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12 Signs You’re a Seasoned Race Timer

There are countless posts on the web about what it’s like to run track or cross country, but none about the important people behind the scenes: Race Timers. So we’ve come up with our own list of what it’s like to be a FinishLynx race timer. Enjoy!

1. You show up to meets hours before they’re scheduled to start.

Because you know how long it takes to properly set up and organize your equipment. Anyone can align a camera on the finish line – but you want it aligned perfectly. You know organization is key to ensuring a day of smooth races. Cords need to get bundled and camera connections need to be tested so you’re ready for the crowds to accidentally run into them.

FinishLynx training group camera
Training attendees setup their cameras.

2. You use social media mainly to discuss your races, camera setups, and the terrible weather you sat through all day.

It’s always interesting to see what race timers from all over the world are experiencing. Some battle blizzards while others are stuck in heat waves or torrential downpours. This is also where some product-envy may come into play. Timers love showing off their latest and greatest equipment—whether it’s a new wind gauge or an upgraded Vision camera. Let’s face it, when new equipment arrives, it does feel a bit like Christmas morning.JDL Tweet

3. You have witnessed every form of pre-race ritual…and may have even developed one of your own.

Who says rubbing your Lynx camera before the meets won’t bring a smooth day of timing? Just because it’s not in the quick-start guide, doesn’t mean it won’t work.

4. You’ve become extremely talented at last-minute hacks to deal with missing equipment or extreme weather.

Such as protecting the cameras with rain covers or plastic bags, using step-ladders as a mounting option, or anchoring down tripods with buckets of cement or cinder blocks. No matter what unexpected situation the day throws at you, you’ve learned to think on your feet and can anticipate potential obstacles a mile away.

Courtesy of NTS-Timing
Courtesy of NTS-Timing
Courtesy of John Frank
Courtesy of John Frank

5. You’ve learned to shrug it off whenever someone makes assumptions about what race timers actually do.

Although on the inside you may be screaming a bit. The Lynx community knows there’s so much more to race timing than standing at the finish line holding a stop watch. Just don’t tell people about ACM.What others think timers do

6. You’ve prepared for each new season so many times that you no longer need a checklist. It’s become second nature and your knowledge will be passed down for generations.

Though it’s never a bad idea to go back and double check (just in case).

7. You’ve learned (maybe the hard way) just how important it is to stay hydrated on those unbearably hot race days.

Just because you’re not one of the athletes, that doesn’t mean water can be neglected. You know that staying hydrated is an easy way to remain attentive and avoid feeling tired halfway through the day. Hovering coaches don’t stop when it’s hot out and neither can you. But save the beer for after work.

Flash Results, Inc. in Sacramento, CA

8. You’ve recorded some pretty interesting finishes with Auto Capture.

Or in some cases, a few rogue birds, or cars, or falling spectators. Rookie race timers may be annoyed by this, but you’ve learned to the find the beauty in these moments.Birds

9. You have calmly (or maybe not so calmly) dealt with coaches and parents hassling you on more than one occasion.

And you probably wish the TaserLynx was a real product for such situations.TaserLynx Tesla Coil April Fools

10. You fully understand the frustration of dealing with XC runners who don’t properly pin their bib numbers.

Some runners just don’t see the importance of correct bib-pinning. Unless the timers are using IdentiLynx to get head-on captures, athlete identification can be quite difficult when runners get careless.

11. You take pride in the quality of your FinishLynx images.

You’re a pro at creating a perfectly white finish line and love adding black tape on the lane lines for the lane markers. We’ve heard that black shoe polish can work as well. Many timers have come up with some creative ways to get the best possible photo-finish image. And we can attest, there are some superb photo-finishes out there!

Add dark lane markers to a white finish line

12. Despite the extreme weather, power outages and pesky coaches, you still show up every day as resilient as ever.

Because if you want something done right, you probably like to do it yourself.


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