The fastest way to Tokyo

18. Apr 2021

Under the tagline ”The fastest way to Tokyo” around 70 invited elite athletes will try to claim a ticket to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The NN Mission Marathon will take place on a specially designed course on Twente Airport and this one-off event will be one of only a few road marathons this spring. mika:timing are therefore very proud to be in charge of timing and results when the best marathon runners in the world compete this upcoming Sunday! 

 

Race Day

Sunday 18th April - 11:30:

All systems are up and running and we are ready to go. There is a light mist over the airport and the sun's rays are slowly filtering through. It is a very special atmosphere of calm, concentration and focus on the coming 2.5 hours. It feels so good that, even if only for a select field of participants, a "proper" marathon is taking place.


At 8:30:02 the starting gun goes off and the race begins. At 08:33:03 the leading men are at km 1 with a pace of 3:01 min/km. The times arrive in our systems and are displayed on our LED display on the lead vehicle for the top athletes. All systems are running and provide race information to the lead group via the LED display with each KM. This gives them feedback on current pace, running race time and projected finish time. This is how technology makes sense, because it supports the athletes in their athletic performance.


We eagerly follow the athletes' performance and the data on split times that our system captures and how it is relayed via intranet, internet and TV graphics. The race unfolds and as the athletes complete kilometer after kilometer and the times make their way through our systems, we are once again impressed by the performances we can follow live.


And then Eliud Kipchoge is at the finish line with a time of 2:04:30. It is incredible on this special day:

 

  • It is incredible that this race can take place at all under the special circumstances.
  • Twente Airport is a very special venue with a unique atmosphere.
  • Katharina Steinrück wins the women's race with a personal best time and under 2:26.
  • Rabea Schöneborn is third also with a personal best.
  • Laura Hottenrott improves her personal best by 5 minutes.


Eliud Kipchoge is back and wins this marathon impressively and so we are back on a "normal" marathon event. We are so looking forward to more!

 

The stage is set...

Saturday 17th April - 18:00

Every marathon has its course. Every marathon course has its finish line. Still it's fascinating every single time, when these courses and finish areas are being set up at the most different locations. Whether it's in the middle of a large city, on a beach, in snowy forests or on an airport like on this weekend in Enschede, it's this diversity that characterizes our business and gives us some extra motivation. This particular course consists of a 5km loop which will be ran 8 laps and a 1km straight line for start and finish. On this track we have now built 6 timing points which are ready to provide accurate timing for tomorrows race. The runners will wear active chips which will provide the most precise timing data down to thousands of a second. On top of that we have installed 6 large clocks to give the runners visual updates of their progress. And then there is of course the LED-clocks on the lead vehicle. Now when all clocks are in place, when our workplace right at the finish line is set up and when the final tests of our timing systems have been completed successfully, we are ready for raceday. The stage is set for the fastest athletes on the marathon distance.

 

Setting things up on-site

Friday 16th April - 18:30

This moment, when you enter a new event venue for the first time, will always be exciting. This applies even more in the current situation, where the number of events is lower than what we are used to. So far, we can only get a vague idea of how things will look like in two days, when the world's best marathon athletes will try to claim their ticket to the Olympic Games here at Airport Twente. Still the on-site preparations are in full swing. Today one main focus is on our LED panels, which will display live timing data for the runners on the lead vehicle providing a guideline for delivering world class performances.

 

Ready to go - On our way to Twente

Thursday 15th April - 16:30

The rolling gate is opening slowly. The vans drive up, open their rear doors and we begin loading for the first marathon event this year. When we pack our equipment, when planning becomes doing, when we can smell the freshly printed bibnumbers and the roadtape, that is when all the different aspects gear into each other and the 'event-engine' begins to run. The anticipation for the raceday increases and we are getting on our way out of working from home straight into the event world. We are prepared and ready to go.

 

Grateful and excited

Wednesday 14th April - 15:00:

In addition to professional and accurate timing, we will be running our new LED display for the lead car and providing real-time timing information to the live TV broadcast. We are in the middle of preparations and we love it. Maybe this time we are a little bit more focused and motivated than usual. One or two components have not been used so often in recent months and deserve special attention, and besides, the joy of being able to work again definitely gives a little extra motivation boost.

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