You’ve entered the Great TB Race.  What can you do to help your TB stay alive throughout the year?  Not all TB’s last.  Some get muggled.  Some get picked up and forgotten.  Some get dropped in caches that are barely visited.  Here are some ways that you can help.

  1. Follow your bug.  Don’t release and forget.  Read each log that comes in so that you can be aware of who has it or what cache it’s in.
  2. Watch how long it sits.  Does it sit for two weeks in a cache?  Check the cache page.  Not all caches are visited daily or even weekly.  If it hasn’t been visited, relax and wait.  If it’s had twelve visitors since then, read the logs.  If a recent log mentions no TB’s inside, it’s been picked up.  Read through the logs and see if you can narrow down when it might have been grabbed.  Take note of when it was picked up.  If picked up only a few days earlier, give the person a chance to log it.  They may be traveling.  If picked up two weeks earlier, and you have an idea of which person, or which few people, might have grabbed it, wait until the two weeks part has passed and consider e-mailing each.
  3. When e-mailing someone, be polite. Unless someone said “I picked up XXXX”, consider this method.  “Hello.  I have a TB that is in the race that I believe was picked up within XXXX time frame from XXXX cache.  I happened to notice your log and was wondering if you recall seeing it in the cache when you visited.  It would have had a XXXX attached to it along with a laminated tag about the Great TB Race.  If you recall seeing this, please let me know so I may narrow down when it was picked up.   I just want to make sure it’s safe as it races for the chance to win prizes and the longer it sits without logs the greater the chance it might go missing.  Thank you for any assistance you may provide.   –XXXX”  It’s amazing how many people have responded to me with a thanks for reminding them or been able to help me find who does have it.  Always respond with a thanks and if they had it, consider adding “If you have any questions about how you can help it win the race, check out the tag.  The race is for points and there are several quick goals that can help it win points.
  4. Make sure your TB page has information about the race.  When you registered, you were provided with a mission and description message that you can use.  Providing info about what the race is and how people can help is an additional reminder when they go to log your item.
  5. If your item is stuck in a cache, even if you suspect it might have been picked up, consider a quick note on the cache page.  Post a note such as “Could the next person to visit this cache check if XXXX is still in this cache?  It is a TB with a laminated tag about the Great TB Race attached.  It is currently in a race and I want to make sure it is still here.  Thanks.”
  6. Post encouraging notes on the TB page.  Has it made a huge jump, or gained a number of points in one jump…post a thanks.
  7. Keep track of the points your TB has earned.  I’ve updated the 2011 Registrant Info under 2011 Race Details.  It is now public (the aspect that I felt required a password has been removed).  On there is a link to a scoresheet that you can download to help keep track of your item’s score.  It is an Excel document and make sure to read the description on the page I’ve linked to so you understand how to fill it out.
  8. If you think there might be an error with your score, please contact me.  If you have been filling out your scoresheet, let me know in the e-mail with an explanation of where you think the mistake was.  I will contact the scoring volunteer in charge of your bug with your details.  75% of the time, it is usually a result of nuances with out the race is scored.  Occasionally, mistakes occur on our end (I’ve made them myself) and we will fix it (this sometimes happens because of a delayed log or edited log).
  9. Have fun.

Hopefully, this provides some ideas for you.  Remember to be thoughtful before sending any e-mails out.  If anyone who was in a past race has some tips you want to share, post them in the comments below.

As to the 2010 results and 2011 volunteers.  I will be posting the 2010 results, along with prize allocations, this weekend.  I’ll also be contacting those who volunteered to help with the race this weekend as well.