Chip Time (also known as Nett Time), refers to the time taken by the runner when he/she steps on the start line till he/she steps on the finish line. The timing device (usually RFID-based and contains a microchip with antennae) worn by the runner is detected by the start line and finish line, which leads to the name Chip Time.

Gun Time, refers to the time taken at the start of the race, usually indicated by a physical flagoff (visual signal) or via triggering of an airhorn (audio signal) or both, till the runner step on the finish line.

Picture that shows the difference between Gun time and Nett Time

Q: Does Chip Time counts towards top positions?

A: It depends. In most road races, race organizers usually use Gun Time as the determinant for the top prizes.

For vertical runs (or vertical marathons), Chip time is usually used as the determinant for prizes. Reason being the vertical run route is the building’s stairwells. Stairwells are built to conform to building codes and it is not economically productive to have large stairwells. As such, stairwells can at most fit 2 to 3 people running side by side.

Using Gun time as the prize determinant means faster runners starting at a later time, will not be able to hit their best race time.

Q: What about team events?

A: Most race organisers usually adopt chip time for calculating team results, though some others adopt gun time instead. There are various reasons for using gun time/chip time, some reasons are due to run route restrictions, so check the race’s rules and regulations for the final word.

So if you are gunning for the top positions, remember move yourself to the front of the pack for a better chance at breaking the race’s top record!

15 July 2011

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