Getting Started with RaceSplitter
In about five minutes, this tutorial explains the basics for using RaceSplitter to time a race. Don’t worry about understanding every detail, as those are covered later in more specific articles here at the website.
Preflight — Understanding the difference between the RaceSplitter app and website
Although the RaceSplitter app can be used on its own, it’s best when used in conjunction with the services available at the RaceSplitter.com website. Here’s how they work together:
- Create your race at the website — Although you can create a race in the app, it’s easier at the RaceSplitter.com website, since you can upload your start list of participants in one go from a CSV file.
- Download your race to the app — There are two ways to do this, which you’ll read about later in this article.
- Make edits to the race or start-list online at the website — For example, adding race-day signups. If you make changes to the race online, you’ll need to re-download the race to your device since there is no automatic syncing.
- Time the race using the app — Once you have a race installed in the app, internet connectivity is no longer required to time your event.
- Publish results from the app to the website — Although you can view results in the app, the website provides a far richer experience for browsing, filtering, editing and printing results.
Keep in mind that interaction between the app and the website—downloading races and publishing results—are manual processes; there is no automatic syncing between the app and the website. The rest of this guide assumes you’ll use RaceSplitter together with its companion website.
Step 1 — Connect the app to the website
In order for the RaceSplitter app to communicate with the RaceSplitter.com website, the app needs to be logged in:
- Open the RaceSplitter app on your device
- Tap the More... tab
- Tap the RaceSplitter.com section
- Tap Create a new RaceSplitter account and follow the instructions, or Sign in with a RaceSplitter account”if you already created an account at the website.
That’s it. There’s no need to login each time you open the app—RaceSplitter will remaining logged into your account until you tap “Logout”. Important!—If you ever change your email address at the website, you’ll need to remember to log out in the app, and then back in with the new email address.
Step 2 — Create a new race
Although you can create a race directly in the app, it’s usually better to create them at RaceSplitter.com, and then download them into the RaceSplitter app for timing. Why? Beyond the basic features of the app, the web service provides the following additional benefits:
- Create large races quickly, by uploading your start list in a CSV file.
- Publish race results online, both during and after the race, to share with others.
- Sort race results on any combination of categories. (The app itself only allows sorting on a single category.)
- Name your race splits. For example, a triathlon organizer might rename Split 1, Split 2 and Split 3 to Swim, Bike and Run.
- Edit, create or delete race times. The app allows you to delete timing entries, but only the web service allows you to edit times, and manually creating new timing entries that you may have missed during the race.
To create a new race at RaceSplitter.com, simply login to your account there and click “New Race”. Here’s the race confirmation information you’ll need:
- Race name and location
- Race type — Most races are “fixed distance” — the first to cross the line is the winner. Some races are “fixed time” — the winner is the one who completes the most laps. This setting affects how results are displayed.
- Start type — In “Mass start” races, everybody starts together. In “Wave” and “Interval” start races, groups or individuals start staggered, separated by a fixed time. A cycling time trial is an example of an “interval” start race. If you’re timing a “variable-start” race, choose mass-start (as variable start is a special form of mass-start.)
- Optional: Auto-start timer — If enabled, the race timer will start automatically at the scheduled race time. If it’s not enabled, you manually start the timer. This option is used very rarely, as most races don’t start precisely on time.
- Optional: Racer compensation — Enable this for races involving disabled participants, allowing per-racer handicap settings between 1% and 100%.
Step 3 — Add or upload your start list
Once you’ve created a new race at RaceSplitter.com, you should add a start list containing all your participants. You can add your start list manually—adding one race at a time—or upload your entire start list data in a CSV file. To help create your CSV file, you can download a starter-kit of Excel and CSV templates to get your started. For each participant, you’ll specify:
- Bib number
- Optional: Group
- Optional: Team
The Group and Team fields provide you with two arbitrary fields for tracking dimensions on your race that you might want to filter and sort results. For example, you might use the Group field to track “Category” and the Team field to track “Race” (if you’re timing multiple races in parallel.) We have an article dedicated to the discussion of category tracking.
