Because I'm confused.
The Wall 30k was advertised as "chip timed". When I see that, I automatically assume that the time reported will be the chip time, unless specifically stated otherwise (some races will have a caveat that winners will be based on gun time, etc). I really don't care if a race uses chip time or gun time, I just like to know which one. When I saw The Wall was chip timed, I attached my D-tag and lined up in the front-middle of the pack.
Remember that this race is on the levee path, which is narrower than a single road lane. So the start is a little congested. I moved back a tad because I didn't want to hold any 10k-ers back, and I knew it was chip timed, so it didn't matter that it would take me a little while to actually hit the start. Makes sense, right?
Nope. The New Orleans Track Club doesn't use a starting mat for their chipped races, only a finishing mat. So although you wear a chip, it times you from the gun (when the clock starts) until you cross the mat at the finish. That's a gun time. So you wear a chip, but your time is gun time.
FYI this is not actually the end of the world to me; the difference in my "chip" time and "gun" time is about 45 seconds, not a big deal. In other words I'm only talking about this because I need fodder for a blog post. Tee hee.
Now this sort of thing also occurred at the Jazz Half marathon. This race was also advertised as chip timed, and while your chip time was listed, all results and even your pace were based on gun time! Since in this instance I started way in the back, the pace listed for me was considerably different from my actual pace - a full ten seconds off, in fact.
So. There you have it. My nit-picky chip-timed post.
Would you rather run a chip timed race or gun timed? The New Orleans Track Club only recently started chip timing; I kind of miss the old races in which you were given a tag at the finish and had to submit your own time. The tag was a sticker, and the directors would stick the stickers on a board at the finish so you could see in a glance how you did.