Race Timing Systems - Help please !!

Are there alternatives to "racing chips" to provide accuarate race times ?

17 messages
16/09/2013 at 16:52

Hi I am running my second 10k race this Sunday, but there is no chip attached to my racing number. The organisers advise that they are using a "new system" which does not use timing chips. Can anyone advise what other methods are used to provide accurate race times. I assume they will give me something to wear on the day ?

Thanks for your help


cougie    pirate
16/09/2013 at 16:54
All the timing systems I've used were given out before the day. It's a nightmare to have the staff there to hand out chips on the day itself - unless its a small race ?

Is the number just a plain paper number - or is there a foil surround on the back ?
16/09/2013 at 16:57

Hi Cougie,

The number is just plain - it has been printed by "Running Imp" if that helps ? I seem to think they may do timing systems ?

cougie    pirate
16/09/2013 at 16:59
I think they do - but if its just plain paper - its probably not going to work.

Take your stopwatch and start it as you cross the line and stop it when you finish.
It might not be your official time but it will be useful to you for reference.

What is the race ?
16/09/2013 at 17:01

Thanks - Its the Walsall (West Midlands) 10K run organised by Rotary Club - from what I can see they had a big turn our last year.

16/09/2013 at 19:54

Dunno if the park run system is used in any other races. That might count as 'new'

cougie    pirate
17/09/2013 at 09:55
Park run system doesn't give true chip times though does it - it's all time from the gun ?

This one seems to be down as a Fun Run so I think it might not be 100% accurate anyway ?
25/10/2013 at 14:56

In the same boat for the Capesthorne Hall Half Marathon coming up on November 3rd, last time the chip was part of the race number, this time there was simply the number on the paper and no chip or mention of one being allocated later

Apparently in this instance it's based on the number of entrants so presumably the hire of the chip timing equipment is based on financials and there are insufficient numbers of runners to make it worthwhile for this race

I assume it's going to be a case of gun time and that I'll need to time myself to be more accurate, unless they have some way of checking the time you cross the start and finish line without a chip

cougie    pirate
25/10/2013 at 15:44
Did John ever come back and tell us what the timing system was ?

Chip timing is relatively new for races - I've only been running 12 years and there are a lot more races using chips than there used to be. Robin - I bet they'll just use gun time.
25/10/2013 at 16:15

A fancy 'new' timing system - fire a gun to start it, then have a bloke with a clipboard and stopwatch making notes at the finish 

It's how it always used to be done!

If it's not a huge event, it should be reasonably accurate.  

25/10/2013 at 16:48

I come from a time when all there'd be was a bloke counting aloud.

25/10/2013 at 17:00

1 word ...... sundial ...... (or is that two words?)

Edited: 25/10/2013 at 17:03
25/10/2013 at 17:13

If you go to some big XC meetings, you'll see a trio of old guys with watches and clipboards who'll deal with dozens of runners finishing within fractions of each other.

No problem with accuracy.

No chips involved except later with fish down the shop.

25/10/2013 at 17:18
RicF wrote (see)


No chips involved except later with fish down the shop.

Lets leave the gags to the professionals hey Ric?


25/10/2013 at 18:49

There is disposable timing 'chips' around

at mablethorpe marathon they had double sided paper that wrapped round your shoe lace.

seemed pretty cheap but accurate none the less. 

25/10/2013 at 19:48

There was a kind of plastic strip thing which you threaded through your laces and was supposed be a chip at a couple of events I did this year.  It kept undoing itself, though - not very secure unless you turned it so that the join was under the laces.

It seemed accurate enough to me.  It did come with the number, though.

29/10/2013 at 14:45

The last couple I've had, have had strips attached to the back of the race number

I think what's disappointed people about Capesthorne is that it was advertised as "chip timed" still I'm not too fussed, like The Real Mr I said, they'd probably be better off using a sun dial for me or in this inclement weather a water clock or suchlike

Many thanks for the replies

Edited: 29/10/2013 at 14:45

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