Skip to content

Virtual Races

It is March 2020, the country is in lockdown and all sport is on hold; no training, no banter, no competition! With the athletics community on the edge of despair, OpenTrack has developed the principle of Virtual Racing to ease your pain.

Following the success of the first ever Virtual National Road Relay Championships (in the absence of the popular relay event at Sutton Park) we have been busy creating documentation to help you organise your own Virtual races.

We also have our forum to discuss all things athletics, OpenTrack and virtual racing!

Look here for the existing races, and take a look at the competition home pages and results.


THE MANUAL

Table of Contents
Section Title
V1.1 Learn the Entire Process from Start to Finish Hint: Just read everything!!
V1.2 Setup my Organisation
V1.3 Create my Competition
V1.4 Gain Access and Invite Officials
V1.5 Set the Date, Location, Organisation & Other Basic Info
V1.5.3 Jump straight to the features
V1.6 Set who can enter the Event, Age Group Categorisation & Other Configuration
V1.6.3 Jump straight to the features
V1.7 Write my Homepage Text and Choose Results Display
V1.8 Set up my Events
V1.9 Bulk Add Competitors
V1.9.3 Jump to grid explanation
V1.9.5 Jump to adding individual competitors
V1.10 Set up an Individual Entry Process - Pricing & Custom Questions
V1.11 Email my Participants
V1.12 Number my Participants
V1.13 Set up my Scoring Methods
V1.14 Bulk (and individually) add result data (FOR DIRECTORS)
V1.15 View Scoring


Before you start, remember you can always practice on our test server.


V1.2 Setup my Organisation

The first step for setting up your competition is to first ensure that your organisation exists in our database and, if it does, that it has a complete record.

Head to the OpenTrack homepage and click Clubs at the top left, or alternatively just head directly there.

looking at you
Search for your club


From here you can search for your club. The results will show you whether your club:

a) Exists in the system and,

b) Has a code

These two aspects need to exist for an organisation record to be "complete".

As you can see from the image below Belgrave Harriers do have a complete record.

looking at you
Club Listings


If you click into the record then you are able to edit more information, such as uploading your club flag. This is really just the club vest colours and needs to be in 90x60.png format.

If your club does not exist or does not have a code, please email support@opentrack.run and we will sort this for you to get you started.

If you're looking to create a competition without processing payments please move on to instruction section V1.3.

If you're looking to create process payments, you'll need to make sure that:

Once your club exists, you'll need to make sure that:

a) You have access

b) It can take payment

a) Firstly, make sure you are logged in. Taking Belgrave as the example (but substitute for your club), put "profile" at the end of the URL. If you have access it'll take you to your club's profile page. If not, you need access so please email support@opentrack.run.

b) Once you have access, you'll need to set up a Stripe account for your club. When this is done, let us know and we will connect it to ours so money can flow from OpenTrack to you.





V1.3 Create my Competition

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

Before starting anything else, you first need to create your competition.

V1.3.1

Head to the OpenTrack homepage. Search for your competition and if it is not there, do the following:

V1.3.2

Click the button labelled New Competition+

looking at you
New Competition


V1.3.3

You will be taken to the screen below. Please complete the form.

looking at you
Competition Form


  • For "Location", choose your club's clubhouse location.
  • The "slug" is a short section of the URL that will identify your competition. Please keep it short and succinct. For example, Welsh Athletics Senior Indoor Championships is “wasi” and Highgate Harriers Night of 10000m is “not”.

V1.3.4

After completing and submitting this form you will be taken to the following screen:

looking at you
Who are you? What do you want to do?


This is required so we know what you want to do with the competition; some organisers just like to use the listings. The DOB and gender is so we can complete a "person" record for you in our database, meaning we can store and provide the correct credentials for this competition. Do not include the year of the competition in this; it is always in the URL anyway.

V1.3.5

Submitting this page will take you to a "Request Sent" screen.

V1.3.6

OpenTrack will then receive an email detailing your request and we can approve it, getting you started. You can search for your competition from the homepage if you lose the link.

looking at you
Competition Homepage






V1.4 Gaining Access

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.4.1

Once you have created your conpetition, you will be the "Race" Director and have access to all the "Manage" screens. The "Manage" button can be seen at the top right when logged in.

If the "Manage" button is not there when logged in, and it should be, please contact the Race Organiser, who can invite you to have access, or email support@opentrack.run

Once into the Manage screen, you can invite officials to help you with your competition. Head to the Officials page from the left side.

