I just wanted to thank everyone for all their advice on running our race, and give a report on how it went, in case anyone was interested in the lessons learned.
We had 7 tigers, 10 wolves, 10 bears, and 6 webelos I. Inspections opened at 8:30 and ran until 9:15, which worked great. At 9:15, we had the scouts vote on the design contests while we built and printed the schedules. 9:30 we had our opening ceremony, and awarded the design trophies. Immediately afterwards, we raced tigers, then wolves, then bears, then webelos. After each den finished, we awarded the trophies. At about 11:00 -11:15, we took an intermission while we prepared for the pack-level race (we awarded 4 pack trophies, and invited the top 4 per den to race). During that time, we opened the track for "fun runs" for anyone who didn't get a trophy. They knew ahead of time that they'd either get to race in the finals, or would get to do fun runs. At the end, we awarded the pack level trophies before noon, and were cleaned up in 30 minutes thanks to lots of help. We received lots of positive feedback, mostly about the pace and number of races each scout got to have.
For the race format, we ran a PN (or PPN) 2-run, 3-lane points-scored schedule for each den, so each scout got 6 races. Tiger den was a 7-car CPN, wolves 10-car PPN, bears 10-car PPN, and Webelos den was a 7-car CPN with a bye. I know it's not ideal running a PPN without a PN finals round, but coming from double-elimination last year, we were satisfied with the accuracy. I think there were two ties, which we let GPRM resolve automatically through head-to-head results and elapsed time (one of each). For the pack-level race, opened a new data file in GPRM with everyone in the same group and "passed" the top four from each den. We ran a two-run 3-lane PPN 16-car schedule to find the top 7, then created a 2nd round in GPRM and ran a 7-car CPN finals for the trophy winners.
As a backup, we kept score on paper, and even had blank PN/PPN charts available for use. The families really liked the projector. Also, last year, the seats were right by the track. This year we backed them up 10 feet, and everyone could see better. The scouts staged their own cars, and according to GPRM, we ran at 55 seconds per race INCLUDING the award ceremonies. Excluding them, it was 38 seconds per heat. The kids were all sitting near the starting gate, and my operator called them up. They staged their cars, went to the end of the track, and the heat was run. After the heat they picked up their car and returned to the starting area.
For next year, there's not much we plan on doing differently based on the feedback we've solicited. We might add an open class exhibition or a gas mileage exhibition just for fun.
Thanks again for all the help. I think our race was a big success due to the knowledge gained right here.
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