How and Why

If you’ve followed the Iron Butt Rally over the years, you can see that we’re using a new vehicle this year to distribute rally info in real time. In the past, the daily reports were posted on the Iron Butt webpage and that was fine. Until it wasn’t. For an event where things change seemingly every time the phone rings, we found getting a report together that covered 100 riders over 24 hours had become too cumbersome. Editing to give more or more-correct detail took way too much time and effort so we were forced to omit important updates or fun information because we were steering a cruise ship, not a speed boat.

As a staff, we found ourselves straining against the limits of that technology, knowing there had to be a better way to do this. Fortunately for all of us, the help we needed was sitting across the table from me in Provo. In addition to her other many and diverse projects, Kathy Engholm designs and manages websites, mostly for non-profits and charities. One might think that once the Finishers’ Banquet is, well, finished, staff never gives the rally a second thought. That would be an incorrect assumption. This crazy IBR thing is just sort of always there in the back of your mind, and during one of those times, Kathy had the brilliant thought that this format would be the perfect solution. I couldn’t agree more.

This new site should be easy enough to navigate and, as you can see, we’re able to post lots of news updates on the current situation, as well as some of the hilarious voicemail transcriptions, lots of backstory to riders and the rally in general, plus much more. What’s really great for readers is that the four of us – Jeff, Kathy, John Harrison and me – Lisa, can all be working – at the same time – to get information out to all of you. That wasn’t possible before.

We’ve done a little (read: VERY little) testing of this thing so please bear with us as we explore the possibilities of the platform. We hope this brings you closer to the action and maybe into the heads of the riders as they try to figure out Jeff’s masterful puzzle as it unfolds.