The 2018 Topcoder Open Marathon Competition (“Marathon Competition”) will take place between April 14, 2018 and the onsite finals in the USA at a location TBD. The Marathon Competition will consist of four (4) Online Rounds and potentially a number of Lightning Rounds at regional events. Up to twelve (12) of the highest scoring competitors overall will win a trip to the Tournament to compete in the onsite Championship Round.

The Marathon Competition is part of the Tournament, and by participating in the Marathon Competition, you agree to these rules.


There will be no explicit registration required to compete in the Marathon Competition; however competitors must be a Topcoder member.

Competition Round Structure

Each Online and Onsite Round of the Marathon Competition consists of two phases: the Coding Phase and the System Testing Phase. (Note: The format for rounds of the Marathon Competition is similar to the format of Topcoder Marathon Matches. The rules in place for Marathon Matches as of May 2, 2018, as may be amended by these Rules, will apply to the Online and Onsite rounds of the Marathon Competition.)

The Coding Phase is a timed event where all Competitors are presented with the same problem statement. The criteria for scoring a Competitor’s submission will be provided with the problem statement and may change from round to round. During each round of the Marathon Competition, each Competitor may submit one of two types of submissions: an Example Submission or a Full Submission. Each Example Submission is run against the example test cases listed in the problem statement and detailed feedback is provided to the Competitor. Each Full Submission is run against a more complete set of test cases which are not disclosed to the Competitor and the Competitor only receives a provisional score. The duration of the Coding Phase for each of the Online Rounds is 1 week.

The System Testing Phase is applied to the most recent Full Submission for each Competitor. During system testing, each Full Submission is run against a large number of sample cases which are not disclosed to the Competitors, and is scored according to the criteria specified in the problem statement. Once the system tests are completed, Competitors are ranked according to their score on the system test cases. The score a Competitor’s Full Submission receives is determined solely by the system testing.

Online Rounds

The schedule for the Online Rounds of the Marathon Competition is as follows:

Online Rounds Start-End Max # of Competitors
Round 1 May 9 2018 21:00May 16 2018 21:00 Unlimited
Round 2 June 6 2018 21:00June 13 2018 21:00 Unlimited
Round 3 July 11 2018 21:00July 18 2018 21:00 Unlimited
Round 4 August 1 2018 21:00August 8 2018 21:00 Unlimited
Lightning Rounds TBD Unlimited

All times listed in UTC -4

Advancing during Online Rounds

The winner of each match [among those eligible, who have not already otherwise advanced] will automatically earn a trip to the TCO18 Marathon Match Finals.

After each Online Round, up to 30 of the next-highest scoring competitors [among those eligible, who have not already otherwise advanced] will be awarded points based on the following table. To get points for the round, a Competitor must submit a Full Submission and achieve a score greater than zero. If several competitors are tied for a place, they share points for the tied places (i.e. if two competitors are tied for 6th place they’ll each get (40+36)/2 = 38 points).

TCO Marathon Matches

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 100 75 60 50 45 40 36 32 29 26

Place 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Points 24 22 20 18 16 15 14 13 12 11

Place 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Points 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

TCO Lightning Marathon Matches

After each Lightning Online Round, up to 10 of the highest scoring competitors [among those eligible] will be awarded points based on the following table. (Note that, unlike the regular online rounds, winning a lightning round does not guarantee an automatic advancement to the finals)

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 30 20 15 12 9 7 5 3 2 1

The top 50 competitors from each round will earn at least 1 point.

Eight (8) Competitors who will accumulate the most points during all Online Rounds will advance to the onsite Championship Round.

NOTE: In the event of a tie for any advancing position during the Online Rounds, the tie will be resolved in the following manner:

  • The Competitor with the highest Marathon Match rating immediately prior the start of Online Round 1 will advance. If a Competitor was unrated immediately prior the start of Online Round 1, it is assumed that he/she had a rating of zero.
  • If a tie still remains, all remaining tied Competitors will advance.

In the event that a Competitor who has advanced to the onsite Championship Round is unable to attend it, Topcoder may choose to replace this Competitor with another Competitor or to take no action in this regard (thus reducing the total number of onsite Competitors). The choice is made at Topcoder’s sole discretion. In case of replacement choice, the right to attend is passed to the next Competitor who have accumulated the most points during the Online Rounds.

Championship Round

The Championship Round will consist of a single round of competition lasting 10 hours. The winner of the Championship Round will be the Onsite Marathon Competitor with the highest point total during the Championship Round. In the event that Onsite Marathon Competitors are tied at the conclusion of the Championship Round, then the prize money will be distributed equally among the tied Onsite Marathon Competitors.

Marathon Championship Round
Marathon Competition Finals TBD

Please note the online competition round includes 30 minute setup time.

About the Prizes

The Marathon Competition will award cash prizes to the Onsite Marathon Competitors in accordance with the following table:

Onsite Final Winners Prize
Champion $10,000
2nd place $1,500
3rd place $500
Top 150 places based on total points after Online Rounds** TCO T-shirt

* Prize will be awarded at the conclusion of the Onsite Championship Round. Winner must be present at the onsite Championship announcement to receive prize.

** To get the prize, Competitor must have positive points after Online Rounds. In the event of a tie in for the 50th place, all competitors with that score will earn a t-shirt.

These rules may change with or without prior notice.

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