UPM Raflatac provides Los Angeles Marathon with innovative RFID race timing system

Archive 16.4.2009 0:00 EEST

(UPM Raflatac, Fletcher, April 16, 2009) – Los Angeles Marathon organizers have implemented an innovative RFID solution that provides highly accurate time-tracking for road races and athletic competitions, while reducing the cost and complexity of successfully executing these large-scale events. The system, which made its debut with the 2008 Los Angeles Marathon, will make its second appearance at this year’s event on May 25, 2009.

More than 20,000 participants will affix ChronoTrack Systems, Inc.’s RFID-enabled “D” timing tags to their shoelaces before the race. Runners will obtain highly accurate start, split and finish time data after concluding the race.

The world’s renowned marathons pose unique challenges to race-day organizers. Organizers require a highly reliable time and participant-tracking solution that provides consistent reads at critical marathon milestones, integrates easily with racer identification materials, and doesn’t strain lean race budgets.

ChronoTrack’s RFID time- and participant-tracking system solves these challenges with a lightweight, disposable “D” timing tag comprised of a UPM Raflatac RFID tag and Impinj Monza™ 3 tag chip. The RFID tag and the chip are secured to a piece of plastic and a highly durable adhesive strip by labelstock converter MPI Label Systems. Runners bend the plastic into a “D”-shaped form to secure it to the top of their shoelaces, ensuring that the tag is uniformly placed for optimal reading.

As runners pass critical milestones they run over ChronoTrack’s urethane ramps which use UHF antennas to transmit race data to Impinj Speedway® readers. Custom-designed ChronoTrack controllers then take the race data gathered by the readers and format it for use in scoring software packages.

“ChronoTrack’s solution contributed to the best LA marathon in its twenty-three year history, and I am very pleased,” says Terry Collier, Executive Race Director, Los Angeles Marathon. “Our third-party timing verifier told us it was the most accurate timing method he’d ever seen, and he compared it against the same method used to time the Olympics."

For further information please contact:
Mr Jan Svoboda, Sales and Marketing Director, Americas, RFID, UPM Raflatac, tel. +1 805 312 4679
Mr Dan Howell, President, ChronoTrack Systems, tel. +1 812 423 7800
Mr Brad Johnson, Senior Director, RFID Sales, Impinj, tel. + 1 812 858 7300
Ms Shauna Woolf, RFID Division Manager, MPI Label Systems, tel. + 1 330 238 4183

About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac, part of UPM's Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world’s number one producer of HF and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 14 factories on five continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,600 people and made sales of approximately USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1 billion) in 2008. Further information is available at www.upmraflatac.com.

About ChronoTrack Systems, Inc.

About Impinj, Inc.

MPI Label Systems