Still a `Hot Chestnut’ ?

3 April 2017 - By Martyn Byford

We may have Garmin, Chip Timing, Satellites, Strava and a multitude of Hitec to record our every run but it would appear we still have the issue regarding `official’ race timings.

I say that having seen the WRC FB debate regarding the Gun to Chip results from Braintree 5 which did make me smile.

Back before the aforementioned gadgets your race would nearly always have 2 times, one official and the other the actual time it took you to run the measured distance or the time from when you started your stopwatch as you crossed the line and stopped when you crossed the finish line. That is the measured distance not  from 100 yards back down the road!

Significant anomalies occurred in races such as the GNR and London Marathon when it could take you minutes to cross the line. Hence starts in those days were akin to be in a washing machine as everyone and his mum wanted to get as close to the start as possible! Thankfully those two races now use Chip to Chip technology to eradicate the issue as do all the Big Marathons.

At London the time most important to me then was the one on the clock as I crossed the finish line and which would be captured on photograph and kept by me for years to follow. No one would ask me how long it took to cross the line!

So how was this dealt with in races with more than a few hundred runners?

Well at my club it was ` your ‘ time as everything was done on trust.

So when I ask you how you got on please just give me the time it took you to run the prescribed distance.



  1. Chris Martin says:

    Nicely put Martyn

  2. Claire Blake says:

    Well said Martin.

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