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I have measured several courses which are multiple events for the same race (e.g. this Sunday there is a 5/10 km in Westport).
I know we decided several years ago that each course must have its own certificate (i.e. no multiple course numbers on a single cert) but what about maps?
For instance, if both the 5 & 10 km routes can be indicated on a single map, can that be used for both courses, just changing the course number to correspond with the cert on the reverse side?

Since making the map is often the most time-consuming part of the operation, this would be a desired option.
And if separate maps are required for filing with USATF/RRTC, is there anything wrong with providing one to the race director? I would think they'd be less likely to lose one piece of paper than two.
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Thanks Mark. I looked at those 2 certs, and each one had a different course map, even though the TA details overlapped. I'm wondering about a map that shows both courses. I finally got an appropriate sized example to go with the original post.
Since I make my maps electronically, it's not too difficult to simply delete the non-applicable sections, but for those who hand-draw theirs, it could be a considerable time saver.
Last edited by jimgerweck
I have followed the directive that each course should be on its own map, for certification. (If someone wants to supply a combined map to the RD, that's fine - it doesn't appear on the USATF site.)

The combined maps I have rejected have seemed to be too cluttered. There are a few that would work on one map, but many seem to have Start or Finish in a different location for each race, and Turnaround descriptions are different.

If we said it was okay, then courses which should not be combined, would be. That would cause more issues, trying to explain why some can, and some can't. Also, do we limit it to two? I had one submission that was Half-marathon, Marathon, 50k, and 50 mile, all on one map. That was cluttered. All just followed the same out-and-back route, but the two longest went back past the Finish, to another turnaround. Took too long to isolate each course.

Even when done by hand, if someone does the longest course first, then zoom-copies the shorter segment and makes the second map, I don't see that as being too hard. Digitally is a piece of cake. So, I don't see "effort" as being a good argument for combining (how many???) courses on one map.

We are paid to do the measurement. If we give a discount for measuring them simultaneously, but no discount for mapping, if multiple maps are involved, the RD still gets a discount, and will likely be happy. I just don't see a good reason to combine onto one map, for the cert and posting on the USATF site. EAch course has its own cert, and should have its own map.

My opinion.
Gene, I knew that, had a hell of a time getting it sized for the Bulletin Board - definitely not image friendly.
I recall Pete measured an out-and-back course that had something like a dozen distances on it, each w/ a different TA point. It was extremely clear, however.
There is also the case of a single-distance course where some intermediate splits are certified. In that case I think the course map should be accepted.
I am heading out right now to put down the marks for the above course (the race organizers don't trust themselves to do it right, and they pay me for an hour's work with a can of spray chalk). I'm definitely bringing the combination map with me - no going back & forth between 2 pieces of paper.
Perhaps this issue is best approached on a case-by-case basis. If a multi-course map is clear and relatively concise, it can be used for 2 different certs; if not, different map for each. I understand and agree that there must be a distinct cert for each course length.
The trouble with a case-by-case basis is, what works for you may not work for me. It is a subjective determination.

From a runner's perspective, if I download a cert/map for Joe's Marathon, and it has notes for the Half, and maybe a 10k, will it be confusing? I asked for the Marathon cert, but have a map that mentions 10k, or Half. What is this? Are we complicating things for runners, for the ease of a measurer?
Duane, I don't think it should have notes (e.g. mile points) about the other distances on it. However, indicating both routes could actually prove useful to a runner, who might discover that the last mile of the marathon merges with the half marathon course, so he might be dodging slower half runners at that point. I think in cases like that most races post a combined map on their website; just suggesting there might be cases where a measurer might do the same, even if it's just to provide to the race director to post.
Nice map. Jim. Seems clear to me. If this were a map of a marathon and a half marathon together, with mile marks and timing points text, it seems to me it would be difficult to get it to not look cluttered. Maybe we do not always think about how confusing course directions and layout instructions can be to some race organizers. I get hired to perform course layout for some races from time to time. When I do this, I realize what a mystery all this can be to the uninitiated.

What about when this map gets posted on It will appear only in black and white. Then, this 5K/10K map could seem ambiguous without careful inspection.

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