January 20, 2016

     When I was a kid, there was a race I ran annually in my home town. It became my favorite race mainly because it was one of the few that we had, and I really enjoyed it. Back then, we did not wear race numbers. You simply filled out a card at the finish and they matched your card number with the time they recorded as you crossed the finish line. Simple, yet effective. But the race I ran the most, the Great Southern Runaway, was special in many ways, one of them being that the newspaper that covered the race would blowout the coverage, so you'd always get your name in the paper by simply being in the race. If you were an age group winner, you might have your photo too. It was exciting to say the least.

     One year at the Great Southern Runaway, they printed a history of the race, and I found myself looking for myself from the years I had run the race. But I came across an article titled, “How To Spot A Pigeon”. The article was well written and covered running terms that were simply unfamiliar to the kid reading it. But the core part of the story was addressing runners who wear their race number on the back of the shirt. I had no experience with race numbers at that time since the races I had run didn't use them, but the story stuck with me over the years and as I started traveling to larger events, I would see people with numbers on their back. I would always snicker to myself as if someone was wearing a sign that said kick me, but didn't know it. Beyond that I never gave it much thought..

     However when I started race timing, I quickly came to understand two things. One was numbers on the back are a bad thing....always. And the person that wrote the article I had read as a child was likely a race timer.

     I know what you're thinking, it's not that big of a deal...right? But hear me out. It is a big deal. You see when we race timers are sitting at the finish of a race, we are focused on seeing your number to lock it in with your time. We can capture your time without the number, but if you stop in the chute to turn and show your number, it disrupts the flow of the race end. You could cause the chute to bottleneck and next thing you know, people are out of order. We see this issue come up with folks who wear their race number under a jacket also. Try as we might, announce as we do, it never fails, someone will become the pigeon for that race. Many times we find several.

     The next time you put that race number on, remember to put it on the front of your body, and use at least 3 pins. We're not going to call anyone a pigeon, but you doing it right will be much appreciated.

                                                                                                                 See you at the races! Tim


What Time Does It Start

June 24, 2015

     Yeah, but what time do I need to be there?

      Running and walking events can be found just about any given weekend in Mississippi and the surrounding states. This time of year it's what we do. For Time 2 Run, it's what we call the busy time of year, or the Spring season. We start timing in late January and it doesn't let up til late June and this year, we even have multiple races in July and into August before the Fall season kicks in. We will time more races this year than our li...

Continue reading...

The Evolution of Road Racing

February 12, 2015

         Ask anyone over the age of 50 who has been running most of their life and you can hear some pretty good stories about how road racing “used to be”. As someone who began running at age 10 myself, I have seen a lot of changes in the world of running and racing over the past 36 years.

       The advances in running shoes come to mind. There have been many. Along the way we witnessed the dominance of Nike evolve before our very eyes. Sure there were other players in the running boom ...

Continue reading...

Why You Should Pre-Register For Your Race

February 5, 2015
       As a race timer and former competitive runner (I never have time to race much any more), I have a lot of race shirts. Anyone who has been running for more than a couple of years has likely amassed quite a collection of cotton, dri-fit, sweat shirt, long sleeves and a tank top or two. Yes the ole race shirt. For many runners it is the ultimate prize; and for a lot of runners and walkers, it is the only prize. So when you get to a race to register on race day and you hear the words, "sor...
Continue reading...

About Me

Tim Irvine
Meridian, Ms
Tim Irvine