Monday, November 12, 2012

This Year's Speed Race: A Guide

Hey Sweepers,

It's less than a month until the Sweep day! We hope you're just as excited as we are about this year's event.

Many of you have participated in all of the Sweeps we've hosted in the past 7 years, and some of you will be joining us for the first time. We're changing up the format for our SPEED race this year to make it more accessible for newcomers, but we're hoping it also poses a fresh, new challenge for our veterans. Think of it as a "Choose-Your-Own-Speed" format!

Here's a copy of the manifest that Koshi, our rad designer and co-organizer, has put together this year. (Note: it will look much better in the final version as we edited it to add in generic info.)

In previous SPEED races, racers would have to go to 5 grocery stores, shop for the food listed on the manifest, then bring it all back as soon as possible.

Now the SPEED race is based on both TIME and POINTS. You need to get at least 50 points to finish the race, but the top winners will have the most points overall.

There are 4 neighborhoods that have stores with different point values. Stores closest to the start at the Bow & Arrow (Embarcadero & Folsom) will be worth 10 points each. The store that's farthest away is worth 40 points. You must buy ALL of the food listed from each store; the final manifest will have specific products listed. We've also set up the manifest so that you can use it as a checklist.

You can mix and match the route to suit your abilities. If you want an easier route, just ride to all 5 nearby stores. Buy two (1) lb. bags of food at each store. After you visit all 5 stores, you'll have 50 points and you can head to the Food Bank (see Example Route A).

Here's an example of a harder route: ride to a 10 point store, then go to stores farther away for 20 or 30 points. Let's say I ride to Store 1 and buy two (1)-lb. bags of the specified food to get 10 points.  Then I decide to go to farther and get four (15)-oz. cans at another store for 20 points, then head farther out still to the next store to buy five (1)-lb. bags of food for 30 points. That's a total 60 points.

If you're truly speedy, hit a 10 point store first, then head off to the 40 point store to make your minimum 50 point total quickly (see Example Route B).  Then you can hit more stores after that to rack up additional points to your total!

Lastly, there's no substitutions for food items. So if a store runs out of the particular item, you better hustle to another one that has what you need.

So how many stores can you visit before 4PM? It will take some strategy on your part to assess both the best route and whether you can hit them all before the deadline - so plan wisely! If there's any ties with points - say two racers come in with 50 points - the one with the faster time will be ranked higher.

Any questions? Please feel free to email me at supermarketstreetsweep at gmail dot com or post up in the comments. We look forward to seeing you on December 1st!

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