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 http://www.runningmate.ph/del_monte/result.
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. Runningmate.ph 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 runningmate.ph. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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”.