Island Chill Suva Marathon timing upgraded for this year’s event

The Island Chill Suva Marathon has gone through some changes in its 5 years of existence, mostly in the form of route changes and an increasing number of participants. The timing marshals and systems that has kept track of all the runners and walkers has also seen some adjustments over the years.

Suva Marathon Club has invested substantially this year and we have something new in store for this year: a small RFID timing chip to attach to each runner.

“It’s a real thin strip of foam on an electronic RFID tag,” said Suva Marathon Club Vice-President and Island Chill Suva Marathon 2018 Chief Timing Marshal Brian Hennessey, one of those behind-the-scenes guys at the Island Chill Suva Marathon.

The device is called a BibTag System that was created by a company called MYLAPS based in the Netherlands. It’s about ¼-inch thick and you stick it somewhere on your running outfit or bib number.

For those running in the Island Chill Suva Marathon 2018, this BibTag System sticker will already be attached to the back of your Race Number.

He said the reliability factor is somewhere between 99.8 and 99.9 percent and that includes a human error element like a hidden chip.

“The human aspect gives us the greatest challenges,” Hennessey said.

Technology has helped limit the challenges over the years. Electronic timing started in mass marathons back in 1998 when a transponder was attached to a running shoe somewhere in the shoe laces. They had to be collected after each race and that was no easy task.

That evolved into a disposable chip that runners could keep. Still, it relied on runners taking the time to attach it properly to their shoe. Hennessey calls the latest chip, which uses radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology a “win-win for everybody.”

“There’s no extra thing for an athlete to remember to put on a shoe and there’s nothing to collect at the finish line,” he said.

MYLAPS is no small company. Its products are used all over the world from smaller races like the Island Chill Suva Marathon to major events like the Gold Coast marathon at this year’s Commonwealth Games, NASCAR and the Olympics.


RACE NUMBER PICK-UP – 20th July 2018

12noon-8pm, 20th July 2018 – RACE NUMBER PICK-UP, Holiday Inn, Suva, FIJINumber pick-ups, race packets and discounts! You MUST pick up your number and info kit at the RACE NUMBER PICK UP on the Firday. If you are unable to do this, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]. After you get your race number and information kit. There will be health and wellness info, information about fitness programs and more! So make sure you come along with your supporters to collect your RACE NUMBER at Holiday Inn’s South Lawn on Friday!

5.30am – 11.30am, 21st July 2017 – 2018 Island Chill SUVA MARATHON, Albert Park Stadium, Suva, FIJI

START TIMES – 21st July 2017

  • FULL MARATHON (42.2 km) – 5.30am
  • HALF MARATHON (21.1 km) – 6.30am
  • TEAM MARATHON (10.55km) – 7.00am
  • INDIVIDUAL FUN RUN (approx 10km) – 7.30am


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