2022 - a "real" season!
This year, finally welcoming the masses back to the start line meant everything to us as a company and for all staff at mika:timing. After all, these events are why we still go to work everyday, because we love the adrenaline rush we can only get when a full field of athletes make their way toward the finish line. Whether it’s runners, cyclists, skiers, triathletes or any other sport where your personal finish time is part of why you do it.
This season has been a little different than what we are normally accustomed to while many aspects felt very familiar. We started the race season off in the north with Vasaloppet welcoming cross country skiers back to Sälen and Mora where 90K of perfect trail conditions were set in a scenic Swedish winterland. From Sweden we returned to the beautiful city of Riga at a familiar spot on the Spring calendar. In Riga we were overwhelmed with emotion as Ukrainian citizens were welcome to run free of charge in the 5K race. It was a hopeful sign to see the Ukrainians on the start line.
The Spring was a bit calmer than a regular year though. A few large events were moved to the Autumn as a result of the pandemic. During the Spring the whole industry was still experiencing a decline in participant levels. However there were positive signs of an uptick in participation numbers by Autumn which gave everyone hope for the future.
While preparing for the events in the latter part of the season we continued to develop new services to help our partners host great events. For instance, at the Chicago Marathon, for the first time in the US we introduced the lead vehicle LED display with live split point data. A solution previously implemented at the London Marathon. These displays provided elite runners with live pace and race time updates every kilometer and mile. The enhanced split data was also made available to the media in real-time during the elite event.
The Berlin Marathon saw the greatest marathon runner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge, strike again and better his previous world record by 30 seconds. mika:timing played an important part in capturing and recording another piece of sports history.
For the second time at the London Marathon we provided all runners with live printing of bib numbers and allocation of transponders. Our solution provides a smooth, state-of-the-art race packet pickup process virtually eliminating wasted transponders and unused bibs while also saving the race organization money and human resources. There is more to come with our live bib print solution too. At the European Running Business Conference, held in September in Stockholm, we enhanced the offering by providing on-the-fly color printed bibs to the conference delegates who ran the Stockholm half-marathon. This allowed us to print the participant’s national flag in sharp color which was very much appreciated by the athletes and helped elicit more cheers from spectators along the course. The highly successful pilot will soon see a broader audience.
We are convinced in our continued expedition to be at the forefront of offering environmentally friendly race technology solutions.
These are only a few examples of what we experienced this year as a company. A year where we also welcomed new colleagues eager to join us in our never ending mission of making race participants happy by contributing with our part during their race journey. With all that said we are very thrilled to see what the 2023 season has to offer. But first, let’s take some time to disconnect the laptop and connect with family and friends. After these past few years we all know how important that is.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for having trust in mika:timing and letting us be a part of your team during your fantastic events!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!