Sunday, March 21, 2010

Run Time

Watching today's Los Angeles Marathon as it reached its conclusion a few blocks away from my home in Santa Monica, I was struck by the fact that far fewer people were running with iPods than I might have expected, even though the Marathon website was promoting its iMixes specifically for the race. But I also saw far more people were talking on cell phones than I would have expected for a run that leaves most breathless. As I cheered on the runners reaching the home stretch I was particularly struck by the determination of the large number of children running in the race, especially those from Students Run LA, who were easily recognizable in their bright green tops.

In order to stagger start times for the 26,000 participants and yet still provide accurate final finish line times for each of the 23,000 plus individuals who actually made it to the end, which could be posted on the Internet as a badge of pride and an aid to logistics, the marathon's organizers used RFID technology embedded in the runner's numbered bibs and listed times for each 5K unit of the race.

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