Chip race mats
I was amazed to learn there are races that use the chip but only have one mat - at the finish line.
That is useless.
The purpose of a chip race is to record the elapsed time between a runner crossing the start line and the finish line. Without a start line mat AND a finish line mat that can't be done.
Using only one mat does nothing for the runner. Chip time would always be the same as gun time, so runners who take a long time to get across the start line would not benefit from chip use. The only advantage is that the race director would not have to recruit a finish line crew.
If you use the chip (which you don't have to do) always have mats at the start and finish line - and at the farthest point on the course, to deter cheaters.
If you can't afford more than one mat, then don't use the chip.