Time-trial amid the quarantine

The COVID outbreak and the quarantine that followed destroyed all our plans and put amateur sports on the knees. The organizers postpone the races for months and believe that everything will settle down, but how long will we live in conditions where maintaining social distance is necessary for survival? Nonetheless, an option exists. If individual sports activities are not prohibited in your country, then you can still organize the competition using the location capabilities of the participants' phones and RaceTime.

RaceTime allows you to organize a time-trial race, that would be held in the same way as a regular start. But virtually. No judges, no spectators, no other athletes - only you and the road. Isn't this the perfect test of your power and ability to concentrate?

Obviously, this functionality is based on GPS. It is also obvious that the accuracy of measuring the time that is based on GPS data is low enough. But, in reality, the error is 1-2 seconds and this is quite enough. Want to win for sure? Work harder and get a bigger advantage.

How to create a virtual race?

Race setup screenshot

Creating a new race in RaceTime requires no special explanation. You only need to select the timing Time Trial and enable the GPS Helper, Is Virtual, and Individual Start Window switches. Also, it is important to set the period of time during which participants are allowed to start. Time is determined in days - from the beginning of Valid From to the last second Valid Through.

Pay attention to the Individual Start Window option. It is a very important point. If it is turned off, then participants will be able to start at any moment within the allowed period. And this gives you some extra opportunities. This might be not individual, but still virtual, starts. In many cases, the restrictions do not have to be controlled programmatically, sometimes it is enough to adhere to the agreement specified by the organizers. If the option Individual Start Window is ON then participants must choose a start window during registration and they are able to start only at that time. Each hour contains 4 start windows of 10 minutes each and separated by 5 minutes intervals. Thus, you can be sure that you are really conducting a race with an individual start and no violation of quarantine rules take place.

On the Lap page, you will need to set up the checkpoints and the finish. Number the checkpoints in the order of their crossing.

How does it all look from the point of view of the participant?

To participate in the race, the athlete must register himself in the application, no other options. Manual entry or registration on the site cannot be used. After registration, the options menu RACE appears. The participant must arrive at the start at the proper time, open the race, and activate this menu in order to enter the racer's control screen. There is the only button. During the allowed period of time, the rider starts by clicking on this button. He will have 15 seconds to prepare. The vibration of the phone gives a signal that the counting has begun. The participant must start to move and go/ride/drive the distance crossing all checkpoints. The finish is recorded automatically. Immediately after the finish, his time and place appear in the table of results like it happens in a normal race.

Nothing complicated in participating in such a virtual competition, but the rider should take care of enabling GPS before the start, Internet access, and battery power for the entire distance.