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2011 Newburgh Beacon Bridge Run by Bob Kopac
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Chip vs. Gun times at the Classic

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Most large races use chip timing as well as gun times. Gun times are used to calculate overall place and awards and are thought of as the “official” race times.

Chip times are used to determine the time it takes the runner to get to the START line; in large races, it may take some of the runners at the back of the starting pack a  few seconds or even a few minutes before the running crowd ahead clears enough to even get to the starting line.

The 2012 Classic was the first time MHRRC tried to use chip times in a large race to calculate both start and finish times and we brought in extra equipment and an extra scorer to try to bring you both gun times and chip times on the final reports. Unfortunately, the scoring team messed up a bit on this one and we do not have much faith in the chip times for the 2012 Classic 5K (for lots of technical reasons that I don’t need to go into here and would bore you to death). The fact that your chip time was faster than your gun time tells you that it took the difference in times to get to the start line and really run the race.

For the 5K race, some of the chip times were MUCH faster than the gun times. Therefore, we called in a professional scorer, Gail Sherry, who also provided the equipment at the start line. Gail was able to use our runner data and timing data to re-score the 5K race on her software to get us the chip times. Unfortunately, the data is a big text file and there is no way to copy/paste Gail's chip times into the results we publish on this web site. Deborah manually changed the chip times of some of the first 5K runners based on Gail's report, but realized that it would take hours of painful typing to get all of the chip times into the results (which start out as output from our scoring software, is converted to Excel, and then published on the web site as a PDF file).

Some of you may be really curious about your chip times. If you email Deborah at webmaster@mhrrc.org, I can email back the text file with the accurate chip times from Gail's back-up scoring system for the 5K.

The scoring team is committed to getting better on all of this and we will be tracking down what happened and practicing some more. Our goal is to have flawless scoring and we fell a bit short with the chip times for the 5K and some missing runners on the original results in the Half. The corrected Half results are now on this web site, thanks to some fancy and difficult work by Vince yesterday.


Note: Photo is by Bob Kopac of Classic 5K winner Tom Delaney.


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