What is an MC split?
May 20, 2019 4:03 PM   Subscribe

A half-marathon race tracker marked a split called "MC". What does it mean?

The Chicago spring half was this weekend. But if you look at the splits, most have something marked "MC" there. (pic here, all results here -- click on an athlete's name to see the splits)

It is not marathon time. The time has changed since yesterday (a friend's MC mile time dropped 5 minutes). The first-place winner does not have an MC time. It is not chip time or clock time.

This is virtually ungoogleable. I have already reached out to Athlinks and the race. I am slowly going insane. AUGH.
posted by quadrilaterals to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Link to the full results here; mis-pasted above.
posted by quadrilaterals at 4:08 PM on May 20, 2019

Was there a timing mat at Monroe and Columbus, just before the finish? Maybe for traffic flow?
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:45 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mr Mitten guesses "missed chip"?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:54 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I guessed missed cut like in golf but I have a text in to my marathon-running cousin with a link to this post.
posted by terrapin at 5:06 PM on May 20, 2019

From my cousin:

“I have asked a few race timers. No response yet.

My guess is Miles Completed or covered. I know the runners completed or covered the 13 miles and then finished the full race of 13.1 miles ”
posted by terrapin at 5:17 PM on May 20, 2019

So, I was poking around in other races to see what splits they record and found this one which has a split called "Announcer". Could the "MC" split just be pretty much the same thing, the point in the race where the MC was located? Looking around at various results, it seems like most runners are hitting the MC split around a minute before their race completion. At the given paces, that seems to be around 1/6 - 1/5 of a mile back from the finish line. Does that sound like about where the MC/Announcer would be located in this race?
posted by mhum at 5:18 PM on May 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is a follow up from a running friend of my cousin’s:

“I wonder if MC means microphone or another words announcer mats. On large races they use a timing mat about 1/10th of a mile in front of the finish line so the announcers can read peoples names when they come across.”
posted by terrapin at 5:30 PM on May 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I’m pretty sure that it is gun time vs chip time.(where MC is chip time).
From the Chicago Spring Half FAQs:
Your clock time (Gun Time) starts when the race begins and ends when you cross the finish line timing mat. Overall male and female winners of the half marathon and 10K are determined by the fastest clock time. Your chip time (Net Time) begins when you cross the start line timing mat and ends when you cross the finish line timing mat. Age group awards are determined by the fastest chip time in each division.
So for the winners, who are generally at the front of each wave, the two times are the same. For someone who starts in the back of the wave, the two times can be quite different.
posted by rockindata at 5:38 PM on May 20, 2019

Also, one other group to contact for info may be the race timing company. In this case, it appears to be Big River Race Management (BRRM).
posted by mhum at 6:05 PM on May 20, 2019

I’m pretty sure that it is gun time vs chip time.(where MC is chip time).

The results already show chip time and gun time, as well as MC time, so it's not that.

From the times, it looks like its around 13 miles - I wondered if it could be a formal marker at 13 miles (though I don't see how they get MC to equal 13). Most logical interpretation is it's some place on the course, meaning Snarl Furnilo or mhum could be right. Looking at the map, it looks like the race started near Monroe and Columbus and finished just before doing a full loop, so I don't think it's that. So, I reckon MC as 'announcer' makes the most sense.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:56 PM on May 20, 2019

I did reach out to the race management, and got a response!
It's the announcer line just before the finish line that I use as a last-resort backup. The athlinks results widget won't allow me to hide it [...]
(We've all been there.)
posted by quadrilaterals at 7:56 AM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

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