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What is the appropriate response(s) for a certifier or measurer who becomes aware, after the fact, that one or more key points of an active certified course (start, finish and/or turnaround -- not the route itself) were altered on race day in such a way as to shorten the SPR distance? (Because runners had complained that the course was long as measured by their GPS devices -- but that's beside the point.) A complicating factor it that the course is part of a competitive regional series of races that advertise and require all events be competed on a certified road course.
Thanks for any and all comments.
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Jim, I think the first thing you should do it take the race director out behind the woodshed and "educate" them about GPS units in a very forceful way. Big Grin

Then, it is up to the RD as to what they want to do. I think the most productive course of action would be to publicly do nothing now, unless the running community is talking about it. For next year, however, I think the RD should run the correct course, with an explanation to the runners that the RD had incorrectly listened to GPS-equipped runners, and invalidated the distance. "This year, however, we have reverted to the correct course." If there were no records set, and since everyone ran the same short course, in the overall scheme of the series, other than too-fast of times on that particular course, no measurable harm has been done.

If there is a lot of commotion in the running community, I do think the RD should make a valiant attempt to apologize for not trusting the measurer, along with an explanation as to why GPS units shouldn't be relied upon for precision.

Really, it is about educating runners that their GPS is not as accurate as a properly-used Jones counter.
Thanks, Duane, for you comments. I'm still waiting for the RD to get back to me. He's a rookie director, and if it happened, he was likely trying to please his customers. So I would cut him a lot of slack, anyway. No woodshed scenarios. Wink

But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that a local (or regional) Association championship series race were tainted by some feckless RD hoping to "get good times" for his runners. Unless an Association official on site were trained in the knowledge of how to determine whether or not a USATF-certified course was set up according to specifications on the certificate, who would know?

If, perhaps, there is a need for a specialized skill set, it provides RRTC with a very useful rationale for working with the Associations in helping to ensure that road race officials (timers, referees, ???) are trained in the very basic and rudimentary skill of how to read a measurement certificate in order to determine whether a championship course is set up properly.

Maybe this is something that you might want to consider discussing with Association folk who will be attending the Buffalo seminar?
Interesting suggestion, Jim. I don't know if you meant it as a suggestion, but it got me thinking.

You mentioned Association championships. I have never worked one, and I have never worked a State Championship, either. I know some of my courses have been used for State Championship at some distance. But, is there ever an Association official at those? Does a Road Race Championship require an official?

It seems that any race advertising itself as, and apparently accepted as, a State or Regional Championship at any distance, would be required to have an official of that association present. Is that currently a requirement? Anyone?

I don't think you could require a timer to be responsible for the accuracy of a road course, as they normally seem to just set up their mats and chutes, but don't get out on the course. Even when I work for a local company that sets out the course, the course manager is assumed to have set the course out according to the certification map, but no one else verifies that assertion.

For most races it wouldn't be worth the expense, but for championships, maybe there should/could be an official required for course verification.

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