Brighton Marathon Weekend: A Timer's Dream

It’s always exciting when you get to experiment with new racing technologies and test just how far your equipment can go. For many timers, it’s this love of technology and sports that drives them to become a race timer in the first place. Earlier this year when ACTIVE was given the opportunity to work with the Brighton Marathon weekend and HS Sport, we jumped at the opportunity to see just how far this collaboration could push the technology, and we were not disappointed.

As the second largest marathon in the UK, behind the world-renowned London Marathon,  Brighton Marathon Weekend organizers are laser-focused on innovation and enhancing the event experience.

In the past, it was a challenge to successfully convince multiple partners to align their long-term priorities with the event and the other partners. This included their timers. This year, as HS Sport teamed with ACTIVE and The Grounded Events Company to execute Brighton Marathon Weekend, they were faced with some new and unique challenges. Not only were they timing over 20,000 runners, they were also integrating with a runner tracking app that communicated with their ACTIVE Timing software. The pressure for accuracy was high.

How ACTIVE Event App Determined Runner Positioning

It’s a math problem we have all seen before: If a train leaves the station at 08 00 traveling at 80 kph towards destination “X,” when will the train reach its destination? Except, in this case, our train is over 20,000 runners who, by-and-large, are not keeping consistent paces. Needless to say, tracking the runners without GPS integration (a feature now supported with the ACTIVE Event App) posed some unique mathematical challenges.Grace Momanyi_1200

Tag accuracy at the start and finish lines, as well as at the nearly 154,000 individual split points was key. By determining the individual runner’s time between each point, the ACTIVE Timing software was able to determine a pace for the runner that accurately determined where the runner was along the course and when he or she would cross the finish line.

Software that Speaks to the Spectators

Having this information on-hand is exciting, but it isn’t until the family and friends of the runner can follow their loved one in real time that this technology is given a purpose.

suite-eventappHS Sport, along with the on-site ACTIVE team, utilized ACTIVE Timing’s integration with ACTIVEWorks Endurance to pull registration information for individual runners, including their bib and tag numbers, into their timing software. Once ACTIVE Timing calculated pace and recorded times at each split point, HS Sport again utilized that integration to update in real time the participant tracking app for Brighton Marathon.

Legendary distance runner Steve Prefontaine once said ““It’s more than a race, it’s style.  It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.” Brighton Marathon 2016 was such an impressively creative race that it was a memorable experience, not only for their participants, but also for their spectators (and the ACTIVE employees lucky enough to work with them). This was a weekend of innovation and athleticism that won’t quickly be forgotten.

For more stats and details on the challenges that HS Sports and The Grounded Events Team faced, visit this page, or contact your IPICO sales representative.