When using CloudTimer, it’s very important to have a team of well trained assistants at the race. Timing and scoring can be very stressful. Each and every athletes peaks to a top performance. Just imagine you failing at this precise moment! We can provide some best practices, tips and tricks in this CloudTimer tutorial, but it all comes down to practice and training in the end. If you just want to have a quick “look and feel” experience, have a look at The Quick Guide, but be aware that a real race involves more than just this basics.
A proper preparation: read the CloudTimer Tutorial first
- It is important to use your own and up-to-date smartphone. When using someone else’s smartphone, you might get confused about how to handle controls. Especially when things get stressful.
- A good network connection and being able to work both on WIFI and on 3G / 4G makes you less vulnerable for network errors.
- Make sure to have a charged powerbank at hand, to keep your phone charged for the day. The screen is on most of the time and is the highest energy consumer on your phone.
- Always start your race with a couple of (virtual-) prerunners. You can make sure every volunteer is in place and connected, before the real race begins.
Training of your team
Each member of your team, should be well prepared before the race starts.
- The whole timing team should read the getting started tutorial first.
- Then there are focussed tutorials for the each task during the race. Read and practice them before the race.
- Plan a training (skype) session before the race, to play through a demo race. Think of special situations such as close finishes, changing orders, DNF en DNS situations, failing internet connections, etc.
- Run some (virtual) pre-runners just before the actual race. Both to get the team alert and the final check to test the system.
- Train on the job. Even after all this preparation, you might still find that people are acting different as the race stress is felt, rain pours down or a crowd is cheering along the course. Make sure there is time to learn on the job for your team, make sure there is room for errors. For example, before timing the finish, practice by taking splits for a while.
- The entire race management can be done using the RaceGorilla dashboard. Login at the upper right corner, and click on mycompetitions. In the dashboard it is upload startlists from .CSV-files, configure your race settings, manage results such as re-runs, disqualifications, edit names and catogeries, etc. etc.
A Tutorial for each task at the race
The starter plays a crucial role when using CloudTimer. It’s not a difficult one, but the starter is in control of the race progress. As soon as the starter starts an athlete, the following judges and timers will see who is on course and who has to be judged or finished. The judges have to communicate and look around all the time. The sooner they provide the scores, the more the public experiences the live timing. The split timer and finish timer basically can do the same, but the finish timer has a greater responsibility.