Planning a Fixed Distance Challenge? Make sure to set up and sort your Results on Milestone Completion Date!

When we first release our Challenge Platform we allowed a few simple ways to sort results – total time or total distance/tally. Since then we have seen a great amount of excitement around Virtual Challenges and the software that we have build to support them.

What we have discovered is that many Challenge events want to have a way to sort by the greatest distance up to a point – for instance a Challenge where the Goal is to run the total distance of The United States of America. Our platform would always sort by the total distance completed by each person, then fall back to the greatest distance done in the least amount of time. This would cause confusion because the expectation was that the results would be ordered by the first person to reach the end goal, not the person who happened to have done the set distance in the fastest amount of time.

Additionally, we found that many Participants were frustrated with Challenges that have set up a maximum distance that they could log. The vast majority of participants are just entering in however much they actually completed that day, and do not want to have to adjust the distance they ran in order to be under the maximum allowed.

This is not a great user experience! To fix this, the user would need to manually adjust their distance and time to be within your constraints.

To solve this problem, we have added a new way to sort your Virtual Challenge Results – Milestone Unlocked Date.

This new sorting method requires that you have a Milestone set up for the total distance that you expect everyone to complete for your Fixed Distance Challenge. It’s important that this is set up before anyone has already logged this amount or more. When a Milestone is set up, we track the date and time that each of your Participants unlock that Milestone. With our new Challenge sorting method, we allow you to pick a specified Milestone, and sort your results based on that date and time instead of total distance.

What this does is change the order of your results so that the person in first place will no longer be the person with the greatest total distance, but the first person to unlock the Milestone that you have selected.

Why should you use this new sorting option for your next Challenge?

This is a great option for Fixed Distance Challenges, as it will allow you to sort based on who has achieved the Milestone distance first, but will not lock them out from continuing to log if they would like to do so. This can keep participants engaged with your Challenge even after they have completed the distance you have set for them.

Additionally, it makes it easier for Participants to log their Activities because it will no longer force them to figure out how many miles they should log in order to get to the goal distance without going over – this is a real struggle that we want to avoid.

Why should you not use this new sorting option?

While this is a great feature for Challenges that have a set distance in mind that they want to sort on, Challenges that are more open-ended and are focused on simply accumulating as many miles as possible should stick with a greatest distance sorting method.

To get started:

1). Create a Milestone

Create a Milestone that is the total distance that you expect Participants to complete. This is found in the “Goals” area of the Virtual Challenge setup.

Once you save this page, your results will begin to sort based on the Milestone Unlocked Date of a Milestone of your choosing.

Remember – setting up a Milestone is not retroactive. This means that when you add a Milestone, it will not go back through previously recorded Activities to see if someone qualified for it and unlocked it for them on the date that they would have. If you set up a Milestone with a distance that someone has already unlocked, it will simply unlock the next time they log an activity.

This is why it is important to set up the Milestone you are sorting on before you have Participants who have already completed that distance.

2). Sort by Milestone Unlocked Date

Change your Results Sorting method to use a Custom Pre-Sort. For this scenario select “Earliest Milestone Completion Date”, then from the next dropdown that appears pick the Milestone that you set up in the previous step.

You can find these settings under the “Virtual Result Settings” section.

3). Decide on a Tiebreaker Method

Next, decide on how you would like participants who have completed the same exact distance to be sorted. For this scenario, it is unlikely that you would need to worry about this setting that much, because the odds of two people unlocking a Milestone at the exact same date and time are pretty low, but you should give it some thought anyway. I like to use the the option to “Use Custom Sort” which let’s the main sorting be based on the Milestone Unlocked Date, and the Tiebreaker to be determined by the Fastest Pace in case this does happen.

We hope that you find creative uses for all of the new Virtual Challenge sorting options we provide – we think that this option is really powerful because we are constantly adding new options for Milestones to be unlocked, like number of activities completed, number of consecutive days of activities completed, and options to make it so that Milestones can only be unlocked during a specific date range.

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