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3832 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2010 8:51 PM by RunNThink RSS
RunNThink Rookie 4 posts since
Aug 1, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 10, 2010 11:04 PM

Is chip timing the norm now at large road races (15,000+ runners)?

Do runners expect it? Our local 6-miler, which has a 37 year history, is debating on whether to go to chip timing (currently only the top 100 men and women are timed). Some say it will take away from the "fun run" mentality of the race. I think runners would appreciate it. The entry fee, which is now only $30, would be raised to $35 if chips were used. Thoughts? Thanks !!

  • runningman400 Legend 191 posts since
    Aug 26, 2009

    It think that its crazy that a race that big doesn't use chip timing already!

     

    I don't think that it makes the race any more competitive if it is chip timed.  If a runner is going to be competitive with other runners, it doesn't matter how the race is timed.  I think it is a courtesy to the runners to offer the service especially if they are paying $30 already.  I have been in quite a few races that were only $20 and had fewer runners and still chipped it.  There are some runners who don't wear watches and rely on the chip, it's not fair to them.

     

    Good luck and I hope the race gets its chips!





    "WITHOUT STRUGGLE, THERE WOULD BE NO PROGRESS" - Frederick  Douglass

    "TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!"

  • JasonFitz1 Legend 572 posts since
    Jun 19, 2009

    I think at this point, most runners expect that their times are accurate. It's standard at most road races, especially large ones.

     

    I've run races tiny (like the Run for the Animals 5k...) and huge (like the NY Marathon) and I've never had a race that didn't use chip timing. For longer races like the half-marathon, which enable you to get guaranteed entry into marathons like NY, I'm almost positive you need chip timing or else it's invalid.

     

    $30 is steep for a race of only 6 miles...

     

    Cheers,

    - Fitz.





    Strength Running
  • crl8686 Legend 1,302 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    In my experience, chip timing is the norm for virtually all large races, at least here in Los Angeles.

     

    I've been racing since 1986 and I'd recommend chip timing for any race of more than a few hundred people. For a larger race, especially a race with thousands of runners, it becomes even more important. If it takes several minutes or more for a reasonable midpack runner to cross the start line, then their finish time doesn't mean much without chip timing.

     

    P. S. To be candid, if I saw a race where only the top 100 men and women were timed, I'd find a different race to run. I consider the "fun run" analogy to be idealistic; if I want an unofficial time, I can do that by just running around my neighborhood. Even as a midpack runner, I look forward to getting an official time on a measured course. Just my opinion.

    Also...here in Los Angeles, $35 for a middle distance race (6 mile or 10K) is pretty much the norm. And I would pay the extra $5 to get an official finishing time.





    2014 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:15

    Friends of the Villa Park Library 5K, Villa Park, CA, 24:10

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 50:31

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 50:29


  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    15,000 without chip timing?

     

    A 10k is more than fun-run length -- these are people who, for the most part, run on a regular basis.

     

    Let's look at it another way -- you're a regular runner, not terribly competitive, but you want to run the 10k and try to set your own PR.  You line up mid-pack at the starting line.  The starting gun is fired, you get pushed forward by the crowd, and you start your stopwatch when you get to the start line.  You run hard, and run great -- certainly a PR if you can keep it up.  Five and some fraction miles later, you know you're near the finish line.  You kick.  You virtually sprint across the finish line, totally spent, and get pushed from behind from other runners finishing.  A volunteer shoves a drink in your hand, another one is trying to get the chip off your shoe and . . .  two, three minutes later, when out of the chute, you remember to turn off your stopwatch.

     

    THAT'S WHY WE WANT CHIP TIMING!





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    Yes, I want chip timing and I'm not a contender.  Its all about getting a qualifying time in the PRR (Peachtree Road Race).   I know some of the smaller runs (2000 people or less) don't do it, but I'd expect any larger race to have it by now.   Especially now since the PRR requires all applicants to submit a qualifying time or be put in the very last Time Group, the official time is important.

     

    BTW, I think $30-$35 is expensive for a race!  The most I've ever paid for any race is $27 and that was for the PRR.  Most races I've run are $20-$25.   Just saying.....





  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    We have a July 4th 5k in the Orlando area that usually attracts a few thousand people that is not chip timed.  It is advertised as a “non-scored fun run” and is also a charity fund raiser.

     

    The only race I ever ran that was not chip timed was a 4 mile beach run that had 200-300 runners.  That was another July 4th weekend event sponsored by a local track club.  There was a clock at the finish line and Runners wrote their own times down on an index card afterwards.

     

    I think there is a place for fun runs like this, but for $30-35 I would expect an official record of my time.





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • JasonCR Pro 70 posts since
    Aug 30, 2008

    (Actually, I'm gonna stay out of this one, nevermind.)





    Just Do It!

  • squeakygirl Legend 557 posts since
    Apr 6, 2010

    crl8686 wrote:

     

     

    P. S. To be candid, if I saw a race where only the top 100 men and women were timed, I'd find a different race to run. I consider the "fun run" analogy to be idealistic; if I want an unofficial time, I can do that by just running around my neighborhood. Even as a midpack runner, I look forward to getting an official time on a measured course. Just my opinion.

     

    Absolutely agreed! I ran a race this past weekend that I paid $27 to run in and did not get an official time because they did not use chips.  By the time I crossed the start line the announcer was saying "we're now 15 seconds into the race..." WHAT? Wait, I haven't even started running yet!  And then, I had a not so great run and felt terrible but relieved when I crossed the finish line, and forgot to stop my stopwatch.  So, they say I ran it in 35:14, the clock said 35:07 when I crossed the finish line, so I really don't know!

