May 29, 2012

HBF Run For Reason 2012

With perfect Perth weather on Sunday 27 May, the 2012 HBF Run for Reason attracted over 20,000 runners, walkers and joggers for the annual event. Staged over the 14km or 4km distances, participants succeeded in raising over $720,000 for the affiliated charities making their way along the scenic Perth CBD courses.

BlueChip Timing timed the event using the ULTRA system from RFID Race Timing Systems. The low profile mats and the power of the ULTRA system make a great combination for large participation running events. Mass starts are no problem with the readers able to sustainably reads of over 300 tags per second. This is the third year ULTRA has been used at the HBF Run for Reason and the organizers and athletes love the simplicity of low cost disposable transponders.


You can see more photos and video of the event at the HBF Run for Reason site.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
May 16, 2012

Tech Talk – One tag Vs Two?

As there is a lot of confusion out there in the timing world in regard to how many tags are needed to successfully time races with the claim “we are best because we only need one tag” touted by some manufacturers.

So in typical RFID Race Timing fashion we aim to clear the smoke and mirrors that these other manufacturers persist  on using and explain the facts as they are.

Anyone who is involved in timing knows this business centrally revolves around risk management. In any mission critical system, the more layers of redundancy, means the risk of something catastrophic going wrong is reduced. The fact that we employ double lines for mass participant starts, patch antenna in the post finish area, manual backup, etc all aim to get race day read statistics closer to the magic 100%.

No system is 100% and those that claim this, are simply not speaking the truth for one reason – The readability of tags at a particular point in time is influenced by the human participants that are wearing them.

Whether the competitor has decided to wear their bib incorrectly, put it in their pocket, carry it in their hand, or even mount it over a large stomach, all of these actions will reduce the RFID signal and possibly prevent a reliable read. The more chances you have in grabbing a read the less chances of missing athletes! Its as simple as that.

The decision to double tag competitors is also part of this equation. It means that the timer doubles the chance of capturing the athlete. When we analyse the data collected in a double tag event we notice that the reads from tag one will happily deliver us with read percentages around the 99.5% mark. The remaining 0.5% is the human effect. The second tag raises the bar and gets us up to better than 99.95% read  rate. At RFID we are always pushing towards that magic mark of perfection: 100%. That’s why we recommend double tagging and because of the low cost structure of tags it is not that more expensive.

This decision, however is entirely at the discretion of the timers, and they need to assess the risk factors presented to each event. Factors like what are the weather conditions, how many participants, density of participants, hardware setup, manual backup available, even the nature of the competitors.

In a recent news item about a major US Marathon, the manufacturer of the system boasting about using single tags stated, “that they did not miss one athlete….in the elite section”. This was certainly choosing words carefully, the elite being an infinitely smaller field (29 entrants of which 18 posted finish times). The same claim was not extended to the whole field of twenty two thousand other competitors!

How many were missed here?

The difference between 99.5 and 99.95 over the 22,500 participants is 100 people going home without a time. If this is acceptable then one tag is just fine, but if you are the athlete, seriously is an extra 30 cents good insurance against being missed ? (that would of course be $1 plus with the other systems due to their inflated tag prices).

The bottom line is all systems will work with one tag. All the main manufacturers are using quality components and in reality their technical abilities are all reasonably similar. So there is no dramatic advantage of one system over another with regard to tag numbers.

It all depends on what the timer is prepared to live with in regards to missed reads, and what redundancies they have in place. Risk management must take all the factors into account, and if price constraints mean that only one tag is called for then other redundancies must be in place to ensure that tags are read to a satisfactory percentage.

At the end of the race the questions have to be answered to those with missed times.

Are you prepared to tell them it happened because you decided to skimp on 30 cents?


Post note. RFID Race timing has no financial agenda in selling more tags as we sell an open system capable of reading any Gen 2 RFID tag on the market. Our motivation in double tagging is in providing our timers with the knowledge so they can do all in their power to provide an excellent service aiming at perfection.

RFID News, Tech Talk, Uncategorized
May 7, 2012

2012 Busselton Ironman 70.3

The weather gods relented on Saturday morning 5th May 2012, opening a window of opportunity for the 2012 Busselton 70.3 Ironman event – The largest half-ironman in Australia!! Thunderstorms and heavy rain the night before painted a bleak picture for competitors, however with the last showers disappearing before dawn the sun was out for the event. The wild weather was not without consequence with an onshore swell making the swim conditions tough for the modified 1.8km course.

BlueChip timing has timed this event for the past few years and were prepared for almost anything. Using RFID Race Timing equipment, Stuart Fuller and his team managed a combination of products for the event. All competitors were issued a low frequency transponder chip and read by the HDD for the swim and run legs, while the ULTRA combined with disposable tags on a bike seat sticker monitored the cycle leg and splits. Using the ULTRA in this way negated the need for mats on the cycle course with side antenna capturing the action.

Congratulations go to  Ironman 70.3 Busselton Champions for 2012 – James Hodge and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan.

Check out the great video footage here.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
May 7, 2012

RFID ULTRA and the Flying Pigs

Over the weekend of the 5th and 6th May 2012, was the running of the 14th Cincinnati Flying Pigs Marathon. In the prelude to the main event, the 10km, 5km, the  Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon and the Flying Piglet Kids’ Fun Run were held on the Saturday and totaled almost 10,000 competitors in the lead-up to the big event. On Sunday the marathon and half marathon distances attracted just under 20,000 bringing a record total for the weekend to 30,993.

In almost perfect conditions Josh Drew from the End Result Company timed the races with RFID Race Timing’s ULTRA systems. ULTRAs were used at the start, finish and splits capturing the disposable tags on the runner’s bibs. A new race for Josh, but he was confident that ULTRA could deliver, with low profile mats and powerful tag readers, there was never any doubt.

