Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 30, 2012.

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Lace up your shoes. Grab your cameras. We're faking a marathon.

Wow! What a great run! 

Keep up with this project at www.RunFreeRace.com

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Brought to you by:

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RUNFREE 2013: A 26.2 Day Campaign for The Greatest Race That Never Was

On February 2nd, 2013, we are faking a marathon. The question we're trying to answer is this: how many photographs does it take to make a fake marathon real?

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HIGHLIGHTS & UPDATES

DAY 26 - OVER 850 RUNNERS! OVER 2200% FUNDED!

DAY 25 - OVER 700 RUNNERS! OVER 500 BACKERS!

DAY 23 - OVER 650 RUNNERS!

DAY 22- OVER 600 RUNNERS! CONFIRMED ARTICLE IN FEBRUARY ISSUE OF RUNNER'S WORLD!

DAY 20 - OVER 30 TEAMS REGISTERED!

DAY 19 - OVER 400 BACKERS! OVER 550 RUNNERS! STRETCH GOAL ACHIEVED!

DAY 19 -  MEDAL DESIGN UNVEILED! BEHOLD THE AWESOMENESS!

DAY 17 - Over 500 RUNNERS!

DAY 15 - Over 450 RUNNERS! Featured on Wired Magazine's Geek Dad blog!

DAY 14 - Over $10,000 thanks to our awesome backers!

DAY 12 - Over 400 RUNNERS from 14+ countries!

DAY 9 - First STRETCH GOAL announced!

DAY 8 - Over 300 RUNNERS from more than 10 countries!

DAY 5 - OVER 250 RUNNERS! We made this video to show what the race would look like if each backer were a cookie. Enjoy!

DAY 4 - Over 500% funded! Let's keep this crazy train rolling!

DAY 2 - Featured in the NEW YORK OBSERVER!

DAY 1 - Early bird registrations SOLD OUT!

HOUR 1 - Fully funded after just 48 MINUTES!

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Progress as promised!

Here's what our progress has looked like since the campaign started. (That little reddish/pinkish dotted line? That's our initial goal of $999).

(Graph courtesy of canhekick.it)

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Rewards

$1 - Thanks for supporting this project! At this level you get our genuine heartfelt thanks, and also some counterfeit thanks if you'd like.

$10 - Economy Registration
$10 - Economy Registration

$10 - ECONOMY REGISTRATION - Includes everything in the full registration, except no t-shirt.

$20 - Early Bird Registration - SOLD OUT!
$20 - Early Bird Registration - SOLD OUT!

$20 - EARLY BIRD GETS THE SHIRT - SOLD OUT! - The first 100 people get the FULL REGISTRATION for $5 off, PLUS your race t-shirt will have an early-bird signifier on the sleeve, PLUS your race time will be better than the rest of the FULL registration backers as a way of saying thanks for supporting us early!

$25 - Full Registration
$25 - Full Registration

$25 - FULL REGISTRATION - Receive a limited, kickstarter-edition racing bib, vehicle sticker, registration packet, safety pins, and race bracelet (racelet?). Plus, YOUR NAME will be in the race program included in every packet and your race time will be listed on runfreerace.com, PLUS your very own race t-shirt to commemorate your participation.

$45 - Medal of Honor
$45 - Medal of Honor

$45 - MEDAL OF HONOR - Includes Full Registration PLUS race participant medal, which can be proudly displayed in your home or worn around your neck every day in place of (or in addition to) a necktie.

$75 - Race Official
$75 - Race Official

$75 - RACE OFFICIAL - Includes full registration PLUS race medal PLUS embroidered terry headband PLUS limited-edition RACE STAFF shirt and lanyard, PLUS exclusive behind-the-scenes updates before, during, and after the race. PLUS your name will be listed on the site as a Race Staff Member. Only 50 available!

$100 - Race Team Party Pack
$100 - Race Team Party Pack

$100 - RACE TEAM PARTY PACK - Includes SIX full registrations PLUS limited-edition racing headbands. (Add $50 to include medals for all six participants)

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Follow Along!

Want to stay up-to-date on RunFree 2013? Look no further than our social media accounts!

Twitter: @runfreerace

Facebook: Run Free Race

Instagram: @runfreerace

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Sponsorships

Sponsorships are a great way to gain some online visibility for your business, blog, or personal brand. All sponsors will be featured on race shirts and the race website in order of sponsorship level.

