For race scoring, it’s all about technology. For Sunday’s race, we will be utilizing 56 ChampionChip systems at 28 locations on the course. One location presents a particular problem: the 25K mark on the Queensboro Bridge.
The Queensboro Bridge is made mostly of iron. Transponder timing systems create magnetic fields that activate and detect each runner’s chip, but iron tends to dampen magnetic fields considerably. As a result, a standard setup at this location would not be able to create a magnetic field that is strong enough to read every runner’s chip.
We work closely with ChampionChip, the manufacturer of our timing systems and chips and they have provided us with a very unique solution, compliments of Reinier Gerritsen, the engineer behind much of the current system:
This is certainly the most complicated timing system that we will be using at the Marathon and might be the most complicated setup I’ve ever seen! In addition to the complex setup that is designed to optimize the magnetic field, the equipment will be specially pre-tuned to be more powerful and together, we should be able to read every runner’s chip at 25K.
Reinier will be at 25K in person to help with this system, making the trip from Nijmegen, Netherlands, where ChampionChip has its headquarters. He almost wasn’t able to come, as he crashed on his mountain bike last week and broke several ribs. Our thanks go out to him for his dedication and all of his help! When you pass by 25K on the Queensboro Bridge, give a cheer to Reinier!