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Virtual Balloon Race

This virtual race has been a work in progress since 2008. As a basic random race it works fine and over 50% of the schools & charities that use it come back for more races. However, it’s no longer viable for me to update or improve the current setup. It’s been a fun project and I’ve learnt loads along the way but I can’t justify any further resources (& that’s why it only costs £20+vat – it’s not perfect).

For best results sell your balloons in-house and add them 1 at at time manually in your admin area. Keep it simple and it will work fine.

Keep away from the spreadsheet upload and Paypal payments *. Every race needs to start and finish at 12 midday. If you’re a school here’s a great example letter to help sell more balloons.

Most races sell an average of 200 balloons @ £2 each. As the whole setup only costs £20+vat there’s plenty of profit to be made.

I can setup up your race once you’ve completed the below form and paid your £24.00 (£20+vat).

Strength indicator

Hint: The password should be at least seven characters long. To make it stronger, use upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols like ! " ? $ % ^ & ).

Once you have submitted the above form you can pay for your race here:


*The problem with Paypal: When the race was originally intergrated with paypal we had a problem with various web browsers (internet explorer 6). When a balloon was purchased and the user was taken over to Paypal to pay, Paypal failed to send the paid token back to the site to show the balloon as ‘PAID’. The balloon was created but not activated. We tried to fix this but as the problem was happening over on the paypal site (rather than our site) we failed. It was embarrassing for the administer of the race because they would receive a payment notification but they would have no idea what balloon it was for. To solve this I changed the site to add the token as ‘PAID’ before the user is taken to paypal to pay. This means that if the user does not pay once taken to paypal the balloon is still created. As the balloons are usually only £2 each all users pay once they get over to paypal (it’s usually only the administer of the race who does this when they’re testing the setup). Another down side is that Paypal will take a cut from all your sales.