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It is always exciting for me to read the news coverage about new records being set. Talk about March Madness, USATF has seen three very recent American records set: Shalane Flanagan’s 47:03 for 15 km on March 9 at the Gate River Run/15 km Championships in Jacksonville, FL (FL14001DL with AV status), Bernard Lagat’s 13:19 for 5 km at Carlsbad 5000 on March 30 in Carlsbad, CA (CA11026RS with A status), and Maria Mitcha’s 1:31:09 for 20 km at Race-walk World Cup Trials on March 30th in Whiting, NJ (NJ14505JHP with AV status).

Each news story simply writes about the athlete and the record time run, but rarely addresses the records process. We know that these new records are really pending. Hopefully these athletes are clean, the event was Sanctioned, the course holds up, and the timing was done correctly. Great to see that two of the three courses were validated prior to the records were set.

Makes sense to me having the validation completed before the fact. Events with a fast course, large prize purses, and a talented field of athletes certainly increases the possibility of new records being set. Course pre-validation seems like the right thing to do for events meeting the fast course, large prize purse, and talented athletes’ criteria. Why wait until after the fact?
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Yes, it's good that courses are checked for accuracy beforehand. The terminology you are using is not correct any longer. When a measurement is checked we call it a verification. Validation are done after the race was run. They are to prove the course was run as measured and other paperwork is done.

The USATF site will be changed to reflect this new wording. The main reason for these changes was we are following the IAAF rules.

Another thing USATF approved at this past years convention, is all their championship should be pre-verified.
Thanks Gene. Got it, verified prior to the event and validated after the event.

A quick look at 3 upcoming road championships, none are verified. Maybe the verified status hasn’t been updated on the course list. I found the July 4th Peach Tree 10 km/US Championships (GA12057WC with A status) (also noted it is a point to point course, not record eligible), September 1st Stratton Faxon New Haven 20 km/USA Championships (CT13026JHP with A status), and September 21st CVS Caremark Downtown 5 km/USA Championships (RI13014RN with A status). On the other hand tomorrow’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile/USA Championships (DC10003JS with status AV10)

Do the new rules say a championship course always needs to be verified? Does it matter for those championship courses that are non-record eligible due to separation or drop? Are masters and race-walk road championship courses also required to be verified? How about those newer non-record distance championships at 1 mile and 7 miles?
USATF's LDR's have the call on the races that are considers their Championships. There are about 10 this year.

My understanding is the race would be notified that their course should be pre-verified. There are several problems that could occur here. First, if the race wasn't certified by an IAAF measurer then they would need two IAAF measurers(one must be an "A") to verification/certify the race. Second, if the race was certified by an IAAF measurer then an "A" IAAF measurer would be assigned to verify.

Generally, I am notified my USATF and we go from there.

Finally, this is the first year for all of this and at next year's USATF we will work out the problems.
Kevin, on one of those, the Cherry Blossom 10 mile, I was asked to be a (knowledgeable) observer of the running of the race, because records were considered a good possibility. I believe the current course has already been "verified" if I understand the term correctly.

I couldn't do it because I was out of town, so Phil Stewart and I both thought the course could be validated after the fact if needed. Would that still be true? I'm not sure I understand the changes.

There are two parts that make up a road record: course verification and validation. The course distance is verified by measuring the course and may be completed either before or after the running event. During the running of the race, a qualified individual will observe the runners confirm or validate that the runners followed the course that was measured.

There are two Cherry Blossom 10 miles courses that were verified in the past.

The V in the status column of DC07001JS and DC10003JS indicate the course was verified. Should a mark be set on either course, that equals or betters the current American record, it would not be necessary to send a measurer out to verify the course distance. As of Jan 1, 2014, US National Championship road running events are required have the course pre-verified.

In order for the mark be credible, the original measurer or another IAAF "A" or "B" grade measurer in possession of the complete measurement data and maps must validate the course measured was the course that was run, normally by riding in the lead vehicle. (IAAF Rule 260.28d)

Hope this helps. -- Justin
Lyman I'm glad you brought that up, it came to my attention a few days ago and I've been wondering how the TA got messed up. If this is the course I would guess that they simply turned the runners at the wrong intersection-- just a guess.

The funny thing is, a preverification wouldn't necessarily have prevented a mistake like that.

But maybe that isn't the course, because it's hard to see how the shortfall could be just 13.5 feet.

I'm sure all RD's would like for runners who are hurt by such an error to be as nice about it as Bernard Lagat!

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