Gun Time and Chip Time what are they?

Many times we get asked at events what is the Gun Time? and what is the Chip Time?

We would like to explain and make it a little easier for those who are unsure of what these are.

The Gun Time

This time is the official time used in all races and is the time taken from when the race starts to when you cross the finish line.

The Chip Time

This is the time regarded as the net time or chip time as it is most commonly known, and is the time it takes from the moment you cross the start line to the moment you cross the finish line. This time will give you an accurate time for the distance of the race.

As an example:

The official race is started at 10:00 am and you took 1 minute to cross the start line and you finished the race at 10:30 am

You would have a finish time of 30 minutes and a chip time of 29 minutes.

It is important to be aware that in nearly all cases the chip time is used only for personal information and is not used in the calculation of the overal results.

Some events do choose to use the chip time especially for large events where qualification times are needed like the london marathon for instance, they use the chip times for awarding good for age places, this is completely at the discretion of the event organisors.

Why do events not use the chip time then?

If an event where to use the chip time alone then the race would become a time trial, in theory a competitor could start at the back of the race and still have the lowest time and win the race despite not crossing the line first.

A true race is the first person who crosses the line wins, and is the format for 99% of all races.

So why have a chip time at all?

Providing a chip time gives each individual an accurate time for the distance of the race for there own personal reference.