If you’re new to the local racing scene you may be wondering what “tag” or “bib” timing is versus “chip” timing. Throw in “gun” time and you’re probably really confused, right?
Let me try and explain it to you in the next few posts — particularly how (and when) it’s used by the Erie Runners Club.
Today, we’ll talk traditional bib timing:
What it is: Bib (also called Tag) Timing is when they use your bib (race) number to compile results.
When it’s used: The ERC uses this for most of the smaller races because it’s cheap and fairly easy when doing a race with less than, say, 300 people (though the timing folks might not agree on the easy part).
How it works:When you finish the race, volunteers will rip the bottom half of your tag off and stringing it onto a coat hanger (called a “stringer”). Then, the timing people input those numbers into the computer IN ORDER OF FINISH and the computer does the rest (i.e. matches the number to the person…ranks you in your age group, etc.).
Stay in order: In Bib timing, it’s very important that you stay in order when you cross the finish line and are in the finisher’s chute (and volunteers will likely remind you by saying, “stay in order!”). You should never pass anyone in the finishers chute, because if you do, the results will show you finishing ahead of them…when, actually, you finished behind them.
Word to the wise: When running a bib timed race (and you’ll know it’s a bib timed race if they don’t tell you to go get a chip), you should check your bib when you pin it on. Look to be sure it has:
1.) Your name on it.
2.) Your correct age
3.) The right gender — M or F
4.) The right division — 10K, 5K, run, walk, etc.
They don’t actually type this info. in when you finish, but…. the info on the label on your bib is the information that the computer has for you, so if it’s wrong…your results will be to.
If you see a problem: Go to the registration table as soon as your realize there’s a problem and tell a volunteer. They’ll get the correct information to the timing folks. Don’t wait until the results are done — report any issues as soon as your notice them.
What about the number? As I explained above, volunteers will take the bottom portion of your number at the finish line. The rest of the bib is yours to keep. Most runners hang onto their numbers for posterity. I always write the race name, date, distance and my finish time on the back.
Originally posted: March 26th, 2008