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Old September 17th, 2014, 01:57 AM   #33
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1,098

Originally Posted by wm_b View Post
Thanks for the explanation. I didn't know timing chips were so costly. Seems ripe for an alternative. I'd say that for the first time I wasn't too concerned with my actual time. I've done this race enough to know how much weather influences the times. 2012 made the course seem deceptively easy where 2013 nearly brought everyone to their knees.
The chips themselves aren't terribly costly (especially if they are turned in and reused). It's the equipment that reads them. And if you need the equipment that reads them well enough to distinguish placement it more expensive. And if you need to distinguish people within tenths of a second the reading equipment and chips get more costly.

Actually, if you just wanted timing chips the reading equipment could probably be had for $10,000 (all the equipment, new, to own), and the chips could be replaced with disposable RFID tags which are less than $5 apiece. However, that wouldn't be good enough for placement. Perhaps there could be a camera system for placement (gun to line) and chip system for times +- 10 seconds (line to line). That might be good enough for most people, although the race results would have to come with a disclaimer about why people's placement don't match perfectly with their times.

I did a 5K run/walk with some family members this past summer. They had RFID in the bibs. I crossed the line right with my uncle, but the official time had me 6 seconds behind. That's good enough for me to get an idea of my pace if I cared at all, but not good enough to determine placement.
You don't improve by training until it hurts; you improve by training after it hurts.

I love the phrase "I quit". It beats more of my opponents than I do.
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