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Running is high tech affair

August 18, 2010 - Art Smith

Running, and the coverage of it, has changed a lot since the first News and Sentinel Half Marathon was ran more than 30 years ago. The race Saturday will be full of high tech and internet connected applications not available decades ago.

Each runner in Saturday’s races will be wearing a disposable timing chip on their shoe. The chip is RFID tag similar to the tags attached to clothing to prevent theft. We use the chips to keep track of the runners, not their clothing, and it gets read several times during the race.

A runner’s time will start when they, and their chip, crosses a starting line mat. It also gets read midway through the race to assure they are running the full course. Near the finish line the chip gets read again and flashes a signal to a computer  so that an announcer can tell the crowd the name of the person crossing the finish line. Finally the chip gets read a fourth time when the runner crosses the finish line.

Some runners will wear a second chip produced by Nike. That chip is connected wirelessly to their Apple iPod. The iPod will record the performance of the runner and will later upload that information to their Nike web page.

During the race we plan on providing live video of the finish line area onto our race website, The video will be archived and be available for viewing later.

We will also post results of the race to the site a few hours after the event ends.

As we have done in the past, we will also post hundreds of photos of the races to our photo-sharing site, CU.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the determination of the runners to do their best; no amount of technology will change that.


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