Liveprint at Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon

29. May 2019

Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon with around 40 000 participants is a contender for the largest half marathon in the world. 2019 years edition was as usual a big running party and for the first time the organizers behind Göteborgsvarvet could present an important innovation: Liveprint!

Every year in May the city of Gothenburg gets runners fever and runners from all around the world arrive to run the 21k. As the worlds leading half marathon the organization behind Göteborgsvarvet is always on the front line when it comes to developing an event that offers the runners an unforgettable experience. The biggest news this year was presented together with mika:timing. Because it was mika:timing that delivered the solution of BIB liveprint.

For many years mika:timing has delivered timing and results services to Göteborgsvarvet. But until last year the runners’ bib numbers had been pre-ordered and during long hours packed into start envelopes which the participants collect before the race. That part is now over!

Göteborgsvarvet now offer the same solution that already is in place at events like Berlin Marathon, Vasaloppet and Stockholm Marathon. Liveprinting of bib numbers! The advantages are many. The environment is one big winner. Thanks to liveprint Göteborgsvarvet could reduce the amount of printed bib numbers by 10 000. Many working hours were also saved when it came to packing the envelopes.

But the biggest winners were of course the runners. Not even when the pressure were at it’s peak on Saturday they had to queue to get their start kits.

- All runners got their start kits quick and easy and they were able to focus on their race instead of thinking about whether they would make it in time to the starting line, says Kristoffer Karlström from mika:timing who was in charge of the liveprint setup.

- The biggest advantages of the introduction of liveprint is the handling and logistics, and of course the fact that this make our bib handout more climate smart, says Anders Mattsson who is project manager for Göteborgsvarvet Expo.

Another advantage for the runners is that everyone got their name on the bib. Even the ones that registered late in the expo or changed a misspelled name at site. Maybe that can be the difference from reaching your dream target when the audience along Avenyn cheer the runners by shouting their names?

For Anders Mattsson there were a few nervous hours at the opening of the expo.

- We were prepared for a few hours of commissioning and had promised ourselves to stay calm and not to draw any conclusions beforehand in either direction. The staff had lived with the project for a long time but at site everything was new for our volunteers who had been handing out bibs the old way for many years. There was a clear nervousness among all involved before the opening and the first day started with a rush of runners. During the first two hours it took a little bit longer per printed bib. But then we suddenly noticed that everything was coming together and worked fine and after that there were no worries at all, tells Anders Mattsson.

Another thing that also was clear during the expo was how good and robust the system for liveprint is. The technical parts worked perfect, without any interruptions, even though the printers were working constantly. In total there were 44 stations used and during Friday there was 1570 bibs printed per hour. At it’s peak on Saturday between 11-12 o´clock there were 3157 bibs printed during one hour.

- Our first year with liveprint worked much better than we could have hoped for and we had no problems, even though there was a high pressure for a large part of the opening hours. It feels like a step in the right direction for Göteborgsvarvet and there were positive words from runners, staff and volunteers, Anders Mattsson concludes.

On top of all that the system was very stable.

- What mighy impress me the most is how easy the system is to use. The volunteers who staffed the print stations could after a short education serve the runners in the best possible way, says Kristoffer Karlström.

With that we summarize another succesful running week where Göteborgsvarvet together with mika:timing have taken another step towards the perfect running experience.

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