Simple click ADD OFFICIAL and complete the form. You can start to search for the person first of all to see if they are in the database. If so, click on them and choose the role and invite them. If not, click NEW PERSON and fill in their details, choose role and invite.

The person will receive the invitation and can then accept it and help you with the event!





V1.5 Set the Date, Location, Organisation & other Basic Info

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.5.1

Click "Manage"

V1.5.2

Head to the first tab, labelled "Basic"

looking at you
Manage Screen - Basics Tab





V1.5.3

Scrolling down this page, you can see the editable info. Important aspects to pay attention to:

  • Full Name - Should already be completed but can be changed
  • Short Name - this will be what is displayed if your "Full Name" is too long for our display
  • Slug - Do not change this. If it needs to be edited, email support@opentrack.run first
  • Country - Should already be completed but can be changed
  • Home Country - UK only
  • Date - Start date of when athletes can submit their performance
  • Finish Date - Last day when athletes can submit their performance
  • Type - Select "Virtual"
  • Local Name - If different from "Full Name"
  • Is demo - tick this if you want the competition hidden from the search listings and only accessible if you know the URL. This is how you can set up a "private" competition
  • Year - year of competition
  • Organiser - Select your Organisation
  • OT Supported - Please tick
  • Display organiser logo - Tick if you want it displayed. You will need to supply one to support@opentrack.run in 160x160.png
  • Custom image - Prepare an image to share/like on Facebook, ideally 900x600 or similar aspect ratio

V1.5.4

Click "MANAGE COMPETITION" at the bottom if it appears. (If it says "STOP MANAGING COMPETITION" then this has already been done).

V1.5.5

These fields all autosave when completed.





V1.6 Set who can enter the Event, Age Group Categorisation & Other Configuration

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.6.1

Click "Manage" from the homepage of the competition and then choose "Config" from the options on the left.

looking at you
Manage Screen - Config Tab






V1.6.2

This page is responsible for multiple variables within our system. The following are relevant for Virtual Races.

Make sure "Team Entries Status" is set to "Not open yet". This feature only applies if your federation uses OpenTrack for its athletics database and if your competition is using team entries. (So all competitions in the UK - turn this off).

The first few only relate if athletes are entering themselves:

    • Athlete Eligibility - This relates to the individual entries. Here you can choose whether athletes must be licensed to enter. This only works if OpenTrack has an API to your country's licensing system. If it doesn't, just choose option 6 "anyone".
    • Choose from options:
      • 1 - Must be licensed to enter
      • 2 - A warning is issued if not licensed but they can still enter
      • 6 - Anyone can enter

Choose who you want to be able to enter the race:

  • Allow unattached - Click if athletes can enter without representing a team
  • Allow club/organisation - Click so athletes can choose an organisation to represent
  • Allow adhoc teams - athletes can choose from adhoc teams created by the organiser
  • Allow national teams - provides a dropdown of countries for entrants to choose from
  • Allowed organisation types - If you selected "allow club/organisation", tick the relevant organisation types you want to allow
  • Age Group date - Leave as first day of your competition
  • Age group category - Choose from drop down. Likely to be XC or Road.
  • Auto age group - Tick
  • Use vets age group - Tick
  • Allow competing out of category - Allow Vets to downage in team competitions (and teenagers to upage)
  • Do individual rankings use team category - If competing out of age for your team, should it be the same individually? Tick if so.
  • Categorise U23 as Senior - As it says
  • Categorise U20 as Senior - As it says
  • Filter vets events - If this is ticked and an event in the events grid to "SEN" as the age group, then they will not be able to enter that event. You'd need to leave this unticked to allow them to enter all SEN events, OR manually specify the age groups, e.g. V35,V40,V45.
  • Minimum age - Anyone younger than this age will not be allowed to enter
  • submission_start_time - Choose the time (on Day 1 of the competition) for the Result Submit button to appear
  • Submission_end_time - Choose the time (on the last day of the competition) for the Result Submit button to disappear
  • Pause submission - Can halt submission to hide the submit button.

Click Save at the bottom





V1.7 Write my Homepage Text and Choose Results Display

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.7.1

Click "Manage" from the homepage and then choose "Display" from the options on the left.

looking at you
Manage Screen - Display Tab


1.7.2

Complete the "Basic Description" text box and click "Save". If you want to link to a document, then you can host it on an external website and then put the hyperlink in the Basic Description. Ask support@opentrack.run for help with this if you do not have a hosting site.

