Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Roger 2 » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 13:45:24


I took pictures of almost every split timer I could find on the Chicago
Marathon course Sunday and when compared to the clock in my digital camera.
I found a few very minor differences.

These split times are in relation to the clock in my digital camera.  I
really don't think it was the clock in the camera that did all the drifting.

Mile 1 OK
Mile 2 -2
Mile 3 -2
Mile 4 -1
 8k -1
Mile 5 OK
Mile 6 +1
 10k OK
Mile 7 -1
Mile 8 -1
Mile 9 OK
 15k OK
Mile 10 -1
Mile 11 OK
Mile 12 OK
Mile 13 -1
Halfway -2
Mile 14 -1
Mile 15 -1
Mile 16 OK
Mile 17 OK
Mile 18 No split clock found
 30k OK
Mile 19 -1
Mile 20 -1
Mile 21 -1
Mile 22 OK
Mile 23 -1
Mile 24 OK
 40k OK
Mile 25 OK
Mile to go -1
Mile 26 OK
Finish line time was used as the reference for the other clocks.

While they are close enough for government work, I think it shows that they
were started by hand.

Quick explanation on how I did the above:

Using a picture I took of the finish line clock, I calculated that the start
of the race was when the clock on my camera said 7:31:04.

I wrote a short program to dig the time out of the JPG file, subtract
7:31:04, by converting both times to seconds of the day, then calculate
"Race Time."

Then the program would rename the .JPG with the "_Race_Time__ ?H??M??" at
then end of the original file name.

After that all I had to do was view the photos with a time clock in them,
compare it to the "Race_Time__" in the file name and find out how far apart
they were.

I've done this before, with a bunch of finish line photos and in two hours,
only one photo was 1 second off.  It has worked very well before and I was
surprised to see how many clocks at Chicago were 2 seconds off.

Note:  Unlike the file time used by IBM where it is always an even second,
the time in the JPG itself can have an odd second.

Any questions or ideas?

Thanks,
        Roger

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Brian Baresc » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 15:59:07

Quote:
>I took pictures of almost every split timer I could find on the Chicago
>Marathon course Sunday and when compared to the clock in my digital camera.
>I found a few very minor differences.

I've been told somewhere (here?) that split clocks are indeed
generally started by hand: Someone starts a watch at the starting gun,
then drives to each mile marker and uses the watch to set the time on
that clock. (Split clocks can be set and started at times other than
0:00, of course.) Seems as if they'd be off by less than 1 second each
time if the timing crew knows what it's doing, but I've never done it
nor seen it done so I dunno.

And of course, if your camera and the clock you used as a reference
point were out of phase by a half-second or so, that could explain
some of the 1-second differences.

--
Brian P. Baresch
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Professional editing and proofreading

If you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Keith Gemeinhar » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 23:25:12

I don't understand what the big deal is. I could see if it was a track
race, but a second or two is not much in the big scheme of things during
a marathon. Even for KK, 2 seconds is only 0.02% (that's 2 100ths of a
percent) of the total race time!! If the error was accumulating, you
might have a valid complaint.

-Keith

Quote:

> I took pictures of almost every split timer I could find on the Chicago
> Marathon course Sunday and when compared to the clock in my digital camera.
> I found a few very minor differences.

> These split times are in relation to the clock in my digital camera.  I
> really don't think it was the clock in the camera that did all the drifting.

> Mile 1 OK
> Mile 2 -2
> Mile 3 -2
> Mile 4 -1
>  8k -1
> Mile 5 OK
> Mile 6 +1
>  10k OK
> Mile 7 -1
> Mile 8 -1
> Mile 9 OK
>  15k OK
> Mile 10 -1
> Mile 11 OK
> Mile 12 OK
> Mile 13 -1
> Halfway -2
> Mile 14 -1
> Mile 15 -1
> Mile 16 OK
> Mile 17 OK
> Mile 18 No split clock found
>  30k OK
> Mile 19 -1
> Mile 20 -1
> Mile 21 -1
> Mile 22 OK
> Mile 23 -1
> Mile 24 OK
>  40k OK
> Mile 25 OK
> Mile to go -1
> Mile 26 OK
> Finish line time was used as the reference for the other clocks.

> While they are close enough for government work, I think it shows that they
> were started by hand.

> Quick explanation on how I did the above:

> Using a picture I took of the finish line clock, I calculated that the start
> of the race was when the clock on my camera said 7:31:04.

> I wrote a short program to dig the time out of the JPG file, subtract
> 7:31:04, by converting both times to seconds of the day, then calculate
> "Race Time."

> Then the program would rename the .JPG with the "_Race_Time__ ?H??M??" at
> then end of the original file name.

