HOW TO TIME AN ENDURO MOUNTAIN-BIKE RACE

by Vesa SuomalainenThursday, August 08, 2013 02:07 PM
 
 An enduro mountain-biking race consists of anywhere from 2 to 8 (or more) timed stages, and the combined total time determines the winner.  Racers must complete all stages to get a final result.  The transition times between the stages don't count toward total time.  It is desirable to permit racers to start the stages in any order, especially for the later stages, as keeping the race on a pre-determined schedule may be impossible due to mechanical issues, crashes and other inevitable delays.  Certain race organizers may want to allow the racers to ride the stages out of order to compress the elapsed time to hold the event.  Some events may take place over multiple days, e.g. with the first stages on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. 
 
Webscorer is designed to support all these requirements, as demonstrated in this video:
 
 
 
Examples of recent enduro races timed with Webscorer:
 
Race name Location # of stages # of racers Results link
Hot on Your Heels Squamish,BC 3 112 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=10945
FVMBA Trailblazer
Mission, BC 2 78 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=10645
Lightning Enduro Twisp, WA 2 or 3 72 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=10263
Black Mountain Enduro
San Diego, CA 3 68 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=8508
Tiger Mountain Enduro Issaquah, WA 3 139 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=4163
Oregon Enduro Series Mt Hood, OR 7 196 www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=3771
 
Manual method vs. Webscorer?
 
Timing a 3-stage enduro race with 100 racers using the pen & paper method would require writing down a total of 600 time stamps and bib numbers – and then you’d have to retype them into Excel to come up with the stage & final results.  Time-consuming and error-prone every step of the way.  Webscorer simply converts the manual recording of the time stamps & bib numbers into taps on the screen – and automates the calculation of the stage and total results for the race.  An iPad or an iPhone (Android device support coming soon) is used at each stage start and finish to record the racer's start time and finish time for the stage.  The results from all the devices are then combined to come up with the results.  The results can be calculated by posting the results from each device to Webscorer.com – or by collecting the results from each device to one device via Bluetooth.  The latter is desirable when there’s no internet connectivity at the race site.
 
Benefits of timing an enduro race with Webscorer
 
1. No Excel skills, laptops, generators or printers required
2. Racers can be started in any order for each stage
3. Actual racer start times are recorded, so crashes or other delays are no problem
4. Results can be posted live (requires internet connectivity from each device)
5. Preliminary results can be collected via Bluetooth from each device during the race
6. Results calculation is automatic, including overall / category results
7. The results include stage times, rankings per stage, situation after each stage and total time
8. Use the Webscorer results series tool to combine times or points for a season-long race series
9. Races can download results to their iPhones (and soon to their Android phones)
10. Changes / adjustments / corrections are easy to make after posting results
    - Time & bib adjustments can be done on each device during / after the race & reposted
    - Name, team name, category, age, gender adjustments can be done on the device timing the last lap / finish
    - All taps & results can be downloaded to Excel as tab-delimited .TXT file, edited & reposted to Webscorer.com

Two methods for timing

 
Webscorer supports two methods for timing an enduro race.  The first method is to treat the race as having multiple laps - and to exclude the transition laps from total time.  The lap times represent the stages and the total time is the sum of the lap times (minus the excluded laps).  The second method is to time each stage as a point-to-point race - and to combine the results using the results series tool, defining the series as a “Total time” where all races are required to qualify for the series standings.
 
Multi-lap method
 
- Racers must complete the stages in the same sequential order
- Allows stage and combined results to be collected via Bluetooth (no internet connection required)
- Or stage and combined results can be obtained by posting from each device to Webscorer.com
- Each device may be used to record more than one lap
- In a multi-day enduro race, the stage totals for each day can be combined using the Webscorer results series tool
 
Results series method
 
- Racers can complete the stages in any order
- Allows stage results to be collected via Bluetooth (no internet connection required)
- Combined results require posting to Webscorer.com
- If the stages don't run in parallel, it is possible to use the same 2 devices to time all stages
- It is also possible to use just one timing device per stage by utilizing walkie-talkies
 
“Device race ID” vs. “Website race ID” explained
 
When multiple devices are used to time the same race (Timing mode = Multi-device splits), the “Device race ID” is used by the app and the website to determine whether the posted results are for the same race.  Normally, Webscorer.com creates a new “Website race ID” for each new race – this happens automatically when results are posted.  The “Website race ID” is the 4 or 5 digits at the end of a results URL (e.g. 10945 at the end of http://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=10945).  If multiple devices are used to time the same race, they must all share the same “Device race ID” in order for the website to know that the timings are to be combined (and end up in same “Website race ID”). 
 
When sharing a start list from one device to another, there are two methods for doing so.  On the sending device, you’d tap “Post start list” / “Share via Bluetooth”.  On the receiving device:
 
- If you tap “Time a race” / “Download start list via Bluetooth”, you’ll end up with the same “Device race ID” as the sending device
- If you tap “Download races” / “Download via Bluetooth”, you’ll end up with a different “Device race ID” as the sending device
 
The “Device race ID” is assigned automatically.  It is a randomly generated 32-character string of letters and numbers (example: 21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D), guaranteed to be unique across all races.  If the start list sharing is done correctly, you can simply double-check that the value, visible in the “Timing Mode” panel is the same across all the devices used to time the same race.  If you made a mistake and timed the race with different “Device race ID” on one or more devices, you’ll notice that when posting results to Webscorer.com, it will post to a different “Website race ID” (i.e. creates its own results URL).  You can fix this by editing the “Device race ID” on that device to match the others (tap the “Device race ID” toolbar icon on the “Post Results” pane), and repost the results.
 
