Timing a Race

Timing Dashboard

The timing dashboard is your home during the race. This will give you an overview of all the racers’ progress through your timing points and alert you to any potential issues we can detect. Here is a rundown of the key features of the timing dashboard.

Summary Chart

The summary chart is a quick way to keep track of where racers are and how many are left on course. It gives you a count of how many racers are; on course, finished and set to DNS, DNF, DSQ. You can click on sections of the pie chart to get a list or racers with that status.

Assigned Times List

The assigned times list is a very useful feature that is usually used during a race. Here you can see all times that have been assigned to racer at specific timing points or at all timing points. This is where you can re-process all times.

Racer Statuses


Timing Points

Recording Start Times

If you aren’t worried about being precise or if you trust your race to start exactly on time, you can use the Scheduled Start Time that was set when setting up the start list as the “Recorded Start Time”. Click here for instructions.

In most cases however you are going to want to record the actual start time for your racers.

Recording a mass start time

Using a timing device

First you will need to assign a timing device to the start in the Courses Page. This should be a keypad device (usually a phone with the Zone4 app).

Once this is done you will be able to record a group start time by assigning a time to the number of any racer in the start group. This will assign a time to all the racers within that group. Below is an example of this being done using the Zone4 Go app.

Changing an incorrect Start Time

If you enter an incorrect number on the timing device or record the start time at the wrong time you can manually change start times in the Manage Start Times window shown below.

Here you can erase incorrect start times and manually write in a start time in the box shown below. Keep in mind that if someone has entered the incorrect number when assigning a start time it may have been assigned to the wrong group.

If you record a time without a bib number attached to it, or a bib number of somebody who is not in the race, you can find it in the list of all recorded times by clicking on Show Times Grid beside the start timing point:

Once you have found the actual start time in the grid, you can copy it into the Manage Start Times Window.

Entering a Start Time on the web

If your race is configured as a Mass Start race (every racer in the group gets the same start time), you’ll see a Record Start button beside each start group in the Manage Start Time window. Clicking the Record button will assign a start time to the group from the moment it is selected.

Recording Individual Start Times

In an Individual Start race (for example, a time trial) you will need to add a device to record start times.  Follow the instructions on the Course Setup document to add a device to the “Start” timing point for your race.  As times are recorded, they will be automatically assigned to racers.

Setting a Start Window

Start Times by default use the last recorded start time for each racer.  This works great if a start time is accidentally recorded for a racer before their start time, but it can also cause problems if you have volunteers keying in bib numbers at the start line and they accidentally type in the number of somebody who has already started. 

If you want to restrict this to only accept recorded start times that are within a certain threshold (often 15sec) of the racer’s scheduled start time, you can do this by navigating to the Settings page and under “Race Start Setting” set Record Start Times to Only around the scheduled start time and setting a time window as is shown below.

Remember that if your start gets out of sync you may need to adjust this time.

Correcting Individual Start Times

If for any reason a racer is given the wrong start time or no start time at all, you can type in a correct start time for that racer:

  1. Click on the racer’s name in the start list to open their Edit Racer window. You will notice the assigned times column pictured below.
  2. Enter the correct start time in the Recorded start time field.
  3. Click the Done button at the bottom of the edit racer window.

Just like with the mass start times above, the Times Grid for the start timing point will be useful to look up the full list of times that were recorded at the start to find the racer’s correct start time.

Recording Chip Start Times

In some race formats, especially large running races, racers will receive both an individual start time and a mass start time (often referred to as the “chip start” and “gun start” times, respectively).  If you assign both a chip timing device and another type of device to your start point, we will record the chip times as the racer’s individual start time, and times from the other device as their mass start time.

In this example, every racer would have a chip and receive a unique time from GoChip activator #32, and we would give our starter Tablet #3 and instruct them to enter the number of any person at the start line to record a time for the group.

Editing Racers

The Edit Racer window will be one of the most used windows in Zone4 Timing on race day. This window has two distinct tabs as pictured below. The racer info tab is where you can change any info for an individual racer. Here you will be able to change a racer categories, correct any misspelling in their name, or assign them a new number. The timing tab is where you will be able to change any information related to the timing of that racer.

