About 15 years or so ago, I entered the One Lap of Florida, a TSD rally -- 1,000 miles in 22 hours. It was an absolute blast, but I just googled it and apparently they haven't had one since then.
TSD (Time Speed Distance) are pretty cool -- they give you a list of written instructions with no road names or numbers, but with exact average speeds you must maintain. Fer instance: "Drive 1.2 miles at 61 mph, turn left and CAST (Change Average Speed To) 43 mph. Drive 6.1 miles, turn right and CAST 32 mph. After 1.4 miles, no turn but CAST 68 mph...."
The OLF was in four legs with about a half-hour between restarts (driver change and bladder time!). In addition, there were about a half-dozen unscheduled checkpoints. The scoring was that for each leg, and for each checkpoint, you received one point for each second early or late
you broke the light beam. Lowest score wins.
Because of the unscheduled check points, you couldn't just drive like hell and wait outside the lap finish -- you never knew when you would be caught by a checkpoint, so you had to be exactly
on-time at all times.
No mechanical rally gear was allowed, either, just stopwatches and simple calculators. You had to work out odometer and speedometer correction factors for your car in advance, and then plug those into each calculation. GPS was not yet on the market.
About 65 teams entered, including a few suicidal motorcyclists. Class breakdown was about 10 pro teams, 25 amateur teams and 30 novices (that's our team).
The fun part was that they launched us starting at 4 p.m. and we drove all night, finishing up at 2 p.m. the next day. It started in Broward, headed west on Alligator Alley, and halfway across we made a right onto a dirt road and into the Everglades. That's when it got fun...
We -- my wife, her sister, a friend and me -- ran it in a Honda Accord with more lights than Dolphin Stadium. They didn't do much good when we hit heavy fog in Ocala: My wife was driving at CAST 50 mph or so and we couldn't see ten feet in front of the car as we were coming up on one left turn ... I'm telling her "You've got a left coming up!" and she's repeating "Where? Where? I can't see anything!" "Turn when I tell you to. Trust me." And in an act of pure faith, she did.
We split up the duties and rotated through 'em -- driver, navigator, spotter, sleeper (yeah, right!). By later Saturday morning, we figured we were so far behind that it was hard to keep on-schedule. We broke the beam in Boca and wandered around as other entrants arrived. It was a very surreal scene: OLF starts like a party, and you end up like a silent, shuffling zombie.Edited to add:
Somehow -- and I have no idea exactly what we did right -- we came in seventh overall, winning the novice class and beating the top amatuer team, too. We credit it entirely to luck.
If anyone hears of OLF starting up again, please email or IM me asap!