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Boilermaker staying put with chip timing company despite last year's failures

UTICA, N.Y. - The Boilermaker Road Race will continue to use the ChampionChip as its timing device in 2009. “We’ve thoroughly researched alternative timing systems and have concluded that, based on our needs, there is no existing system that will deliver better results,” said Jim Stasaitis, race director of the Boilermaker. “We are confident in this decision.”

ChampionChip, a company based out of the Netherlands, uses transponder technology to record accurate timing and registration. ChampionChip boasts high level service for both net and split times, while also allowing for a smooth, chute-less finish line.

The chip, which contains an energized coil rather than a battery, can be used in all weather conditions. Boilermaker participants rent chips to utilize on race day. Avid runners can purchase their own device which can be used in other races.

“Traditionally, the ChampionChip system is more than 99% accurate,” Stasaitis continued. “We estimated that the best result we could get with an alternative system is, at best, only 95%. That’s just not good enough for our race.”

Race officials acknowledge that last year’s results with the ChampionChip were less than 99% accurate. However, they have done extensive research and have implemented several fail-safes to prevent similar issues this year.

“We have looked into various other technologies and discerned that the current chip system is robust enough for the 2009 events,” said Tim Reed, executive director of the Boilermaker. “We will be well prepared and heavily staffed at both the start and finish lines to ensure accurate net times for allrunners.”

Additionally, a digital clock will be placed at the start line for runners to verify when they begin the race. There will also be enhanced security near all electronic devices at the start line.

First featured in the 1994 Berlin Marathon, ChampionChip is now used at many major races throughout the year including the New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles marathons.

The Boilermaker will continue to evaluate alternative timing systems and have not ruling out an upgrade in the future. “The most important factor in our choice is the delivery of the best possible experience to our runners,” Reed concluded. “We feel the ChampionChip is the best option for ensuring accurate results this year.”

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