I work with real-time operating systems for a living. So time is a very serious thing to me and there are even classic arguments which we still talk about such as the “It depends on what you consider time.” rant. So now the rest of the story on the official San Antonio marathon times. It turns out my official chip time for the San Antonio Marathon was 4:00:09. Chip time is measured by runners having an RFID chip on their shoe which is read by timing mats which the runners run over on the course including one at the starting line and one at the finish. My chip time also included 3:48 standing and waiting for the train. As I said in my last post, I didn’t think there was any way that they could adjust the times. How could they? How would they figure out who had to wait an how long?
Turns out they were gonna try. After the race they put up a website where you could go and enter what you thought your time should have been. Now, I knew what my time was since I stopped my watch when I stopped running, but I think most runners were so caught off guard that they didn’t. But I mean come on, how can they adjust the times for people who request it? Then you have some adjusted times and some not; that doesn’t seem fair. My thought was that was my chip time. OK, put an asterisk by it and note a train delay, but chip time is chip time. I understand that some people were trying to qualify for other events. But they could appeal to that event and provide evidence. Adjusting times doesn’t seem right to me and seems like a slippery slope. Now, I’m not really that serious about things so don’t start thinking this is a hot button issue for me, but I didn’t submit a time correction request for my time. I knew what it was and that is what mattered. So boy was I surprised when I got the following email:
Dear Affected Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Participants:
Our research indicates you were most likely delayed by the Union Pacific train on race day.
After painstaking review of all timing data gathered from 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio, we have adjusted your results to account for the amount of time you appeared to have been held up by the train. Your new results have been posted the Results Page on our website.
While most of you filed a formal Results Correction Request, a great number of you did not, therefore we have taken the liberty of adjusting the results of those individuals as well. Thank you to everyone who took the time to file a request – your data was invaluable to making the appropriate corrections based on all factors involved.
For the record, we know your exact starting time (to the second) and that the stop gates at the railroad crossing (at .8 miles into the race) were lowered at 7:24:54am and raised at 7:29:37am. To determine your adjusted time, we analyzed your pace for the first 5K (the affected portion) and the second 5K, and assumed that unimpeded you would have run even pace for the first 10K. We then made the necessary adjustment to the first 5K. By clicking here, you can see both your original and adjusted finish times. There are always exceptions to every rule, so if you believe further adjustments are still necessary for you, please file a Results Correction Request. When the results are deemed Final and Official, they will be sent to all of our licensees (Action Sports International (ASI) Photography, Fond Memories Graphics, and PR Engraving) and if you either had your finisher medal engraved or purchased a commemorative plaque, replacements will be sent to you free of charge.
In the meantime, on behalf of Union Pacific Railroad, Competitor Group, the City of San Antonio, and everyone involved with Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio; thank you for your patience as we sorted through all the data. Please, feel free to use the online coupon code TRAIN before 12/31/10 to receive a $10 discount on the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Please, also accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience and distress the interruption of your race caused you.
Happy Running and have a great Holiday Season!
I had stopped my watch at 3:56:10, which if anything was 5-10 seconds long from me not stopping my watch right when I crossed the line. They had my officially adjusted time at 3:56:27. I’ll still stick with my watch time.