Monday, 5 August 2013

UK Challenge - Stage 3 - Successful Formula

Stage 3 was a 3 hour mountain bike. Team of 4. The result = the team with the most points receive a 00:00 stage time, the team with the least points receive 3:00 hours, all the other teams were distributed between those two times using the formula:

or something like that. Crickey!

The scenario was forming a grand prix team and racing to win championship points. Each team needed to buy a driver, a car and then enter races - visiting the start and finish of each race. The better the driver and car, the higher your placing and more points received. If you entered a race that you didn't finish (by visiting the race points) you received a considerable penalty. Teams could upgrade their driver or car at any time throughout the 3 hours and there were investment points that could be visited to gain more cash to pay for the upgrade.  We were given our map in advance and there was a clear loop that could be used from the start to visit the best driver and best car checkpoints. We still didn't know the times of the races or their location and there were also quite a few single-track, one way routes to add to the confusion, so we couldn't determine how many races we should attempt in advance.  Unless the first race was extremely early and with a long gap before the second, it seemed to make sense to buy the best driver and car straight away to get the maximum points from each race.

Leo, Vanessa and Simon were joined by Dan Adams - our Senior Executive (which explains why I'm low on detail for the race, as I was busy drinking tea and chatting up the Sainsbury's girls.) Just before the start they announced an extra element to the scenario - all races had to registered in advance by foot and the number of entrants for each race was limited, so there was a dilemma of how long to plan for knowing that the better the planning the more likely the races would be full.

Sprint Start - I'm 2nd red from the left, 5 - Stuart is a 2.45 marathoner, 16 - Glen is UK standard steeple chase 

I ran for the envelope of race times in the mass start and within the first ten meters I decided that jogging was good - why pull a hamstring? to the disappointment of Dan, who had been regaled with tales of my London marathon sprint. Start times in hand the team ran towards the registration points, that had become a bun fight, with teams pushing and shoving to get their registrations in. Leo confessed to registering for the wrong race, then registering for four more, before thinking sod it and on the spur of the moment registering for a sixth.

The scrum to register for races

Off they raced, while I prepared myself a little corner of the van to nap in. Two and half hours later and Vicky and I were waiting nervously by the finish. Nearly all of the teams were in, but Accenture 4 were nowhere to be seen. We had no idea how many races they had gone for, but there were a lot of teams having disasters. The RAF team didn't make it to the start, their van's engine blowing on the drive to the race course, Perenco had only been able to register for two races, having a 45 minute break in between the two and Accenture 5 had not dibbed properly for their driver and started their first race without one. At 2.58 the team came running home - all looking knackered, but all grinning - six gone for, six achieved, some with only seconds to spare. We'd been lucky to go for the six correct races, but they'd then cycled like hell to complete them all.

Becky and Rod from Accenture 5

Syngenta were the only other team to have attempted six and only a puncture on the way in stopped them finishing in time, meaning that we'd won the stage and managed to take half an hour out of AWE's lead. We were now up to third, twenty minutes behind the leaders. Traditionally the Friday evening was a build stage, a bit of a lottery for us, but it was non-physical, so we drunk our For Goodness Shakes and headed back to the university, knowing that it was now game on!

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NumberTime TakenBonusPenaltiesStage Time

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