been grimacing for quite a bit with hip pain.

It’s a really fun and motivating experience. Another cool feature is that after the race (around 2pm) the cheers for that event show up in your Past Events/Race list and you can re-listen to them… whenever you want! If you couldn’t hear it well (this happened to me during Soldier Field – Nike+ was telling me my mile stats at the same time the cheer was playing, so I wasn’t sure who it was or what they said), you can go back and listen when you’re finished. I went back and listened to all of mine again before writing this post yesterday (ya know, before it was deleted) and they made me laugh a lot. I think if I’m ever having a tough day, I’ll go back into the archives and give a listen to my cheers… to cheer myself up ;)

I’ve used it for 4 races so far, and have loved the messages each time. I find it simple to use, and love how hands on the company can be – I have been receiving emails post-race to see how it went, and letting me know to contact them if I had any questions or problems with the app during the race.

Tomorrow I will post the Cheering on a Runner portion of the app. Stay tuned.

Here’s another SUPER FUN thing happening. Motigo has partnered with Nuun (one of my favorite hydration products) for National Running Day Virtual Run! It goes from June 3–7, and you’ll run a 5k (or longer, if you want). Download the app and add the event to your list. You’ll have a chance to win prizes WHILE you are running! How cool is that? Nuun has lined up some surprise messages from some special guests… I can’t wait to hear who it is and what they have to say! Make sure to hit ‘Start Event’ before you begin, and then listen up for some cheers! Learn more here.


PS Receive 20% off Nuun with discount code 'NRD2015'!

Want to read Angie’s experience with the app? Head on over.

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