Is it my watch or their chip?

Did my first 10k yesterday. On my watch, my time was 1:08:41 (pressed the start button as I went over the start line and the stop button just after I crossed te finish line), the chip times have now been published and my chip time is apparently 1:09:04 - 23 seconds slower!

 Is there something wrong with my watch (well, Garmin 205) or is the chip system inaccurate? I need to know what to aim for as a pb in my next 10k


  • I'd guess that your watch is wrong - otherwise there will be a lot of runners complaining about the chip times ?
  • was the start crowded? did it take you around 23 seconds to reach the start line? maybe you pressed start when the race started and the chip timed you from when you crossed the startline?.

  • I've always found chip and watch to be no more than a  few seconds different.  Check what others running the same race found.
  • That's a big difference - where were the timing mats relative to the start/finish lines?  And where did you record your times relative to the mats? if your chip started recording before you did and continued after you stopped there could be a reasonable explanation.

    Other than that, only way to find an answer would be to see if anybody else has an issue with the chip times.  If not, its probably your watch.

  • Some races, like the one did yesterday (Manches Moor Pk 10k) time from gun to finish rather than from when you cross the start line to finish, so those seconds it takes to cross the start line are effectively added to your race time. 
  • It may depend upon what sort of 'chip' system was used. If it was the one in the number then they are often only timed at the finish, so you get gun to finish line (which doesn't seem worth the effort although it helps people doing the results). If there was a start mat for the chip, do you know where it was in relation to when you started your watch? I too find watch and 'proper' chip time to be rarely more than a second or two apart.  Do you use autopause on your garmin during training and did you switch it off for the race?
  • You probably lost the satellite on your Garmin.  It's happened to me a couple of times.
  • Sat signal wouldn't affect the time keeping.
  • It does if you have autopause on I think.
  • I thik I've worked out what it might be - I think I may have stopped and then restarted the timer myself, by accident when I was trying to press the lap button - but no way was the timer stopped for 23 seconds - more like 5! There were mats at the start line and I started my watch as I crossed the mat and again when I crossed the mat at the finish. Don't know if I had autopause on or not (I haven't figured it all out yet)

     It doesn't really matter - I was pleased to finish in under 70 minutes, I just want to know why they are differing so much! Next time I go for a run, I will use the Garmin and a stopwatch and compare the two - presumably if my Garmin is that far out I have grounds for a new one?

    ps How do I get it to record splits? I pressed the lap button at each km marker, but only got the time of the last one.

  • Autopause definitely affects the timing if you lose satellite reception
  • Luckily, I have autopause off
  • Did you stop or slow down for a drinks station for a bit or something? If you did have autopause on, or rather if it was already on by default, your Garmin would probably have stopped for that time giving you the time difference. Unfortunately that would mean the slower chip time is the right one though.

    About the splits, do you have sporttracks? If you import the run into it then there's a splits section where you can see your run in kilometer splits, mile splits or any distance you like.

  • Kate Speed wrote (see)

    ps How do I get it to record splits? I pressed the lap button at each km marker, but only got the time of the last one.

    Go to "training" then choose "auto lap", and select distance or time or position (useful for track work or short lap intervals) and enter the value you want the splkits to be recorded at. image
  • Hi Kate

     Well done on finishing your 10k. We had some conversations earlier this year as I was planning to come to the Swansea 10k too... I had to stop training as I am pregnant, 13 weeks today... I have had really bad ligament problems since about 8 weeks ago so running and all exercise has gone out of the window... infact so has walking!! Anyway, congratulations on finishing with such a good time!


  • I wondered where you'd gone Helen.

    Congratulations! Is this your first? Hope you have a happy and healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby at the end of it.

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