Timing a triathlon or other multisport event is one of the more complex timing tasks you may come up against. This guide is designed to give you some tips and best practices for successfully timing and scoring your multisport event. Much of this information comes directly from the real-world experiences of our timers. This guide is in no way comprehensive, but is designed to offer some general pointers. Your own experiences will provide you with unique, situational knowledge beyond what's discussed in this article.
The type of tag or tags you decide to use for your event will have a direct impact on timing setup. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself well with the different types of ChronoTrack Antennas and Tags so that you can make an informed decision about your equipment lineup. Once you've got a good grasp on what works with what, the setup necessary for any course becomes a simple logic problem. As always, feel free to contact Support with any questions you may have.
The ChronoTrack Tri-Tag or the ChronoTrack Active Tag (requiring the Active Extension) are our suggested timing tag for all multisport events that involve water. Both the re-usable and disposable versions of Tri-Tag are very rugged and completely waterproof. The Active tag has the additional benefit of being impervious to interference from mud.
For bike intervals, we recommend using the ChronoTrack Bike Tag as the best method for timing. The Bike tag works very well with FlashPoints alone, eliminating the necessity for Gators during any timed Bike checkpoints. If you'll be using the Tri tag for timing the bike portions of the race, Gators are your best bet since FlashPoints do not read tags that are close to the ground very well.
An alternative to the Bike Tag that many timers have had success with is single or dual B-Tags applied to the back of a bike's number plate. This setup works well with FlashPoints AND Gators
The ideal tagging situation for a standard Triathlon is a Tri-Tag on the athlete's ankle and a Bike Tag on the seat post of the athletes' bikes encoded with the same number as the Tri Tag.
As noted before, the type of tag(s) you select for your race will impact your line configuration, but there are a variety of ways you can set up each section of a multisport race. For Start and Finish lines, setup is generally simply a matter of what works best with the tag type with which the athlete will be starting and finishing the race. As noted earlier, please familiarize yourself with the different types of antennas and tags so you will know which equipment sets to use for each timing line.
In a regular Triathlon, you'll have two transition areas with In and Out lines. Sometimes both transitions use the same pair of lines and other times each line is separate. It's usually best to have separate In and Out lines to avoid traffic jams and athletes "lapping" the same point, which can cause scoring complications if you are using software other than CT Live.
For transitions out of water, you'll likely use only Gators since the Tri tag is worn around the ankle. As always, we recommend a backup line. However, there is a "Runway" line configuration that has become popular for transitions out or water, shown here:
This configuration may seem strange to those familiar with the "15 foot rule", but it will work well as long as all antennas are connected to the same reader. If the antennas were connected to different readers, the 15 foot rule would apply and this configuration wouldn't work.
Instead of passing over a single line, this Runway setup increases the likelihood that drenched athletes who have just left the water will get read because they pass over every antenna on the line.
In a typical triathlon, athletes will enter a bike transition area, grab their bikes, then walk them out of the transition. Since the athletes should still be wearing their Tri Tags, Gators will be fine for this.
If athletes will be riding their bikes out of the transition and you are using Bike Tags, make sure to have FlashPoints set up in the vertical orientation necessary for Bike tags. Gators do not work well with Bike tags.
CT Live Scoring
Setup for multisport races in CT Live is very simple. For best results, follow our Multisport Course Setup guide.