Feeling The Tech Buzz On Race Day

Feeling The Tech Buzz On Race Day

You turn up to the venue on race day, bike in one hand and running shoes in the other expecting that old fashioned blood sweat and tears is going to get you from the start line all the way to the finish.

Little do you know that technology is impacting you every step of the way – enabling you to have a smooth and seamless event experience.


As you arrive you approach the check-in counter and staff use an app to register your attendance and pass your race kit. The app gives us real time data regarding the time you checked-in, the current number of athletes on-site, plus “no show” rates for different races and age groups.

The swim set-up team meanwhile is hard at work finalising the swim course. They use GPS technology to place the swim buoys the correct distance apart so your Garmin watch gives you the correct distance when you exit (so long as you swim straight!).

Race experience

As you line up at the start line, the timing system is there to track you using an RFID system that is linked to the cloud. The timing chip on your ankle is your unique identifier which we use to track your start time, and the time you cross various checkpoints around the course (ie. swim exit, T1, T2, individual lap numbers and finish line). Using this data we can decide if you have a valid result ie. did you do the correct number of laps and cross all timing points? 

Data comes through live from the moment the first wave starts. We can see immediately if a timing checkpoint is registering data accurately, or if it is positioned too close to another checkpoint which impacts the data collection. Immediate feedback enables corrections to be made on the spot.

We also use the timing system as part of our safety management process – if an athlete exceeds the set time parameters for finishing the swim it triggers an investigation to see where they are (did they exit the swim early? Are they with the medical team? Did they snuck onto the bike or run course? Do we need to sweep the swim course looking for them?

At the finish line we have an IP camera set-up for use in the case you have a sprint finish with another athlete, or if we need to review footage to distinguish you in case you lost your timing chip during the race.

And finally the announcer has a tablet at the finish line that displays your name as you turn into the finish chute – enabling them to call your name as you cross the line – fabulous!

Command Centre

Our race command uses specific software to manage and record all facets of the event. We track weather conditions, road closure status, medical incidents, security issues, race start times and any delays, participant check-in numbers, stakeholder issues and relay this information to the key members of the team on the course.

All of the above information is logged and stored for post-event reporting and analysis. It is this information that assists us to continually improve our events and planning.

Radio communications

While we are always in favour of using technology, sometimes the old fashioned way is the best. In this case we prefer the old fashioned two-way radio with antenna to communicate with our team on race day. In this instance we haven’t yet found a reliable digital method of radio communication out of the large array of phone based apps. Communication is an essential part of event operations and we cannot risk a solution not working on race day.


As you walk into the venue to find your friends and family, and collect your bag from the bag deposit tent you grab your phone out and scan the results QR code to see your result live on the web. You marvel at the detail in the results – showing your lap times, position compared to your category and gender for each discipline. You start planning your next block of training to improve your weakest leg to get ahead of your competition next time.

But for now, a smile comes to your face with the satisfaction of a well completed race, and as you wheel your bike home you check your Garmin for your personal stats and start thinking about registering for your next race.


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