MARATHON ORGANIZERS FIND IT EASIER TO FOOT THE BILL

An RFID solution provides the Los Angeles Marathon with a highly accurate timing method.


Background


The Los Angeles Marathon is one of the USA’s premier marathons, an event that attracts an annual 20,000-plus participants to test their footwork in sunny California.


Challenge

 

  • Time is of the essence for all runners – and essential information is equally important, whether they’re breaking world records or striving for a personal best.
  • While many race organizers have implemented RFID technology to achieve large-scale reads, it’s been a challenge to uniformly position RFID tags on runners to separate times with split-second accuracy.


Solution

  • Before the race, participants bend a plastic RFID tag into a D-shaped form to secure it at the top of their shoelaces, ensuring that the tag is uniformly placed for optimal reading.
  • As race participants pass the five critical milestones, they pass over urethane ramps which use UHF RFID antennas to transmit race data to RFID readers.
  • Custom-designed controllers take the raw data gathered by the readers and format it for use in scoring software.


Success

  • A strong race with a solid finish, accurately recording 99.84% of all runners.
  • The RFID solution easily matches the accuracy of previous timing methods, but provides other advantages including lower costs, disposable tags and the ability to integrate runner identification materials.
  • Participants no longer have to stand in long lines pre- and post-race to verify the integrity of their timing tags and return them.