Tim shares with us his experience learning a critical role in every race: timing.
9 Years ago I started working in the run special industry. At that time I had no idea where it would take me and what the future was going to look like. I had never imagined it would take me into the event world.
When I started working for Ross at Run Away Shoes he quickly pulled me in to help at events. With experience in the shoe world, but not the event world, it was a lot of learning on the fly. After setting up a few race start areas, the tasks started to click and eventually I started to be the guy who prepped all of the race equipment. We also began to rent our equipment to other local events. As the requests grew, I took on the job of coordinating those reservations and am heavily involved in each of Run Away Event Races which has transitioned my role into the Equipment Manager of Run Away Shoes and Events.
On one cold, windy, day, Ross came to me with an idea. This idea was to start timing our own races. It didn’t seem too crazy until he told me this would be part of my duties as Equipment Manager. I have a hard enough time setting the clock on a microwave – and now he wants me to timing races!
Timing Team: Kevin & Tim
At first I had my hopes up that it would be a set up and plug it in kind of job. It wasn’t, and I had A LOT to learn. I started talking with a race timer out of Madison to see what equipment we would need to do this. The more we talked, the longer the list got. I figured as long as we can set up the timing mats things would fall into place – fingers crossed. We still had one big thing to figure out. How do we hook it up to the internet? Thankfully, after a bit of trial and error, we got it working.
After the race starts we don’t get much down time. We have to get the finish line tested again and make sure it’s ready for runners. This is also the time to take down the start line and put unnecessary equipment away. As runners start approaching we have to prepare to start taking down bib numbers. The timing system is the #1 source for finishers but we rely on 2 backup systems just in case a bib chip doesn’t show up. We have one person entering bib numbers into an app that our remote timer monitors to make sure bib numbers match up with what he’s seeing with the timing equipment. Another person is writing down bib numbers and times just in case things crash. Finally, once the course is clear of runners. we can start packing up the equipment and get results.
This has been an experience I’ve learned a lot from. It’s also given me even more of an appreciation for the work that goes into a race. Is this something I expected I’d be doing in life? No, But it’s a lot of fun.