Other relevant boxes to pay attention to:

  • Short sharing description - Field under development
  • Timetable description - Field under development
  • Rules description - Field under development
  • Video URL - Appears on the homepage instead of the map. Can use in conjunction with the image from Manage->Basics.
  • Show category rankings - Display a column on the results screens with the category (Age group+Gender, e.g. U20W) so you can easily filter and view who won each category on the web-based results page. Helpful if you have an event with multiple categories.
  • Show Combined Events - Choose to show what points a result would have scored if it were part of a combined event
  • Show age grades - Field under development
  • Hide competitors - Choose not to display any Competitors until start lists or results are displayed

Make sure you click SAVE at the bottom.

Heading back to the homepage of the competition (click the name in grey at the top) will display your info.

Heading back to the homepage of the competition (click the name in grey at the top) will display your info.

V1.7.3

Other relevant options here include: - Show Category Rankings - click to show the different categories (gender and age group) in the results - Show Age Grades - click to display the age grade %age data in the results





V1.8 Set up my Events

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

Most virtual competitions will only have one race but you still need to set it up on the system.

V1.8.1

Head to "Manage" and then click Events from the left hand side

V1.8.2

Here you will see the Events Grid:

looking at you
Manage Screen - Events Tab


From here please complete the grid as follows, ignoring the columns not mentioned:

  • Num - Enter a number for your race(s). It can be simple as "1, 2, 3" etc or "R1, R2, R3) - whatever you want". If using letters, these MUST be capitals.
  • Event code - Enter your event code. Most of these races are going to be road or XC based so you would enter as follows:
    • 10 km: 10k
    • 6.21 miles: 6.21M

You CANNOT just put whatever you want here, See for the Event Codes for what can and cannot be input.

  • Age Groups - Put ALL unless you want to make it specific to certain groups or want to separate your races, in which case use age group specific parameters as follows:
    • U15,U17,V35,V65 - this would be eligible only for age groups listed and no-one outside these groups could enter
  • Gender - Similar to above but use "M" and "F"
  • Category - User defined. Simply put "ALL" or "VR" or somesuch
  • Name - Name your event
  • Rounds - Put 1
  • Parent - This relates to Combined Events, such as heptathlon. Further explanation can be seen below.

PLEASE NOTE: You CAN NOT have 2 events that have the same Event code and Category. This is a duplicate and the system does not allow it; there is no need to duplicate an event when there is nothing different about them. If you are hosting, for example, two 5k events, you need to choose a different Category. This could be "M" and "F" if they are for different genders, or as simple as "R1" and "R2" for Race 1 and Race 2.

Click SAVE when done.

V1.8.3 Multi Events

For combined events, you need to complete the "parent" column. Please complete it as per the image below.

looking at you
Combined Events


As you can see the Decathlon has been given event "Num" 11. In the Parent column, for all events (10 in this instance) that belong to your master event (Decathlon), type the event number you gave to the master event (decathlon: 11).





V1.9 Bulk Adding Competitors

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.9.1

Click "Manage" and then go to the Competitors page from the left

V1.9.2

If you already have competitors loaded in, you can view and edit them here.

looking at you
Manage Screen - Competitors Tab





V1.9.3

To bulk add competitors if, for exmaple, you've prepared them in a spreadsheet, scroll to the bottom and click "BULK ADD / DELETE"

You will see the following:

looking at you
Bulk Add Competitors


Input the data as follows, ignoring the columns not mentioned here:

  • Competitor id - this is the "bib number". Obviously these are imaginary in this scenario but the system still needs to assign a bib number. If you've prepared bib (or ID) numbers in your document, put them in. If not, you can do so at this stage or use our Numbering function.
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Gender
  • Date Of Birth - Must be yyyy-mm-dd
  • Team id - 3-5 digit code for their club. Contact support@opentrack.run if you do not know the codes
  • Nationality - This will default to nationality of competition location unless otherwise stated
  • Event - Input the "Num" from the Event grid of the race they are competing in

Click Save

V1.9.4

You can add more of these whenever you want by clicking the BULK ADD / DELETE button. You add just input the new athletes.




V1.9.5

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

If you just have one or two you wish to add, click the blue Add New Competitor button at the top right of the page:

Individually Add Competitors


Complete the form ("Details" & "Events entered" tabs) and hit the appropriate Save button.





