Friday, February 29, 2008

No Finishing Times for Most Runners in Dec. Honolulu Marathon

It seems time really does stop in paradise. Directors for the Honolulu Marathon have finally given up on getting exact finishing times for the vast majority of its 23,000 participants (race release; AP/NY Times story). Heavy rains at the December 9, 2007 start supposedly wreaked havoc on the timing system, which seemed to fail at multiple points during the race. The race was timed by SAI Timing System (company site), which used a new type of disposable timing chip. The new chip is supposed to unburden race staff, since volunteers no longer need to clip chips off of runners' shoes after the finish. Of course, this didn't quite work out as planned at Honolulu, as race staff had to painstakingly review race day video to try to calculate finishing times - ultimately deemed an impossible task. Hopefully, SAI's tag line simply seems ironic at this point, rather than prescient: "the next step in the evolution of transponder timing."

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