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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old September 18th, 2014, 12:40 AM   #41
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I am not comfortable posting exact wording or even general descriptions, but some of the lyrics in the music played at the start line were inappropriate for children. I'm not talking 4 letter word stuff (like maybe an Eminem song), but actions and themes that I'd be shocked anyone on this board would defend as appropriate for the audience. I'm not sure there could even be a radio edit in some cases. If a song can't be played on the radio then why does Northshore play it at the start line?

This is just one of multiple major and minor fails by Northshore. I received a 15 year pin this year, but I thought long and hard whether it would be my last. I did end up registering (avoided 50% price increased after Monday) since I will be moving up to the first real Masters division next year and you only have one chance to be the youngster in the group. With my luck, they'll go back to the 35-44 age grouping. It's impossible to predict the future, but I would not be surprised if next Northshore is my last. When I look at my racing calendar, I have a hard time picking out a race that doesn't provide better competition at a fraction of the price. (Competition is clearly relevant to the skater, but for my ability level, I feel the statement is honest). I don't agree with the idea that Northshore deserves [blind?] support because that is how we support racing. Attending a smaller, local race shows the same support in my opinion.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 06:47 AM   #42
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wm_b, well, I was following the conversation then did a bit of research. reading the nsim waiver seems to imply any video/ images taken/posted anywhere by anyone of the event gives them right to freely to use. you may want to back check the 2013 waiver, as the text seems a bit out of context, or rather " randomly injected" into the waiver. maybe this was something new added to this yrs event waiver? and, I agree recognition for your work or at least having event organizers ask permission is simple courtesy.

re: the timing failures - the event organizers contract timing companies, ultimately it's still the organizers responsibility. one can only presume they used some sub-par company for timing this years event? had never seen things that blatantly messed up with past events. lets hope lessons are learned and the 20th will be on par!
Waiver Responsibility: I understand and acknowledge that the inline skating is an activity involving a significant risk of personal injury, including disability and death. Acknowledging these risks, I hereby apply to enter an event hosted by the NORTHSHORE INLINE MARATHON, INC., agreeing that I am solely responsible for my safety. I HEREBY AGREE TO WAIVE AND RELEASE any and all claims for injuries or damages, which I may incur during, as a result of my participation in this event, against the NorthShore Inline Marathon Inc., its organizers, sponsors, sanctioning bodies, the City of Duluth, City of Two Harbors, Lake County, St. Louis County, the State of Minnesota, Town of Duluth, event staff, volunteers, officials, officers, directors, agents and medical personnel. I agree that I am solely responsible to be physically fit and sufficiently prepared to participate in this activity and to use equipment of a type and condition reasonably necessary to safely participate in this activity. If I require medical attention as a result of participation in the NorthShore Inline Marathon, I hereby give my consent for authorized medical personnel of the NorthShore Inline Marathon to provide such medical care as is deemed necessary. All medical expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the participant. This waiver and release shall be binding upon all my heirs and assigns. I understand that this event utilizes the AMBit scoring and timing technology and that I will receive a rental chip in my race packet. I also understand that I will be charged a $110 fee if the rental chip is not returned. I understand that no entry fee refunds or transfers can be allowed under any circumstance. Further, I hereby grant full permission to
any and all of the foregoing to use any photographs, motion pictures, recordings, or any other record of this event for any legitimate purpose, including commercial advertising
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Old September 18th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #43
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I wonder if the 'permission' in the waiver is to allow them to use THEIR photos and film of us without having to track us down one by one and ask our permission. I doubt that it is intended to extend to them having rights to OUR personal photos and videos... but maybe it does.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 01:22 PM   #44
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Everyone skates these races for their own reason and I understand being competitive, it just seems like it is too much to time everyone. I don't believe there should be age grouping, just race. First three get on the podium and are timed by volunteers. The rest should get a ribbon for completion. Medals would be nice but not at a large cost. Monies should go to the organizers for all the work and trouble they have to go through plus all the things they have to pay for such as closing roads, etc., first, then stuff for kids like inexpensive ribbons. The rest of us, just keep your number and write down your time on it that you got from your watch.

