With the introduction of new technology, the racing industry is changing. The once dominant PC-based software is now competing against cloud-based software with innovative features and enhanced timing capabilities. One market dramatically changed by this technology is South African endurance racing.
We interviewed Gerrit Pieterse, Co-Founder of TimeMe who shared how his team, using Lapio software, are responding to demand for better technology and taking the South African timing industry by storm.
TELL US ABOUT TIMEME AND WHY YOU DECIDED TO GET INTO RACE TIMING?
Little over a year ago we were busy organizing a mountain bike event and needed a company to do the timing for us, we could only get hold of one company and they only replied to our email requesting a quote, two months after the event. We then decided to buy our own equipment and start a timing company on a small scale. This small company has grown faster than we anticipated and we now have numerous events lined up. TimeMe is a young energetic sports timing company that is putting its stamp the local timing industry. Critics silenced, race organizers smiling and correct times given to such an extent that we managed to break 99% accuracy all the events we timed.
WHAT SIZE IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN ENDURANCE RACING MARKET? WHAT TYPES OF RACES ARE THE MOST POPULAR?
Endurance racing is certainly not new to South Africa, but the market only exploded a short while ago. Individuals all over South Africa are claiming top spots in International events. The fastest growing and still the most popular by a great margin is mountain biking and especially mountain bike stage races like the ABSA Cape Epic, Joburg2C and Sani2C only to name a few. Ultra marathon trail running and trail running stage races is also becoming increasingly popular in South Africa. People are even referring to Mountain biking as the new golf of South Africa.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE ISSUES YOU FACED WITH THE WAY PREVIOUS RACE RESULTS WERE SHARED?
LIVE results is the biggest issue in South Africa, there is a lot of different timing software companies claiming that they can deliver real time results, but they unfortunately still have major hiccups. The most common way is to export all your results into MsExcel and then it has to be populated and sorted, to make sense, before it can be loaded onto your website or the race organiser’s website, this is very time consuming and can sometimes take days if you don’t have all the athletes details – all this while athletes are crying to have their results.
YOU ARE NOW USING LAPIO SOFTWARE FOR ALL OF YOUR ONLINE RACE REGISTRATION AND TIMING. WHAT ISSUES DOES LAPIO SOFTWARE SOLVE?
Well firstly we have LIVE results, that’s actually streamed in real time, to our results page and accessible from anywhere in the world. The other major advantage is that the online entries are integrated into the software and we and the race organizer immediately know how many people have entered and we as race timers no longer have to wait for online registration sites to send us the data – which then still needs to be captured and imported onto our software, before we can start to time an event. Everything is brilliantly integrated with Lapio!
HOW DO YOU SEE SOUTH AFRICAN ENDURANCE RACING CHANGING WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY?
Dramatically! South Africa is and will always be one of the youngest countries in the world; we only receive the majority of the technology dead stone last. All the athletes constantly acknowledges and admire the technology from Europe and America, and it so happened to turn into a desire for almost each and every one of them. We believe with the introduction of Lapio will come a much bigger supporter base for endurance events with everything streamed to social networks instantly. Athletes families and friends will also be able to share in the joy of the participants as they cross the finish line, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REALLY COOL RACES COMING UP?
Yes, we have a one day road cycling stage race called The Kremetart Stage Race. This is definitely the highlight of our year where Lapio’s technology would be able to set the benchmark for all the other timing companies/timing software. With a successful Kremetart Stage Race, loads and loads of COOL races are sure to follow!
Thank you to Gerrit and TimeMe from all of us at Lapio! As a company whose mission is to create innovative technology, we are proud to see our customers changing the way races are experienced and how those experiences are shared.
To learn more about Lapio software visit: www.lapio.com