Reflections and goals

As we close out 2016, it is time to make plans for the coming year.  I always like to take this time to look over the past year and review the accomplishments, successes, as well as mistakes and failures.  I do this in order to set goals for the coming year.  I’ve always been a firm believer in setting both realistic and far-reaching goals to help guide me.  I do this both professionally and personally.  It doesn’t mean that we always achieve the goals, but success is defined by the journey and not necessarily the destination.

Achieving the dream

Our business is coming up on its 7 year anniversary at the end of December.  This was a dream that I had going back to the first few races over 16 years ago.  The goal was to build a business that would provide services to non-profits and help them raise much needed funds through racing.  We have helped a lot of non-profits during that time.  Many non-profits struggle every day just to keep their doors open.  When I started this business, the idea was to provide services at a very competitive rate that would allow them to maximize their revenue.  It has cost us

What is certification

One of the most often questions we get from race directors and participants alike regards certification of routes used in particular races.  Race directors want to know about getting a course certified while participants want to know if it is.  For those not familiar with this concept, I thought that I would briefly describe the process.

Cheating in the sport

I was timing a cross-country meet the other day and was witness to a Rosie.  You may remember Rosie Ruiz in the 1980 Boston marathon when it was determined that she actually cut the course.  In this particular case, there was middle school girl who jumped in the race a few hundred yards from the finish and placed in the top 25.  The reason I caught it was because she was dumb enough to get close to our finish line three minutes before the first girl.  She then I assume proceeded to an area where she could get away with cheating.  Unfortunately, I didn't actually

Bad Behavior

Anyone who has ever been in customer service understands that customers can sometimes challenge even the most patient of people.  This is never more true than in the racing business.  Take a competitive event and mix it with type A people and you have a great recipe for some really  great outbursts.  This is especially true where youth is involved.  Every race director, timer, meet coordinator, etc.

What Chip is that?

Recently I was approached by a race director who was claiming the advantages of a competitors timing system.  She was convinced that they had a better system because a claim is that their product is used for timing Formula 1.  I had to laugh.  I'm not sure whether the salesperson was being dishonest, disingenuous, or just naive, but it's not possible to use the same system used for road races to time a formula 1 event.  The problem is now the race director believes it and despite being given the facts, is now leaning that direction.  I have seen a lot of cla

Website Updates

If you have been a long-time user of our website then you should recognize that we have a new look.  We have been working with a designer since last fall trying to incorporate a lot of elements in a way that is fresh and usable.  One of the primary objectives too was designing for mobile.  In today's world, more and more people are using their phones and other mobile devices to browse the internet.  The design that we had in the past was much like many sites in that it didn't scale to mobile.  We wanted the site to look good on a desktop browser but also be

Calmer heads prevail

Recently, I timed a race which went very extremely well for everyone.  The participants had a great time, the race directors were happy and there absolutely no issues with the data or timing.  It was what we would call a flawless race.  When I got home, I got this nasty email from a participant informing how we really fumbled the ball and didn't manage our timing properly.  His anger and frustration were over the "fact" that his time was incorrect and that our timing was not managed well otherwise his time would have been accurate and reported correctly.&nb

Garbage In Garbage Out

A few weeks ago I was at a race preparing to time a Jingle Bell run.  I was working with one of the volunteers to enter their race day information.  I'm not quite sure what was going on at the registration table but there were missing ages, gender changes and lots of bib reassignments.  It was creating quite a mess with their registration sheet.  As we were trying to decipher the information she made the comment that it was no wonder that timing was often messed up.  I had to smile and simply said that it was all in a day's work.  Ask any timer and they

End of Year Reflection

As we start to close out 2015, it is both a time of reflection and a look forward.  It has been a very busy year for us and we're looking forward to an even busier 2016.  For the race directors, we have certainly enjoyed working with so many of you.  It's always a pleasure to work with some great race directors to host their events.  There are many causes for which these events are held and to the race director and their team, those events help to raise much needed funds to support their operations.  It is great to be a part of that.  To the participant