20 June 2011
This past weekend, the nearby town of San Pedro celebrated its annual "24 hours of sports" festival, during which a variety of sporting events are conducted over a one-day period. One of the events was a 2km race for the town locals. The Makalu team volunteered to provide timing service using our RaceSplitter product — an iPhone/iPad app used to time sporting events and races.
The race was scheduled to take place on Sunday morning at 11:00 am. Sign-ups would be taken on the morning of the event.
We arrived at around 10:00 am, and found Toni Garcia of the San Pedro Atletismo Club having already taken around 40 registrations. For each participant, he was entering bib number, first name, last name and age-group category into an Excel spreadsheet.
At 10:45 am, he closed the registrations and emailed me a CSV file exported from Excel.
I had my MacBook Air and iPad 2 connected to the internet through my iPhone 4's "Personal Hotspot" wifi network. Using the MacBook Air, I logged into our RaceBuilder online service, created a new race, and configured the start list by uploading the CSV file that Toni had sent me.
In the meantime, about five late arrivals registered at the last minute, and I added them manually to the race in RaceBuilder.
When done, I clicked the save button in RaceBuilder and the website sent me a copy of the RaceSplitter file to my email address.
I turned on the iPad 2, opened the RaceSplitter file attachment in Mail, and clicked to import it into RaceSplitter as a new race.
At this point, I'm done, and ready to time the race. All in all, it took less than five minutes to create the race in RaceBuilder, email it to myself, and then import it into RaceSplitter.
TIMING THE RACE
In the end, there were 75 participants, in about six different age categories, running a 2km race.
Toni fired the start gun, and the racers were off. I tapped the "Start Race" button in RaceSplitter, and got ready to record times.
Since RaceSplitter's method of timing racers involves manually typing bib numbers, and hitting "Record", Toni agreed to help organize finishing racers into a single-file line, so that I could time them. (This was ensure that I could capture the finish order correctly, in the case that large groups finished together.) In the end, however, the largest group that finished together was three racers (it was a tough 2km!), I was easily able to accurately record all the racer's times, without any assistance.
When the last racer crossed the line, I tapped the "Stop Race" button.
PUBLISHING AND CLEANING UP THE RESULTS
After the race, I connected the iPad to the internet again via the iPhone's "Personal Hotspot," and tapped the "Publish Race Results" button in RaceSpitter. Instantly the results were online, and I received an email with a link to the results page.
On the results page in RaceBuilder, Toni printed out the final results in each category (taking advantage of the nice print styling), and posted the results next to the organizer's tent.
Once everyone reviewed the results, there were two complaints:
The first child finisher had cut the race course short, and should be disqualified.
One of the adult men's racers had been registered in the wrong category.
In order to correct the first, we assigned the disqualified child to a category called "DNF", so that he would no longer be included in the results calculation for his category. Having made this change, Toni printed out the corrected version of the kids category. (Lucky for us, that change put my son in third place! :-)
To correct the second problem, we simply updated the category of the affected racer, and then reprinted the results for the category to which he was assigned, as well as the original category in which he was mis-assigned.
The event represented another very successful showing of RaceSplitter! Race creation took about 5 minutes. Timing the fast race, even manually, went off without a hitch. And instant internet publishing (and results printing) allowed all the participants to review their results within 15 minutes of the race having concluded.
For more information about RaceSplitter, visit: