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Tracking runners on course. Rfid the solution?

By A. Dunford 2018-08-27 12:24:28 PM

So, bit of a complicated problem here but I'm hoping someone has an idea or solution. I'm part of a running team and we recently finished hood to coast relay, it's a 200 mile team relay race. Long story short we had some issues this last year with the exchanges between runners. Anything cell phone network related is NOT an option as about half of the race is in mountains and there is zero reception.

There are 2 vans on each team, the problem we had this last year was the exchange between vans. Van 2 told van 1 they expected their runners to finish their 6 legs in around 6 hours. Van 1 goes to the next van exchange point and catches some sleep. Van 2 runners ran some blistering legs and came in to the exchange in 4.5 hours. Problem is the exchange parking and sleeping is spread out over about 10 acres so van 1 was not ready and van 2 could not find van 1.

So, wondering if rfid would be a solution, if each van could track the runners, even if it was just as they were getting close it would be a huge help. Here is the ideal setup I would be looking for:

12 trackers, each van capable of tracking all runners. Trackers must be small enough to be carried on the runners but powerful enough to give some kind of range (300+ feet) just so we know that a runner has arrived at an exchange. Reciever preferred to be mobile so it can be taken out of the vehicle. Not sure what the options are in this respect

Alternative: 2 trackers, one on each vehicle, size and power options are more open as these will be tracking the vehicle rather than the runner. Each van can track the other van and therefore know when they are pulling into an exchange point

Cost? I have no idea what something like this costs, is this even a feasable option for a running team who is self funded?

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Tracking runners on course. Rfid the solution?
By A. Dunford

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