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Having conducted two course measurement clinics this year, the first in Albany, NY back in April, the second in Smithtown (Long Island), NY this past weekend, I was curious how many other measurement clinics go on across the country?

In Albany we had four graduates and in Smithtown another five. Three of the four Albany measurers have since submitted courses for certification. The fourth measurer worked with me to measurer two new alternate courses for the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5 km, a calibration course, and 1 km loop course. Not bad results so far.

Our clinics are held on a single day from 8-3 pm, with morning coffee and bagels and a lunch break. We first cover classroom introduction topics like an overview of measurement procedures, application forms, and equipment needed. Later, working in two person teams, we measure parallel calibration courses and make necessary temperature corrections, calibrate our bikes, and ride a course measurement. Finally, we go over the application forms in detail and complete the forms with our field measurement data.

What are other people doing?
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I have given a pile of clinics. They ranged in duration from two hours to two days. Everybody always seems to have fun at these clinics, including me. The least successful have been the ones given at RRCA conventions. These generally take two hours, and the people are enthusiastic. However, I think many attend because the subject matter is marginally more interesting than the usual “tips on getting sponsors” or “publishing a great newsletter.”

Other clinics attract other groups of people. In general, I have found clinics to be fairly unproductive in terms of people getting back to me with applications for certification.

I have had greater success with people who have read the book and get in touch with a question via telephone or email. It is fast and easy to deal with such questions, and the people are already halfway home, as they are already in the process of getting a course measured, and are really interested in doing it.

I have found that the students at clinics are generally unprepared, as I always ask ahead of time for the organizers to provide measurement books and see that the students have read them before I arrive. Generally this has not been done.

It could be that my teaching methods are ineffective. I don’t know how to check this out. Certainly the success of a seminar depends on both the abilities of the teacher and the students.

Over the last decade we have seen about 50 new people measuring each year, without benefit of clinics or seminars. They seem to arise from nowhere and submit applications. There seems to be something about the measurement process that appeals to people of a certain mindset. 50 new people each year is an impressive number.
Pete: Evaluating the effectiveness of your teaching would mean having to take a long, hard look at how you are teaching, materials you are using, background knowledge of the students...

Big question - Does RRTC believe there is an issue with a lack of measurers?

If the process of evaluation/change is successful, how would you be able to tell?

(Sidebar: I got into measurement in the last year because no one here did measurement...downloaded the manual...etc. Would not mind a decent seminar to learn little tricks that will make life more simple.)
Javaman - You are in the right place to find out tips to make life easier.

Does RRTC have an opinion? It's a group of people, and opinions vary. Are there enough measurers? Depends on who you ask. Some people believe that there ought to be a measurer who will hop to it whenever someone wants something done. There is a shortage of these people.

Some are willing to measure for a fee.

Ultimately the demand will be fueled by the demands of the runners. If runners care, they will turn up the heat on the race directors, and they will make more of an effort.

I have never believed it was RRTC's job to beat people over the head to get things certified. There are plenty of nice uncertified races. I would not run them, but many would. It is only false claims of certification that get me hot.

There are certainly some races that want to get certified, but cannot, because they are either unable to find a local person who is willing to learn the trade, or unable or unwilling to pay somebody to do it.

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