I'm meeting a client next week who wants me to measure a 10 mile course at a military air base that makes loops around the runway and taxiways. Anyone else measured a course on a runway and or military base? Are there any special considerations/advice that would be helpful to know?
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Good luck finding landmarks.
Rich Swor here in Michigan has done a few airport course measurements. You might email him and ask.
Designed and measured a 5K on a 6,000' strip in Greeneville, Tennessee a couple of months ago then chip timed it November 14.
The field has 5 equally spaced "cutovers" connecting a runway and a taxiway. For modern timing and showmanship systems, access to power and S F at same place are prerequisites. We selected a location about 100' from a weather station on the outer edge of a taxiway. This was with the compromise that runners would pass about 30' from some fairly powerful mats. I set up Reflectix RFID barriers the day of the race. The course was measured to the inside of the field but we set up S F on the outside. For social distanced starting, we chalked two bib numbers 6' apart going back about 200'. There were 75 finishers. Raceday registrants went to back of line. This helped with missed start reads as you had a pretty good idea who took how long to start. Video provided the missing pieces from there. Some of the thinking was to minimize runners passing each other due COVID. FAA rules mandate something of a saucer shaped runway profile so pilots can see both ends of the field from eye level in a puddle jumper. We comped some local speedsters to prove it was a fast course. They liked the fast, gentle downhill finish.
The hypotenuse on a 50' height and 1,600' base is about 0.8 feet (* 2 = 1.6') so big deal. State of the art mats are reading 20 minute people with bib tags a few feet early and 1 hour walkers as much as 15' early anyway.
They were running training sessions while I measured. I have logged 100 hours single engine land so they turned me loose. Biggest surprise was how wide the wingspan of a Cessna 150 is on a 50' wide taxiway and how uncompromising a student pilot can be. Be prepared to chalk and get off in the grass till any taxiing plane passes: what looks like a lot of room (and thinking the guy will get over) turns out to be too close. There was "mild comment" when I checked out at base ops. I did NOT use hardware markers for fear of FOD: a flat car tire is one thing and+ a flaming Concorde is another. Painted stencils and got lots of pictures for my .docx "Locations Book."
Had no trouble finding references with all the taxiway and runway lights. Some counting and long tapings but they were mostly convenient.
Registration can be a LONG way if they insist on keeping it outside the gate to the tarmac. 200m was as close as we could get but thank goodness we had a HS CC guy ferrying race day reg's. Timing after an 8 month layoff left me with two devices with shallow, deceptive charges; "OK, I'm charged" then a minute later "No , I'm not."
No reports of disease after race despite what I thought was bunching around registration. Sponsors were quite pleased with the outcome.
Thank you all. This is helpful info. The base commander took me on site today and I was able to get a feel for where my boundaries will be. It's going to be a great course that will take runners down the 2.5 mile runway, through a hangar and past rows of F16s, bombers, and military cargo planes. I'm excited to be measuring this one.