Sunday, July 25, 2010

Learning curve

EdJaH Chip Timing Systems has now timed close to 60 of our events using the IPICO timing chip which is the chip we recycle. Our largest event has been close to 1000 participants and our smallest around 75. When we first started to use this chip timing system runners were a bit confused on how it worked and how the chip attached to their shoe lace. We explained this to the runners and walkers and have gone from 10 to 15 lost chips a race down to 2 or 3 lost chips. This learning curve reminds me of when i first started using race numbers with tear off tags to score races back in the early 1980's. I would tear off the bottom portion of the runners race bib and post on my score boards for all to see. When we first started using this system I can;t tell you how many times a runner would come across the finish line and not have his tear off tag. I would ask them where it was and most would say, "I did not know you needed it." Runners and walkers soon realized that this was an important part of the scoring system. Now 25 plus years later the same goes for the computer chip. This too is a learning curve and another reason why we use the IPICO chip for so many of our events. We want the runners to be familiar with the system. Funny how such a simple thing as putting a little piece of plastic on your shoe makes scoring a road race so efficient.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Barb and I were walking the Rehoboth boardwalk early one morning last week. You would not believe how many folks were running and walking the boardwalk. Many wore tee shirts from races they participated in and many wore no shirt at all. I told Barb to look at the runners shoes. Some had that orange band on their shoe lace which meant that they ran a chip timed event. I mentioned to my wife that it was funny how these folks never bothered to clip off their shoe tags. I told her I would bet her that this person also never tears off their luggage tags when getting home from a trip and if they were a golfer they would have tags from golf courses played on their golf bags. I must admit it is a pretty good conversation piece. Each tag represents a good time in this persons life. Tags I would think are like badges of honor. "Yes....I ran that race....yes....i played that golf course.....yes I visited that country." Come to think of it....these folks got it together. Something so simple brings a smile to ones face. At our Seven Sisters event last week I asked a runner who had two not one but two orange chip tags on his shoe. "Why the tags i asked?" A smile came across his face and the stories began.....see what i mean.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

State Records

At the Catherine Rooney's 5k for Ulster Project DE last Thursday night Mark Vilardo ran a 15:33 as a 36 year old which would set an age group Delaware state record (that he owns) by 11 seconds. The route is USATF certified. The problem is this.....the final turn up Rattle Snake Run at the 3 mile mark was under construction. Runners went 15 yards further to make the turn to home and I moved the finish line 15 yards down the hill to make up that distance. When Mark told me he broke his age group record I told him, "sorry but I can not accept it as a record due to the change in route." Mark was cool about it and said, "no problem.....I still have the old record of 15:44." I try my best to keep state records up to date. I recently received an email from a runner stating that she ran a 5 miler back in 1991 as a 20 some year old faster than what I have posted on my website. I told her that unless I have a hard copy of the results either posted online or on paper and had the usatf certification number my hands were tied and I could not post her faster time. She too was cool about this and will try and find me the hard copy results. Folks work so hard to set these records and as the keeper of the books I want to make sure that when a record is set that it is legitimate.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pump n Run

At our North Beach 5k in Dewey this past Sunday we staged the Schweizer Pump n Run. For those of you not familiar with what a Pump n Run is it is basically an event where you bench press your weight one or more times and that puts you in the pump n run category. Then you run the 5k. For each time you pump your weight we deduct 15 seconds from your overall time. So you are competing in both the 5k race and the pump n run event. For ladies and those over the age of 50 you have to bench a certain percentage of your weight. At the North Beach event we had 53 folks enter the Pump n Run. Pro Physical Therapy and Leisure Fitness are the major sponsors. Doug White is the event manager. We use a computer program to score the event and team leader Ed Hartwell (EdJaH Chip Timing Systems) handles this for Doug. This year only 6 events are on the schedule. But for next year the plans are for many more. If you pump your weight one time you get a cool tee shirt or give away item compliments of sponsors. So for those of you who work out with weights and also run....this event is for you! Rules and schedule are posted on the website.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The number 50.......

This past July 4th we were in Dewey Beach for our Jimmy's Grill 5k as part of our Seven Sister Two Brother Run Walk Series. Pre registration was 320 and walk up day of 405. A record setting day making this event the largest 5k held at the beaches. It also marked the 50th race EdJaH Chip Timing Systems has timed for races2run using the IPICO timing chip. I can't thank my team enough. Team leader Ed Hartwell has put together a staff that will rival any timing team in the area. We are now capable of chip timing four events in one day. At Jimmy's Grill 5k we had three staff people doing race day data entry. We posted overall results in 30 minutes and the award ceremony started one hour after the start of the race. Results were posted on my website races2run during the awards presentation. Neat stuff. I have purchased a second chip timing system called "MyLaps." The chip is disposable and is placed on the back of your race number. NO chips to turn in at the end of the race. This will be use full when timing large events. Cost is only $1 more than the IPICO chip. We will start using the MyLaps chip starting this Saturday at Mimi's Run for Hospice. We will use races2run events as a stepping stone to time the Tour de Lance 5k August 18th using MyLaps. I hope you enjoy seeing your "gun" time and "chip" times posted. Now that I am walking in some of my events I sure do. Remember.....awards are based on "gun" times NOT chip times.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

25 years and running......

Today marked our 25th Firecracker 5k at Rockford Park. It was the first year we did not run on the 4th of July due to a conflict in schedules. This event is sponsored by the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation Department. Since I get folks telling me they have "way too many tees" we went with a really cool beach bag. Runners seemed to like the change. What has not changed in 25 years is the usatf certified route. The reason for starting and finishing outside the park is because 25 years ago the City of Wilm fireworks were staged at Rockford Park and for safety reasons they asked us to "stay away." We had 200 participants today as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and Fargo, North Dakota. Also runners came in from Kentucky, California, Florida, Rhode Island and states in between. I even got to walk in the race today and got beat by a gorilla, a banana, and Tarzan's girl friend Jane. (see photo) It is nice to see how my vols are doing and how the Wilm Police handle traffic. Lets see.....if i can make it another 25 years i will be 81 years old.....nah.....too old to work at that age. I think I'll show up and walk. Enjoy the holiday.