Triathlon and Multisport events contain mutiple times (or splits) along the course. This presents unique problems for timing because the transponder must be able to be read in a wide range of environments range from salt water to mud. In the past most events were timed with low frequency or active RFID systems and the RFID Race Timing Systems legacy HDD System has timed many world class events using 134KHz technology. However with recent advances in UHF technology the Ultra system is now perfectly suited for timing triathlon.


In a standard triathlon a common transition area is used to change from swim to bike and bike to run. The finish line is usually situated outside the transition area. The setup with required equipment may look like this.

Recommended System

The transponder should be worn on the ankle using either a neoprene ankle strap (reuseable) or disposable PET (or Tyvek) adhesive strap. We recommend the Hutag as a reuseable transponder. If a disposable solution is required then we recommend using the foam backed tags be put on the inside of the adhesive strap. Transponders are read using a combination of mat and side antennas. Most triathlon splits only require 2m (6ft) width so an Ultra4 with 2 side antennas and 2 Ultramats is all that is required per timing point. Most triathlons of 200+ participants require 3 separate Ultra4 systems but a small race can time all splits using a single Ultra4 if athletes pass through the same timing point.

For data connectivity we recommend using Ultra systems fitted with the 3G modem option so that data can be sent to the finish line in real time using Outreach. Some timers also use wireless links like Ubiquiti to send the data. Both techniques negate the need for cabling between the timing points which greatly assists with setup.

Triathlon and Multisport Events Using RFID Race Timing Systems

Augusta Adenture Race (AUS), Bala Triathlon (UK), Bintan Triathlon (IND), Bintan 70.3 (IND), Busselton Half Ironman (AUS), Capital View Triathlon (USA), , Challenge Vietnam (VIE), Cystal Palace Triathlon (UK), Devonport Triathlon (AUS), Joroinen Triathlon (FIN), MettaSport Series (SIN), Noosa Triathlon (AUS), Norseman Triathlon (NOR), Xterra Fruita (USA).