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This is a recent exchange of messages:

Dear Jay,

We don't certify cross-country courses, but that is not a written rule, only a policy. It arose because of the difficulty of describing such courses on a course map. Exceptions can be made. I suppose. I've always adhered to the idea that if a course can be described so that a stranger can follow it, it can be certified. Most cross-country courses cannot be so described. The labor of locating every single course boundary marker would be enormous.

I could be wrong here, so I am sending a copy of this to Mike Wickiser, our Chairman, and Bob Baumel, whose memory for our past is formidable. I am also going to post this on our message board.

Best regards, Pete

In a message dated 10/16/2005 10:25:50 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

I've gotten a couple of calls form the Illinois Association USATF regarding
certifying one or more cross country courses for an USATF regional
gualifying event. I may have also received some kind of inquiry from

If I remember correctly, was it not decided a few years ago that RRTC does
not certify cross-country courses?

If that is in fact the case, are we making an exception for USATF
championship courses?

Please help. Thanks.
Original Post

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Pete's absolutely right that due to their nature describing most cross country courses is very difficult. However, I see a need for an accurate measurement, particularly when times are often compared from course to course. Obviously, how "fast" a course is dependent on terrain too plus the level of competition. That aside, there does not seem to be any standard. We have some courses locally that are claimed to be 3 miles but when the posted times are a couple of minutes faster than on other courses of comparable terrain (and competition), there's a disconnect somewhere.

Maybe a "temporary" e.g. a 30 day (or less) certificate could be considered for cross-country courses if they are measured in the days leading upto a race where temporary barriers and/or chalk/paint marks are placed to identify the course route.
From Bob Baumel

Mike and Pete,

RRTC decided at the 1996 Convention not to issue any more certifications for
cross-country courses. To see a record of that decision, go to the News
portion of the RRTC Committee area on the USATF site (hint: to get there
right away, use the redirection I set up for ),
then scroll to the bottom.


From Mike Wickiser

> From: mike wickiser <>
> Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:53:37 -0700 (PDT)
> To: <>, <>
> Subject: Re: Cross Country Certification
> Hi Jay,
> Pete's memory is accurate. The reasoning behind the
> policy is due to the near impossibility of getting
> good measurement agreement and reproducability of
> courses held on dirt and grass as most XC courses are
> contested.
> If the course can be measured with agreement and
> mapped adequately, then certify the course and don't
> lose any sleep over it.
> Mike

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