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As for sending out the policy to the 20 Certifiers as Pete mentions; this will be done when we finalize this policy.

The RRTC has always made decisions based upon the majority of RRTC members during my term. I can't speak for others, but assume the same has held true.

One thing to note, when the policy in question was sent out originally there was only one person who had comments.

I just had an interesting conversation with Bernie Conway(he holds a position like mine in Canada and is in charge if issuing IAAF Certificates.

Here is Bernie position on this issue:

"On the topic of certification numbers If there is a partial measurement I still use the year of the last full measurement in the certification number. For example I did two minor adjustments to the Toronto Waterfront Marathon this past summer (2010) but the certification numbers of the adjusted course were both CAN-2008-###-BDC because the date of the previous full measurement was in 2008".

All, again thanks for your input.
I have a problem accepting the 10-year life for modified marathon and half marathon courses. I changed the first mile on Huntsville’s half marathon last year and the first two miles on the marathon course in 2009.

The marathon has been modified several times since it’s last full measurement in 1991. I have the calibration and measurement data for all those rides including that of the 5-person group in 1991. And I also have detailed locations for the split points used in those measurements. The majority of the course remains as it was in 1991. All the road changes in the marathon route have been accounted for by the modification measurements. And like Pete, I believe the early segments retain their original accuracy.

A new measurement of the Huntsville marathon will be challenging and will require police support in at least two areas. Fortunately, there are no current plans for change.
By my count of respondents on this subject, here is what I get

In support of the proposal

Conway (Canada)

Doesn’t’ like the proposal

Adams (Canada)
Guido Bros

I see no clear support for the thing.

Perhaps other certifiers will weigh in, as they were not specifically polled.
Last edited by peteriegel
This is an interesting way to look at who gets heard when a decision is to be made. Only the Chairman and those he appoints have a voice. As I am no longer chairman, only the Ohio certifier, I don't consider myself a member of the inner circle. Thus my negative vote can be erased and voila! The decision is unanimous and without opposition!

RRTC is a council, consisting of all who work in it. It has no offical subcouncil of special folks with special wisdom.

Ignored above are all the certifiers and course measurers and others who may be affected.

I know what I think about this view.
Decisions made by the council have always been presented to our officers and sometimes to the certifiers. Hence, I decided to take a survey of the Certifiers. I found the results interesting. Here is the survey and the results.

RRTC survey:
On 1/29/2011 5:45 AM, Gene Newman wrote:
To all Certifiers,
I’m curious if any of you have problems with the new policy concerning the life of a course. We discussed this issue at the convention and decided that no course should go beyond the 10 year life of the original Certificate. That is if one adjust a course in 2010 that was Certified in 2006, then it would receive a Certificate that would indicate it only had 6 years of life remaining.
We are tweaking the policy sent out earlier, but I need your comments if you favor the policy sent out earlier.
Best regards,
Gene Newman
Chairman of the RRTC
Those in favor:
Duane Russell, Jane Parks, Bob Baumel, Gene Newman, Mike Wickiser, Paul Hronjak, Jim Gerweck, Neville Wood, Bernie Conway, Tom McBrayer, Jim Gilmer, Ron Fitzpatrick, Woody Cornwall,Tom LaBlonde, Ron Scardera, Don Garrett, Dave Moore, Carol McLatchie

Those Opposed
Pete Reigel, Jay Wight, Rick Wilson, John Ferguson, John DeHaye

Those undecided
Bob Thurston, Lee Barrett

Note: There are 18 in favor, 5 opposed and 2 undecided for those Certifiers that responded.
Last edited by genenewman
It will be interesting to see exactly what proposal is being talked about. We see that people are in favor of something, but exactly what is it? The proposal has changed its shape and scope several times.

If one adjusts a course in 2010 that was originally measured and certified in 2006, this is not a renewal at all. It is a new course that used old data to cover a partial measurement of the new course. What's wrong witrh using old data?

This is routinely done in measuring marathon courses, and ought not to be penalized. It adds work and cost, to no perceptible benefit.
Last edited by peteriegel
Gene, was that in an email? I looked and can't find an email on this, so I'm not sure how I got to be undecided, and I'm puzzled also because there are other certifiers not listed at all.