Step 4 — Download your race to your device
Once you’ve created a race at RaceSplitter.com, you’ll need to download it to each device that will be used in the timing of the event. There are two ways to do this: Option 1: Email to the Device — While viewing your race at RaceSplitter.com, if you click the “Send to App” button, our website will email you a copy of the race file, ready for import. Viewing that email in the Mail app on the device with RaceSplitter, tap the attached race file, and click “Open in RaceSplitter”. Your iPad or iPhone will switch into RaceSplitter, and import the race. Important — You must be viewing the email message using the Apple’s Mail app, as that’s the only app that knows how to associate email attachments to apps. For example, it won’t work if you’re viewing the message in a Gmail reader. Option 2: Direct Download to the Device — Using Safari on your mobile device, visit your race page at RaceSplitter.com and tap, the “Send to App” button. The race will download directly into RaceSplitter, without any emailing needed. If you need to make changes—such as race-day registrations—it’s best to make them online at RaceSplitter.com, and then re-import the race into the device just before the start. Warning — The RaceSplitter app has a feature called “Send Race By Email”. Do NOT use this feature to distribute a given race to multiple devices used in its timing, as the imported races on the other devices will not have the same race ID. For this reason, in multi-device timing, each device should download the same race from RaceSplitter.com using one of the above two options.
Step 5 — Start the race timer in the RaceSplitter app
To start the race timer in RaceSplitter, you simply tap the “Start Race” button on the Timing screen in the app. When to start the timer depends on your start type:
- Mass start — Start the timer as soon as the race starts. You’ll only be timing participates when they finish the race, plus any optional intermediate points.
- Interval & wave starts — Start the time as soon as the first racer or wave start. You’ll only be timing participates when they finish the race, plus any optional intermediate points.
- Variable starts — Since in a variable start race, you’ll actually be timing both the start and finish of the race, it doesn’t matter when you start the race timer. Just be sure to start it shortly before the first participant starts.
Multi-device timing — If you’re using multiple devices to time intermediate check-points, it’s only important that one device starts its race timer at the same time the race starts; all the other devices can start their timers later, since when RaceSplitter.com receives published results, it will set the race start time to the earliest time reported by any device.
Step 6 — Time your race with RaceSplitter
Once the race timer has been started, you can begin timing racers at intermedia checkpoints and, of course, the finish line. To time a racer, type in their bib number, and tap the “Record” button. Here are some special timing situations:
- If you time a given racer twice, RaceSplitter will assume it’s a multiple lap race and will add and additional split on the event. You can read more about that in the auto-split mode article.
- In mass-start races, you create bibless timing entries in rapid-fire mode, that you can later go back and edit.
- To assign the same time to multiple racers, you can use the RaceSplitter’s Timing Bar.
To view the current standings you can switch to the standings screen by tapping the icon in the upper right corner of the timing screen. If you have internet connectivity, you can also publish intermediate and final results to RaceSplitter.com for the whole world to see! To edit results—to change the bib number, lap number or delete the entry—you can tap any timing entry. Although editing in the app is limited, we offer full-featured editing of results when published to the RaceSplitter.com website. To stop the race, just tap the “Stop” button on the “Standings” screen to stop the timer.
Step 7 — Publish your race results to RaceSplitter.com
One of best features of RaceSplitter is the ability to post results to the RaceSplitter.com website live during the event, to allow the whole world to follow along!
- At any time during the race, you can tap “Post Results” button from the Standings screen to instantly publish the results at RaceSplitter.com, in a convenient browseable and printable format. This video explains how live publishing works.
- After the race is over you can publish the results to the RaceSplitter.com website by tapping the “Send to RaceSplitter.com” button on the “share-sheet” that pops up after tapping the “share” icon in the upper right corner of the Results screen.
Step 8 — Working with your results
RaceSplitter offers a variety of ways to work with your results.
- Email results as CSV — Tapping the share icon in the upper right corner of the Results screen provides an option to email a CSV file with the race results, suitable for import into Excel.
- Open the results in another app. — Tapping the share icon in the upper right corner of the Results screen also provides an option to “Open the results in…” any other app on the device that can accept CSV data, like the Numbers spreadsheet or Dropbox.
- Republish your results — After having published your results to RaceSplitter.com, you make edits to your results in the app, you can then republish them, overwriting any previously published results.
- Edit results online — In-app results editing is limited. For example, you can’t edit times or add missing entries. For feature-rich results editing, you’ll want to login to your account at RaceSplitter.com, and edit the results there. We have a detailed article available about results editing.
Final advice — Practice your event before race day!
There are typical problems that arise in the timing of any event, such as timing the wrong bib number, accidentally timing a participant twice or having missed timing a racer during a multi-split event. It’s important to understand how to recover from these problems ahead of time, and for that reason our strongest recommendation is to practice timing a simulated test race beforehand. During that simulation, you’ll want to make sure you understand how everything work, including:
- How to make race-day edits to your start list
- How to restart the race if you accidentally start it too early
- How make edits, such as deleting a timing entry or correcting a split assignment
- How to publish results to RaceSplitter.com and work with them there
Always remember — People who practice timing their race beforehand almost never have problems. But people who try to figure everything out for the first time on race day, often do!
Beyond the basics
After you've read the Getting Started Tutorial, dive deeper into more advanced topics.
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