Wearing an old timing chip can apparently mess with the electronic timing system in a race as Canadian Nicole Hutchinson learned recently.
The Villanova University student and West Vancouver, B.C. native won the Main Line Invitational, in Haverford, Pa., on Friday, the first race of the year for her Villanova, Pa.-based team. It was her first cross-country win since high school.
The 20-year-old ran 16:20.5 for three miles (4.8K) to win the race by 19 seconds. That’s about the time that an official approached her. “After I crossed the line, I had a very suspicious race official come take my bib number and question me a bit because the timing system went haywire when I crossed with two extra unidentified timing chips,” she says. “Luckily they managed to figure out my time and let me off the hook for it!” (The final results don’t list Hutchinson’s split times.)
Her timing chips, which attach to the shoes through the laces, were from the 2016 NCAA Division One Cross-Country Championships. So she was wearing two extra chips in addition to the one for the present-day event. “I just assumed that they wouldn’t still work, so I didn’t bother taking them off my shoes,” she said.
Hutchinson’s time at the Main Line Invitational race was the fastest by a Villanova runner since 2013. The team is due to race again at the end of the month at the Paul Short Run, which often attracts Canadian universities.