What’s the first rule of racing…?
Timing is kind of an important part of a race. But, ask anyone running a grass-roots gravel race and the way to record times varies depending on what the communities wants. I’ve seen sophisticated RFID chip timing, a bunch of volunteers with mobile apps, and more often than not clipboards, stopwatches, and pencils used for timing. And, frankly, those are all good options depending on who you ask and what you’re trying to do.
So, what do we plan to do for the Iowa Gravel Series? Well, we want to make sure you have a great day in the saddle. For some having a series of races with a consistent timing setup and points tracking throughout the series is great! For others, finishing the race is great and they couldn’t care less about the numbers on the board. As a new series, we have a lot to figure out and we have to be pragmatic and listen to all the racers.
For the 2021 year we are looking at timing providers to see what’s possible on our budget. Of course, if folks would like to help us out with the budget (cough-cough, sponsorship), we could make a pretty fast decision. Right now, we can’t promise anything or announce anything. But, please let us know what you think in the comments!
What we do plan to do is track the order that racers come through the finish line, award prizes to the top 3 racers in the mens and womens division, and record times the best we can. We have the good folks over at the Loess Hills Maker Space building us a podium and we’re talking to sponsors about prizes.
Our goal is to announce more concrete timing and points plans in early April. Hopefully by then we’ll have talked to all our potential sponsors, looked at options for timing partners, and can make the best decision for this year. We have a lot going on this season with five races and we don’t plan on this being the first and only year of the series. With your support, we can work to grow things in a way that makes gravel races fun for as many people as possible and to encourage more people to explore Iowa. It just might take us some time to get there… 😉
Forgive me for ending on a pun; it was just too easy.