Remember the National Running Data Center? One wonderful thing about that organization, the creation of Ken Young, was that it pushed both course certification and the gathering of road race results into a central library. Publications of records, rankings, and "notable performances" were derived from material in that central library. This was in the pre-Internet 1980s.
I wish there were a similar entity now. The power of the Internet would allow the entire library to be available to anyone, anytime. The certification status of the each race could be included with the results from that race---not only the certification code, and the name of the measurer, but the name of the individual who attests that the course was set up according to the race map on race day. (What's the point of a certified course without race results from a race that used the course?) The certification process, in a sense, wouldn't be complete until the results of a race using the course became part of the central library. Any race that wanted to be thought of as a serious competition would use a certified course and send its results to the central library. All sorts of histories and compilations of records, rankings and various sorts of comparisons could be assembled from that library.
Running USA, in concert with the the Road Running Information Center and the USATF, seemed to be moving in the direction of an Internet version of the old National Running Data Center, but that effort seems to have dissolved. Or am I missing something?
Maybe money was a problem. I would think that such a center would have to display advertising in order to pay the bills, but would also have to be connected with a central governing body such as the USATF in order to be accepted as the valid central site and the keeper of records.
Is anyone else out there interested in seeing something like this established? Or does it already exist but has escaped my attention?
David Reik, 87 Wood Pond Rd., West Hartford, CT 06107, firstname.lastname@example.org