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I recently traveled to adjust three courses that I’d measured years ago. They needed to have their finish lines relocated from a busy highway into the parking lot of a shopping center. This was a simple job, as all I had to do was to establish two reference points and measure both the old and new finish paths.

This was the limit of the job I had contracted to do.

However, there was a complication that bothered me. Two of the three races had been originally set up to run in the reverse direction. This posed no problem for overall accuracy, but it left the original splits useless. I elected to do a check ride of the two courses and set down new splits. Was this necessary?
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I've always worked under the assumption that splits are part of a course measurement job, unless it's otherwise specified. In fact, I usually wind up giving more splits than most RDs use (miles and kms, halfway, 500 to go in a 5k). And I know runners will complain more about an intermediate split being off than the total distance. So yes, I'd figure out the splits for the reversed course.
My view is that splits are not essential in order to have the course length certfied. At least this applies in my area of UK and I believe this also applies for International measurements.

However, accurate splits are obviously useful for runners, and so it would be quite rare not to provide them as a matter of course, especially since in normal circumstances we ride the course twice.
Maybe its just me or my riding style (poor sense of balance...whatever) but I've found that searching for and marking the splits always screws up that particular ride for the total distance. I stopped doing splits years ago on the certification rides and of course end up riding at least a third time for the splits which I later document with digital pics and descriptions.

But then for me it doesn't really matter as I only measure local races and have never travelled farther than 60 km to do a measurement so the time factor isn't an issue.
I find it frustrating, but regrettably it is understandable, that accurate splits are not a mandatory part of our measurement process. I generally refuse to just measure 'start to finish' and leave race organisers to lay out the splits, as they will almost always get them wrong. Even when I do measure accurate splits, inexperienced organisers often don't bother to place their kilometre signs in the right places.

Inaccurate spilts result in runners questioning not only the splits but the overall distance. There is no doubt in my mind that inaccurate splits are far worse than no spilts.
Dave, as a former competetive(in my mind anyway) road runner I lived (and often died) by my watch. The reason I started measuring was that I was so tired of races where I knew by the splits that there was something obviously wrong with the course and I couldn't depend on the distance being accurate.

There was a local 5K race some years ago where I took my split at the 1K and then at the mile and was surprised to find that I had just run that 600+ meters in an amazing time. I got myself in hot water with a few people by measuring it later and letting a some know that the 5K was really only about 4850 meters. I should have just kept that to myself.

I have a fairly good relationship with the local people I measure for and they have come to expect the kilometer location documents I produce. I'm not sure what I would do if I was to travel outside of my home town to measure. I suppose I would have to overhaul my routine to make it fit with the time available.
I have always felt that accurate splits were an intergral part of course certification. Agreed that the start to finish distance is almost always all that is certified but when the splits are obviously innacurate, the course distance is suspect to the runners trying to figure out just what pace they ran.
I was also recently re-certifying a course that was to be run backwards. Since it was a 5k with mile splits and the start line was being moved up to almost the old 3 mile mark, adjusting the splits became more of a question of keeping track of which way to move from the old marks. I chose to adjust rather than ride the entire course. Upon completion, I drove the course and noticed that I had adjusted the wrong way on two of three splits. Out came the dark spray paint, the bike, and new accurate but not certified splits were in place.
I could have gotten away with using the old splits, but my conscience dictated the extra effort to provide the runners with both a certified distance and reliably accurate splits.
Was it necessary? No, but I felt it appropriate.

Mike Wickiser
Like Laurie I measure the splits in a third ride after the two certification rides. I usually do a fourth ride to document split
locations, measuring their distances from landmarks.

After a two certification rides, I measured kilometer splits for an 8 K race in August. I didn't have time to measure mile splits and recommended that the race director not have
inaccurate mile splits. The race had no mile splits.

I measure races for certification mainly to get certified races nearby that I can run. I am still competetive locally in my age group.

Dale Summers
To paraphrase Groucho, "that was no gentleman, that was Pete."

When I started measuring I followed the letter of the law (the course manual) and marked EVERY split on the first ride, then stopped and took readings at each one on the second. I used the Sum of Shortest Splits method and I'm sure some of my courses were lengthened unnecessarily.

Now, I generally do the first ride to establish the overall distance, then lay out the splits on the second. With age comes wisdom, or laziness, I'm not sure which.
I generally lay out temporary splits on the first ride- miles and 5Ks, unless the Red wants Kms- and check them on the second ride. I'll make permanent marks on a third trip over the coures, by car if the course allows it.

I agree with those who say that setting the splits is part of the job. One of the reasons I developed an interest in course measurement was the frustration of running on poorly marked courses. While the USATF certification process was developed to support record keeping, records aren't set at many races, and the main selling point to race directors is that a certified course is the right distance and that its splits are the right distance from each other.

An anecdote on the above: Earlier this year I measured a 5K/10K combo in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois- probably best known as the home of Wayne and Garth of "Wayne's World" fame. Aurora is along the Fox River, and the week before the race was wet enough to cause the Fox to rise and put portions of both courses under water.

The RD could not make contact with me the day before the race, so she had "high water" courses measured with a wheel. None of the intermediate splits were adjusted. The Chicago Area Runners Association gave her crap about it, so she had me come out late in the summer to do a "forensic measurement" on the courses they actually ran, and certify a high water alternative so the experience would't be repeated.

As it turns out, both of the courses used on race day were within a few meters of the advertised distances- but because the intermediate splits were off, the assumption was that the courses themselves were way off.

I'll certify a course without splits, because it's the start to finish distance that counts, but I sure won't measure one that way.
I have never been compimented on the distance being right, except when laying out a cross country course, I guess its rare in that game.

I have however been complimented by visiting runners on acurate splits.

On one 15K where a volinter put the 6 mile sign at the right place, but facing the wrong way near a turn around, I heard all about it. So splits matter.

It seems to me that the certificaton map for a race REQUIRES the direction of the start and the direction of the course on it. It seems that it's certified if you run that way. The reverse may be about the same distance but its not as per the cert and so not certified. I did a loop course a couple of years ago where I thaught it may get use in both directions so I did two certs with two sets of rides, maps and certificates, one clockwise and one anti-clockwise. The starts and finish were on a road in the center of the loop. So the two, left and right versions are diffrent cert numbers. BUT you still have to start from the common start line. If a race director wanted to start from the finish, and finish on the start, I think it would require a new set of rides for a new cert, with new splits.

Once you tell RD's that they can ignore bits of the cert requirement, like where the start and finsh are, or the direction runners go, you are opening it up for them to use other creative interpritations.

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