Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Fit N Right Run 09" RFID - Failure In Data Gathering

Overhead Sensors instead of MAT Sensor (subject to many condition for error reading)

The RFID attached only with a staple wire to Race Bib (needs to be positioned 90deg)

Two days after the “Fit N Right Run 09” last Sunday 22Nov09, the race result for 3k/5k/10k were posted at

As this is the very first time the RFID system is being used locally I am very much eager to know how the system performed on its debut.

Basis results released there were only 408 results for 10k, 1173 results for 5k and 605 results for 3k. Total results gathered by the system were 2186 results ONLY. The figure is way below the total number of participants during the event. I do not have the exact figure, but, the crowd during the event was easily double the result provided. Meaning, so many runners were not timed.

It is but so obvious that the RFID failed to deliver the results in the data gathering. who is the time keeper provided the following explanations on their website; (POSTING WAS PULLED DOWN)

As of 0930 hrs 26Nov09 a request from Marianne Tapales of CEMG was made which we quote - We appreciate your comments especially about the rfid timing sytem. However, may we request you to pull down the copy pasted disclaimer from CEMG accepts the responsibility of the ups and downs during the race. For discrepancies in timing or if your name is not on the list, please send an email with your full name, bib number and contact details to
unquote .

I feel very disappointed not for the RFID system, but, the manner it was used. As I have posted prior to the race data gathering was on its way to failure with the following established scenario then;

- There was no accompanying written instructions with respect to RFID sensor which was attached to the race bib. Majority of the runners were not aware that the plastic strip attached to the race bib was a timing device.

- The shoe lace mount for an RFID with a mat sensor should have been used as with “D-tag” as this eliminates the different possibilities that Runningmate highlighted on their explanation. (running behind a tall runner, finished with your RFID mount not in the right position, etc...)

- Runningmate was correct in identifying that the finish line was a total CHAOS with no crowd control.

- However, I do not see the logic on the explanation of “manual timing”. RFID was being used there was no need for a “manual timing” and there was none provided for manual timing as evident that race bibs have no “pull-out tag or barcode” to detach as you cross the finish line. You do not take manual time visually as the runner cross the finish line, there are way too many runners crossing at the same time even if you have a perfect view.

- The RFID was only stapled on the race bib. It was so easy to get detached particularly with sweat and hydration fluids during the race.

Anyways this may only be a birth pain. The RFID System is good and well tested system abroad. As in any tools and technology, mastery in the usage is of utmost importance. Hopefully the next race that will utilize the RFID, the organizers will do a better job than what happened at the “Fit N Right Run 09”.


  1. Fit n Right learned that race events arent just another marketing promo. Madami pa silang kakaining bigas hahaha Things can only get better so I hope they really take their learnings from this and take it to another level next time

  2. Sir Amado.. Another thing that I don't understand is why the RFID can only be tracked twice. For the 10K runners, this was an issue since we had to be rerouted away from the RF sensors.
    As far as I know, the RFID can be read by a sensor as long as it's not damaged / spoiled / or not in proper position.
    For 10K, since it's two 5K loops, they could track the START, 5K Time and then the FINISH time.

  3. Dear Anonymous - Let us look at it on the positive way that they improve in the future. We prefer to rejoice on anybody's success.

    Dear Jayson - The sensors of the RFID for the START/FINISH is only one but you can place as many in between to strenghten the system. Unfortunately, race organizers should have diverted the 5th km for the10k runners so as not to pass the sensors arc. They knew very well that possible error can be made by not doing so. Things to improve and master of the system.

  4. lesson learned: let us be selective in joining race events. corporate sponsor with huge advertising budget is not a guarantee for a perfect race.

  5. Dear Anonymous - Well said! Runners now have the option to select races. Let us exercise our options.

  6. good day sir. fort striders introduced an rfid tag in their octoberun race back in 2006. unfortunately, it didn't quite progressed as the tags were just too expensive back then... also, as one of your reader mentioned, the system isn't as reliable as the championchips (overhead capturing system - proper tag location, tag itself is not very robust, etc.)

  7. I heard the organizers failed to put up the ARCH in time for Runningmate to place all overhead sensors. The exit sensors were not executed since their were no barricades provided at the start and finish area. I also got a different name on the result list they provided. when i asked them what happened they emailed me a screenshot of the excel file the organizers provided them, that explained why my time and name was inaccurate. i was registered at the wrong category and with a different name on the organizers database. They were able to fix me and my friends results because we emailed them at See you at the Condura Run! Wooohoo