What is the current understanding of how elevation data can be used to assess course difficulty? I recall that someone suggested a formula for this, but it was quite some time ago.
I am asking about this because I got talked into participating on a panel with the aim of ranking or comparing local courses for the purpose of assisting in area runner rankings.
This is against my better judgement; I told them the best way is to collect enough results so that you could compare times achieved by the same runners on the various courses. But since I don't yet have that information I would like to know if there is a valid (or possibly valid!) way to use elevation data to do this.