     

    I don't think I'll enter another race if I don't know ahead of time what the timing method will be.





    Couch-to-5k Graduate: July 28, 2010

    Complete:

    NK5K - My First 5k as a Runner: 9/11/2010: 34:57

    CVS Downtown 5k: 9/19/10 31:31

    Oceans Run 5k: 9/26/10 31:40

    Newport Federal Pie Run:  11/25/10 (5 miles) 49:04

    Downtown Jingle Bell 5k: 12/5/10 27:37 (A new PR - Woohoo!!!!)

    Upcoming:

    Charleston Half Marathon (My 1st): http://lowcountrymarathon.com/ 1/15/11

    Shape Up RI Half Marathon: http://www.coxrhoderaces.com/ 5/1/2011

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Since this thread started I found out about a “fun run” in my area this weekend.  A local running shop is sponsoring the “race” to celebrate their anniversary and a move to a new location.  The run, which I don’t expect to be formally timed, will be followed by burgers and hot dogs.  I view the event as a bar-b-cue cookout with a 5k run tossed in.  A chance to run with a crowd of like minded people through a nice area on closed streets.  Timing is secondary and only the first few finishers will be recognized. Sounds like fun to me, but then the cost is only $12, which also benefits a charity.

     

    I think it depends on your expectations, the cost of the event, and whether you’re at a point in your running that you can enjoy it without looking at a clock.





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • squeakygirl Legend 557 posts since
    Apr 6, 2010

    rbird wrote:

     

    Since this thread started I found out about a “fun run” in my area this weekend.  A local running shop is sponsoring the “race” to celebrate their anniversary and a move to a new location.  The run, which I don’t expect to be formally timed, will be followed by burgers and hot dogs.  I view the event as a bar-b-cue cookout with a 5k run tossed in.  A chance to run with a crowd of like minded people through a nice area on closed streets.  Timing is secondary and only the first few finishers will be recognized. Sounds like fun to me, but then the cost is only $12, which also benefits a charity.

     

    I think it depends on your expectations, the cost of the event, and whether you’re at a point in your running that you can enjoy it without looking at a clock.

     

    You're right - I would do something like that as well, probably because it's being advertised as a fun run.  But, if it's a formal race - like mine last weekend was supposed to be the "tune-up" race for the big one I'm doing this weekend - they should have formal timing.  For a $12 charitable donation, I'd run and enjoy a hot dog and the camaraderie.





    Couch-to-5k Graduate: July 28, 2010

    Complete:

    NK5K - My First 5k as a Runner: 9/11/2010: 34:57

    CVS Downtown 5k: 9/19/10 31:31

    Oceans Run 5k: 9/26/10 31:40

    Newport Federal Pie Run:  11/25/10 (5 miles) 49:04

    Downtown Jingle Bell 5k: 12/5/10 27:37 (A new PR - Woohoo!!!!)

    Upcoming:

    Charleston Half Marathon (My 1st): http://lowcountrymarathon.com/ 1/15/11

    Shape Up RI Half Marathon: http://www.coxrhoderaces.com/ 5/1/2011

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."

  • Leadville Fan Pro 176 posts since
    Oct 8, 2009

    I love chip timing.  Disposable bib "chips" can be used (they're often secured on the back side of the bib # for packet pickup  and the racer attaches it to the shoe) relatively cheaply.  Using a full size chip for the shoe would cost more.

     

    Our local promoter of a half marathon race does chip timing---and there's only 1,000 people doing the half, 5K& 10K together

     

    I'd actually be upset, if the top people are timed but the rest of  the group isn't "worthy" enough to be timed.   Then it's $30 for a fun run and that's too much, IMO.

     

     

    ETA: My first race in DC was the ST. Pat's 8K. It was disposable chip timed. My first race, I figured most were like this. 

     

    Local (Midwest) 5K races have a HUGE time clock at the finish so you can see what your approximate time is. The folks still take our tag # and give us an official time (they have people keeping track).  Mostly, it doesn't take too long to cross the  start line in these events (50 to 200 people).

     

    My larger races, where entry is more than $20, I expect a chip time.





    adult running life commenced: March 2009

    2012 Rock n Roll USA Marathon 5:28:53 unseasonably hot day, full sunshine, sunburned and dehydrated during race

    Omaha Maraton 5:17: __ yeah, new PR! Too bad the brain got in the way and slowed me down! ---recycled glass finisher medals.

    2011:

    April Fools 5K 32:13.7 age division: 28/71

    7th half: Kansas City Hospital Hill 1/2--this thing is tough, but the heat/humidity were tougher: 2:45:43

    8th half: Park 2 Park 1/2-New PR 2:21 and change

    St. Louis FULL Marathon (my first!!!) Hilly, hilly, course full of turns 5:24

    Sullivan Bros. Veterans' 5K 30:10 New 5K PR

    2010:

    4th half (5/1/10) --ran injured, DUMB move.

    Sullivan Bros. Veteran's 5K/10K (11/2010) 1:07:17.7

    6th half: Vegas half (12/2010) New PR! woot woot. 02:27:58

    2009

    St. Patricks 8K (Wash. D.C.) (3/2009)

    1st half 3:04 (5/2009)

    10K 1:17 (10/31/09) HOT, humid, Kaua'i

    3rd half: Vegas 1/2 (2:34:48) (12/2009)

    I will live my life; life lived in fear is not living. ~~me

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