This probably is not a popular notion but the reason for my input is that it is now very costly and time consuming to put on a race and races are getting smaller and fewer. The organizers are not making even a modest amount of money doing it, which I think needs to change first. Also, with the discussion going on about rights to videos and such, it is going to be to complex for organizers to need to be concerned over everything and instead will just not bother or take the risk, and races will stop.

Timing is just to costly and troublesome with the number of people racing. It also doesn't seem to work well. Texas Road Rash had similar problems one year and many people complained and rightly so but that was the last year for the Road Rash.

Also... as gopherfan posted, music and presentations at these events should be 'G' rated. The idea is to make a nice environment for family and friends. That is basically the audience besides the skaters and we are trying to get children involved, so organizers should have the commonsense to make things appropriate. Not making things appropriate will be an event killer. For instance, there was a rollerskating rink in my town but it started to turn to the dark side with drugs and fights and just started to become a semi dangerous place. Not really bad but enough to where mothers did not feel comfortable taking their children there and there were times I was there I did not feel it was a nice family place. So families stopped going and then the owners had to raise prices because of fewer people and soon thereafter, it closed down.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 01:51 PM   #45
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It's disappointing to hear about some of the negatives, regarding the NSIM race this year. I respect those that have offered up "negative opinions" and have no reason to doubt the sincerity of them. Many of the people on this forum are true ambassadors of the sport, and therefore, their feedback should be taken seriously.

For me personally, I enjoyed the race. I skated in the pro pack and the thing that impressed me the most was the "racing ethics" shown by the skaters. At Chicago, the tactics were downright awful (lots of pushing and shoving). And, honestly, I anticipated more of the same, since the pack at NSIM was even more competitive. But, there was none of that. I didn't see any pushing or shoving. I thought the group worked together and was very respectful of each other.

With that being said, I heard of two instances in other races where the winners were accused of dirty racing tactics. I won't give away too much information, simply to protect the names of those involved. But, to me, I get really upset when guys/girls get so competitive that they are doing things to cause other people to crash (or have a bad experience). We're all competitive, and it's ok to be aggressive, but I don't believe it should ever get to the point of throwing elbows or doing things that cause other skaters to go down at high speeds.

It does sound like the timing issues were a problem. Not sure what happened there, but I can understand the frustration. I sort of agree with CM about just doing away with the timing element, but at the same time, I know how competitive we all are; times are important (to most of us), and I just don't see that working or being very popular amongst the skaters. I was pretty disappointed in the entry fees. I waited until the last minute (which I typically do, just in case I were to get hurt or have a sudden change of plans) and it cost me $140+ to register. That is by far, the most I've ever spent on an entry fee. It seems a little steep, but at the same time, I enjoy being able to skate down a road that is completely blocked off to traffic. So, I can't complain too much. I was also sad to see that they no longer recognize the top 10. Even Chicago does the top 5. I think NSIM needs to go back to recognizing the top 10, even if they don't necessarily give prize money to all of them. I think top 3 is ok for the money, but the race is too competitive to only recognize 3 skaters. At least do top 5, if not top 10.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #46
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I would like to see a timing chip we the racer can purchase that is a universal timing chip that will work for all races. A timing chip that can be re-programmed for different races. The concept isn't to difficult. Each race would have a setting and you go to a website and click on the link to have your timing chip configured for that particular race. It could be something you do when you pay and register for the race. Then you just show-up to the race with your timing chip programed for this particular race.

This would put the cost and responsibility of race timing on the participant racer and not so much on the race coordinators.

This would then allow those who want to be timed to take responsibility for being timed and the cost of being timed, and others who don't want to be timed won't need to pay for the added expense.

Obviously this is something that needs to be engineered and developed but the idea is sound and would put more of the timing responsibility on us the racer.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 03:06 PM   #47
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I would like to see a timing chip we the racer can purchase that is a universal timing chip that will work for all races. A timing chip that can be re-programmed for different races. The concept isn't to difficult. Each race would have a setting and you go to a website and click on the link to have your timing chip configured for that particular race. It could be something you do when you pay and register for the race. Then you just show-up to the race with your timing chip programed for this particular race.

<snip>

This would then allow those who want to be timed to take responsibility for being timed and the cost of being timed, and others who don't want to be timed won't need to pay for the added expense.
Races would have to come up with their own placement mechanisms, then. Even if it's not optional to have the chip you can't trust that a couple of batteries won't die if people are responsible for their own equipment.

