The San Francisco Marathon is a popular race. With 24,000 runners competing in 5 events, the San Francisco Marathon has runners of all ages, from all over the globe. The website is used for registration, to organize runners during the actual event weekend and to track each runners race time.
“During race weekend, we get a 400% increase to the traffic to our website. Last year, our servers failed due to the heavy traffic, leaving our racers disgruntled,” said Laura Baalman, an independent IT consultant to the San Francisco Marathon website. “This year, we wanted to optimize for heavy load. Getting on a CDN was one of the steps most heavily recommended to us.”
“We signed up for the Cloudflare Business plan, and saw improvements in site performance immediately,” said Baalman. “Using third party tools like Pingdom, webpagetest.org and loadimpact.com, I was able to see our page load decrease by over 2 seconds.”
The San Francisco Marathon website has many images and on race weekend, many of its visitors come over mobile devices. To get the best in image performance and mobile optimization, Laura turned on Polish and Mirage. “Turning on Polish and Mirage cut our page loads and page size in half on our most image-heavy page—our homepage,” said Baalman.
Now with a website that loaded twice as fast as before, Laura and the San Francisco Marathon Team turned their attention to race weekend. “Having Cloudflare on our website, gave us that extra confidence over race weekend,” said Baalman. “It meant us having to worry about one less thing. Our server was able to handle the heavy load of race weekend with absolutely no problem.”
The San Francisco Marathon made it through race week and weekend with snappy page loads, no downtime and an overall better experience for their customers during their busiest week of the year.
“I really love how simple it was to set up and use. Cloudflare is an easy to use CDN service with offerings at all levels,” said Laura. “I would recommend anyone with a website, especially those that get big changes in traffic, to give it a try.