Your name/logo seen by bajillions!
Your name/logo seen by bajillions!

$250 - SPONSOR-A-MILE - LIMITED QUANTITY - 26 AVAILABLE Your company name (or blog, personal brand, favorite cat, etc.) listed on race t-shirts, race program and race website as a mile sponsor. PLUS You'll receive your own 18x24" mile marker yard sign with your logo & mile number on it, PLUS we'll mention your business from our social media accounts on race day! Also includes 2 full registrations.

$500 - SILVER SPONSOR - LIMITED QUANTITY - 10 AVAILABLE- Your name & logo on race t-shirts & race website, a 2'x4' race banner with your company logo, a HALF-PAGE ad in the race program that will go to every participant, AND a mention from our social media accounts on race day.. Also includes 5 full registrations.

$1000 - GOLD SPONSOR - LIMITED QUANTITY - 5 AVAILABLE - Your logo larger & more prominent on race t-shirts and race website, a 4'x8' race banner with your company logo, a FULL-PAGE ad in the race program that will go to every participant, AND multiple mentions from our social media accounts on race day.. Plus you'll be allowed to insert a flyer or souvenir into every race packet (you provide fliers/souvenirs). Also includes 10 full registrations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SPONSORSHIPS, EMAIL KYLE@RIDICULO.US

PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP

Although not listed in the rewards, there is one additional sponsorship level available. The PLATINUM LEVEL SPONSORSHIP places your name & logo everywhere, essentially co-branding the race. Because your brand will be tied so closely to ours, this is only available to one company, and only once both companies (Ridiculo.us and you) have talked and come to a mutual agreement. This sponsorship will look different depending on who decides to purchase it, but an initial outline would look something like this:

PLATINUM SPONSOR - LIMITED QUANTITY - ONE AVAILABLE! - Run Free 2013, presented by... YOUR COMPANY! Yours will be the ONLY corporate logo on the race bibs, plus it will show up on race stationery, all race marketing materials, and will be prominently featured on the race t-shirt and website. Your company will receive a FULL TWO-PAGE SPREAD in the race program, ten entries to the race, a 20' wide finish line banner with your logo on it, AND multiple mentions from our social media accounts on race day! Plus you'll be allowed to insert a flyer or souvenir into every race packet (you provide fliers/souvenirs).

If you or your company would be interested in this opportunity, please email ann@ridiculo.us to get the process started.

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The Full Story

There’s a saying on the internet: “Pics or it didn’t happen”.

In other words, if something is real, if it actually happened, there will be pictures to back that up.

But what if something DIDN’T actually happen, but there are STILL pictures of it? Does that mean it DID happen? If something is fake, how much evidence does it take before it becomes real?

That’s the question we’re trying to answer.

So on February 2, 2013, we are faking a marathon. 



We’ll have all the trappings of a real marathon - race banners, race t-shirts, race medals, race sponsors, race bibs, a race program... you get the idea. We just won’t have any actual... racing.

All of this and more, and NO RUNNING!
All of this and more, and NO RUNNING!


We’re calling it Run Free 2013. Because, well, it’s run-free. It’s free of running.

Here’s how it will work. A few days before the race, you’ll receive your race registration packet containing all the stuff a regular race registration packet would contain: a race program, a race bib, safety pins, etc. Maybe even a race t-shirt if you want one.

You’ll take a picture of it and post it to instagram, saying something like “Just got my packet for #runfree. Totally stoked, yo!”

Totally Stoked, Yo!
Totally Stoked, Yo!



Then, on race day, you’ll throw on some running shorts and a t-shirt, pin on your racing bib number, and take a picture. Then you’ll post something to Facebook like “Getting ready for the race!" And you'll tag the RunFree page in the post.. Then you can go back to sleep for awhile, or check your email, or eat a donut.

Spreading the word.
Spreading the word.



A little later, you’ll find a road somewhere and have a friend take a picture of you pretending to run by. “Woo hoo!” they’ll tweet. “Cheering on my friend as he/she runs #runfree!”

But it won’t just be you doing this. Across the country and around the world, hundreds, if not thousands, of other people will be doing the same thing, uploading pictures online, helping amass an insurmountable wall of evidence proving that Run Free 2013 actually happened (even though it really didn't - or did it?).

