The exterior of the Centrum
building that now houses Absolute Race Timing seen
Friday afternoon in West Bend.
Photo by John Ehlke
WEST BEND -
After organizing Trot for Troops, a 5K run/walk in West
Bend that benefits local soldiers and their families,
Dirk Brandt thought he could time the events better, so
he started Absolute Race Timing three years ago.
Absolute Race Timing was run out of a warehouse in
Campbellsport, but the company moved into the Centrum
120 Main St., West Bend, last month.
“Absolute Race Timing is a timing company,” Brandt said.
“We time a lot of non-motorized events. Majority are
charity events. We do triathlons, bike races,
cross-country races. So really it’s a wide spectrum of
“I did a lot of research and put together a
comprehensive business plan. We went out and took the
leap of faith and started it,” he added.
Absolute Race Timing uses RFID chips to time the races.
Brandt said two chips are affixed to a racer’s bib; as
soon as the competitor crosses the finish line, the
computer system reads it and assigns a time.
Before RFID chips, competitors could only determine
their finishing spot in the race and not their time.
The decal on the inside for
Absolute Race Timing of the Centrum building that
now houses Absolute Race Timing seen on Friday
afternoon in West Bend.
Photo by John Ehlke
“With the software
we can see what you ran last year and the year before,”
Brandt said. “It’s almost cumulative.”
Pat Geigel, activities director for Kiel High School,
said they’ve utilized Absolute Race Timing services for
three athletic events in the last two years.
“A few years ago we decided to go to chip timing,”
Not only does Absolute Race Timing use chips, but Geigel
said they record the race.
“The video is the big thing,” Geigel said.
Absolute Race Timing has been used at a Wisconsin
Interscholastic Athletic Association sectional and Kiel
High School’s annual cross-country meet.
“They (Absolute Race Timing) are very professional and
very precise,” Geigel said adding Brandt and his team
come early and stay late to make sure the customer is
satisfied. Brandt said Absolute Race Timing moved to
West Bend for the visibility.
“We do a lot of work in West Bend,” Brandt said. “I’ve
been in the National Guard here for 21 years. Now we’ve
made roots here and this is where we want to be.”
Dirk Brandt of Absolute Race
Timing brushes snow off to the side near the finish
line during the second annual Turkey Trot on
Thursday, Nov. 27 in Kewaskum. Proceeds from the
event will benefit the Kewaskum High School cross
country team. The event was sponsored by
Finish Line Training.
Photo by John Ehlke
Timing travels as far south as Chicago and as far west
as Prairie du Chien to time races. Brandt said Absolute
Race Timing does work for Ashley Furniture in Arcadia
and just signed a deal in Door County.
Preparation for a typical Saturday event starts about a
week in advance.
Brandt said Tuesday work begins for the next race and by
Thursday Absolute Race Timing will have a registration
list and the competitor’s emails and Facebook accounts
are added into their system. If the competitor will
allow it, a Facebook message can be sent to their
account letting their friends know they’ve just
completed the race and their time.
On Friday, the system is tested and then Absolute Race
Timing heads to the event Saturday.
Brandt said his team is at the race two hours before the
event starts. It takes about an hour to set up, an hour
to work out any issues and the results are printed once
the race director requests them. It takes about an hour
for Absolute Race Timing to pack up and they start
getting ready for the next event.
The most rewarding part for Brandt is being in the
atmosphere of a race.
“It’s all-around fun,” Brandt said. “It’s not enjoyable
getting up at 3 a.m. to travel to Prairie du Chien, but
once you’re there you get pumped up. It’s quite
stressful for us because we only have one shot to get it
Absolute Race Timing has seven employees and Brandt said
it is hiring part-time employees. They will be timing
about 50-60 races this year.
“The added value that you get from us far out weighs
what anyone else can do,” Brandt said.
For more information, visit
www.absoluteracetiming.com or call 262-685-8646.