Setting up a new race event starts with entering race details. You create a new event via the '+ New race' button in the page header or via the same button at the top 'My races'. The header includes the information as listed below. Some of it is mandatory, like date, distance, splits and start type. You can edit your race details at a any time - even after your race has finished.
After setting up the event, the next step is to enter your start list. This can be done manually or via uploading an Excel file (CSV format). The start list supports categories, bib numbers and a team or club name next to the race participant's name. All fields other than 'Name' are optional.
For each race participant in your event you can include the following:
You can choose to show or hide this information in your race. For example when you're not planning to use bib numbers then you can simply turn off the 'Bib number' column. The only mandatory column that can't be hidden is 'Name'. Race list details can be set to show or hide with the buttons in the header.
The list of participants can be added manually or you may upload an Excel file with comma separated values in case your race list has already been prepared in another system or application. How to upload CSV is explained further down this list.
The order of participants is important for time trial races as the order in the list is the implied starting order. The order can be changed via drag and drop. Best to do this on a laptop using a mouse. The order can also be quickly set via the column headers, to for example sort alphabetically by name or by bib number from low to high.
At any time the information for a single participant can be edited by clicking on the pencil icon. This results into an inline edit option with the participants information. Participants can be removed from the start list by clicking on the delete icon (cross). The entire list can be cleared by clicking on the orange cross icon at the top of the list (you'll be asked for confirmation).
Many sports races include multiple categories of participants in one and the same race. RaceClocker makes it easy to include categories in your start list. Race results will be grouped by category when the category is switched 'on' in the start list editor ('Participants'). If a participant is not assigned to a specific category then he/she will be included in the standard 'All' category - this is the only category that can't be removed from the category list. If you don't need categories at all, you can simply turn them off by pressing the 'Categories' switch in the show/hide options.
Adding or editing categories starts from the 'Edit Categories' option in the toolbar in the start list editor or from the category 'picker' in the list itself. This brings you to a simple list (pictured above) from where categories can be added, changed or removed. When you're done setting up all categories, click 'Done' to return to the start list. From then on the categories you created will be included in the drop down selector.
You can also include categories in your own Excel (CSV) race list that you upload. Simply include the category for each participant in the first column of your spreadsheet and automatically the categories will be created when the file is uploaded.
The quick and easy way to get your race list in RaceClocker is via a CSV file. You can upload your CSV file from 'Edit Participants' by choosing the 'Upload CSV file' button on the right hand side of the 'Add Participant' entry row.
CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. A CSV file is simply a large table in a text file where each row represents a race participant and each column an 'attribute' of your race (i.e. category, bib number, name, club name). Most race management software supports the export of such a file and it's also easy to create one from Excel. There are a few points of attention though to make this work as you expect.
First, the columns in your file should match the columns in your race list. So when you want for example categories and bib numbers included in addition to the participants name, then you need to make those columns are visible in the start list editor ('Participants'). By default all 4 properties are visible and only the participants name is non-removable. Your CSV file should only contain those columns and in the same order, since any other info on each row in the file will be ignored. When you want to include categories, these should be in the first column of your file. When the file is imported the categories are added to the category list.
Second, the first row in your file should be the first participant of your race. There is no need to include a header row.
Third, it's easiest when the participants in your race list are in the correct starting order (unless your race has a mass start). If needed you can still add or remove participants manually at the last minute via the start list editor ('Participants') where you may change details or change the order of your race list - without having to re-import the CSV file again.
Note that when you import a file this always adds the imported participants to your list. If you want to replace the start list than delete all first via the delete icon (cross) in the list header.
As an example you can find a sample CSV file here
The Timer Dashboard is the interface from where the race manager or director can view and manage the timing process. To keep overview and control this is best done on a device with a large screen like a laptop or desktop computer.
The Timer Dashboard provides a real time view of every time stamp that your timekeepers (the people timing in the field) are making. Whenever a time stamp is registerd via one of the timers, the result is within a short moment visible on the dashboard. For each race participant a live stopwatch is running in the 'Result' column until finished.
Futhermore the Timer Dashboard includes the following features:
The timer is the user interface that enables the timekeeper at start, finish or at any of the split points to register the time of each participant in the race. The timekeeper will receive from you as the race manager a link via email, text or chat on their device.
When a participant crosses the start, split or finish line, your timekeeper presses the corresponding button to register the actual passing time. Usually a start or finish referee marks the exact moment of the start or finish and the timekeeper then captures that moment by pressing a timer button. Instantly, the exact time is taken from the internal clock of your device that is synchronized with the RaceClocker central clock. Note that the time pulse is set when the mouse or finger is put 'down' (instead of on 'up' like a regular web button). This assures there's no latency in the click action itself.
The timer can be accessed from any internet connected device. Most reliable results are achieved when timing on a laptop or tablet device. A larger screen provides a good overview and reduces the chance of error. The list of timing buttons is in the same order as the original start list order. The buttons include the bib number of the participant - or his or her name in case bib numbers are not included in your race. The button also indicates the timing point in the race: Start, Finish or one of the split points.
Whenever a timer button is pressed, it gets replaced with the registerd time and after a short while a green 'check' appears next to it. This indicates that the time stamp is safely stored on the race server. In case a button is pressed by accident - or too early - then an 'undo' button can be tapped to get the timer button back. Every button press (even erroneous ones) are kept in history in case a time needs to be corrected or for example assigned to a different racer. Corrections can be reviewed under 'History'.
Our clock measures time with one tenth of a second precision to not suggest higher accuracy then what's reasonably possible with manual timing. Note that the speed of your internet connection is not in any way influencing the precision of your timer button action - sending the registered time to the server happens 'asynchronous' in the background.
