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The Moorland Road Community Library Virtual Balloon Race is here!

We'd love you to join us on a summer adventure to Timbuku in the Sahara Desert. On Saturday 8th August absolutely no real balloons will be released virtually online at 

You can track your balloon for the 7 day race - there are big prizes for the winners of the race for the balloons that go the furthest, and we've got some book tokens for the top 3 balloons that supports Moorland Road Community Library and goes the furthest.  I wonder where our balloons will go? You'll be able to track the top 100 balloons in the main race and the top 20 Moorland Road Community Library supporters. 

Have a look at our FAQ here for more details and the website has a FAQ page if you get stuck on their website. 

  1. Go to and create an account

  2. Buy your balloons and nominate Moorland Road Community Library as your chosen cause.

  3. Decorate your balloons and choose how much helium and virtual rubber thickness to use.

  4. Wait for launch day to watch the virtual balloon launch to spot your balloon

  5. Track your balloon for 7 days across the desert on the map to see if you are a winner!

Good Luck! 


Where does the money go?

From each £3 balloon, Moorland Road Community Library will receive £2.37.

For every 2 balloons we could add another new book to our shelves, or with 5 balloons we can support and encourage our volunteers or with 10 balloons we can run an event for user groups, like world book day costume making.

Who can take part in this event?

This virtual event is open for everybody to enjoy so families, friends and colleagues can all get involved! If you are under 18, you must get your parent or guardian to purchase a balloon for you.

When does the race start and end?

The race starts at midday on Saturday August 8th 2020 when all the balloons will be ‘released’ from the Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali. Balloons can be bought up until 11.30am on Saturday 8th August. The race ends at midday on Saturday 15th August.

What could you win?

Your balloon will challenge all the other balloons to travel the furthest in 7 days and you could be the lucky winner of one of the following prizes:

1st Prize - £500

2nd Prize - Apple iPad

3rd Prize – 10 x lucky winner Book Vouchers

There will also be special prizes for the top 3 Moorland Road Community Library balloons that travel the furthest. 

How do I find out if I have won?

If you are one of the lucky winners, you will be notified within 7 days of the race finishing and there’s a quick question to answer in your email. 

What is a virtual balloon race?

The race is as real as possible, as the balloons are affected by the actual weather conditions over the 7 days. Once your virtual balloon has been ‘released’ from Timbuktu, you can follow its progress on Google maps and see how it fares against the elements. The race will feature balloons from a number of charities, all competing to see whose will get the furthest!

How do I watch the launch & track my balloon in flight?

Once the balloons are virtually launched (see launch sequence of the Eco Racing Homepage they are subject to a simulated flight pattern based on the actual weather conditions such as the prevailing wind speed and current temperature.

This simulation uses an advanced computer-modelling programme linked to google maps and a commercial weather data supplier, Aeris. By clicking on ‘balloons’ on the race homepage, you will see the leading 100 balloons listed. This information shows straight line distance travelled in kilometres from the launch point, plus the balloon’s latitude and longitude.

Can I raise further funds for Moorland Road Community Library through the balloon race?

Of course, the best thing you can do is tell your friends, family and colleagues and ask them whether they would like to join the race.

Who runs the event?

This event is run by ‘Eco-racing’ and we are taking part I a joint race with other charities on August 8th, however your balloon funds will go towards Moorland Road Community Library.

Where are the Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy?

Eco-racings terms and conditions are located here

and the privacy policy here

Hints and Tips from Eco-racing. . .


When you have created an account and bought balloons for Moorland Road Community Library, you can link through to your personal dashboard you can customise each balloon by changing various parameters of the balloon size, shape and composition to enhance your chances of winning.

Reflecting real life, virtual balloons just like latex ones, cam pop if the balloon parameters are not suited to the weather. For example, maximising helium content in stormy weather is not advised, so looking at the predicted weather for your period prior to customisation helps your chances of winning.

Have fun decorating your Balloon!

Lots more fun can be had decorating your balloon with all sorts of colours, patterns and a personalised message. Remember that you can return back to your dashboard and change elements of your balloon or redecorate as often as you like right up to the race launch time and date.

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