MOD 020: It Is Time That Your Timing Was Timely

Merchants of Dirt Episode #20

Having an accurate timing process starts off being essential to deciding who won or lost your race, and ends up helping you pay for future races.

Key Take Away #1: Timing is a Tool

If you think of timing as a process, you know that is has a beginning and an end.

I see Timing as a 10 step process:

Make sure all bibs are on correctly: Registration solves the first issue, bib numbers the second.

Have dedicated teams: I prefer to have three teams of two-person timers.

Have a clear finish line: To make timing easy on your timers, you need a good, open space for viewing racers as they come in at a distance.

Use timing technology with caution: Use your computer timing to make your race results quick and easy, but always have paper just in case.

Provide timing training to timing teams: Training makes you and your race look good.

Give yourself some power: Your computer timing will require more than just the power in the laptop battery.

Present your results: The easy way to present results — if your computer timing worked — is to print out each category and tape/staple them to a sheet of plywood.

Deal with complaints quickly and decisively: When results get posted, someone is going to complain.

Go to the video: One way to sort out placement issues is to record the finish line with a video camera.

Website post: So the quicker you are in posting results to your website, the more professional you appear to the average racer.

Key Take Away #2: Timely Race Results

Are you part of your own timing problems? Do you fit into any one of the following descriptions?

  • I’m in no hurry
  • It’s just too complicated
  • Only the top finishers matter

Key Take Away #3: Fixing your Results Problem

The following timing principles might seem like common sense, but they will go a long way to improving your reputation if you stick to them.

  • Have your Race Day results presented to races in 30-minutes or less
  • Have all of your results posted in 24-hours or less
  • Keep your past results posted for 1-year or more

Bonus Tip

Decide today to NOT be that race promoter that does not take results with any level of urgency.

Decide to post early and often, sticking to a timebox that works for both you and your racers.

If you can’t decide what that time box will be, use the 30-minutes, 24-hours, and 1-year (and beyond) rule of thumb from above.

Or you could just call it the just after, next day, and forever results posting rule.

The result you get from making your racers wait for results, or having to ask you where they are, will be the one result you didn’t want to receive.

Don’t force yourself to experience that mistake.

Make results a primary part of your timing system, and never leave a racer guessing ever again.

And now you know.

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Thank You for Listening

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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Kyle Bondo
Kyle Bondo is a thinker, podcaster, author, and creative strategy dragon seeking to make a small dent in the universe. He is the founder of Reckoneer, host of the Merchants of Dirt and Get Lost Racing podcasts, and an avid adventure racer.
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