Sunday, May 09, 2010

Jay Benson needs to get their timing act together. (Race Report)

This is the fourth time I've done the Jay Benson triathlon, and they are really starting to piss me off.
Jay Benson is doing a very good job with the waves - I'll give them that.  They course is closed, which is awesome.  The field was evenly spread out.  There was little congestion in the pool.  The refs reported that it was much easier to marshall the course.  It's a good course, not too hard, not too easy, and it attracts a lot of newbies every year.

The packet pick-up is well-organized, other than the weird idea of marking me the night before (hello, for a sprint?) and you always get a nice T-shirt.

So what is the problem?

The problem is that they absolutely refuse to put a timing mat at the start line.  As a result, if they screw up the wave time, or if the racer screws up their wave time, their entire race is timed incorrectly.  So, as a result, my finish time was listed at 52 minutes.  Yep.  According to my bike calculator, I did the bike in about 45 minutes, so that means I did the 5k run and the 400 meter swim in about 5 minutes.  Don't get me wrong - I'd love think that I could pull off a sprint triathlon in 52 minutes, but at the present, it ain't happenin'.  Their screwup, I figure, is due to them having me listed in the next wave, which took off 20 minutes later.  Why, I don't know.  They told me to start in wave 5, so I did.  Who knows how many other people's times they screwed up?

Last year, they recorded a 10 minute 5k for a relay participant.  They also reported a 20 minute 5k for a 40-year-old Athena, and don't get me wrong - she's talended, awesome cyclist, but her 5k has never been less than 30 minutes.  There were a great many other mistakes, which I know of because I know the people involved, and how fast they are.  Many of the ones from last year they've never corrected.

I went to the officials after seeing my posted time told them, that's not my time, and they said these were all unofficial times, and they've be fixed.  Immediately after this conversation, they had the awards ceremony.  WtF?    Why have an awards ceremony if you know the times are all wrong?  And when they called my name, and said, "52 minutes" I went up there, shaking my head, saying, "I told you that isn't my time."  So then they asked me, well, how do you think you placed?  How do I think I placed?  Isn't that what the timing chip is for?

Now, having said all that, I think I did pretty well.  I may have a personal best on this course today.  I'll find out for sure when they post the "corrected" times.

Get it together, Jay Benson.  You've got a good race going, but if you don't get the timing right, it's not really a race.  It's just an expensive workout. 



  1. "it's not really a race. It's just an expensive workout."

    What a perfect way to put that.

    I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to know you probably had a personal best but not have any confidence in their ability to tell you your final time.

    Congrats on a great race and sorry they screwed it all up for you.

  2. Ridiculous they can't get this together. Looks like they even used a different timing company which who knows who they are because the times are yet to be found. I emailed the RD to find out...You still pulled out an awesome race Misty!

  3. They really should get their acts together! After all this is presumably their jobs!

  4. Excellent post. I have had similar conversations with fellow athletes regarding a local company here that refuses to use any timing chips at all. We all start in waves and volunteers hand record our times. Needless to say, there are often discrepancies. Expensive workout. perfect.

  5. You're right on about the timing mat at the start line. I'm curious to see how they fix it all.

    It was good meeting you on Sunday. Hope the Jemez 50k goes well.

  6. Right now this is the race w/ the biggest draw. If they continue to screw up the timing they will lose that popularity.

    I just want to know what my AG placing is dang it! Isn't fast and easy results the whole reason for micro chipped race?

    BTW, they purchased the micr chip equipment and are doing it themselves.


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