Timer of the Month is a recognition bestowed upon a Jaguar Timer at the beginning of each month. The timer is chosen because they have done exemplary work with their timing business and we at ITS would like to highlight their contributions and hard work.
The Timer of the Month for August is Eric Jensen, owner of Eastern Oregon Sports Training. Jensen is currently our only timer in the Pacific Northwest and he is working hard with his Jaguar timing system to create events both kids and adults will enjoy. He is also an avid runner, having participating in over 100 marathons, almost a hundred half marathons, and countless smaller races in between. He has run in the Boston Marathon multiple times and hopes to compete in an Ironman Triathlon.
1. What made you decide to become a timer?
I got into timing when a couple of annual fun runs in my area both decided to cancel in the same year. I volunteered to help them out to try to revive them and I ended up becoming the Race Director for both. That led me to time a few other races in my area. After two years of pulling tags, one of my most reliable volunteers who was collecting tags accidentally dropped and scattered the tags on the ground. That led to researching chip-timing companies and Innovative Timing Systems was the first and only company I contacted.
2. What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on a race day or leading up to a race day?
Seems like every year we do something or forget something that impacts us on race morning. The one that I remember the most was three years ago. We timed and helped direct a big race at a nearby poplar tree farm. It was this huge grove of trees along I-84. People always loved to stop there and take pictures or walk through the rows of trees. Well, we started putting on a race there that got the attention of Runner’s World. The race grew to be about 500 participants. Then, three years ago, the farm was sold and all the trees were to be eventually cut down, so this was going to be the final race. We ended with close to 1200 for that race, which was a 5K, 10K, and 15K. Well, for some reason, I somehow forgot to pack the cables for the readers and had to rush home to get them (an hour and a half round trip and was a major “lesson learned”). We delayed the start by 15 minutes (which didn’t upset the runners at all) and got the race started. Then when the first runners started coming in the final straight, my timing laptop decided to reboot due to a windows update. Another lesson learned – turn off windows updates!
3. What is your essential go-to ITS product?
The results kiosk is by far the most essential product, especially in the last couple of years. It is getting more and more popular at each race that we do. We time several races in the Seattle/Tacoma area, which has a lot of non-Jaguar timers, and we always hear about how cool the printout of the results is. It’s like “are we the only ones that have this?”
4. What event have you timed or hosted that has meant a lot to you?
The races that I time or help out that mean the most to me are the events that are dedicated to cancer or cancer research or involve our veterans. My mom passed away from cancer, my sister had cancer surgery this past winter (and is beating it), and I even had a touch of skin cancer removed this winter. I love veterans causes also because my dad was a veteran and fought in WWII.
5. Do you have any advice for other timers?
a. Get the results, first and foremost.
b. Learn from your mistakes! I don’t think I’ve ever really repeated a mistake, we just make new ones up!
c. Be calm in the face of all hell breaking through around you. We’ve had several RD’s comments to us how calm we are and they are amazed how much we interact with runners during races.
d. Don’t be afraid to go after the big fish! It took me a while to get my confidence to where I thought I could handle a 300 person race and then when a 700 person race came along, I thought “OMG”. Then when that became a 1000 person race, again it was “OMG”. Make a plan to get the race, make a plan to time the race, and then be ready to correct things to keep making things better.
e. If you ever get the chance to go to St. Louis and visit the “Mighty Innovative”, do so! I had it in my mind to go there last November to meet face to face with Dennis and talk about my future and ITS’ future. Did I really need to go? No, but I wanted to commit myself and my company to go forward. Plus, I had the major bonus of being able to not only sit with Dennis but spend several hours with Kurt as well. It was a short, but amazing trip. I spent about 13 hours there and had to tear myself away as I had an early flight the next morning, but I could have easily pulled an all-nighter! Go to the conference, if you possibly can! We’ve been to everyone since 2012 in Las Vegas. I’m always so excited to go every year. To me, it just doesn’t make any sense not to go.
Congratulations again to Eric Jensen of Eastern Oregon Sports. We at Innovative Timing Systems are proud to have you as a part of our Jaguar family.
If you would like to learn more about Eastern Oregon Sports or get in contact with them, you can find their website here. You can also follow them on Facebook and YouTube.
August 3, 2019- Catherine Creek Classic
August 10, 2019- Galloping Gertie
August 17, 2019- It's a Grape Run
August 18, 2019- Tunnel Vision Marathon
August 24, 2019- Drug Free Run
September 7, 2019- Fun Fest and Run for Recovery
September 7, 2019- Cascade Express Half
September 8, 2019- Cascade Express Marathon
September 14, 2019- Walla, Walla Superhero Run
September 15, 2019- Tunnel Light Marathon
September 21, 2019- Indian Summer
See the full events calendar here.
About Innovative Timing Systems, LLC: Innovative Timing Systems, LLC is a privately-owned company, providing leading-edge sports timing solutions and race timing services through a network of over 500 locations around the world. ITS provides advanced chip technologies, race kiosks, large athlete displays, live web updates, automated race photos, social media integration and mobile apps. Founded in 2008, ITS is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and has sales, support, and engineering facilities in numerous locations around the world.
About ITS YOUR RACE: ITS YOUR RACE is the leader in online event management. An all-inclusive endurance event platform, ITS YOUR RACE offers easy registration and results with custom features including sponsorships, advertising opportunities, GPS tracking, athlete photos, finisher certificates, fundraising, and more. Over 10,000 events have chosen ITS YOUR RACE.