Important notes with regard to race timing:
The timer offers a couple of different modes to facilitate various race types. Each mode has its pros and cons, the benefit is that at any time the timekeeper can swap between various modes as all are simply views on the same list. Note that multiple instances of a timer at the same timing point can be used simultaneously. For example if you have many particpants passing the finish line close to each other you may have multiple timekeepers each registering one or two in a pack. Keep in mind that the timekeepers will only see the timings they made, until the view is being 'refreshed'.
The video below shows the modes of the start timer:
The various timer modes include:
The results of your race can be opened from the race detail page or from the Timer Dashboard. The results are grouped by category and within each the participants are ranked by time - fastest at the top. For each split point in your race the elapsed time of the interval towards that split point is displayed, including the ranking within each category at that point.
The 'Auto Scroll' features makes sure the results slowly scroll from top to bottom - which makes it easier to publish live results on a TV or projector for spectators.
The 'Auto Refresh' option can be used to update results for spectators during the race and when results come in. This updates the results every 60 seconds, without interrupting the auto scroll position on the page.
When 2 or more split points are set, the results can be toggled between 'Intervals' or 'Splits'. The first ('Intervals') displays the time between the actual and the previous split point and the second ('Splits') displays the time between the actual point and the start.
If the race has categories the results can either be grouped 'By Category' or the result can be sorted as a 'Flat' list with the fastest over all at the top.
At the bottom of the results page links are included for publishing, sharing or file download. Results can be shared online via Twitter and Facebook or via a public link. Furthermore an Excel file (.xlsx) can be downloaded that contains both results as well as the raw timing data on two separate worksheets.
Since RaceClocker relies on human input for timing races we've included options to correct mistakes. No matter how good the tool, with manual timing it's likely that errors at some point will occur. When a button is pressed in the timer, next to registered time you'll see two icons appear that each represent a correction option.
The first option is 'Undo', indicated with a left pointing arrow icon. Tapping 'Undo' will hide the registered time and bring back the timer button so it can be tapped again. The erroneous time will be kept in history in case it's needed later for corrections. Note that 'Undo' and 'Reassign' are only available in the 'List' mode of the timer.
The second correction option is 'Reassign', indicated by the icon with crossing arrows. Tapping 'Reassign' will temporarily change the mode of the timer. The current participants time will be highlighted blue (as shown in the video below). When another participant is then tapped on, the current time is assigned to that other participant. If the newly assigned participant already had a previous time assigned then it will be swapped with the current. If he/she had not then for the current participant the timer button will reappear.
This mode can be escaped without making any change by tapping on the blue row once again.
For the race manager the Timer Dashboard provides the option to manually override any registered time, for example to add missed timings or to replace erroneous ones. Next to each participant a pencil icon provides access to an editor where any of the registered times of a participant can be changed and saved. This mode can also be used to enter or correct a time from a backup system.
In some race types penalties are assigned to crews or participants based on a jury or referee decision. The edit mode in the Timer Dashboard enables the race manager to add a time penalty to any of the participants. The penalty in seconds will be added to the overall time and indicated in an additional column, both in the dashboard as well as in the ranked results. Additionally the race manager can set a participant manually to DNS (did not start), DNF (did not finish) or DQ (Disqualified).
RaceClocker is a web based application and it requires a stable internet connection to function error-free. Because RaceClocker is a connected timing system the race manager can follow and control the race timing from a central point and your audience can see published results as the event unfolds.
Cellular network coverage is a requirement at the timing location where your timekeepers are 'out in the field'. We recommend to set up a hotspot on your smartphone and use that connection on a laptop or tablet. Other solutions like a mobile network dongle or connectivity via WiFi are obviously fine as well. Make sure though that the connection is reliable and stable.
Losing internet connectivity
A (temporary) drop of your internet connection whilst timing is no problem. RaceClocker buffers all timing results in the local web page and synchs its information with the RaceClocker server as soon as connectivity is restored. During a dropout its important to not close the timer web page as in that case a registered time may get lost. When connectivity drops you'll see two clear indicators:
At the top of the page a red box with a warning message appears, indicating the loss of internet connectivity. When this occurs the user can continue with timing. The message will disappear as soon as connectivity is available again, the timer will then reconnect to the race server and synch all buffered information. As long as connectivity has not been restored, make sure to keep the window open.
Additionally, next to times that have not been synched with the RaceClocker server due to loss of connectivity a yellow warning triangle will appear instead of green check. As soon as connectivity is restored all yellow triangles will get replaced with green checks, indicating that all time stamps have been received on the server and made visible in the Timer Dashboard.
The 'History' tab in the race timer captures all the timing events made in the timer. When the timekeeper accidentally makes a time registration and uses the 'Undo' button to make another time stamp for the same participant, both times are kept in the history. The time that is used in the Timer Dashboard is highlighted with the label 'assigned'. The history keeps track of all timing events at a point in the race, until the Race Manager resets the race.
If for some reason the data in the page after an internet connectivity drop has not been synched again to the RaceClocker server then the timekeeper can do a manual 'Re-submit History'. This will send all captured times in history to the server again.
For free use of RaceClocker simply register yourself, confirm your email address via your inbox and then you're free to use the application for as many races you need up till 10 participants per race. When you need to time a race with more than 10 participants then you can upgrade to RaceClocker Unlimited for 49,90 Euro (equals about USD $59.90) per year - including VAT. You can do this via the information page about your account, which is accessible in the top right corner of the screen - when logged in. The annual fee can be paid via Credit Card, PayPal or other local payment providers. Get in touch in case you may need any help.