V1.10 Set up an Individual Entry Process - Pricing & Custom Questions

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.10.1

Click "Manage" from your homepage and then choose Paid Entry Config from the left hand side

Manage Screen - Paid Entry Config


Most fields are important here but ignore the ones not mentioned:

  • Opening date - What day you want entries to open
  • Closing date - Date to automatically close entries
  • Closing time of day - Time of day on above date
  • Indiv. Entries Status - Manually change the entries status between the three drop down options
  • Fee Currency - Leave blank as it automatically sets to your country's currency
  • Price per Event - Put the standard price for your meeting. Do not put the currency symbol. If your event is free, leave it blank and jump to "Chargeable Extras".
  • Per Event Surcharges - This grid applies the price modification (discount or surcharge) for every event an athlete enters. For example, if they enter 3 events, the modification will be applied for all 3.
    • Choose the "Kind" from the dropdown list. This will specify what type of item the modification is based on: Club, age group, event type, specific event, custom questions
    • Type the "Value". This will be the specific item that the price is being modified for. Examples:
      • TEAM=BEL
      • AGE_GROUP=U15
      • EVENT_CODE=10k
      • EVENT_ID=R1 (this depends what you label your events as)
      • Q1, Q2, Q3: Choose "Options" from your "Custom Questions" gris
  • Per Person Surcharges - As above but the discount is just applied once to the athlete
  • Price mod. 2+ events - Discount applied for second events. E.g. "-5.00" will mean the second event is 5.00 less than "Price per event"
  • Price mod for license - Apply a discount for those with a national license
  • Early discount date 1 - Set the date for then the early discount ends
  • Price mod. date 1 - Set the discount for the above
  • Early discount date 2 - Set the date for when the second early discount ends
  • Price mod. date 1 (should read "2") - Set the discount for the above
  • Chargeable Extras - Add in any extras that you might want to sell. Often more relevant for traditional races!
    • "Name" - Name of your extra, e.g. "Medal"
    • "Options" - E.g. "Small,Medium,Large" for a t-shirt. Entrants choose from a dropdown list
    • "Price" - How much it costs
  • Contact details - Enter your (the organiser's) email address. OpenTrack are not the first enquiry contact for your entrants!
  • Add an athlete - help text - Help text to apply to first stage of entry journey when entrants are adding athletes
  • Step 1 - help text - Help text added when confirming athlete details
  • Step 2 help text - Help text when choosing club
  • Step 3 help text - Help text when choosing events
  • Step 5 help text - Help text for chargeable extras
  • Step 6 help text - Help text for custom questions
  • Charity donations help text - Help text for charity donations page
  • Basket help text - Help text before payment/confirmation when athletes have their basket showing
  • T & C text - Edit your T&Cs
  • Qualifying Performance box - Performances from within last 2 seasons automatically fetched for athletes that are in Po10 or Tilastopaja. Primarily used for seeding. Choose from dropdown list. Not overly relevant for Virtual racing so maybe best to hide.
  • PB / SB box - Automatically fetched for athletes that are in Po10 or Tilastopaja. Choose from dropdown list. Not overly relevant for Virtual racing.
  • Require postal address - As it says
  • Require postcode - As it says
  • Charity Share of Entry Fee - If charging an entry fee, you can automatically allocate an amount of it to go to charity. Enter a figure between 0.0 and 1.0. For example, if you are charging an £8 entry fee and £6 goes to charity, you would enter 0.75.
  • Charity Title - Enter your Charity
  • Charity Subtitle - Subtitle / further info
  • Charity Suggested Donation - Suggests an amount for the entrant to donate. They can change it
  • Custom Questions - Extra question you want to ask your entrants:
    • "Label" - Type your question
    • "Typ" - Choose from the drop down for the type of answer required
    • "Options" - Type the available options if it is a closed question (separate by a comma)


      CLICK SAVE!!!

If you want to check your entry journey is as you'd expect you can just make a test entry the next day on the test server. Here is a video example too:





V1.11 Email my Participants

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

V1.11.1

Click "Manage" from your homepage and then choose "Mailing" from the left hand side

V1.11.2

Click "NEW MESSAGE" from the right hand side

V1.11.3

You will see the following screen:

Manage Screen - Mailing Screen


Complete the form as the instructions on the page suggest You can choose who receives the message and also input "tokens", like a mail merge, so it is addressed appropriately.

We advise sending a test message to yourself before sending to all your athletes!





