Source: USA TODAY
Marathon chip timing often keeps friends and family in the loop on how a runner is faring in a race. Monday, it might have helped them know if their loved ones were safe.
Like most major races, the Boston Marathon uses micro chips to track runners’ times. These are often worn on the runners’ shoes or in their bib numbers.
Each runner receives a specific identifying chip that records his or her time at various intervals throughout the race. Race supporters can sign up for email or text alerts to find out how the runner is doing, what his or her projected finish time might be and where he or she is on the course.
That information likely proved invaluable to those concerned about runners in the race after news of the explosions near the finish line Monday created chaos in Boston.
“If they were sending text messages yesterday, the family members would at least know this is the point at which they were at on the course when I got the text message,” said Kurt Hansen, CEO and founder of Innovative Timing Systems.
Hansen said he created bib chips when he started his company and that My Laps, which does timing for the Boston Marathon, uses a similar technology.
Official results on the race’s website list splits for each 5K up to 40K as well as the runners’ half-marathon split time. For anyone who had not yet reached the 40K mark (or 24.8 miles), loved ones could breathe a sigh of relief that they were not near the finish line (26 miles, 385 yards) where the explosions occurred.