This is not the first time on this blog that we point out how much we like the Trackleaders' race flow chart. But it has its own surprising details. For example, if you look very closely, you see little horizontal segments that make me scratch my head a bit. Here is one on Allen Moore's chart, just a few status updates out of the Central checkpoint:
Remember, horizontal lines should mean that the team did not move, as the y-axis is location (and horizontal means location doesn't change, so they stay in the same place). Coming from the left, we see Allen's long horizontal line that signifies the end of his stay in Central. Then he takes off - the first check-in is from still very close to the checkpoint, and then he seems to fall into his rhythm. Except that between the second and the third track point, the curve is flat. For how long? Well, we can eyeball this as about 0.2 h plus/minus - that's close enough to 10 min to make me believe the problem is exactly 1 check-in interval long.
Now looking at Allen's individual track, he didn't stop for about 10 minutes (the time between two check-ins). Here is the relevant segment (blue arrow):
There are a few interesting things we can see by looking at this section in detail. The first is that the segment doesn't actually correspond to the usual 10 min check-in interval. It already looks too long for that naively. The endpoint was at 10:29:58 pm (this is shown on the screen shot), and the start point at 10:09:05 pm (you have to believe me here or check it yourself). Which means that right in the spot where the race flow chart has a 1-interval long horizontal squiggle the actual track is missing a point! This is what makes me think that the way the software draws the race flow curve, a missing data point gets replaced with the same y-value at the next point, thereby creating an artificial flat section. Well, that's my current opinion, and I'm sticking to it for a while, but Melinda is corresponding with Matthew Lee from Trackleaders, and he seems to think this explanation is wrong -- I'd be curious for his take on it!
The other interesting thing is that looking at the windy trail (on the tightly meandering Birch Creek) after Central, the track length gets cut across pretty badly across the check-on intervals. It would be nice to look at a speed chart across this section of trail.