I've considered what it would take to create a phone app for skating races, but in the end it isn't worth it. The Xperia Active is actually a great phone for this - small, lightweight, and built to handle some bumps. It fits easily into the leg pockets of the Ezeefit compression shorts or tool belts a lot of skaters wear. It's bluetooth and ANT+ enabled, so you can hook it up to a heart rate monitor. It's old tech, so you can get it for $150, and you don't even need a SIM card in it to use the GPS (although I do switch my SIM over while training out on the road in case something goes wrong and I need to make a call). Then install Endomondo (or Strava, or RunKeeper, or ...). Now you have your very own reusable timing chip that hooks up to some analytics automatically. If the race organizers want to accommodate this Endomondo allows you to enter routes, and it can give directions, which is even more functionality than you get now. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel.

Actually, when I did A2A back in the day the road markings weren't great and not all the police showed up to direct the race. There were a few stories about people getting lost. Having an official route programmed into the phone would be a nice safety net for those types of situations.

EDIT: Does anyone know how much of this race fee is going towards the timing? I did not realize the entry fee was so high.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 03:57 PM   #48
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Ok, I just want to say ... EXCELLENT INPUT and thanks for your brain power, WJCIV, AZ Roadrunner, and SkateMO. Great ideas that really need to be saved.

I was expecting to get slammed about the timing idea, let alone the placement issue. I know it isn't perfect. My thinking is that we have to figure out a way to cut cost. If races are getting in the hundreds that alone is going to really start cutting people out. People already have to incur travel expenses. I love the idea of people using their own technology and being responsible for it. The idea of using it or not falling to the user or skater is awesome. Anything to cut the costs down so it will be much easier for kids and young adults to just go skate and have fun with a group.

One of the great things I loved about the Texas Road Rash was that it was in laps. For me it was great because I got to know the route as I skated but the real fun for me was that I would periodically get passed by you elite skaters and everyone of you gave me words of encouragement. Also Joey Mantia would pass me and for a very brief moment I would get to try to mimic his cadence. On the right of course but still it was big fun. It is big fun to be able to skate with you guys even if it is "on the right" and for a very brief moment. I am sure others feel the same. That is one thing that makes skate races, especially marathon distance so unique to the sport, you know you just can't get on the field in a Pro football game and go out for a pass with the receiver, even if you stay "on the right".

Ok, it was fun for me skating with you elites and really got me charged up, and I'm an old guy, can you imagine the impact you have on young kids? Tremendous is what!

A THOUGHT... All of you have great ideas and it gives me the feeling of confidence that with your input the race problem can be solved and stimulated. The easier it is to put one on the more we will have. I personally have no idea of how to put on a race but in using this forum come up with a plan then perhaps we could get that to organizers and make things better and easier for them. I feel that they don't want to play music that is inappropriate or infringe on someone's creative video work, it is merely an oversight. Let's give them a music list. Let's tell them they can use our video or picture work, don't make them hunt us down. No one is perfect and since they have so much to do and manage, they need help.

You guys came up with some excellent ideas. This problem can be solved. Organizers do this because they love the sport, because there are error or oversight just shows they need help to guide them.

I will start compiling your ideas and list them, then I need a list of organizers and I will shoot them the list for them to make the final decision. Does that sound smart to you guys?
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Old September 18th, 2014, 05:26 PM   #49
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I forgot to mention in my last post that it would be easy enough to have beater phones for rent for a race, too. One of the sponsors could have 200 phones ready to go and take the initiative to input the route into the workout apps (participants would need their own accounts, but if that sponsor has a laptop with internet access the night before the race those are easy enough to set up). Then the whole exact timing thing wouldn't have to worry the organizers at all. They would just have to worry about placement. A decent video camera at the end could capture finishers in order, and maybe the different waves could have different colored bibs.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 07:10 PM   #50
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I wonder if the 'permission' in the waiver is to allow them to use THEIR photos and film of us without having to track us down one by one and ask our permission. I doubt that it is intended to extend to them having rights to OUR personal photos and videos... but maybe it does.
The first version of this interpretation is correct. They can't force everyone to let them use photos/video that an individual shot. I am pretty sure this would violate intellectual property law. The only IP NSIM has in those pictures is anything they control, like their logo showing up in pictures. Usually, this kind of thing occurs when someone shoots an event video and tries to sell it. The Event can then C&D the seller because of the Event's ownership interest in the event. I can't see that working the other way, claiming ownership of someone else's work as their own by a term in a waiver agreement. There is a pejorative legal term called an Adhesion Contract.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #51
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The only IP NSIM has in those pictures is anything they control, like their logo showing up in pictures. Usually, this kind of thing occurs when someone shoots an event video and tries to sell it.
this is why we see blurred out t-shirts and such on television. Rather than get permission to use something the producers just blur it.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 08:46 PM   #52
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On the universal timer front, one, a few of the timers use different technologies, and two, from what I understand, a big cost is the infrastructure, rather than the tags themselves. Plus it would make moving to new (less expensive and/or more accurate) tech that much more difficult when racers complain about the failure of their "investment."

