Chips anyone?

How important is Chip Timing to runners?

20 messages
15/03/2012 at 15:59

Hi All, I'm curious to know how important it is to runners for an event to have chip timing.

We (our local primary school PTFA) are in the early stages of planning our annual 10k (in October 2012). Its our 7th year organising the event and (even though I say so myself) we do a reasonably good job - our feedback is generally very good.

Should we upgrade to chip timing? ... I'm researching at the moment, and am wondering actually, how important is chip timing to runners? Would you choose a chip timed event over an old fashioned manually timed event?

Would love to hear any views ...

15/03/2012 at 16:12
I guess it depends on the size of the field - I normally do a local 5k series that doesn't use chips, and I only realised when writing this response. As its a small field (less than 500 runners) it doesn't bother me as I know I cross the start line within a few seconds of the gun.

For the larger races, I would be slightly annoyed as it can take some time to get over the start mat, so the clock time is significantly more than my chip time.

I don't race for the position, I race to achieve personal bests - so its nice to have a published time that shows how long it took me to complete the distance.
15/03/2012 at 16:36

I do prefer chip timed events, those few seconds matter

Most seem to have chipped timing these days - I can't remember the last race I did without chips, and I'm talking about local races organised by PTAs, Rotary Club, running clubs.

15/03/2012 at 17:03
stutyr wrote (see)
I guess it depends on the size of the field - I normally do a local 5k series that doesn't use chips, and I only realised when writing this response. As its a small field (less than 500 runners) it doesn't bother me as I know I cross the start line within a few seconds of the gun. For the larger races, I would be slightly annoyed as it can take some time to get over the start mat, so the clock time is significantly more than my chip time. I don't race for the position, I race to achieve personal bests - so its nice to have a published time that shows how long it took me to complete the distance.
^^ My thoughts/feeling exactly.
15/03/2012 at 17:11
CLC Striders' 10k used a man with a stopwatch and a clipboard. Seemed to work rather well.

In terms of using times for qualification for subsequent events, chip time is irrelevant, isn't it?
15/03/2012 at 17:39

for small local events I don't think it matters much - and if the use of chip timing pushed the price up a lot then you might get less people entering - I am thinking here of a 10K run by a local primary I did last year - it cost about £10 or something to enter, no chip timing but a great event.

to be honest, I don't look to see whether an event has chip timing before I sign up for it

15/03/2012 at 18:18

I doubt if the majority of those who enter your race would expect chip timing - I imagine that they enter to support the school, therefore chip timing is not so important to them.

If you provide chip timing, then you'd have to make sure that you provide all the other facilities that go along with that kind of a race - maybe you already do, but if not, you might find you attract more people with the chip timing, but equally, they expect more from you.

Our village has been running a 10k for the last few years.  Initial timing was two people standing at the end of the race, each with a stop watch, pad and pencil, taking it in turns to record the timing.

I'm not sure that it's changed much, but entries pretty much double each year and no-one complains! 

15/03/2012 at 18:30
A chip isn't that important in a local race, as well as it's well organised. Cake is, though...
15/03/2012 at 21:14
I would not expect a small charity race to have chip timing. Keep the entrance fee lower instead. I think being better organised with water etc is much more important. Personally I also like a medal but I'm probably in a minority with that one!
15/03/2012 at 21:40
if it is a big race chip timing could be used but smalls ones does not matter
cougie    pirate
15/03/2012 at 21:47
This was asked a few weeks ago too. Small events don't need chip timing.
15/03/2012 at 22:01

Anything less than two female virgins placing a laurel garland upon the nobel brow of the winner and your getting reported to the UKA.

Oh yes and a pit for the burial of the ritually slaughtered losers.

(This is not strictly needed but it adds an incentive and it is for charity)

15/03/2012 at 22:29
Gun time is the only one that counts.
16/03/2012 at 14:21

Gun time how charmingly retro

Can I chuck in a nice cinder track ?

cougie    pirate
16/03/2012 at 15:25
Gun time Schmun time. If the London Marathon accept chip times (and they do) then that's good for me.

(unless you're out to win the race - in that case - yes it is gun time)
17/03/2012 at 16:47
Chip time is only important in bigger races where it would take a while to get over the start line or get your number recorded at the end!!!
18/03/2012 at 19:18
I both organise and time races on behalf of other organisers so have a vested interest.
I use chip timing developed by a colleague and myself. So farly inexpensive.
I think that once runners have experience of chip timing they seem to prefer it. It does cut down the number of volunteer helpers and time to get results out. Bar coding, pen and paper are all good but overall less accurate and time consuming
Thanks
Maurice
19/03/2012 at 12:18

i prefer chip timing...but certainly dont check before i register.  I would rather you kept the costs lower. 

but if your entry fee is high there will be an expectation for all the race trimmings and chip timing would fall in to that category.

Chip timings are only needed for me if its a premier event - eg flat and fast so people will target it for a PB or a big field so it takes a long time to cross the start.

19/03/2012 at 18:23
It can be important in so much that an accurate published time is something that can get you a good for age place in a big city marathon or in the front pen at a race like Bath Half.

Was pretty impressed with the 'b-tag' timing in the NYC marathon last year, no chips necessary as the tech is embedded in you race bib/number
21/03/2012 at 20:46

Don't bother with chip timing, it pushes the costs up and isn't really needed.

I only run one or two chip timed races a year at most. Until UKA started using the chip times for rankings I never really bothered with them. Interesting, but gun time is the only one that counts. I can just see chip timed fell races! What happens when the heather rips your chip off?


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