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Newbie to Racing (Read 118 times)

pedaling fool


    I'm somewhat new to running and completely new to running at race events. I will be running my first race in Jacksonville, Fl at the 15K Gate River Run (March 9, 2013). I was looking at previous times and noticed there are two finish times: Chip Time & Gun Pace.

     

    What is that all about? Even the top finisher had a difference of one second, but if you look down the list the difference gets significantly larger. So which time takes precedent?

     

    Here's the list from 2012   http://www.gate-riverrun.com/grr12ageres.htm

     

     

    Also, those split times, are they determined by the chip?

      Everyone's gun time starts when the gun is fired.  Chip time starts when a person crosses the starting line.  For instance, if you start at the back of the pack in a big race, it could take a minute or two before you get to the actual starting line.  If it takes 1:22 from the time the gun is fired until you cross the starting line, there will be a difference of 1:22 between your gun time and chip time.

      pedaling fool


        Everyone's gun time starts when the gun is fired.  Chip time starts when a person crosses the starting line.  For instance, if you start at the back of the pack in a big race, it could take a minute or two before you get to the actual starting line.  If it takes 1:22 from the time the gun is fired until you cross the starting line, there will be a difference of 1:22 between your gun time and chip time.

         

        OK, thanks, but I got another stupid newbie question. Why have a "Gun Time"?

        ilanarama


        Hi, Mom!

          The reason for gun times is so that actual racing can be done against others, not just the clock.  Most races award OA finish medals based on gun time, so that if you cross the finish line first, you WILL be the winner - even if someone else started 5 seconds behind you and finished 2 seconds behind you (beating your chip time by 3 seconds).

          PRs: 10 1:12:59 (4/2014) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

          Last: Dead Horse 50K 10/18: 5:58 | Next: Turkey Trot?

          bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org


          day after day sameness

             

            OK, thanks, but I got another stupid newbie question. Why have a "Gun Time"?

             

            Because by the formal rules of USATF for road racing -- the gun time is the only official time.  The chip time is just to assist runners in knowing how long it took the to run the course from start line to finish line.  Their race time is how long it took the runner to complete the race from the time the gun fired until they crossed the finish line, ie, gun time.

             

            The winner is done by gun time.  Notice in your linked listing that the placing order is the "Time" column and not the "Chip Time".

             

            USATF Rule 245.1: "The order in which the athletes cross the finish line will be the official finish position."

             

            Let's picture 2 runners.  Runnner1 crosses the finish line 45:00 from when they fired gun, ran a gun time of 45:00 and finished the race at 10:00AM.  Runner2 took a nap, ate a bagel and then started the race at 10:05AM (long after Runner1 has finished) and runs a chip time of 44:00 -- so it took Runner2 44:00 to go from start to finish.  But Runner2 finished the race at 10:49AM.  Who won?  Runner1 was the fist person over the line and through the tape.

             

            USATF Rule 245.3: "The actual time elapsed between an athlete reaching the starting line and finish line (in other words, chip time) can be made known to the athlete, but will not be considered as official time."

             

            At large races with their wave starts, corals, etc, it isn't reasonably possible to have everyone place on gun time -- so they post results by chip time.

            Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

            pedaling fool


              I know this is probably not a very interesting topic to all you seasoned veterans. However, to me it's very interesting, because the way it's been explained is that someone can beat a person's time as measured by the chip, but because that faster person started back in the pack and had a little wait to cross the official start line, which activates the chip time, then that person is not placed according to their real time, rather the gun time. Not that it really matters to me, just find it curious as a newbie, but I'll probably be as jaded as the rest of you in a year or so Big grin

               

              BTW, MilkTruck said this, "At large races with their wave starts, corals, etc, it isn't reasonably possible to have everyone place on gun time -- so they post results by chip time."

               

              I understand, that's why I was wondering, because this is a very large race, at least 15,000 participants; so large that the top 5,000 runners are seeded. http://www.gate-riverrun.com/qualifying.htm

               

              I just find it amazing that someone in the unseeded zone can complete in a time under a seeded person, but be placed at a lower placing in the final results. Or even a seeded person towards the back can be relegated to a lower placing due to time it takes to cross the line after the gun.

                I just find it amazing that someone in the unseeded zone can complete in a time under a seeded person, but be placed at a lower placing in the final results. Or even a seeded person towards the back can be relegated to a lower placing due to time it takes to cross the line after the gun.

                 

                It can happen but it's not very common since if a person is fast enough to beat people in the seeded corrals then they should be in the seeded corrals themselves. And at that point you're talking about people finishing pretty far down in the results anyway, not contending for overall or age group awards. Once you get outside contention for a top finishing spot, most of us only care about our own personal finish time anyway.

                Runners run.

                pedaling fool


                   

                  It can happen but it's not very common since if a person is fast enough to beat people in the seeded corrals then they should be in the seeded corrals themselves. And at that point you're talking about people finishing pretty far down in the results anyway, not contending for overall or age group awards. Once you get outside contention for a top finishing spot, most of us only care about our own personal finish time anyway.

                   

                  Yeah, I understand and I gave too much of a radical example. However, what about within the various zones, say on this link http://www.gate-riverrun.com/qualifying.htm in the Red zone, which is a seeded position of 1,000 people, they all can't be at the same distance from the start line, so to me, it seems not just an issue of luck, but placing (seems somewhat unfair), if you're not up front, which everyone can't be, even if everyone got there "early".

                   

                  Again, I'm not concerned about this for me, just a newbie curiosity thing.


                  day after day sameness

                    First of all, you're asking good and valid questions....it's worth exploring to gain understanding.

                     

                    Your example is not all that out of bounds -- it does happen.  There have been -- and will be more -- cases where the person who ran the fastest time did not win.  Unless otherwise planned and organized , the winner is the first person to break the tape -- not the fastest time.

                     

                    Think of it this way...when a race is defined as "...run from here to there, and the first person there wins.", then chip time doesn't matter. That is the current definition of a USATF road race.

                     

                    Now there's nothing to require the race organizers to follow that convention.  The can set the rules for their race however they want, including saying "fastest chip time wins".  All that means is that they wont have a USATF or RRCA sanctioned race.

                    Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                       

                      Yeah, I understand and I gave too much of a radical example. However, what about within the various zones, say on this link http://www.gate-riverrun.com/qualifying.htm in the Red zone, which is a seeded position of 1,000 people, they all can't be at the same distance from the start line, so to me, it seems not just an issue of luck, but placing (seems somewhat unfair), if you're not up front, which everyone can't be, even if everyone got there "early".

                       

                      Again, I'm not concerned about this for me, just a newbie curiosity thing.

                       

                       

                      Not sure I understand the question--the same principles apply in the seeded zones (a.k.a. corrals). The fastest people, based on qualifying times, will be in the lower number zones. Within the the corrals themselves, people tend to self-seed pretty well. The running community tends to be cool that way.

                       

                      It can happen that someone far outperforms their seed time but hey that's life. If they are very concerned with finish order then they should run smaller races.

                      Runners run.

                      pedaling fool


                        Ohh, I didn' t know that. thanks.