Understanding the RFID chip to be used in Ironman race

By: Glendale G. Rosal July 28,2015 - 10:42 AM

HANDLING hordes of triathletes is not an easy job for a technical team, especially in a prestigious race like Sunday’s Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

That’s why for the past six years, the technical team handling the race headed by technical race director Neville Manaois makes sure they use the perfect timing system.

On Sunday, 2,618 triathletes from 52 countries will answer the starting gun that will feature the half distance of Ironman. According to Manaois they’ve been using the timing system that utilizes Radio Frequency Identification or RFID chips used to detect and record time splits of the triathletes.

RFID is an automatic identification technology which uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to identify objects carrying tags when they come close to a reader.

According to Manaois, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) requires them to use this kind of system to abide with international triathlon rules and standards.

“The timing system is very accurate it can detect the milliseconds and can detect massive volume of participants. We’ve tried it already with more than a thousand participants and the results were very accurate,”   Manaois said.

The RFID timing system is being provided by Sportstats, a company that’s been Ironman’s partner in handling the timing technicalities.

The RFID chip on Sunday’s race will be attached to a strap and  worn at the participant’s ankle all throughout the race.

“This timing system is not just very accurate but also very reliable because it’s waterproof,” he added.

Each participant’s RFID timing chip will be identified when passing through the detection mats.

“The detection mats, on the other hand, has a magnetic field that automatically detects every time a triathlete passes over it,” added Manaois.

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TAGS: bike, cobra ironman, Ironman 70.3 news, Ironman70.3, race, RFID, swim, triathlete, triathlon

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