> After that all I had to do was view the photos with a time clock in them,
> compare it to the "Race_Time__" in the file name and find out how far apart
> they were.

> I've done this before, with a bunch of finish line photos and in two hours,
> only one photo was 1 second off.  It has worked very well before and I was
> surprised to see how many clocks at Chicago were 2 seconds off.

> Note:  Unlike the file time used by IBM where it is always an even second,
> the time in the JPG itself can have an odd second.

> Any questions or ideas?

> Thanks,
>         Roger

--
Keith Gemeinhart
Technology Service Corp.
Sebring, FL
--

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by am » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 23:35:52

Quote:

> I took pictures of almost every split timer I could find on the Chicago
> Marathon course Sunday and when compared to the clock in my digital camera.
> I found a few very minor differences.

OH MY GOD! CALL OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD!

Welcome to the real world. In the NYC marathon split clocks are often
run by local running clubs. They bring their clock to the mile marker,
set them up and get them started. So the clocks aren't being run by
highly trained clock specialists with a certificate from the
Switzerland Institute of Clocks.

For a moment I thought the clocks were off by minutes but when I read
your post closely I realized that you were dealing with seconds. In my
mind that is pretty good. And certainly useful enough for a mid race
clock.

Andy

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by lmmr » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 23:42:31

I agree. The only clock that matters IMO is the clock at the end. You start
your watch as you cross the mat, and then do your splits on your watch.

I do not get this post at all.


Quote:
> I don't understand what the big deal is.

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Ron Natali » Sat, 19 Oct 2002 23:52:57

Quote:

> While they are close enough for government work, I think it shows that they
> were started by hand.

Most races have one guy at each clock with a radio (frequently some local ham
radio operator volunteer) that punches the button when someone says bang on
the radio.
 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Roger 2 » Sun, 20 Oct 2002 07:15:05


Quote:
>> I took pictures of almost every split timer I could find on the Chicago
>> Marathon course Sunday and when compared to the clock in my digital
camera.
>> I found a few very minor differences.

>OH MY GOD! CALL OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD!

>Welcome to the real world. In the NYC marathon split clocks are often
>run by local running clubs. They bring their clock to the mile marker,
>set them up and get them started. So the clocks aren't being run by
>highly trained clock specialists with a certificate from the
>Switzerland Institute of Clocks.

>For a moment I thought the clocks were off by minutes but when I read
>your post closely I realized that you were dealing with seconds. In my
>mind that is pretty good. And certainly useful enough for a mid race
>clock.

Andy,

I wouldn't even have brought that time clock stuff up, but the guy at the 24
mile marker was yelling at us and saying: "His clock is right."  At first I
thought the other ones were a full 10 minutes off, but I know they were less
than 2 seconds off.

The only time clock that might have made a difference was the one at the
half-way point, but it was only two seconds off at maximum, and I haven't
seen anyone say they ran negative splits with only a 4 second difference
between the two halves.

Back to the race, and to think, you were done long before I ever reached the
half way point.

Last item.  I've been telling people I'm ready for another marathon.  This
is the second day in a row I woke up with out a pain on my ankle, just like
what it was like before I ran Chicago.  I think I will be running again in
three weeks.

Roger

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by am » Sun, 20 Oct 2002 10:39:43



Quote:
>Andy,

>I wouldn't even have brought that time clock stuff up, but the guy at the 24
>mile marker was yelling at us and saying: "His clock is right."  At first I
>thought the other ones were a full 10 minutes off, but I know they were less
>than 2 seconds off.

>The only time clock that might have made a difference was the one at the
>half-way point, but it was only two seconds off at maximum, and I haven't
>seen anyone say they ran negative splits with only a 4 second difference
>between the two halves.

>Back to the race, and to think, you were done long before I ever reached the
>half way point.

Err. Wrong Andy. But thanks for the compliment.

Its kind of interesting. The other Andy and I have the same initials.
Another Andy in my running club here in NYC and I have the same
initials also. Since he is about a 6 inches taller than I am I refuse
to be called Little Andy. We reached a compromise I call him Big Andy
and he calls me Fast Andy.

Andy

 
 
 

Chicago Marathon splits clocks might have been started by hand.

Post by Les » Tue, 22 Oct 2002 06:45:14

But did you check that they were exactly one mile apart each time ? A couple
of feet might make more difference ! ;-)

--


Quote:




Quote:

> > While they are close enough for government work, I think it shows that
they
> > were started by hand.

> Most races have one guy at each clock with a radio (frequently some local
ham
> radio operator volunteer) that punches the button when someone says bang
on
> the radio.