I'm the guy responsible for the timing system hardware (Dave Sorenson is responsible for the actual results).
Unfortunately, the "pause briefly" got out before we had a chance to vet it. There is no need to pause at the start, splits or finish line.
At the start line, we are seeing about 95% read rates. This is more or less industry standard for starts with chip timed races. With hundreds of runners per second, the system is doing its best but interference from other chips and runners just get in the way. Most of the misses are from folks at the front where the density is the highest. Folks who go by in the back of the pack are almost always seen. If the system does not "see" you at the start, no big. You will simply get the gun time for your wave. You will not get a DQ but you also will not get credit for the lag between when the gun went off and when you crossed the line.
For the setup for the split at A-Frame, we are seeing 99% read rates. Once again, no need to pause. You will not be DQ'ed if we don't see you there either.
For the finish line (and the summit turn around for the PPM), we have been seeing 99.8% read rates. We also have select timers and a video camera there to catch the folks who for some reason did not get read (bad chip, etc). In the grand scheme of things, this is the time that is the most important. So if you care about your time, make sure that your full bib is showing when you cross the finish line (otherwise I need to dig through hours of video a day or so after the race when you realize that your time was not posted).
Hope this helps,