Our Timer of the Month is Steve Reed at Reed Results. Steve’s ACTIVE Network Account Manager, Jordon Richards, recommended him for the Timer of the Month because of his amazing work at the U.S. Open Tri in Rockwall, Texas, where our employees were participating in our annual charity challenge run benefitting Kids in the Game. For those of you who follow us on Facebook, you may remember Steve’s sweet tent setup at that race.
Q: Tell us a little about Reed Results.
A: We are a small timing operation located in central Indiana, but have had the opportunity to time events in several states. Like a lot of timers, we got our start volunteering at races. As time progressed, our role expanded to include more timing-related duties, and eventually we started making investments in our own equipment. What started out in 2012 with 3 races has grown to 35+ in 2016, ranging in size from 25 participants to nearly 1,000.
Q: What’s your current IPICO system setup?
A: We own two Elite Readers and two Lite Readers, but many times partner with others (including ACTIVE/IPICO) to fill gaps in our set-up for events.
Q: What challenges did you face when you first started timing events and how did you overcome them?
A: Our biggest challenge was a lack of experience and confidence. In the beginning we made a lot of mistakes and, being a perfectionist, I had a hard time with that. But over time, and with a lot of help from others, we began to build experience and confidence.
Q: What changes do you foresee happening to the timing market in your area?
A: I see it expanding, but not always in a good way. While there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of events in our area, many of those events struggle with enough participation to make our services cost-effective. The challenge then becomes balancing the opportunities with the resources we have available (equipment, manpower, etc.), and factoring in the right price point. Sometimes my heart is bigger than my brain on that front, so I’m still learning.
Q: What advice would you offer others who are considering becoming an event timer?
A: I’d suggest reaching out to other timers in your area. Ask them for advice and offer to volunteer at their races. My experience has been that timers are more than happy to share their experiences with others. I would not be where I am today without the help of a couple such individuals. (Thanks, Ryan Morris and Dave DeVoe.)
Another suggestion would be to spend as much time as possible with Race Directors. They are the key to understanding the flow of an event, which is critical to timing. Most offer a wealth of knowledge and, like timers, they are happy to share their experiences. (Thanks, Steve Tomboni, for sharing your wisdom with me).
Q: What is your favorite thing about being an event timer?
A: I love the atmosphere at races, particularly at the finish line. When there’s time, I love hearing the stories of the participants – many are amazing. I consider it an honor to be a small part of that experience.
Q: Why do you choose to purchase and use IPICO hardware?
A: I started volunteering at events that used IPICO equipment and the vast majority of my experience timing has been using that same equipment (or newer versions of that equipment). That said, the main reason I choose to stay with IPICO is the level of support I receive from the team there. I feel like they have a vested interest in my success, which translates into them having my back, and to me, that’s very important.
As always, we’re proud to be the timing company that supports the dedicated timers like Steve, whose expertise and passion for the sport and its leaders are helping to strengthen the industry.