Case Study: Challenge Triathlons

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Timers Various
Hardware: RFID Race Timing Systems Ultra
Event: Challenge Mexico, Challenge Melboure, Challenge Philipines
Date: 2015


The HuTag XC-1 was used throughout all races at these events. The results were excellent. HuTag XC-1 was worn on the ankle secured using a neoprene strap. Challenge use a wave based start system limiting athlete numbers in each wave to avoid the usual mayhem of a 2000+ athlete open water swim start .  


Background to the Events

Challlenge Triathlon's strap line is "we are triathlon". As one of the largest triathlon event management companies in the world rivalled only by Ironman. Challenge run triathlons globally with around 44 races all over the world.


Timing: Event Analysis

All athletes wore their HuTag XC-1 tag on their ankle attached with neoprene-velcro straps. Athletes are encouraged to wear the tag on their left ankle to remove the remote possibility of it becoming entangled in the bicycle chain.


Due to the varying weather conditions some of these events were wetsuit mandatory, some so warm that wetsuits weren't worn. Challenge generally adopt a wave based swim start to avoid the chaos and danger of very large swim starts that have charaterised these kinds of epic triathlons in the past.


Transition entry and exit were captured with Ultra mat antennas reading the tags straight through wetsuits without problems.


Laps on the bike and run legs were captured with patch antennas vertically mounted to the side of the course. The approach reduces risk as no equipment needs to be traversed so there is no possibility of tripping or slipping on mats. From a timing perspective it was particularly interesting as the bike leg was closed road and so drafting was permitted therefore the cyclists were often tightly packed together. This presents little problem to capturing times as the HuTag XC-1 is a fully functioning UHF tag capable of being read many hundreds of times per second.


The finish line was captured with Ultra mat antennas neatly hidden under branded red Challenge carpet.



Timing Teams

Identidad Athletica is the leading timing company in Mexico. This highly experienced team of specialists is regularly contracted to time some of the largest and most demanding events in Mexico.



Timing System

RFID Race Timing Ultra System was used throughout all of these events. The low profile Ultra mat is in iteration 4 and is proving to be an extremely effective tool. Patch antennas were used to collect the chip times from HuTag XC-1 RFID tags. The tags were read both vertically from the ground and horizontally from the side of the various stages of race course.



Hardware: RFID Race Timing Systems

RFID Race Timing Systems have been manufacturing RFID based timing systems since 1996. Owned and operated by Andrew Peterson they are based in Western Australia and sell systems worldwide.


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