Not only will participants be inundating facebook, twitter, and instagram with these pictures and posts, but we’ll be curating the best ones before, during and after the race on our site: runfreerace.com. Plus everyone who participates will have their race time listed on the site to prove they were there.

There are lots of things that are necessary for this to work, from planning the details to producing the shirts and medals and so much more. Most of the stuff, we can take care of. But there are two things we can’t provide on our own: pictures and participants.

On our own, we could provide a handful of pictures. But the more pictures the race has, the more believable it becomes. Especially if those pictures are coming from a wide variety of sources.



The only way to get a wide variety of sources is to get more participants. Plus, the more people that participate, the more fun it is to be a part of. In fact, we’re hoping some of you will do this with your friends, so we can get shots of 5, 10, or even 20 or more runners in one picture. That’s some pretty convincing propaganda right there.

The best part is, this is your race, and you get to make it whatever you want it to be. Some of you may stage obstacles, as though this was some intense mud marathon. 

Is this an obstacle race?
Is this an obstacle race?

Some of you may set up fake aid stations and have pictures of volunteers waiting to hand out ridiculous refreshments.

Mid-race carb loading?
Mid-race carb loading?

It’s totally up to you. As long as the photos aren’t crude or offensive, they’ll be added to the historical record of the race.

We want to see how people react and respond. What kind of event will people think this is? Will they buy into it being real, even when a quick Google search will tell them it's not? How far will participants take it?

But most of all, how many photographs does it take to make a fake marathon real?

This project brought to you by:

Ridiculo.us is a participant in Kicking It Forward, an initiative to donate a portion of project profits back into the Kickstarter community. Find out more at www.kickingitforward.org

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge will be making sure everything gets to our participants in time for the race. Without that, the concept doesn't work. To make sure we accomplish this, we're giving ourselves PLENTY of time (over 2 months from project completion to race day) to make sure we have time to order shirts, bibs, medals, banners, etc. and get them where they need to be in time for the starting pistol to go off.

Additionally, we're going to have backer surveys ready to go as soon as the project closes (instead of waiting to put together a survey afterwards) so that we can get responses quickly and order the rewards early.

This presents a second challenge, which is keeping participants excited during the interim. To combat this, we'll be putting out weekly emails with "race training tips", challenges, and other ways to engage with the idea and push it forward. We'll even have ways for participants to shape the project during that time, such as posting "training" pictures that could be included in the race program, website, and other materials.

FAQ

  • Race times will be calculated based on WHEN you pledged and HOW MUCH you pledged. We will acquire a list of real race times from an actual marathon (so you don’t end up with something less-than-believable like 3:00:00), then distribute by pledge level. Thus, the best times will go to the highest pledge level backers. Within each pledge level, the best times will go to the people who backed at that level FIRST. For example, someone who pledges $25 will have a better time than someone who pledges $20, AND a slightly better time than someone who pledges $25 AFTER them. The only place this rule is broken is with the early bird $20 backers, whose times will be better than the $25 backers (but not better than the $45 and up).

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  • This isn’t a traditional project in the sense that we have to raise a substantial amount in order to make tools or dies or anything really expensive (t-shirts are easy to make at low quantities, as are race bibs, etc.) so we don’t have to have a super-high goal. We could make t-shirts for a hundred bucks and have a slightly-watered down version of the race.

    In the end, we decided to focus not on how much money we need, but on how many participants would be needed for the idea to work. Our thought was that the race wouldn’t really be fun or convincing if only five or six people did it. But if 100 people did it, it would be worth it. 100 people x $10 economy entry = $1000. We dropped a dollar as a tribute to our last project, 99 Shades of Grey.

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  • No big deal. You could join for the day, or else just use whatever social networks you have. Or you could just participate with your friends for the fun of it and not engage in the social side of things. It’s your race, so feel free to do as much or little engagement as you like!

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  • Yes! If you can get five friends to do the race with you, you’ll all save money by pitching in on a Race Team Party Pack. Otherwise, simply increase your pledge by the amount of the registration you want. For instance, if you’re at the $45 level and you want another $45 registration, pledge $90 at that level. If you are at the $25 level and you just want to add a $10 registration, pledge $35 total at the $25 level.

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  • No way! That would mean that the bib is wider than the shirt, and the bracelet is able to function as a belt. That would be ridiculous.

