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How can I download a race file?

Please note: these instructions refer to our old windows desktop application, which is still available for users who know how to use it but we can no longer provide training or phone support for our old software.

If you need support from Zone4 staff, please use our new web-based software.

1. Create a New Race

After signing in to the Zone4 website, find the “Time a Race” button on your homepage.  You will need to either be a club administrator or have been given race timing permissions by your club administrator for this button to appear.

Select the “Get racers from Zone4 Registration” option and choose your registration form in the dropdown menu:

When you have selected your registration form click the “Create Race” button in the bottom right.  You will see a progress bar while we import your racers, and then you will land on the race overview page.  From there, click the “Create Start List” button:

2. Setting up your categories

The first thing you will see on the start list screen is an option to create start groups.  These will be imported into your race file as categories.  If you are using parent & sub categories in your race file, these should be your subcategories, and you’ll set up the parent categories in the downloaded file.

If you are not using categories and you want to download all the racers in one group, click “All Racers Start in One Group” button with no further configuration.  Otherwise, select Create Custom Start Groups., and use the “Add start group field” to pick the registration option that defines your race categories.  

You can also select multiple fields, so for example if your registration has a “distance” field with 5k & 10k options and a “gender” field, you can add both of those and it will create Male 10k / Female 10 / Male 5k / Female 5k categories.

You will see a preview in this window of the categories that your chosen fields will create.  Once they look right, scroll down and click the “Create these Groups” button:

Race Number and Scheduled Start times can optionally be assigned before downloading the file which you can read more about here: http://help.zone4.ca/kb/create-start-list/#assigning-racer-numbers-and-start-times, but those functions are also available in the legacy PC software so you can assign them after download and that works fine too.

3. Downloading the File

On the start list page, click the View Start List button and then find the Download .rac file in the Download menu.

Note

The downloaded file will include any bib numbers and start times you have assigned.  All of the functions for assigning bibs and times still exist in the legacy PC software so it’s totally up to you if you want to assign bibs and times in the online system, in the race file after downloading, or in both locations.  Once you have downloaded the file, everything is the same as it used to be in the old PC based software.

Download the Timing Software

Zone4 licence owners can download a copy of the timing software here: https://zone4.ca/download/setup.exe

In Depth Discussion on Categories

The above instructions are fine for most simple cases of registration and race setup, but some registrations are more complex to convert into the PC based software.  That complexity comes from the fact that in the old PC software, racers need to be grouped in a single list of ‘Categories’ yet not all registrations are set up to make that simple. In the old race file download process, you could only select 1 field that contained your ‘categories’   So let look at 3 distinct cases of ways in which registrations are setup.

Case 1 – Single Choice Fee field

The simple case described above is where your registration contains all of your race categories in a predefined list that looks like this:

In this case, when defining your Start Groups you only need to select your single field in the “Start Group Fields” section.  This will create a category for each option in your list.  This is similar to how the old race file download process worked.  The downside of this approach as discussed more fully here, is that your race may have dozens of categories because of the number of ages, gender and distance options available.  In that case, the below Derived Categories method is much simpler.

Case 2 – Derived Categories

This approach makes sense if you have the potential for many different race categories for different distance, technique, gender, and age categories.  In this case, you can now present your registration options as separate fields for each of those distinct variables as seen below.

The old race file download process had no method of converting these different fields into a single list of categories.  The new timing software makes it very easy to turn these fields into a single list by adding each one to your “Start Group Fields” list.  For instance, using the example above, if we select just the distance field, we will see 3 options for “10km, 15km, and 30km” as pictured below.

But if we then add the “Gender” field to the list, we’ll see a total of 6 groups as seen below for both Male and Female in each distance.

We can take the concept further by adding the “Age” field and specifying the age ranges of each of our award categories.

This generates all the combinations of distance, gender, and age, turning our simple 3 fields into potentially dozens of categories.

After you have defined your start groupings, click Create Start list, and view your start list. If the above permutations created some un-wanted categories (such as perhaps in the 30km, you only offer a 1-19 age category, you can use the Merging Start Groups process to merge the 0-5, 6-10,11-12,13-15, and 15-19 groups down into a single grouping.

Case 3 – Category List split across multiple fields

The final case is a variation on the derived categories concept discussed above.  Some registrations need to be more complex because of pricing, licensing, or other factors that mean your race options are spread across multiple fields.  Take for instance a cycling race that has conditionally visible fields for ‘licensed’ racers and another field for citizen.  These fields both contain multiple options that both need to be included as categories in your downloaded race file.  Simply add both fields to your Start Group Fields list and both sets of options will be included in the list.  You will notice that text is added to each start group indicating that there was no value set in the other field for that group.  This text can be edited as needed in the Start list view, or Configure Start list screen before downloading your race file.

As with the Derived Categories, after defining start groups, you can merge select start groups together so any grouping of racers can be achieved no matter how complex.  For more information, please see Merging Start Groups.

Updated on 2019-06-27

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