There are two things to announce tonight.  First is news of next years race.  Second, and the one that is of critical nature, regards a problem that recently developed and a sudden call for help from some of you.I have just finished making a page about next years race.  I’ve learned some things about running the race this year and will be making some changes.  There is now a page titled “2010 Race”, located above, for information on some changes and how to enter the race.  In addition, I’m announcing three new prizes for this years race that will affect next years race too.  I noticed more travel bugs that went missing than I initially accounted for.  As such, I will pool together a list of names of everyone who had a travel bug go missing as of Monday, December 21st.  Amongst that pool of names, I will randomly draw three people who will win an “MIA Prize”.  The prize: free entry into the 2010 race.  Now the race is considered free because there is no entry fee.  What this means is that I will provide a ready to go travel bug.  All you have to do is activate it.  You don’t have to purchase a travel bug, make the travel bug, then send me the travel bug.  Essentially a free entry for you.

Please go to the 2010 Race page for more information about entering next years race.


Now for the bad news.  Just over two weeks ago, I was working on the points update.  Of the roughly 50 – 55 entries still active in the race, I had updated numbers for about 40 of them when I went to bed that night.  The next day, while working on my computer….it crashed.  And it crashed bad.  It was a 6.5 year old computer that had been through A LOT (multiple OS reinstalls and even physical damage from being dropped years back), and was still going strong.  I still haven’t figured out what caused the crash, but I can say I couldn’t get it working again.  Plus, without an OS disk and the amount of important files on the computer, I was resigned to purchasing a new computer.

The bad news for you is that all of my geocaching files, and I mean ALL of them (excluding my geocaching photos, which are on an external drive), are gone.  This includes the race files.  This weekend, I tried to retrieve them through some computer work, but haven’t been successful.  At the moment, the only file I have is the original BLANK spreadsheet that I created for stat records.

At the moment, it was averaging me around five hours to go through and do a points update by myself.  This includes more than just scanning and counting things up on travel bug pages.  This was part of the reason points updates got so overdue.  I would get started on it only to have something else come up, because of either Geocaching site issues or outside influences that took priority over the race stats.  To start from scratch would likely take a full day’s work or more on my part.  Here is where you come in.

Getting records back up will go a heck of a lot faster if we had a group of people working on it, each with a much smaller list of travel bugs to collect stats for.  I would like to know if there is anyone out there who can help with this?  In the past, I merely used the original race cache’s travel bug history list to speed up the process (instead of manually entering TB numbers).  There were just over four pages, each page containing 20 travel bugs.  Four people could knock that 5 hour time down to 90 minutes or less.  Eight people could do it in under an hour.  So obviously, the more volunteers, the faster this goes.

If you volunteer, I’ll send you a copy of the spreadsheet and a list of which travel bugs to look up, plus some instructions to help you understand how to address certain issues.

I would like to get some volunteers before Friday, then we can get everything taken care of over next weekend.  Please add a comment to THIS page if you can help.  Your e-mail remains private and can only be seen by me.  All help is appreciated.