Check out some more great photos here as well as the video footage of the Marathon


Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
May 3, 2012

ULTRA weekend in Norway

Over the weekend of the 28-29 April 2012, RFID Race Timing’s ULTRA timing system was chalking up some impressive races in Norway. On one side of the country Josh Lisac of ToppTid was timing the Bergen City Marathon, while in Oslo Morton Toft of Ultimate Timing was taking care of the timing service at  Sentrumsløpet.

Sentrumsløpet was first run in 1981 with just over 1800 and has grown to over 9000 runners in 2012 making it Oslo’s largest running event.

The Bergen City Marathon had well over 1000 runners split over multiple distances (full marathon, half, and 3km), an event similar in setup and size to the  Holmestrand Marathon that ToppTid timed 2 weeks before.

”We experienced very, very high read rates at both races.  The ultras are easy to setup and can handle massive volumes of runners.  I am very impressed with their quality and look forward using them in the future!”  was the feedback from Josh Lisac.

For some more great photos and report of the 2012 Sentrumsløpet follow this link.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
May 1, 2012

RENTA Oberelbe-Marathon 2012

The magnificent RENATA Oberelbe-Marathon was run on the 29th April 2012 in picture perfect conditions. The course takes advantage of the wonderful country-side and beautiful bike trail along the Elbe River into the city of Konigstein. Offering marathon, half marathon, 10km and a fun event distance; a wide range of runners were able to enjoy the course.

Baer Service in Germany supplied the timing services for the day using the Ultra system from RFID Race Timing. By using the ULTRA system Baer Service were able to use disposable RFID tags with this event rather than reusable tags as in the previous years. This resulted in a more efficient way of timing the event. Tag allocation and collection post race was no longer required as the RFID stickers were attached to the runner’s bib.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
April 30, 2012

Outreach is proving a real hit with timers.

Outreach is the new communication software from RFID Race Timing. Since its launch in January this year, timers around the world have quickly come to realise its value to their timing businesses.

This clever software allows the timer to communicate with a number of ULTRA timing units via modem through the cellular network. Once the unit has been set up it can be connected to from anywhere in the world.

This amazing tool now allows remote units to stream live data to a central computer as a race unfolds. No longer does the timer have to wait until after the event to retrieve the timing units and rewind the data. It now arrives instantly. This in turn allows for additional services to be offered, such as live tracking on the web, whereby spectators can follow the an athlete’s progress throughout the race on a mobile phone or computer.

The other amazing feature of this software is its ability to control units remotely. In the same manner that data is collected, commands from the main computer can be sent to the ULTRA units altering their settings at any point duriing the event. This is a fantastic option for timers to be able to fine tune their equipment during an event from one location.

For more information on how Outreach can improve your timing service contact your local agent.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
April 30, 2012

Greater Manchester Marathon 2012

The weather gods turned on “something special even for Manchester”  for the 2012 Greater Manchester Marathon after an absence of 10years.

In wet and windy conditions just under 5000 runners took to the start line to brave the elements, with the winner Dave Norton toughing it out in 2hrs 24mins and 46sec.

The Greater Manchester Marathon was timed by STUWEB Race Timing with state of the art UHF disposable timing chips.

Combining the practicality of disposable chips with the power of RFID Race Timing’s UlLTRA systems, the timing did not miss a beat.  In spite of the horrid conditions all the equipment worked like a charm with split point times provided along the way at 6, 10, 13.1 (half marathon), 20 miles and the finish.

Check out the photos and read more at: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1492405_replay-runners-battle-wind-and-rain-in-manchester-marathon—video-and-pictures


Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
April 13, 2012

ULTRA debut in China

RFID Race Timing has arrived in China with Genco Jin of Sydex timing two events for the Da Li Sports Council over the weekend 6-8th April, 2012. The versatility of RFID Race Timing System’s ULTRA was demonstrated timing a 5 km fun run for 3500 finishers on the Friday and following up with a 40km cycle race for 870 riders on Sunday.

Genco was very pleased with the way the ULTRA system performed.

“By using ULTRA and Outreach we were able to provide fast live timing results to  the Sports Council, who were very happy with the level of service.”

RFID Race timing’s remote access software (Outreach) has dramatically increased the options available to race timers. In this instance, an ULTRA unit controlled via Outreach was used at the cycle turnaround, and was able to send live results to the control centre over the cellular phone network. In addition to streaming results, settings can also be adjusted remotely as the race unfolds. Several units can be linked in this way allowing results to be updated live as the race unfolds.

We look forward to seeing many more races timed in China using ULTRA, with our agent Genco Jin very optimistic of the opportunities that are unfolding. Prospective timers in China can find Genco’s contact details here, and more about our Outreach software by contacting you local RFID Timing agent.

Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized
March 27, 2012

Qatar National Sports Day Fun Run

When the Government of Qatar announced that the second Tuesday of February was National Sports Day, the region truly began to embrace its sporting culture.

The national sports facility of Qatar, The Aspire Zone Foundation organised a 4km fun run at the Khalifa Stadium to mark the occasion. RFID Timing’s HDD system was used to time the event as part of a partnership between the Aspire Zone Foundation and StuWeb Race Timing.

The event was unique being completely free and attracting a diverse range of participants.  A truly multicultural event; the entries were received  in many different languages and the runners ranged from Qatar’s cleaners to chief executives.

The high level of community support made  first National Sports Day event a great success, fueling the desire for more events.  The next  race planned by the Aspire Zone Foundation is a tower run in the famous Torch Hotel ascending  51 floors on the 31st March 2012.


Recent Events, RFID News, Uncategorized