Beyond Monumental Personas

Working with Beyond Monumental: Video Story

Episode One: Student Preparation

Description of the video:

David Pierce, Ph.D.: “Alright guys, so we got two classes left, right? And then we’ve got the final presentation.”

So the Monumental Marathon tasked my Applied Research Methods class with doing a extensive participant profile study.

“So we really need to get organized and start communicating really well. So what we’re going to do to start off class today is I need everyone to give me a status report on where you are on your part of the presentation.”

Jaspreet Singh: I’m going to present my new design today. It’s a methodology visualization, which I have, I am going to show Dr. Pierce and we are going to decide whether he likes that.

“So I have modified the methodology as per your instructions and also made the timeline.”

Nate Fulton: Yeah, so we started presenting today and it went really well. We did have a little bit of a snag when Jaspreet started presenting his timeline.

“Is there any way you could give it to me in a different file other than a PDF?”

Singh: “If you’re trying to modify this one, it’s hard because the reason is once you are done with the Canva it only gives you the option to download in PDF.”

Fulton: And on top of that, the colors didn’t match because we’re working with Beyond Monumental for the Monumental Marathon, so we need the colors to fit the organization and the same scheme that they have and it did not match. It was different colors so there was a little bit of a miscommunication there.

Mariah Saturday: “It’s like it’s got to flow with like colors and we’re trying to do more like Beyond Monumental like colors.”

Singh: “I did it in this way like you’re trying to get a print out of it so that when you’re getting that so it’s good for the display and presentation.”

Zach Hall: If I was Nate, I would definitely be frustrated if I were to get something the morning of and not have any context of what I was about to have to present to the rest of the group, let alone an outside organization.

Pierce: “This is a good example of, like, we can’t just work in our own little gopher holes, right?”

Hall: Without effective communication, I don’t know if this project’s going to come together.

Pierce: “In your next job, let’s put it this way, you need to ask the creative team, how they, what type of format they need or want before you spend a bunch of time doing awesome work. But I don’t want to have to flush your work down the toilet.”

Hall: And when Jaspreet kept saying Canva was the program that he used, I knew that nobody else in the class was quite understanding what he was saying, and then it clicked to me and I had used Canva in the past and knew that there was a way to share it with everybody.

“You should be able to share the original file to his email and then he can go in and edit everything about the PowerPoint presentation.”

Fulton: I am a bit worried that we are going to run low on time and that it’s going to be where we’re going to hit a wall and say, “Are we going to be able to get this done in time? Do we have to start cutting things out? Are we going to be able to present the best projects that we can to Beyond Monumental?” So I’m a bit worried about it, it gives me a little bit of anxiety and just worried about time management for the next two weeks.

Pierce: “What’s the work plan, then, for this week?”

Singh: “Work on the methodology visualization I have, and if he would like to, you know, change different colors, or, you know, like to make it more creative or the way he thinks, I’m going to work with him after the class finishes and get back with him as soon as possible.”

Fulton: So having to go back and change something that was already there that should’ve been worked out from the get go makes it a little bit of a challenge, but now it just means we have to work together and really talk it out to make sure that it comes across correctly with the Beyond Monumental colors.

Singh: So I don’t have that much time to work again on the visualization, but I hope, I’ll try my best.

Hall: I mean if we don’t get this done, this would make us look bad as a group. It would also hurt the image of the university with how young it is. We can’t really afford to have a negative image going out into the community at this point.

Pierce: “I’m okay with not meeting in person as long as, like, you know, Sydney’s getting this done by like Monday, and you’re getting your method stuff done by Monday so that he’s got time. Yeah, if we all just turn in our next thing on Friday, we’re going to be in a problem.”

So really we have a lot of great data, and we’ve got a lot of really motivated, talented students in this group, but at the end of the day, we’re down to a really tight timeline, and so everybody’s got to bring their A-game in order to get this thing done by the deadline.

Episode Two: Proposal Progression

Description of the video:

Zach Hall: So we normally don’t meet today but Slack’s been pretty silent, so we’re going to get in there and see where everyone stands on the presentation. Hopefully, everybody’s prepared. We got this tomorrow.

Nate Fulton: “So this is the end of our recommendations section, so good job on that everybody. So once we’re done on this slide, then we’ll go to the final slide.”

Hall: I’m pretty confident about this presentation, my stuff looks pretty good, I have trust and faith in everybody else that they got theirs done, too.

Fulton: “So the final slide which shows Beyond Monumental, Zach do you have that ready for the little speech you’re going to give at the end?”

Hall: So guess it’s my responsibility to do that last slide.

“I did not know that. I will get it done tonight. We have this exam coming up in a couple hours so I can get it done and get it to you tonight, let you know what I’m going to say.

Even though I told them this is going to be an easy fix, I really don’t know about that. I’ve got to watch my niece tonight, I’ve got homework to do, got this final to study for. I don’t know where I’m going to make this time up.

Fulton: Just really make sure that we have the dots in the right places they’re supposed to be, because when we’re presenting this, we need to make sure that it’s very clear to them, color coded and everything just so it comes across as presentable and professional.

Sydney Carlson: “I think you have the wrong histogram. It’s backwards, so like for cluster 3, everything’s negative and it needs to be positive and vice versa for cluster 5.”

Hall: “Still trying to figure out the language of how I’m going to explain it to them so if that’s what you need, I get that, but as far as the dots go I think they’re good. I can take a look at it again tonight when I’ve got time but I can’t promise that anything’s going to change.”

Carlson: “But the right one isn’t there, it’s under the finals folder.”

Hall: “I’ll fix the title. I understand that it’s, I can see where it’s off a little bit. That’s not going to take me very long to fix. I’ll also put in the correct motives histogram into the poster and get it sent to print as soon as I can. Is there anything else you need?”

