Those who wish to take on the upcoming grueling 26.2 or 14.2-mile Bataan Memorial Death March have until March 12 to register. There are currently a little over 5,000 marchers signed up.
The record was broken in 2012 when nearly 7,000 marchers participated. This year Bataan organizers said they will stop taking participants once registration hits 7,000.
This year’s participants will be the first to try a new timing system which will allow marchers and their family members to track their time throughout the course with the use of a free app called “Its Your Race.” Innovative Timing System, LLC will take over timing for this year’s march using the ITS Jaguar timing system which can handle up to 100,000 participants at a time. The main difference in the new timing system is the company’s use of antennas rather than mats and ramps.
“We’re honored and proud to be the timing solution going forward for Bataan Memorial Death March,” said Kurt Hansen CEO and founder of ITS. “The event offers one of the nation’s most challenging environments and Jaguar has been proven to deliver great results in the harshest of conditions. The system has timed events in some of the most demanding deserts in the world, and it uses patented technologies that were invented by ITS engineers to handle virtually any conditions on race day.”
The news was announced on the Bataan Memorial Death March website and Facebook page July 13, 2015. The new system will provide live-timing updates to the marchers themselves and to family members who download the company’s app. After completing the march, participants will have the opportunity to print out their times from a kiosk that will be available on the day of the march.
WSMR Garrison Information Security Officer David Rodriguez said the use of antennas instead of timing mats provide marchers with a much more accurate time.
“This will give a true start and finish time,” Rodriguez said. “It will provide a smoother process and will give people live-timing updates that many racers desire at the finish line.”
The timing chip marchers wear to determine their time will now be located directly on their bib, marchers will no longer have to find a place to safely guard their chip for the entire march like in years past. The timing system’s website states their product has the ability to display live results on TV screens, text messages, personal websites and directly onto social media sites.
The new system will replace last year’s timing system company, which failed to provide times to marchers in an accurate and timely manner. Most timing systems, on average, should not take longer than a day to provide marchers their time. In 2015, several marchers had to wait up to two weeks to receive their time. Comments on the march’s Facebook page show that several marchers were never given their times or they felt their times were inaccurate.
“Athletes will appreciate the fact that their results will be timely, accurate and backed up with integrated high-speed cameras strategically positioned around the course,” Hansen said. “In addition, our senior engineering team will be present to offer guidance and support throughout the event.”
To download the app, type “Its Your Race,” onto your phone’s Apple App store or Google Play.