Ultra again providing dependable technology to the worlds iconic eventsThe 2014 Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon was once again timed with Ultra Systems by our largest customer, Ultimate Timing of Denmark. There were more splits along the course and a shiny new app to download that had features that rivaled any other live timing platform in the market today. The app allowed individual runners to be tracked on the race course as if they were wearing a mobile GPS tracker. The live feed of splits were also beautifully displayed on a easy to use grid. To see for yourself download the app from iTunes or go to the NCM website. Ultimate CEO Morten Toft reported that the read rates of the tags using Ultra were almost too good to be true at pretty much 100% along the 5km split points, start and finish lines. This has reinforced their decision to invest heavily in RFID Race Timing’s technology for the coming years.
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May is one of the busiest times on the timing calendar and kicked off with the Nike She Runs in Sydney during Saturday evening of the 3rd May. Over 6000 ladies took part in the run that focused on having fun with a party atmosphere at the end. Timing points were linked to realtime social media posts giving each runner an individual experience that could be tracked by friends and family. When it came to providing cutting edge technology RFID Race Timing Systems were chosen above the other players in the market.
RFID Race Timing Systems was used this year to time the 27th annual Mt Kinabalu Climbathon on the island of Sabah, Malaysia on October 18-19. The event was timed by RFID Race Timing Malaysia based in KL using Ultra and side antennas with the re-useable UltraTag. After 12km the runners reached Mt Kinabalu at 4095m above sea level and returned to the finish line for a total of 23km. The course is one of the toughest around with temperatures ranging from very hot and humid at the start/finish to near freezing at the summit. Almost 600 hardy trail runners competed this year and an in-depth race report with photos can be found here.
In what has become as big a tradition as eating turkey and pumpkin pie, runners came out in their tens of thousands to run in Turkey Trots all over North America as part of Thanksgiving Day on the 28th November. Over 50 races were timed with RFID Race Timing Systems Equipment (that we know of) on the same day with some events attracting up to 6000 runners. In terms of shear numbers of runners this is the biggest weekend in North America for timers due to the huge number of regional events on the Thanksgiving national holiday.
Whilst mass cycling events are mainstream in Europe, South Africa and Australia, they are still only developing in the USA. Italian company KronService SRL contracted Accuchip Timing to time their inaugural Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia at Coral Cables in Florida. The event had a strong Italian theme with the odd Ferrari being seen amongst the parade.
Over 1500 riders competed over one of three distances, the longest being 108 miles. The timing system used was Ultra and disposable transponders – the same setup used for Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia Beverly Hills (CA) seven days earlier. This setup is fast becoming the standard for timing and tracking mass cycling events including the 2013 Around the Bay in a Day with 16,000 bikes and the upcoming Tour Down Under with 6500 bikes.
RFID Race Timing Systems is pleased to announce that this years timing conference will be held at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Riga, Latvia on the 17 and 18 September. Come along and here the latest technology developments from RFID Race Timing Systems as well as other invited speakers discussing ways to improve your timing business. The event kicks off with welcome drinks and food on the Tuesday night followed by a full days conference on the Wednesday. This is a fully catered function so all attendees must register with us by email. Rooms should be booked by attendees directly with the hotel at the soonest convenience to avoid disappointment.
The Battery Assisted Passive (or BAP) tag really got UHF Gen 2 technology going with sports timing since the tags could be placed very close to the runners skin without any degradation in read performance. The BAP derives it’s power from a patented liquid battery that kept the integrated circuit in a wake state so that more precious back-scatter energy could be used in the tags transmission rather than wasted powering up the internal circuits. The BAP was still not technically an active tag.
There were two things that killed the BAP as a viable tag for sports timing. Firstly the cost of the BAP at around $1 made it an expensive tag to use compared to the smaller and cheaper passive Gen 2 tags coming out from UPM (now Smartrac) and Alien. Secondly the passive Gen 2 tags improved greatly in read sensitivity thanks to the development of the Monza 4 (and now Monza 5) and Higgs 3 integrated circuit. Passive tags still struggle to read when directly placed on the skin but the separation needed (using a foam spacer) is a lot less these days and does not really bother either the runner or the race organizer. The company PowerID that developed the PowerT BAP went into a hiatus and no longer sells the tag. RFID Race Timing Systems was involved in the early days testing and fine tuning the PowerT but like many R&D projects, this solution turned out to be a dead end. Today the Smartrac and Alien Gen 2 tags are used in the bulk of timed events using UHF technology.
We are pleased to announce that next year’s biennial RFID Race Timing Systems Conference will be held in San Antonio (Texas) at the Emily Morgan Hotel between Sunday Feb 2 and Tuesday Feb 4, 2014.
This is an opportunity for you to find out about the latest technology developments in sports timing as well as methods and strategies to get the most out of the equipment and software. The focus of the conference will be about ‘improving my timing business’ and is a must for all timers looking to grow and expand their business. The format follows that of previous conferences with a Sunday evening cocktail party followed by 1.5 days of structured seminars and dinners. This unique hotel venue is opposite the historic Alamo and famous River Walk so there is plenty to see and do after the conference.
More information on the agenda will be released closer to the conference date.
The 2013 HBF Run for a Reason is particularly special to RFID Race Timing Systems given it is on our doorstep here in beautiful Perth. This year we were contracted to time and report the results of over 29,500 entered runners and walkers using a 12m start line and 16m finish line in a novel finishing environment – a horse trotting track.
The setup with Ultra and disposable transponders worked flawlessly and the weather was close to perfect at a time of year that can sometime see winter storms emerge from the nearby Indian Ocean. The race is primarily a charity event where runners can choose to donate to any number of charities and over 1.3 million dollars was raised. This event has grown from just over 10,000 runners in 2010 to one of the countries biggest fun runs. A great video of the event can be seen here.
11,000 hardy souls competed in the Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon. Despite the wet conditions good times were posted with the event eventually won by Rachid Kirsi of Morocco (2:17:22) and Anne-Mette Aagaard of Denmark (2:44:12).
The event was timed by Ultimate Timing (DK) using 23 Ultra8 units, all feeding data over the cellphone network to a live tracker that showed where the runners were on a map of the course.
RFID Race Timing Systems Outreach software was used as the backbone for these live transmissions of times. The web interface developed by Ultimate Timing was particularly impressive given the position on the map of the lead runners correlated exactly to where they could be seen on the live video feed. Race organisers Sparta were more than happy with the service as were the athletes and spectators that came out to play.