Quick, clean, and to the point

Sum race time splits

Excel formula: Sum race time splits
Generic formula 

To sum race time splits that are some combination of hours, minutes, and seconds, you can use the SUM function. The formula in cell H5, copied down, is:


Excel times are fractional numbers. This means you can add times together with the SUM function to get total durations. However, you must take care to enter times with the right syntax and use a suitable time format to display results, as explained below.

Enter times in correct format

You must be sure that times are correctly entered in hh:mm:ss format. For example, to enter a time of 9 minutes, 3 seconds, type: 0:09:03

Excel will show the time in the formula bar as 12:09:03 AM, but will record the time properly as a decimal value.

Internally, Excel tracks times as decimal numbers, where 1 hour = 1/24, 1 minute = 1/(24*60), and 1 second = 1/(24*60*60). How Excel displays time depends on what number format is applied.

Use a suitable time format

When working with times, you must take care to use a time format that makes sense to display times that represent durations. 

To access and apply custom time formats, select the cell(s), then use Control + 1 (Command + 1 on a Mac), then Number > Custom.

These are the number formats used in the example shown:

mm:ss // split times
h:mm:ss // total time

If total times may exceed 24 hours, use this format:


The square bracket syntax tells Excel not to "roll over" times greater than 24 hours.

Custom time format for hours, minutes, and seconds

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and create dynamic ranges. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot, trace errors, and fix problems. Instant access. See details here.

Download 100+ Important Excel Functions

Get over 100 Excel Functions you should know in one handy PDF.