The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on Wednesday scored another first as transponders imported for the race arrived the Organizing Committee Secretariat at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
February 6, 2016, the day the Lagos City Marathon will flag off, is the first time transponders will be used for a road race or marathon in Nigeria.
According to Lagos City Marathon General Manager, Yussuf Alli, transponder, also called chip timing, was introduced to marathon and road races over a decade ago.
Alli revealed that it has quickly developed into a supplement to traditional race timing techniques at races all across the world.
It is also used by bikers and tri-athletes.
It is extremely precise and capable of addressing several weaknesses that are inherent to traditional timing methods.
Transponder timing systems require that athletes wear a small, lightweight chip that uniquely identifies them as they cross strategically placed electronic mats.
The chip is typically worn on the shoelace or on an ankle bracelet, depending on the system being used. In its most basic and common form, chip timing electronically handles the task of collecting and processing results at the end of the race. More advanced chip timing setups can protect against cheating, record accurate split times, provide instantaneous race updates, and compensate for slow starts caused by crowded starting areas.
According to Alli, the transponder eliminates the problems inherent in manual timing, “it will eliminate cheating, every single runner will have their time, even if they are twenty thousand. There will be no mistakes in the results caused by confusing, cheats, runners wearing the wrong number, or runners who get out of order in the chutes.’’
The transponder timing systems feature two components: a chip that carries a unique identification number, and a number of mats that activate the chip. Nigerian technical officials that will man it have started receiving tutorials from Dutch experts.