Race Against Time

Apr 13, 2013

RAY: This came via the Internet. The date is June 1996. You know, this e-mail's great! I mean, someone sends it - bang--it's right there. This came from a fellow named Dan Gallagher. He writes:

"In qualifying for a camel trophy off-road race, potential drivers and their teammates were told that they had to traverse a course in as close a time as their partners without the use of timepieces, like clocks and watches, etc.

“For example, the first man of the two-man team would drive the course. Through the woods, over bridges, through streams, and then return to the starting point and give his vehicle, his truck, to his partner, who would then drive the same course and try to finish it in as close to the time of his partner. So, if the partner finished in, say, four minutes and 25 seconds, the other guy would try to duplicate that.

“But how could he do that without the use of any kind of clock or timepiece? How could he possibly finish in the same time?"

TOM: Oh?

RAY: That's the question. So, the guys that won the race figured out a way to finish in the same time. It had nothing to do with a string and a lighter, but it's close.


RAY: Here’s the answer. Now remember, they could not use any timepieces, per se.

TOM: Per se. But it doesn't mean you couldn't measure time somehow, if it weren't with a timepiece.

RAY: Right. You could use the sun. And I'm sure people were trying to think of how to use the odometer, or singing a song. You could do that. They could sing the "Star Spangled Banner."

But better than all of those is you turn on the windshield wipers. And you count the swipes.

TOM: Wow!

RAY: And you can't get a better timepiece than that. Who's our winner?

TOM: That's very good! And the prize this week goes to Julie Johnson from Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Julie!

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