Sport Systems IPICO Chip Timing System

Introducing IPICO

In order to make sure that the race timing for the Chippenham Half Marathon is accurate and efficient this year we will be using Sport Systems' new IPICO Sports TAG timing system.

The IPICO system uses a lightweight Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) timing chip which is attached to your shoe. The chip is attached using two slim twines (provided by Sport Systems) and is detected as the chip passes over mats located at the start and finish.

Conventional manual timing requires a number of skilled and experienced operators and by its very nature is prone to errors. Correcting these errors takes time and delays the production of the results and the prize list. Sport Systems' chip timing system removes these errors by recording your race number and time as you cross the finish line and feeding them directly into the results system.

Here's how it works

Detection mats will be deployed at the start and finish of the race (see pictures above and below)which create an electromagnetic field. When you run over these mats the chip attached to your shoe passes through this field and is detected resulting in your start and finish time being recorded in the computer system. For accuracy Sport Systems' timing software is configured to either take the first detection or the last detection of each chip depending upon whether the mats are located in front of or behind the relevant timing point.

On-time results!

Because the results are continually fed into Sport Systems computer system it means that we are able to provide you with the provisional results while the race is still in progress. As soon as sufficient results have been recorded we will print them out and post them on the results board and add to the list as more results become available. This means that we can hold the prize giving ceremony as early as possible and you will go home at the end of the race already knowing whether or not you got the PB you were hoping for!

Gun time/ Chip time defined

You will have two times recorded as you cross the finish line. The first is called the Gun Time. It's your official race time and is the time that you take to complete the course from the time the gun was fired. Any time taken for you to cross the start line will is considered to be part of your race time and will therefore be included. However, you will also get a Chip Time (or Chip to Chip Time as it’s sometimes referred to). This is the time that you actually take from the time you cross the start line (even if you took thirty seconds to do so from when the gun was fired) to the time you crossed the finish line. Please remember though that this time has no relevance to the results and is used for information purposes only. As far as the rules of athletics are concerned the Gun Time is the important time, and this is what the results and prizes are based on, otherwise the race becomes a time trail where the winner need not actually be the first person to cross the finish line.

Chip Distribution

Your IPICO chip will be posted to you with your race number, twines and race information pack at the beginning of September. Your envelope will be clearly printed with your race number and illustrations showing how to correctly secure the chip to your shoe (see example on left). In addition a pre-paid business reply envelope will be provided so that if you are unable to run you can return your chip to Sport Systems.

Please ensure that you return your chip if you are unable to run as we will have to reimburse Sport Systems for every chip that is not returned.

Chip Collection after the race

The twines you will be supplied with provide a secure attachment for your chip and easy release after the race.
It is essential that we return all the chips to Sport Systems so we ask you to help us by removing and returning your chip immediately after finishing. Race officials will be on hand with wire clippers to assist you if you have any problems removing your chip.


We will endeavour to make sure that all results are posted on the results board as they become available. However, if you are not able to wait for them to be printed off and put up then you will be able to find a full set of results here shortly after the end of the race.

If you have any questions regarding the above then you can contact us via our Contact page.