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Recently, Mike Wickiser brought this up to the RRTC OFFICERS. I have seen many different fees based on dollars per km or per mile. In addition one should consider travel expenses and map drawing.

There are times when one may want to do this for free or for a very low amount. In my view this makes it difficult for one who is asked to do the work in the future. Measurers are independent contractors and will charge what the market allows. I feel one should charge at least $50 per/km or $75/ mile plus $100 for paper work. Travel may also be added in.

I hate it when I am asked to do a measuring job and they say my fee is too high. Just the other day, I was asked to do a 10 km. The race people said, We only paid $75. The person that did this work has made it difficult for this race to find one to Measurer. I say don't cheapen our product.
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While I don't know the pricing schedules of all the Measurers in my region, I council a structure similar to what Gene describes (my course map pricing is scaled to the course length as well)

I do know of one Measurer who is exceptionally low priced. He's older in age and provides the service more out of altruism.

In my personal experience, I try to structure the relationship between myself and the client is such a way as to demonstrate that of a professional service. I provide a clear and concise proposal of what service I'll be providing and what the deliverables are as well as the payment terms. I require execution of that agreement and a deposit to establish a clear Accounts Payable channel before measuring. I arrive as schedule to conduct measurement, mark the course accurately and provide what I consider to be an excellent course map. In addition to protecting my exposure, I do all of this to demonstrate that my client is receiving a professional service and to ultimately justify the fee that I proposed.
I believe that we provide a professional service that falls in the same realm as a surveying service and that our pricing should reflect that. We should do everything that we can to ensure that we provide an experience that reflects such a service.
I do pretty-much what Nathan does. If someone still feels my price is too high, I wish them well, and move on.

We, the measuring community, should not be setting prices, nor telling other measurers they need to charge more. If they want to charge less, that's fine with me. My deliverables are certainly much more complete than someone who charges a minimal amount. If the client wants what I provide, then the price I charge is what they will pay. If all they want is a measured course with a rudimentary map, they can get that elsewhere.

There are some cities where the prices charged are higher than mine, but I am not going to raise my prices to match theirs. They have different constraints and challenges, so their higher fees are warranted. And, my fees change based on travel, or hazardous conditions, and even "rush" fees.

Free market. Don't fault others for charging less. If their time is worth less to them, that's their choice. I think I may have lost one measurement over the last 12 years, due to price. I am not losing sleep over it.
Professional services are what we sell. Or, at least perform in our duties as measurers. Standards for accuracy are established, and met before certification is granted. Checks and balances are in place similar to professional peer review of calculations.

A typical boundary survey on something 100 acres or more in open-land might run $0.50/ft. if the terrain is forgiving. $0.25/ft. if we can use a 4-wheeler.

Who wouldn't do a marathon for $35k-$70k? We only need to measure it once!

Good closure would be a bit less than 14'. Or 1/10,000. Ten times the accuracy, ten times the cost.

A "total station" costs $10k, so don't drop it in the river...

Hmm. Being 10 times less accurate than survey gear, the JR should cost $1,000 right?

Last edited by tomriegel
Early on in my measuring, I wanted to be of service to the sport and my running club. Ignoring the advice of my State Certifier I was working cheap and free fork & my club. I was asked to measure a "St Patty's" 8k and 15k course. In Ohio this meant riding in pretty cold weather. No problem, I was happy donating my time to the betterment of the sport & club. Running the 8k race the following year, I saw the T/A off by a quarter mile making the course 1/2 mile long. After that experience I charge every race as much as they can afford. This insures the race values my work and follows the certified route.
To date, I measure courses for servicemen memorial runs for free, but everybody else pays.
Like Duane, I've had people tell me I charge too much. Lo and behold, they come back to me 2 weeks before the race and then want me to measure. I caution anyone who comes to me for a quote to look over the field of measurers. And to make sure they look over the work produced as well as the volume of work and the dates of the most recent submissions for the other measurers. They may not like the price, but they pay it in the end, especially when they find out I really don't charge more than the average measurer.

I too have a soft spot for the military. With two daughters in the Air Force, I price very differently, most times just taking travel costs if there are any. Otherwise, I charge my going rate on a scale according to distance.

When I get the comment "But it's for a good cause", I tell them that I don't give away my work for free, just like they wouldn't when they go to work. After all, feeding and housing myself is a "good cause" too.
Whenever someone balks at the prices I set, I explain that:
1) The cost works out to about 1.5 to 2 entries per year over the 10-year lifetime of the course.
2) People that are interested in getting accurate feedback about their fitness will choose a race that has an accurate course of known distance, all other things being equal.

For those who wonder why they should get the course certified, I ask them:
Why would you give potential customers a reason NOT to run your race by not having an accurate course?
Bob, I've started creating QR Codes for my maps. They're free to create HERE Scanning one with a smartphone will take the user right to the course map & certificate.
Originally posted by Bob Thurston:

That's a good point, Mike. But I've got to say that they screw up the races they've paid for too.

I think we need to get the official certification map into ALL the runners' hands-- with the hope that at least a few of them will actually pay attention, and raise a stink when they see that the official specs are not being followed.
I've had RDs go "comparison shopping" on me, which I don't mind necessarily. For me, honest and forthright communication is the coin of the realm. A RD who realizes the worth of the certified course and the work it takes to measure tends to get a reasonable estimate. I tend to hold a soft spot in my heart for some organizations more than others; military bases and organizations get better deals from me, if for no other reason than traffic on the base is less hazardous.
Other race directors and clubs have succeeded in overdrawing the goodwill they might have had in initially.

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