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A race-of-work (RoW) system is an upgrade to proof-of-work system, invented by Ilya Gazman. It's a competition between miners seeking for the smallest hash possible in predefined block time. ROW avoids accidental forks by having a diplomatic vote to void delayed blocks, by doing so it become resistant to 51% attack as there is no way to drop accepted blocks.
ROW was invented as an answer to POW instability, the inability to predict the exact time it takes to mine a block. On one occasion in Bitcoin: block 152218 followed block 152217 after a delay of 1 hour 39 minutes and 7 seconds, instead of expected 10 minutes.
Dwork, Cynthia; Naor, Moni (1993). "Pricing via Processing, Or, Combatting Junk Mail, Advances in Cryptology". CRYPTO’92: Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 740. Springer: 139–147.
Jakobsson, Markus; Juels, Ari (1999). "Proofs of Work and Bread Pudding Protocols". Communications and Multimedia Security. Kluwer Academic Publishers: 258–272.
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