Not every race takes place on a paved course. You may need to use the timing loop on a variety of surfaces such as grass, dirt, gravel or snow. Here is a quick guide to the different methods for using a timing loop on these surfaces.
Tent pegs are a good solution for grass however if racers are running over the timing point you will want to have some sort of mat to cover the wires with in order to avoid creating a tripping hazard.
Dirt is the most variable of surface and may require trying a few different solutions.
- Tent Pegs or 9″+ nails: Twist the wire around a peg in each corner. In really rocky dirt, you might be unable to drive a peg into the ground.
- Wet Weather kits with long screws: We have had success using the wet weather kits combined with long wood screws (8 x 3”-4”) instead of the ones provided. No need to drill pilot holes, just drill the clamp directly into the ground.
- Mats: If you are not expecting any wind, covering the wires with mats can be enough to hold them down without any additional methods. If there’s any chance of wind, mats should be taped down or weighted down with rocks or sandbags..
Using the wet weather kit with long screws (8 x 3”-4”) has been by far our most successful method of attaching timing loops to gravel surfaces.
For snowy surfaces dig a trench using a pick axe or chainsaw and bury the wire in the snow. We strongly recommend removing the loop before the groomer passes over it again – even if it’s buried deep at the start of the day, it may rise towards the surface during the day as snow melts or skiers snowplow, and finding a torn loop in the snow on race morning is never good.