Example: 3-stage enduro
 
Let's use a 3-stage enduro race as an example.  We'll use 6 devices which can be a mix of iPads and iPhones:
 
- Device #1 records the start of stage 1
- Device #2 records the finish of stage 1
- Device #3 records the start of stage 2
- Device #4 records the finish of stage 2
- Device #5 records the start of stage 3
- Device #6 records the finish of stage 3
 
Webscorer PRO setup for the multi-lap method:
 
- Start type = Individual
- Record lap times = On
- Number of laps = 5
- Exclude laps = 2 & 4
- Timing mode = Multi-device splits
 
The start list is finalized on one device and then shared to the other 5 devices via Bluetooth:
- From the "Race Start" panel, tap "Post start list" / "Share start list via Bluetooth"
- On the receiving device, tap "Time a race" / "Download start list via Bluetooth"
  (Note: This method of downloading the start list will ensure the same “Device race ID" for each stage)
- Navigate to the "Race Start" panel
 
Once the start list is copied to all devices:
- Tap "Timing mode" option in the "Race Start" panel
- Set "This device records" as follows:
  -> Device #1 records “Race start” (start of stage 1)
  -> Device #2 records “Lap 1” (finish of stage 1)
  -> Device #3 records “Lap 2” (start of stage 2)
  -> Device #4 records “Lap 3” (finish of stage 2)
  -> Device #5 records “Lap 4” (start of stage 3)
  -> Device #6 records “Lap 5” (finish of stage 3)
- Double-check that the "Device race ID" is the same on all devices
- Start the race clocks on all devices at the same time
 
Webscorer PRO setup for the results series method:
 
- Start type = Individual
- Record lap times = Off
- Timing mode = Multi-device splits
- Finalize the start list is on Device #1
 
- On Device #1
   - Navigate to the “Race Start” panel
   - Tap the “Timing mode” option
   - Set “Timing mode = Multi-device splits”
   - Set “This device records = Race start”
   - From the "Race Start" panel, tap "Post start list" / "Share start list via Bluetooth"
 
- On Device #2
   - Navigate to the Home panel
   - Tap "Time a race" / "Download start list via Bluetooth"
      (Note: This method of downloading the start list will ensure the same "Device race ID" for both the Device #1 and #2
   - Navigate to the "Race Start" panel
   - Tap the “Timing mode” option
   - Check that “Timing mode = Multi-device splits”
   - Set “This device records = Race finish
 
- On Device #3 and #5
   - Tap “Download races” / “Download start list via Bluetooth”
      (Note: This method of downloading the start list will ensure a different “Device race ID” than Device #1)
   - Share the start list via Bluetooth from Device #1 as per above
   - Tap “Use as race template”
   - Navigate to the “Race Start” panel
   - Tap the “Timing mode” option
   - Check that “Timing mode = Multi-device splits”
   - Set “This device records = Race start”
 
- On Device #4 and #6
   - Repeat the same steps as for device #2:
     - Download the start list to Device #4 from Device #3
     - Download the start list to Device #6 from Device #5
   - Navigate to the "Race Start" panel
   - Tap the “Timing mode” option
   - Check that “Timing mode = Multi-device splits”
   - Set “This device records = Race finish
 
- Double-check that the "Device race ID" is the same on both devices timing the same stage
- Also check that the "Device race ID" is unique for each stage
- Start the race clocks on both devices timing the same stage at the same time
  (The race clocks don't have to be in sync between stages)
 
Posting results to Webscorer.com
 
The results can be posted to Webscorer.com from each device using “Live results”, or manually by navigating to the “Post results” panel during the race (for preliminary results) or after the race for the final results.  If the “Device race ID” is set correctly, and the “This device records” settings are set ok, the results will be generated automatically upon posting from all devices that timed the race.  If only stage 1 has been completed, you can post the results from device #1 and #2 to get stage 1 results – and post the rest later.
 
If you need to make time adjustments or correct the bib entered, easiest way to do so it to edit the data on the timing device & repost.  Changes to racer names, team names, categories, age & gender can be made on the device that took the last lap time / finish time for the race.  After editing the results, simply repost from that device to Webscorer.com.
 
If you’re using the results series method, read this tutorial http://www.webscorer.com/resources/tutorial-results-series and create a results series to combine the 3 stage results into a series.  Once a series has been created, when you’re posting results, the app will ask whether you want to add the results to the series.
 
Collecting results via Bluetooth
 
If you have no internet connectivity at the race site, you can collect the results from all timing devices to an additional device – or to one of the devices that was used to time the race, as follows:
 
- On the timing device, tap “Post split results” / “Share via Bluetooth”
- If the collecting device is one of the devices used for timing, tap “Collect splits via Bluetooth”
- If the collecting device is a device that was not used for timing, tap “Download races” / “Download via Bluetooth”
  -> After downloading the splits from the first device, tap “Collect splits via Bluetooth”
- Repeat for each device used to time the same race
- Once the results have been transferred, you can view the final results on the collecting device
- Later, when you get to within internet coverage, you can post the combined results to Webscorer.com
  -> No need to post to Webscorer.com from each timing device
- Note that if you first collect preliminary results, you must recollect the splits from all devices again to get final results
- It does not matter which order you collect the results from the timing devices
 
Still have questions?
 
We’d encourage you to try out an “arm-chair” practice race well before the event.  Make the timing mistakes while sipping a glass of wine or beer – and learn what not to do when practicing!  If you run into any obstacles or questions, please send us a note at support@webscorer.com or via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/webscorer.  We’d be happy to help out.
 

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