2006 Turkey Tour Rally - Rallymasters Letter
There are always a few nervous minutes when waiting at the checkpoint for cars to arrive. That has diminished some from the first rally we planned, the 1999 Bunny Run rally. But the excitement of seeing the headlights of the first group of ralliests on the horizon is just the same.
Planning the 2006 Turkey Tour was like many of the others in the past. Barbara sits in front of a set of maps and gets us as lost as possible on the smallest of roads; my responsibility is to get us back in the vicinity of the starting point close to the 65 mile mark. We always look to minimize primary and secondary road usage. sticking to the mainly unused twisty backroads. and we think this year was the most successful yet. Speed changes were difficult since we never really got onto a main road for any length of time. We maximized the use of dirt roads, some of which were a bit washed out from a rain-stormy summer.
Prior to the rally we made an extra 30 turkey signs, so for the sake of the rally we had as many as we wanted to post. And post we did. 58 signs were affixed to telephone poles, dead trees, sign posts, barriers and fences. Miraculously, all 58 were still up Sunday morning when we went to collect them. One team found all of the Turkey signs, but an error they made in the last few miles destroyed their chance of a win. The top two teams both missed 3 signs; first place was 65 seconds early and second place was 78 seconds late, making the effective gap 13 seconds.
The checkpoint crew cheered as Ken Frey and Phyllis Miller finished their first rally! They finished 6th, beating 3 former WSCC rally champion teams. When we left the checkpoint, 23 cars crossed with official times, 4 more handed answer sheets in at Applebee's after that and 1 person who arrived at 1:10AM e-mailed us that they arrived after Applebee's closed. With 33 cars starting the rally, that makes 5 lost, we hope that you will try again at the Bunny Run on March 31st, 2007. We assure you the first finish will be worth the aggravation of mistaken turns in the past.
The actual distance of this rally was 69.4 miles and the actual time should have been 2 hours, 52 minutes and 33 seconds. Some of the comments at Applebee's after the rally included people not able to find the "Animals in the Road" sign (you missed the left turn the sign was on) if you skipped it, it would have self corrected the instruction. One team also found humor in the "Left onto Wright, Left, Right" combination. We also strategically placed several left turns after right arrows and right turns after left arrow just to add a little confusion to the navigator/driver communications. Many of the new signs that we produced had symbols instead of letters or numbers, so communications was important in describing these also.
Unfortunately, this year we didn't have enough rallymaster's to produce a third rally. As a club we would love to have 3 or 4 rallies a year. Planning them can be a lot of fun and we encourage anyone with an interest to get involved somehow. Even if you can't make it to an event. volunteering to prerunning a rally gives experience into the thought process of a rallymaster and help running them immensely.
Thanks to all that helped, Frank, Ed and Debbi. We hope to see you in the spring for the Bunny Run on March 31, 2007.
If you think you might be interested in planning a rally or help preparing a rally we would would love to hear from you. If you can't run an event... think about prerunning it for us. If you have been running rally's for a while consider writing one. In any case, drop us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Jesse and Barbara