On the phone app front, considering the less-than-sportsmanlike attitudes of some, I also wouldn't trust a timer provided by a racer themselves. The self timing works well if you're just interested in your times and whatnot, but not for competitions. That needs to be run by a neutral party (or at least overseen by multiple non-aligned interests.)

For personal statistics I use a running timer (MapMyRun) that also has modes for multiple types of activities, including inline skating. Not that the other modes seem to make a huge difference since it mainly just maps geography, speed, and altitude, but I get the warm and fuzzies that it's there. Ads aren't particularly intrusive, either.

I use a Samsung Note II on Verizon. The last skate I did was just about and hour and a half and had zero battery issues with the GPS and mobile data on full time (to the point I don't even remember what the battery was at when finished.) Oh, and I was playing music from Pandora the whole skate.

Last weekend we walked around a fair for 8 hours and mapped our walk, just for S&G's. I had a little USB battery, like 2100mah, and between the two I still had 30% battery at the end (the stock battery on a NoteII is 3100mah.) Oh, and we took a load of pics and lots of Facebook posts and meet-up conversations, so the screen was on a lot.

Sure, it's big, but slid down a set of generic compression shorts it sticks fine to my hip and I barely notice it other than a bit of sweat if it's particularly warm (which de-laminated the bottom 1/8 of my screen protector once, oops.) That's even with a decent sized case on it in case it falls.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 08:49 PM   #53
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this is why we see blurred out t-shirts and such on television. Rather than get permission to use something the producers just blur it.
Well, kind of. A bigger part is that company didn't pay advertising and they're not about to give it out for free and/or tick off a current advertiser that may be a competitor.

Generally if something is out in the public it's fair game to be photographed and published to a point. Otherwise the tabloids would be out of business.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 09:15 PM   #54
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On the phone app front, considering the less-than-sportsmanlike attitudes of some, I also wouldn't trust a timer provided by a racer themselves. The self timing works well if you're just interested in your times and whatnot, but not for competitions. That needs to be run by a neutral party (or at least overseen by multiple non-aligned interests.)
You couldn't use the resulting times in any official capacity, but the point we are making is that other than leader who might set a course record, the times don't really matter that much. So use a camera to determine placement, which is what really matters in a race, and let skaters decide if the time is really important to them. If it is you can provide the tools for them to track it for their own edification.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 10:37 PM   #55
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For me, what makes the time interesting is not knowing my own time, which I already have from my wrist mounted GPS and which which anyone can get with a basic digital wrist watch. The interesting part is knowing how my time relates to other people's time. You get that with timing chips, not so much with self-timing methods like phone apps.

Even if the app has an upload feature, not everyone will do it, many will not want to carry the device, and equipment failures will be very common.

The people who care about times are not the elite, who race for placement, which is seldom determined by chip time. It is the bulk of rec and advanced waves. Without a reasonable shot at a top placement, is the time, relative to others and to themselves in prior races that provides the benchmark of how they did.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #56
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For me, what makes the time interesting is not knowing my own time, which I already have from my wrist mounted GPS and which which anyone can get with a basic digital wrist watch. The interesting part is knowing how my time relates to other people's time. You get that with timing chips, not so much with self-timing methods like phone apps.

Even if the app has an upload feature, not everyone will do it, many will not want to carry the device, and equipment failures will be very common.