Mariah Saturday: “It looks like our names are also cut off and there’s no class title as well so you may want to add that or adjust.”

Hall: I think this is going to take me all night. We’ll see if I get some sleep.

Fulton: “There is so much riding on this. I don’t want this to go bad and a little mistake that we make stands out to them and they say, “Why did this not go this way?”

Hall: I really don’t want to do this myself, can somebody please help me? (laughs)

“Yep, I get it. I’ll go through the data and I’ll let you know what I come up with. If we have any changes, I’ll let you know, if not, then we can have this out later.”

David Pierce, Ph.D.: “Alright so Nate, I know you’ve been running project management for us, so like right now like where are like big picture gaps that we need to get filled in in the next 24 hours?”

Fulton: “Yeah, so a few big picture gaps that we really need to get filled in is make sure everything that came from Canva really converts well to the poster that we have.”

Pierce: “We’ve had, I’ve seen like we’ve made edits on the APA style on item number two in there, but every time I look at it in the document, it’s still like the older version. So I’m confused on where, how are we actually getting that updated?”

Fulton: “I’ll get it all updated, I just need to talk to the right person to do so, and we’ll make sure we have the final version we’re supposed to have. And then once that happens, we’ll be good to go.”

Pierce: “I feel like I have a better handle on where things are. A couple of things we needed to do, let’s keep communicating on the Slack channel, alright, don’t let that thing go silent. If that thing goes silent for more than 90 minutes I start to get nervous, alright. And at this point, I feel like we’re in a spot where you just have to get the job done, right? So we got ‘til tonight, we’re in there presenting tomorrow, so treat this as your final exam for the class, right? It needs to have that level of urgency on it.”

Even though we feel like we have a lot of good data, now we’ve got to start telling the story effectively.

Hall: This is going to be a very late night, I need some caffeine.

Episode Three: Client Presentation & Response

Description of the video:

David Pierce, Ph.D.: It’s presentation day, we’re finally here. We’ve done a couple of dry runs, but at the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen when it’s time to perform.

Zach Hall: We just got here. We’ve got the race director and the race creator from Beyond Monumental here so I’m a little nervous to get up in front of them.

Jaspreet Singh: So the presentation is here and I’m feeling confidant with my methodology.

Beyond Monumental Employee 1: So going in to the presentation today, I’m not really sure what we’re going to get out of it. They are graduate students but at the same time, they’re just college students so we’ll see how they pull it all together.

Pierce: Alright, I’ve done what I can do, it’s all up to the students.

(heart beat)

Hall: “You guys are running an amazing race, but how do make it unique and experiential for the person, is kind of what I took out of those. You guys are very, very well recognized by the most, most elite of runners and people that are running seven marathons in seven days, things that we couldn’t even imagine when we first heard that.”

Pierce: So I’m looking around the room. All the people from Beyond Monumental have their heads buried in the report and they’re not looking at the slides. I’m a little concerned we’ve lost them.

Beyond Monumental Employee 2: “For us, I think, well I’ll speak for myself, it’s helping me to think about it in a very unique perspective and it’s been extremely helpful.”

Pierce: Now we’re in the Q&A and we just got our first question, but it wasn’t a question. It was a long diatribe about how much they liked it. This is good.

Beyond Monumental Employee 2: “It’s been a lot of work for you but I think it’s just created an enormous amount of work for us as well.”

Beyond Monumental Employee 3: My head is already spinning with things that we should take a closer look at and what we should identify as critical needs for this year, but also in the years to come. So thank you for all that work.”

Really impressed by the students today and their presentation. The depth and the quality of the information was awesome. Can’t wait to take this back and put it to use.

Beyond Monumental Employee 1: I think they did a home, they hit a home run.

Beyond Monumental Employee 2: “This will be a really good catalyst for helping us with that change.”

Beyond Monumental Employee 4: “Again, really job well done. I think this has given us like mind-blowing like opportunities to look at.”

Beyond Monumental Employee 2: “And I think it shows the collaborative effort that you’ve put together, so congratulations on that and I would just like to say thank you. Job, very well done.”

Nate Fulton: So this went so well that we actually sat down with the team from Beyond Monumental afterwards and they asked even more questions. They really wanted to know more about us and everything we had to offer.

Hall: It feels amazing to get that kind of response because it’s something we’ve been working on for months.

Singh: I did it and I’m proud of it and the thing is, we worked together.

Hall: It’s definitely worth it because this class is more than just a grade for me. This is a real industry professional organization that we’re working with and helping to build all of our reputation.

Fulton: To be able to have this under my belt as a project manager and say, “Hey, we did this, we helped out an organization that well,” it’s so good. It is the best feeling in the world and I feel like I can do anything.

Pierce: It’s time to celebrate.  


Graduate students in IUPUI's Applied Research Methods course helped Beyond Monumental collect data that will help them continue their current growth position as the 15th largest marathon in the United States and provide strategic direction under the new Beyond Monumental brand.


Employing a mixed methods research approach, students analyzed existing data, conducted 30 interviews with event participants, and collected survey data from over 2,500 runners.


Using 31 event attributes identified through qualitative interviews and review of relevant literature, students delivered:

  1. 6 marathon runner personas based on results of factor and cluster analysis of the 31 event attributes (see inforgraphic below).
  2. Importance Performance Analysis (IPA) of 31 key event attributes. IPA is a tool used to provide a better understanding of how well certain event attributes are functioning and the quick identification of areas that need improvement. The team made recommendations to Beyond Monumental leadership on how fix customer pain points using the persona segments to create focused target messaging market messaging. 
personas of a marathon runner infographic