    In all seriousness though (or at least more seriousness than usual), those are just mockups. The t-shirts will be green, and the logos will go where indicated, but the front might look different on the final design if we come up with a cooler race logo. The medals will obviously be COMPLETELY different (the pictures just show a blank medal, which would be super-lame. We’re getting some AWESOME custom medals made.), but we haven’t finalized the design just yet.

    Essentially, those are placeholder designs to give you a general idea, but the final designs will be the coolest possible thing we can create, which may look a little different than what’s pictured.

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  • Great question.

    For starters, Kickstarter does not allow charity projects on the site. Although this seems like a strange rule at first, it makes a lot of sense when you consider their explanation. Kickstarter is a platform for creative projects, and they know that if you're asked to decide between supporting an artist or helping a charity, many people will feel obligated give to the charity, which isn't fair to the artist.

    So, by Kickstarter's rules (which we agree with and support 100%), we can't make this a charity project.

    Moreover, there actually aren't as many "proceeds" as you probably think. If you look at what we're giving away at each level (i.e., $10 gets you a race bib, race bracelet, race program, race sticker, and your race time on the site), that's a lot of things that we have to produce or have produced (even the intangibles like the race time require us to pay someone to code the site, enter in hundreds of race times, and match those with backer names based on when/how much they pledged). We priced everything low enough that we can cover our costs + shipping, but not make a ton of profit. We want this to be accessible to as many people as possible, so we kept the price low.

    Once the project is done on Kickstarter, if there are any proceeds left over, then we will consider ways to give back to the community. One way we've done this in the past is by contributing a portion of our profits to help other Kickstarter projects. For this project, we made it official by becoming a participant in Kicking it Forward. Find out more at kickingitforward.org

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592
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$23,098
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    Thanks for supporting this project! At this level you get our genuine heartfelt thanks, and also some counterfeit thanks if you'd like.

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    119 backers

    ECONOMY REGISTRATION - Includes everything in the full registration, except no t-shirt.

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    100 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD GETS THE SHIRT - LIMITED QUANTITY - Get the FULL REGISTRATION for $5 off, PLUS your race t-shirt will have an early-bird signifier on the sleeve, AND we'll give you a better race time than the rest of the FULL-REGISTRATION backers as a way of saying thanks for backing us early!

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    184 backers

    FULL REGISTRATION - Receive a limited, kickstarter-edition racing bib, vehicle sticker, registration packet, safety pins, and race bracelet (racelet?). Plus, YOUR NAME will be in the race program included in every packet and your race time will be listed on runfreerace.com, PLUS your very own race t-shirt to commemorate your participation.

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    78 backers

    MEDAL OF HONOR - Includes Full Registration PLUS race participant medal, which can be proudly displayed in your home or worn around your neck every day in place of (or in addition to) a necktie.

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    9 backers Limited (41 left of 50)

    RACE OFFICIAL - LIMITED QUANTITY - ONLY 50 AVAILABLE! Includes full registration PLUS race medal PLUS embroidered terry headband PLUS limited-edition RACE STAFF shirt AND RACE STAFF Lanyard. Also, your name will be listed under "Race Staff" on the site, PLUS you'll receive behind-the-scenes updates before, during, and after the race.

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    56 backers

    RACE TEAM PARTY PACK - Includes SIX full registrations PLUS limited-edition racing headbands. Add $50 to include medals for all six participants.

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    4 backers Limited (22 left of 26)

    SPONSOR-A-MILE - ONLY 26 AVAILABLE! - Your company name listed on race t-shirts, race program and race website as a mile sponsor. PLUS You'll receive your own mile marker with your logo & mile number on it, PLUS we'll mention your business from our social media accounts on race day! Also includes 2 full registrations.

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    SILVER SPONSOR - LIMITED QUANTITY - Your name & logo on race t-shirts & race website, a 2'x4' race banner with your company logo, a HALF-PAGE ad in the race program that will go to every participant, AND a mention from our social media accounts on race day.. Also includes 5 full registrations.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    GOLD SPONSOR - LIMITED QUANTITY - Your logo larger & more prominent on race t-shirts and race website, a 4'x8' race banner with your company logo, a FULL-PAGE ad in the race program that will go to every participant, AND multiple mentions from our social media accounts on race day.. Plus you'll be allowed to insert a flyer or souvenir into every race packet (you provide fliers/souvenirs). Also includes 10 full registrations.

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Funding period

- (26 days)