I had been in communication w/Neville regarding validation of the Fifth Third 2006 25 km course at this time last year because there was a pending American record by Fernando Cabada set there. Now we're in early 2008 and since I hadn't heard anything about a validation of the '06 course, I communicated w/Neville again, asking about the validation status.
In his response he seemed to infer the '06 course had been validated in '07 w/out an actual remeasurement via a bike and Jones counter. I asked him if this was so and he said, 'Yes.'
I just checked the '07 convention minutes and, sure enough, the '06 Fifth Third 25 km course was validated based on means other than an actual remeasurement. I'm at a bit of a loss here...this does not seem right. We should not be in the business of validating courses by anything other than a calibrated Jones counter mounted bike. I do not feel comfortable w/Neville's action.
The '06 course varied from an earlier validated Fifth Third 25 km course enough, in my opinion, that Neville's method of validation isn't good enough. Comparing old w/new and using some maping tool to 'measure' new streets is an inadequate method to validate this course.
I have every confidence the course is long enough for Cabada's record to stand, however, the method of 'validation' sets a precedent we should discuss before implementing and it hasn't been. We have a tried & true system to validate courses. If we're to have an amendment to the tried & true, we shouldn't be putting the cart before the horse.
Neville's convention report regarding the Fifth Third 25 km needs a tiny clerical revision: the abbreviation for Michigan is MI, not MN (MI 03005 SH & MI 06006 SH).