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Home >> Information >> Your Race Timing

Your Race Timing

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Trail Run

The Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, Half Marathon and Trail Runs are time by RaceTec - the largest electronic sports timing company in South Africa.

WHAT IS RACETEC? RaceTec has been timing events for over 15 years and has over 300 000 timing chips in the market. Specialising in mass-participation sporting events like OMTOM, RaceTec times hundreds of thousands of athletes in various disciplines annually.

WHY DO I NEED A CHIP? Your RaceTec Chip, together with your race number, plays an important part on Race Day.

  • First, an athlete who participates in events timed by RaceTec only needs one chip. It stores not only all your personal, emergency and medical details, but also displays your race results in a central location (provided that your race has been timed by RaceTec).  This helps with your seeding for future events.
  • On Race Day, your RaceTec Chip not only tracks you on the route and records your split and race times; it also has your personal details available in case of an emergency.

All runners are required to wear a RaceTec timing chip on one of their shoes during the race. The chip must be registered in your and not belong to someone else. Runners who do not own a chip (or have lost theirs) must purchase a new chip when they enter, and runners who lose their timing chips after entering or have left them at home will be able to buy a new timing chip at Registration.

Remember: NO TIMING CHIP, NO RESULT. NO EXCEPTIONS. It is compulsory to have your RaceTec chip at Registration in order to collect your race pack with race numbers etc. The timing chip becomes your property upon purchase and collection and can be used for all RaceTec-timed events in SA. 

Please ensure that you keep your timing chip in a safe place after the race in order to avoid having to buy a new chip.

    WHY CHIP TIMING? Your RaceTec Chip is a small, lightweight electronic transponder that uniquely identifies you as you  cross strategically placed, electronic mats. The chip is typically worn attached to the shoe with the shoelaces (see below). In its most basic and common form, chip timing electronically handles the task of collecting and processing results at the end of the race.

    The primary benefits of electronic timing are more accurate finish time recording - available almost immediately - and a less crowded finish area.  In addition, chip timing eleminates the problems inherent to manual timing (e.g. confusing the times of runners crossing the finish line in the large bunch). Chip timing also assists with the minimising of cheating, and in the past, timekeepers have often referred to the results recorded by athletes' RaceTec chips during investigations.

    HOW TO WEAR YOUR CHIP?  Runners basically have one option when it comes to wearing their RaceTec chip: vertically laced into the shoelaces of one shoe. Please look at the helpful diagram below and do not attempt to wear your chip in any other way, as this will affect your timing.


    HOW DOES CHIP TIMING WORK?  Multiple mats are placed along the course to provide each runner with split times. Since these times are available immediately, they can be posted as they are recorded, allowing fans to track the race as it progresses. Splits are also valuable because they can help limit cheating. Runners with suspicious split times and runners who did not run over one of the intermediate mats, can be identified quickly and easily. The presence of mats at various locations requires that each athlete cross every mat to prove that he or she completed the entire course.

    Chip timing systems feature two components: a chip that carries a unique identification number, and a number of mats that activate the chip. The chip alongwith an energizing coil is encased within a durable shell, often glass or plastic, which is then housed in another plastic case. The shell is weatherproof, which allows the chip to be worn in any racing condition, regardless of temperature or moisture level. Of significant importance is that there are no batteries inside the chip and it can be reused repeatedly. The chip's transponder is passive, and sends no signals until it is placed within the magnetic field created by the special mats.

    However, once within this field, the coil within the chip becomes energised, produces an electric current, and powers the chip's transponder. The transponder send a signal, reporting its own unique identification number, and this signal is captured by the "receive" antennas in the mat, and then collected by a computer. The mats contain two types of antennas. One type creates the magnetic field, while the other detects the signal emitted byt the activated chip. The mats are placed at key locations along the course of the race: the finish and various checkpoints. A battery and some wiring are attached to the mat, providing energy to the "send" antennas, which create a magnetic field. The entire process of activating the chip and recoding its signal takes merely a fraction of a second.

    For more information about RaceTec, visit www.racetec.co.za.