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New timing equipment helped a major mountain bike event adapt to Coronavirus restrictions

August 5, 2020

The largest annual mountain bike festival in Austria — the “Salzkammergut Trophy” — normally attracts more than 5,000 participants from over 40 nations. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2020 event was facing possible cancellations, race refunds, and lost sponsorships. Instead, the organizer redesigned the event and created a new “Individual Trophy” format for this year.

Mario Persch, executive partner at Global-Sportservice GmbH, in charge of the timing for the Salzkammergut Trophy event, said: “I was asked if I could come up with a solution in order to time participants in an individual single-start setup for the month of July (which is now July to October). The participants should be able to race the course at their own discretion.”

Registered riders for the event can pick up their race packet at a local tourist office or bike shop. Riders then select their starting location and choose between 7 different mountain bike courses. They can compete any number of times, using the same handlebar race plate with disposable transponder. For safety reasons, the timed sections do not contain any downhills, crossroads or city crossings. With the new format, the organizer also decided to add a running competition, where runners can race on two different run courses as often as they like during the four months.

To measure the timing points, there are 25 RACE RESULT Track Boxes installed on the various courses. The Track Box contains a UHF reader that receives the transponder signals and forwards them live to results. Transponder data is automatically collected; results are calculated and published online at https://live-scoring.com/trophy20/.

The Track Boxes are remotely controlled and monitored for solar power consumption, battery level, temperature, satellites, and mobile network reception. At night, they are turned into Auto Standby mode to save battery life.

“Getting early beta access to the Track Box Passive that RACE RESULT had in development and working closely with the R&D team to allow these boxes to run on solar power was key to the success of this big timing project,” Mario shares. “As with every new product we encountered some challenges and unexpected issues. But with the excellent working relationship with RACE RESULT, especially Nikias Klohr’s technical expertise and our unconventional approach to problem solving, we overcame all obstacles in an incredibly fast pace. We were able to open the course for participants on July 1st.”

Event sponsors were also happy with the new format and enjoy the opportunity for increased exposure through signage on the course as well as on the results page online over the four months.

In close cooperation with “Salzkammergut Trophy” and Global Sportservice GmbH, RACE RESULT has put together a detailed case study about the event and timing system setup. The goal is to help other event organizers and timing professionals around the world gain some ideas and come up with their own creative solutions to safely return to racing, while keeping within their community’s social distancing guidelines. The case study is available for download here: https://www.raceresult.com/fw/documents/RR_CaseStudy_SalzkammergutTrophy.pdf

About Salzkammergut Trophy

More than 5,000 participants from 40 nations make the Salzkammergut Trophy Austria’s biggest MTB marathon. The long loop through the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Region Hallstatt-Dachstein-Salzkammergut is considered as one of the most spectacular marathon tracks in Europe. Besides the seven different race distances, the bikers enjoy a weekend in Bad Goisern with a huge entertainment program – the unicyclist downhill competitionJunior Trophy, helicopter sightseeing tours, festival pavilion, special visitor’s spots, pasta party, bike expo area and much more.

About Global Sportservice GmbH

Since 2008, Global Sportservice from Graz, Austria is providing top level services to clients all over the world, including timing, scoring, TV graphics, live results and event support.  The company is constantly adjusting and adapting its services to the ever-evolving demands of clients, to make sure their events get just the best possible presentation they deserve. The company is relying on a rather small but highly motivated team of experienced professionals, each of them willing to go the extra mile to keep up high level of services.

About RACE RESULT

Founded in 2009, RACE RESULT has developed into one of the world’s leading suppliers of timekeeping technology. Known as the biggest innovator in the industry, RACE RESULT inspires its customers with outstanding quality Made in Germany. Worldwide, the company is recording rapidly growing numbers of users. From online registration via the personalized start number to the timekeeping system: RACE RESULT offers a complete package of hardware and software for sporting events of all sizes.