UPM RFID Makes Race-timing Debut with UHF RFID at European Championship Level Triathlon


(UPM RFID, Tampere) - Event organizer Team 226 has used UPM DogBone(TM) UHF RFID tags for race timing in the Long Distance Triathlon European Championships 2011. The event took place in Tampere, Finland, on 21 August. This was the first time UPM RFID's UHF RFID tags have been used at this level in sports timing.

The competitors, several hundred athletes from over 20 European countries, were wearing tailor-made, water-resistant ankle bands embedded with UPM DogBone(TM) RFID tags. The RFID tags were read by ThingMagic readers installed at register points in the transition area gates. The competitors were tracked in real-time and the results were monitored online on the event organizer's website.

Utilizing UHF RFID technology in sports timing reliably provides accurate intermediate times in diverse sports competitions where the RFID tag needs to stay with the racer for several hours. The UPM DogBone(TM) delivers excellent performance especially in demanding conditions like those typical of triathlons. This was tested at the Finnish Ironman Championships in Hämeenlinna, Finland on 31 June, 2011.

The long distance triathlon comprises a 4,000-metre swim, 120 kilometres of cycling and a 30-kilometre run. In triathlon races the timing is split into swim, transition, cycle, transition and run. The race area comprising the start, transition and race finish was located at the Ratina Stadium in the centre of Tampere.

"Real-time timing especially after the swim was extremely accurate even though UPM RFID tags embedded in ankle bands had been in the water for around an hour. With manual timing methods, when race bibs are usually attached to swimming caps, it's almost impossible to register the intermediate times exactly. UHF RFID technology makes it possible to follow the race in real-time, so the race is also extremely spectator-friendly and support groups can immediately assist the racers when necessary," says Mikko Laitinen, Member of the Board, Team 226.

"With UHF RFID we provide highly accurate time-tracking for athletic races. It's becoming the most common timing method and is suited to all types of sports event. The timing equipment is robust and relatively easy to move around and set up even at multiple points along an extensive race course, as evidenced by the solution from Team 226," says Samuli Strömberg, Vice President, Marketing, UPM RFID.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Samuli Strömberg, Vice President, Marketing, UPM RFID, tel. +358 40 740 9588
Mr Mikko Laitinen, Member of the Board, Team 226, tel. 358 40 849 3493

About UPM RFID

UPM RFID, part of UPM's Engineered Materials business group, is the world's number one producer of HF, NFC and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays. UPM RFID has a global service network consisting of factories in China and in the United States and a broad network of sales offices worldwide. The UPM Group employs around 24,500 people and it has production plants in 16 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Further information is available at www.upmrfid.com.

About Team 226

Team 226 organizes sports races and provides related products as well as sales and rental services regarding race timing equipment and solutions. The company's event organizing experience includes several Finnish Ironman and Winter Triathlon Championships as well as cross-country duathlons, and supplying timing services for the Winter World Championships. For more information about Team 226 and the event, visit www.team226.net.

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