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Synchronising the start of a triathlon with the timing chips


Does anybody know how a triathlon is started with reagrds to the timing system, most if not all events now have a championchip timing system of sorts, but we dont pass over a mat to set off the clock when we get in the pool or lake/river.

How is the timing system synched with the swimmers.

I understand that we pass over mats from that point on going in and out of transition and at the end.

Please help.


  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    it depends on it if is a mass start or a waved start - if it is a mass start then i believe that they just set the system to start when the start the race off. In a pool based sprint i have seen a handheld device where your race number is entered and they start your time when you go.

    of course other events may do other things
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    In a pool sprint where it was chipped timed I've had it where the clock is started then when you come out the pool you're directed to the timing mat as you enter t1.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    It is a simple synchronisation with the timing computer; when the systsem is all ready to go and mats tested the poolside and finish watches are synchronised with the 'puter e.g. the watches are set to say 08:10hrs and put in ready mode. Fingers hovering over the set button the system operator will count them in '... in 30 seconds it will be 08:10 ... 10 seconds ... 5,4,3,2,1 set' .

    Watches set the poolside official is responsible for starting the waves with the correct competitors at the correct time. Bib numbers are assigned to wave start times 2 mins apart and if you are in wave 14 starting at 09:04hrs that is your start time on the 'puter.

    Now if you have a tummy emergency and notify the official they will slip you into a later wave where there is a space (they usually also have blank waves every so often as well). If you then start at 09:20hrs and cross the mat at 09:29:15 the 'puter will give you a time of 25:15 as it thinks you started at 09:04hrs, the race organisers however will manually adjust your start time so that you are given the correct time. Thereafter it is all chip.

    Depending on the organiser/event there may also be manual split timers but it is very important to listen out for your 'beep' as you cross any mat, if you don't hear it notify an official e.g. by shouting 'number 123 no beep' particularly on the finish as happened to me once, didn't hear the finish beep, brought it to the attention of the finish line marshall who noted my time manually (a couple of seconds and cost 2 places - whaaaaa )
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    morebeans wouldn't be hoping for more beans for the championchip timing system per chance?
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