The people who care about times are not the elite, who race for placement, which is seldom determined by chip time. It is the bulk of rec and advanced waves. Without a reasonable shot at a top placement, is the time, relative to others and to themselves in prior races that provides the benchmark of how they did.
Exactly. What's the first thing someone is going to ask when you tell them you did the marathon: How long did it take? You might have that answer on your own. Then the follow up question: Is that good? / Where did you place? My watch doesn't tell me that, other people's times do.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 06:21 PM   #57
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The people who care about times are not the elite, who race for placement, which is seldom determined by chip time. It is the bulk of rec and advanced waves. Without a reasonable shot at a top placement, is the time, relative to others and to themselves in prior races that provides the benchmark of how they did.
Correct. The front end of the field mostly cares about placement. The back end of the field mostly cares about finishing. Timing isn't a huge deal to these groups.I think the elite racers that care about placement and payouts make up a very small percentage of any race, but especially Duluth.

The group in between (which I think is the largest group) do care about time. Since this is the largest group, these are the people that "pay the bills." These are the people that we have to make happy. These are the people that need to be catered to. Getting rid of chip timing would be a bad move for the majority of skaters. I don't think that is the answer. Getting accurate timing and more affordable timing is a better answer.

To help cater to that middle group, I also think entry fees need to go down. I don't know how to do that. Does anyone know if they have multiple paid/salaried full-time employees. I would assume most races of this size do, but I wonder how many NSIM has and how much of their budget this requires. I know that lots and lots of hours are poured into an event this size. By no means am I saying that the directors shouldn't be paid. It's WAY more work than I would be able to put into an event. I'm just kind of curious what their budget looks like.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 07:24 PM   #58
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wm_b, well, I was following the conversation then did a bit of research. reading the nsim waiver seems to imply any video/ images taken/posted anywhere by anyone of the event gives them right to freely to use. you may want to back check the 2013 waiver, as the text seems a bit out of context, or rather " randomly injected" into the waiver. maybe this was something new added to this yrs event waiver? and, I agree recognition for your work or at least having event organizers ask permission is simple courtesy.


Further, I hereby grant full permission to
any and all of the foregoing to use any photographs, motion pictures, recordings, or any other record of this event for any legitimate purpose, including commercial advertising
.
This looks more like a waiver for a participant appearing in photographs or motion pictures rather than allowing them or granting permission for NSIM Inc to use any photograph or motion picture created by a participant. Whether or not this waiver covers the use of my photographs or motion pictures they still obtained it illegally. Furthermore, my video is not just video, it also contains original content in the form of text and data overlay that is my design and original work.

My main issue is that they used an illegally obtained, degraded version of my work for public performance without permission. All of this could have been avoided very easily but instead they chose to steal it which offends me.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 08:40 PM   #59
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I would like to see a timing chip we the racer can purchase that is a universal timing chip that will work for all races. A timing chip that can be re-programmed for different races. The concept isn't to difficult. Each race would have a setting and you go to a website and click on the link to have your timing chip configured for that particular race. It could be something you do when you pay and register for the race. Then you just show-up to the race with your timing chip programed for this particular race.

This would put the cost and responsibility of race timing on the participant racer and not so much on the race coordinators.
This is exactly what is done for RC car racing. The transponders are made by MyLaps (formerly AMB) and they are pretty universal. My RC car transponders even work with the timing systems used at go-kart tracks. Mylaps is just about the only system used for professional sports.

http://www.mylaps.com/en/products
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Old September 19th, 2014, 10:14 PM   #60
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This is exactly what is done for RC car racing. The transponders are made by MyLaps (formerly AMB) and they are pretty universal. My RC car transponders even work with the timing systems used at go-kart tracks. Mylaps is just about the only system used for professional sports.

http://www.mylaps.com/en/products
There you go! Good information kufman and the prices are very reasonable. This type system could work and it's reusable, moving some of the expense from the race promoters to the racer. This also could lower the entry fees. For those not wanting to be timed they don't need to pay for the timing option.

I wonder why this hasn't been something the skate races use. It could reduce their costs and potentially increase revenue and less headaches. If people don't own the timing device needed the race website has a link for the racer to go purchase the chip.

To say racers won't want to purchase is a weak excuse. We need to make the racing easier for the race promoters so we can keep the races we have and add more. If they can make money at it they will add more races.

Good information Kufman and hopefully some race promoters will see and incorporate into their race.
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