Late Entries

Adding racers that were not imported from registration is easy, but can be time consuming. It is best to avoid having to add many racers on race day especially if you are requiring lots of data fields for each racer.

  1. First navigate to the Racers tab of Zone4 Timing.
  2. Once there select the Add Racer option. These steps are pictured below.
  3. Once there, fill in the relevant information. The number of fields displayed here will vary depending on what you have set up in your registration. Be sure to select a start group, crossing order, category and bib number for each racer or they will not appear on results. Note that depending on your race format, not all these options will be available. Once you’re finished click the done option at the bottom of the page and move on to the next racer. These steps are pictured below.

Adding racers this way will not change the data from your registration form. If you want to add late entries and have them reflected in your registration data you will need to follow the steps outlined here and then update your racers in Zone4 Timing.


Assigned Times vs Recorded Times

Recorded Times

are every time that a racer has recorded even if the system has ignored that time. For instance, if a racer is warming up on the course before the start of the race and they cross a timing point, this time will be ignored by the system because that racer does not yet have a start time. These times however will be shown in recorded times. This way if a time that should have been assigned is accidentally ignored (This can happen when, for example a racer has not been given a start time) those times can still be found and assigned to a racer. Recorded times are an essential failsafe on race day.

Pictured below is an example of recorded times. As you can see they have been ordered by the time of day they were recorded. 

Assigned Times

Assigned times are the times that have been assigned to a racer at a timing point. This will usually happen automatically, but you have full control to delete, modify, or enter completely new times by typing a time into the appropriate box.

The system will always attempt to use the best time for a particular timing point.  If you have multiple timing devices assigned to a single point, the time from the most precise device will be used.  If multiple times from the same device are recorded (for example, if the racer stops and walks back over the timing point) their first recorded time will be assigned to that point.


A useful tool to use during your race is the Timing Warnings. These are found in the Timing Tab of Zone4 Timing. These will show a variety of suspicious times for racers. When the system detects a warning, a number will appear next to the Timing tab as pictured below. The number that is shown is number of warnings you currently have.

  • Once a warning has been reviewed and resolved or is determined to not be suspicious, you can select the mark as resolved option pictured below. This way the warning will no longer appear.
  • If you find that you are getting lots of warnings that are not particularly relevant you can Hide Warnings by selecting configure warnings in the overflow menu. Here you can adjust the sensitivity for outlier warning and choose to completely ignore certain types of warnings.


  • Outlier times are times that are significantly different than the times posted by other racers at a particular point. This function becomes more accurate the more times it has to base its averages on. There may be a large number of outlier times at first that will later be ignored by the system once more times are available.

Extra Times

  • Though the system is designed to ignore extra crossing orders, when they are detected they can be useful for troubleshooting especially for a race not using GoChip timing. For Example: If in a multi lap race, a racers number is accidentally entered wrong on the timing device, this may show up as an extra crossing order for the racer whose bib was accidentally entered.

Missing Times

  • Perhaps the most useful warnings are the missing times. These will appear if a racer reaches a timing point without having recorded a time at the previous point on course. These generally require further investigation and can sometimes mean that a racer has missed part of the course or taken a wrong turn. It is recommended to open the edit racer window for the identified racer and check both assigned and all recorded times to have a better idea of what they may have done. 

Did Not Finish, Did Not Start, and Disqalified Racers

Racers who did not start (abbreviated to DNS in Zone4 Timing, and also sometimes called “scratches”) are racers who registered but did not start the race. Non finishers (DNF) are racers who start but do not finish the race and Disqualified racer (DSQ) are usually racers who have violated the race rules.

Racers can be marked as DNF, DNS, or DSQ as described here

After the Race

After the race it is important to review all results both private and public results sets. Look for outlier times, missing times and racers who did not start or did not finish. If you wish to print results follow the instructions in the the Print Results Section of the How to Setup Results section of the user guide.

Updated on 2019-03-18

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