V1.12 Number my Participants

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

This is important as participants must have a UNIQUE "bib" or "ID" in our system to get a result.

V1.12.1

Click "Manage" from the homepage and then hit "Numbering" from the left hand side.

Manage Screen - Numbering Screen


  • Numbering System - Choose "Unique numbers, automatic"
  • Order 1 - Select whichever you want
    • You may want to choose an order 2 and 3 in case of people with identical name
  • Numbers available - Leave as "1+"

Click SAVE

If you get more participants in after this, you do not need to start again. Simply hit Save again and it will number those without.

You can start again by clicking CLEAR NUMBERS





V1.13 Set up my Scoring Methods

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

Some races will simply be, "who can run the quickest time?" in which case, this section is not relevant. However, many races will have a team element, which is where this comes in.

V1.13.1

Click "Manage" from the homepage and then choose "Scoring" from the left hand side

V1.13.2

Choose the second tab, labelled "DISTANCE SCORING"

Scoring Choices


Hit NEW




V1.13.3

Here is your Scoring configuration. Below is an example of how a 12 Stage Relay would work "virtually". Obviously, it is not a literal relay so what we do is take the fastest 12 times from teams. If they have 24 teams, we would allocate a "B" team.

12 Stage Scoring Example


  • Event - Choose your Race you are sorting scoring for
  • Filter categories - leave blank unless you only want to be looking at specific age groups. E.g. You may want to have different scoring systems for various Vet age groups so they don't feel left out! If you do this, simply input as follows: "V35,V40". This would filter these two age groups
  • Method - Choose:
    • Sum of times for a relay style race; it is just cumulative times.
    • Sum of age grades for a listing by age grades
    • Sum of filtered race positions for a points system that ignores non-scorers
    • Sum of absolute race positions for a points system that includes non scorers
  • Name - Name your scoring system
  • Filter genders - Choose your gender for this scoring system
  • Allow non scorers - relevant for a few scoring systems, where they could impact on points
  • Allow incomplete teams - penalty scores will apply
  • Scorers - how many make up each team
  • Displacement - relevant for a few scoring systems, where they could impact on points

Click SAVE when done





V1.14 Bulk Load Results and Strava / Garmin Data

Here is a video if you want to watch a demonstration as well as read the documentation:

If you, as the race organiser, are collecting the results from your athletes, then you can paste them into an excel style grid in a few seconds for results.

V1.14.1

From the homepage, click "START LISTS" or "RESULTS" - whichever appears; it is date dependent.

V1.14.2

Choose the event you want to enter results for.

Click BULK OPERATIONS.

Choose BULK OPERATIONS


V1.14.3

You will see the following (but blank):

Grid Input


All you need to do is paste in the columns "bib", "performance" and, if you want it, "Extra URL" and "Note." Pay particular attention to the format of your performance. It needs to be correct. For example, "15.26" is WRONG for a 5k. It would need to be "15:26".

If you want to input the Strava or Garmin performance, please request the embed code from your participants and input that into the EXTRA URL column:

V1.14.4

You will now see the Results display as follows:

Results Example


If you click the little link (looks like a phone) next to the athletes, you can view their activity:

Strava View


This is important for validation of results, i.e. to check that someone has actually done what they claim to have done!




V1.14.5

If you want to edit an individual's result, when logged in, click the little rectangle showing their performance and edit it.

Edit Individual Performance


You can also mark it for review.


If you are looking for your participants to upload their own data then head here for instructions. Your participants will have links to instructions, should they need it, when they are submitting too.

You will configure the setup for individual results submission in Set who can enter the Event, Age Group Categorisation & Other Configuration .





V1.15 View Scoring

V1.15.1

Finally, to view the Scoring results, click "Scoring" from the homepage.

Choose the system you wish to view from the options:

Scoring Options


You will now see the results. In the example below, it is a mock of a 12 stage relay where participants all ran 5k. The system has calculated the quickest 12 times within each team. If results are uploaded over the course of a few days then this will update as and when new results are input so athletes can see how their team is getting on throughout the competition.

Scoring - 12 Stage Mock Up



Charity fundraising

We hope some people will organise charity virtual races. In most countries we are lucky enough to be allowed to run outdoors at the moment, so let's combine staying fit with helping others less fortunate!

If you want to raise money for charity, you will need a Stripe account. Existing OpenTrack payees have one set up already. Otherwise we have some guidance here.


Costs

Refer to https://opentrack.run/pricing/