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 June is Denis Gagnon of Chrono900. We have customers all over the world; Denis and his teamwork in the greater Canadian area and provide a variety of services to race directors. We asked Denis some questions about his timing business, which provides you with a solid understanding of what it really means to be a Jaguar timer.
1. What is your essential go-to ITS product?
I would not be a Jaguar timer without the Jaguar timing system at its base, namely the XT reader, 8000 antennas, and the Jaguar software. You can do so much with just those basic elements. The XT reader, combined with 8000 antennas and KF chips are so rock solid, we have missed only 4 reads in the last 2 years, out of about 40,000 participants (and obviously, we found those missing reads from the Jaguar Snapshot photos that we always take from two angles, independently of our main Jaguar laptop). When we started our timing services, we specifically searched for an antenna-based system, to differentiate ourselves from other timers in Quebec, who use mat-based systems. We ultimately found Innovative Timing Systems to be the solution we were looking for.
2. What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on a race day or leading up to an event?
My team timed a small race (about 60 runners) organized by a junior high school duo of students as part of their graduating final community project. This was the first time we used our new Tomcat Pro for reading finishing runners and the read rate was so low we had to recover the times from Snapshot. What a disappointment for me after investing more than $5,000 on a piece of equipment that did so poorly. I was curious if my staff used the device incorrectly. At the end of the day, I got back the stack of unused bibs and extra KF chips. I found out that the volunteers at the welcome kiosk did not stick the KF chips behind the bids for all on-site registrations. All missed reads accounted for!
3. Is there a type of event that you want to time, but haven’t been able to?
We will be timing our first triathlon event next September and we are very excited about that. We would really like to get into timing bicycle events (crits, enduro, Gran Fundo, etc.).
4. What event have you timed or hosted that has meant a lot to you?
We time all major school-related cross country races in Quebec. From mid-September to early November, we time more than 22,000 participants, from grade schools to university athletes. As such, I have two events in mind.
First, we time the Montreal Regional Cross Country. It is a two-day event with more than 12,000 kids (grades 5-6 on day 1 and grades 7-11 on day 2). This is actually the second largest running event in the province of Quebec, after the Montreal Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Non-stop gun starts every 8 minutes, 400 runners per wave, and we deliver the results live using Jaguar and
ITS YOUR RACE.
Second, we were selected as the timer for the 2017 CCAA Cross Country Nationals, which is the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association. These student-athletes are between 17 to 24 years old. These are real athletes! The male winner clocked 24:15 on a 4.9 mile (8 km) challenging cross country run! To be selected as the timer of a national championship event, just after two years of operation, meant a lot to our team.
We recently purchased 150 R chip batons and timed two events already with them, one that helped a high school raise $12,000 with their annual "8-hour relay challenge" with 41 teams, and the second a regional school district "marathon challenge" where 109 teams (more than 700 runners) had to run a marathon in relay laps of 1.9 miles (3.1 km). What I like about those is that they are "big events” with a DJ, music, announcers, lunch, party, etc. We roll out the whole line of the Jaguar suite, including two Jaguar systems, of course, but also an Announcer, Scrolling Results, Kiosk, ITS YOUR RACE for publishing results, and a Photo Booth. We share our 8 steel cowbells with volunteers to increase the buzz. We are part of something big.
5. Do you have any advice for other timers?
You won't be successful in any business if you just buy technology and try to win clients. You need to get involved in the community, sponsor schools and other organizations, and create business contacts. You need to pursue continuous education (i.e. attend the Annual Jaguar User Conference with team members). You need to push ITS for new features and new technology. Finally, for each race, leave nothing unprepared: plan your day, review your equipment list, test and retest so that on race day, you can smile and have fun!
Congratulations again to Denis Gagnon and his team at Chrono900! We are incredibly honored to have you as part of the Jaguar Family.
June 7, 2019 - École du Grand-Chêne
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.