April 11, 2017 Cheat Sheet for Marathon Competitions at Topcoder
Marathon Matches have been around for over a decade. On one hand, this means that they are a well-known competition format, and there is plenty of information about them. On the other hand, this information might be hard to find for a newcomer, so approaching them might seem like a daunting task. I’ve put together some links useful for starting with Marathons.
Introducing Marathon Matches has always been a popular topic; here are a few introductions:
- Official intro gives a very high-level overview.
- Historic intro was written about ten years ago and is a great place to get a feel for the format. However, keep in mind that some of the facts mentioned might be no longer valid.
- Modern intro by fellow blogger gorbunov is a yet another view at the format.
Here is a list of several useful links:
- Active matches
- Marathon Local Tester Parameters
- Writing a Marathon Tester
- Marathon Practice Match: SnakeCharmer
You can track upcoming events at Events Calendar.
You can view the list of past challenges to get familiar with the kinds of problems usually offered. Then you can practice solving some of the past fun Marathons (those that have the format “Marathon Match 89”, “Marathon Match 90”, etc.) or jump into the Marathon Match Practice: SnakeCharmer to prepare for your first participation.
If you need some hints about how to approach the problems, there are lots of tutorials available:
- Marathon tutorials are older but they offer (another) high-level intro to the format.
- Marathon Matches Forums
- Marathon Match Articles