Rob Dickens, co-founder of Rugged Maniac, recently sent out an e-mail explaining the way this event will time competitors going forward. After relying on timing chips, and then making timing chips optional (at an additional cost), the race has decided to do away with timing chips entirely. For 2017, anyone who wants to compete for a spot on the podium will have to enter the first wave of the day. Other competitors will simply time themselves against the start and finish line clocks. Rugged Maniac will then let you submit your time to their online database so that you can track yourself against others in your age group, at the same event, etc.
This move appears to solve lots of problems: racers who are competitive can race in a competitive heat. Those who want to keep track of their score and compare their performance with others can do so (assuming enough people take the extra step of reporting their time). Those who want to participate as part of a “fun run” are automatically do this. And no one has to pay for a complex, expensive timing system. This arrangement is similar to the one Warrior Dash implemented a few years ago.
The only possible downside to this arrangement is that it might have compromised Rugged Maniac’s ability to serve as a qualifying event for the OCR World Championships. However, Rugged Maniac and OCRWC are working together so that the top ten male and female finishers at each event will qualify for OCRWC.
I asked Rob some questions about this new format:
Moving away from chip timing actually allows us to better provide what our Maniacs want. With respect to winners/OCRWC qualifiers, we’ll have our staff at the finish line to manually record the top 10 men and women in the Elite Heat, which is a more accurate system than chip timing (but not scalable for timing everyone) and doesn’t cost the runners anything. We’ll continue to award prizes to the top 3 men, top 3 women, and top man and woman 50 or older. We’ll no longer offer an under-20 category.
For those who simply want to know how they stack up against the field, we’ll compile self-reported times from Maniacs who wish to be included in the unofficial results, sort them by age and gender, and then make them available after each event. This is an improvement over what we were doing in previous years because now that Maniacs no longer have to pay $10 for a timing chip, many more will submit their times for the unofficial results, creating a much larger field for comparison.
Here’s the full text of what Rugged Maniac sent out:
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve decided to eliminate official timing at our events. Going forward, you won’t have to pay $10 for a timing chip to see how you stack up against your fellow Maniacs on the course!
Here’s how it’ll work: The post-race email will contain a link to an online form where you can enter your name, age, gender, and finish time as determined by you (there will be a clock at the finish line for this purpose). We’ll then sort all the results by age and gender and post them on our website. The beauty of this system is that it’ll be open to everyone, not just the people who run in the Elite Heat, so you’ll see your time compared to many more people than in the past.
This system will NOT be used to determine the winners, so there’s no incentive for people to intentionally fudge their times. The winners will be the top 3 men and top 3 women who cross the finish line in the 9:45 a.m.Elite Heat. The top-10 men and top-10 women in the Elite Heat will also qualify to compete in the OCR World Championships. We will not record times for anyone outside of the top-10 in the Elite Heat.
I hope to see you at an event this year! As an added bonus, sign up between now and January 13th and take 10% off your registration with promo code TIMING.