Gun time or Chip time (Read 1382 times)

Now that was a bath...

    Here's what I mean above. A HM I ran last year. I ended up 36 places after this other guy and ran the race almost a minute faster according to chip time. I also took a big hit in terms of ranking for the other rankings. Weird, I think. - R
    I feel for you! That's exactly my point - I think that you deserve your place in the final results. I understand the purist factor that the person first over the line wins the race - but that is just wrong - plain wrong in my opinion! I see Jake & Davey have penned a script and that Jake has written an article on this point since I last visited this thread! Kudos brothers. Claire xxx
  • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
  • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.

      ----------------- If they went by gun time, both me and the guy in 7th would have been bumped up, and the 5th place guy would have dropped to 7th. His gun time was 7 seconds behind - his chip time 8 seconds faster.
      This thread brings up kind of an interesting topic: what is more "fair", chip-time or gun-time? (I know, I know, as some of you have said, it's all just for fun... but just for the sake of discussion... Big grin ) I think the arguments for chip-time are pretty obvious and strong. It's more accurate, for each individual runner, and probably a lot safer particularly at the big races (less crowding for the first half mile). But there are also arguments for gun-timing. The strongest argument in my opinion is the fact that there is more to running a "race" than just running along a course of pre-determined distance. Hell, I do that a few days a week. It's not even just a matter of running as hard as you can (I do that sometimes too). A race (again, IMO) is about running a course as hard as you can against other runners. That interaction/feedback from the other runners is part of the sport, I think. It's why I'll spend $20+ a few weekends of the year to go for what is otherwise just another hard run (no, it's not because I need another stupid t-shirt Wink ). That said, I'm not advocating for only gun-timing. I think chip-timing is great and I think it's a smart decision sometimes to start in the back and avoid the crowds (particularly at the big races). I'm just saying, maybe the guy who fought it out in the pack (for a faster gun-time, but a slower chip-time) deserves as much praise (or at least different praise) as the guy who ran a fast chip-time in the back. And I know for a fact that we'd all be pretty dissapointed if the guy who won Boston this year wasn't seen in the photo-finish (that'd be pretty lame, really). Luckily, this usually works itself out in the front of the race, as the runners up there want to start on time, so that the real-time competition amongst themselves will push them both to better finish times.
        This thread brings up kind of an interesting topic: what is more "fair", chip-time or gun-time? (I know, I know, as some of you have said, it's all just for fun... but just for the sake of discussion... Big grin )
        In terms of what your time was for the race? Chip time is more fair. So in cases where time matters (PRs, qualifiers, course records, etc.) you would prefer chip time. But in terms of who won the race? Neither chip nor gun time matter at all. The person who crossed the finish line first won the race. The Boston example is a good one because nowhere is the concept of lining up where you belong more perfectly displayed. At Boston, there are really 3 different races going on simultaneously; an elite road race, the peoples' road race, and a charity run. They all take place on the same course at the same time and none of them gets in the way of the others. As such there are three legitimate ways to gain entry into the Boston Marathon; you can get invited by the elite athlete coordinator, you can qualify by running a another marathon within the standard for your age group, or you can agree to raise a sum of money for one of the affiliated charities. If you are invited as an elite, you get to line up on the starting line. If you qualify, you are seeded in a coral (1000 runners per coral) based on your qualifying time, fastest in the front, slowest in the back. And if you get a charity number, you line up in a coral at the way back behind the last coral of qualifiers. It is totally impossible - but if a runner from one of the corals that makes up the "peoples" road race were to wind up with a faster chip time than the runner who finished first, he would not be the winner of the race. The winner of the race would be the guy who finished first. At Boston, more than anywhere, this works itself out splendidly because not only do the people up the front want to be there, they've had to earn their way there.

        Runners run.

        12 Monkeys

          I HATE those races that don't have the pad at the start...most of the ones I've run haven't. The ones that do have the pad make me a much happier runner. And I know it's silly, since I am usually bringing up the rear, but every second counts.
          Hey. I just saw this. You think that they could not accurately measure race times before the advent of RF chips? Sheesh. Wink
          You and me both.
          Well. You ran the Monkey. And there were no chips at the Monkey...
          We do announce repeatedly that the faster runners need to get near the front of the pack at the start.
          Like he said.