I would vote against the policy. I know I didn't speak against it at the meeting but (1) I hadn't really thought about some of the arguments Pete has been making and (2) I hadn't really thought about all the extra measurement I would have to do to give a "full" certification for some of the races I am responsible for, and (3) then there is the confusion (in my own mind and records!) of trying to keep it straight that this is a 2011 certification but starts with 09 instead of 11, for example.

I think it may be useful to distinguish between a documented measurement and a certification-- the certificate is a sort of contract that says we stand behind the accuracy of the course. It's value can indeed "wear out" over time for numerous reasons-- race no longer run, landmarks no longer the same as in descriptions, and so on. But the measurement doesn't really "wear out", unless there's been a reconfiguration of the road or the like. I think we should trust that the original measurer would know of such changes and would remeasure the roads affected by them-- but if there's been no change then I would expect that the original measurer would know that as well and should be able to confirm as much.

(OK, I'm thinking about courses that are within my normal "stomping grounds", so that I would be aware of various changes that might affect the courses. I'm not quite so sure about remote courses, maybe others have thoughts about that.)

I do think there might be reasonable distinctions made between courses. I'm looking forward to remeasuring my "Bread Run 10K" to see how it comes out, partly because there have been some minor changes in the path for the alpine climb from C&O Canal up to MacArthur Boulevard. But the National Marathon takes in a long, dangerous and winding tunnel (3 or 4 lanes of traffic) and a 4-lane bridge crossing over that metal grating everyone loves so much, along with a bunch of shorter tunnels and another almost-as-dangerous bridge. I sure don't want to re-measure any more of that than I have to-- and I have already measured and remeasured all the parts that will stay the same. But-- maybe we can leave these decisions and distinctions to the certifier or the measurer or to both of them talking it over together?

I didn't mean to go on so long, just one more thing-- if the policy does stay in place I would encourage you to at least accept one confirming measurement, as long as it gives a value within 0.08% of the stated distance and is not short.

You make some good points that will be incorporated into the policy. Only one ride will be necessary and the .08% comparison for the length of the course will be incorporated into the decision.

As for why only a few of certifiers responded, I emailed all of them. Maybe they agree or disagree, who knows. I will post their opinios as they come in.

Thanks for your thoughts and comments.
I am speaking specifically to this point "We have our loophole because we don’t say something along the lines of “applications must be postmarked within six months of the date of the first measurement or they will not be reviewed and the course will not be certified".

The rest of the thread seems to have gone somewhat far afield. If I measure and document something in accordance with our established procedures then it shouldn't make a whit of difference whether I measured it yesterday or a year ago when I submit it as long as the segment has not physically changed.

In any case, if course life is 10 years what sense does it make to have a separate life span for measurements?

Obviously I'm not a certifier or a board member, I'm just a guy with an opinion that measures courses. That said, getting more guys with opinions to learn to measure courses depends on RRTC not making it more hassle than it's perceived worth. Most of my effort lately has been not measuring myself but teaching others to do it. Rules that don't really add to the quality of the certification process impede that effort.
I'm now an outsider, Like Keith, expressing an opinion.

I agree here.

I believe this proposal will ultimately become an embarrassment to whoever proposed and supported it via Gene's claims, and to those who anonymously support it, through Gene's claims of support.

I would not be proud to be listed among those who would discount a measurement because it was not submitted within a few years of its accomplishment.

Simple is best. This proposal deserves a decent burial. It solves no known problem.
Good question, Bob.

It sounds as though in Pete's part of the country, roads do not change much. Around where we measure (D.C. region), you may agree that roads can change. I can think of 3 courses nearby that had to be re-measured in the last 2 years 100% due to road changes.

I appreciate Duane's comment - a re-measurement could expose an inaccurate original measurement. I have heard that measuring skills out there do vary. Not all measurers have had the privilege I have had - being taught by Bob Thurston and counseled by John Sissala. But I can still make mistakes. Had to trash a ride on a 5K measurement last winter when I took a wrong turn. Had to trash another ride last fall due to a calculation error that I discovered while employing my little checks-and-balances system after a ride.

I know the courses Bob Thurston refers to in his question about difficult and dangerous courses. They certainly are. And, there is road construction on some of those very streets as I write this. Maybe that construction won't materially affect the 10-mile race or the marathon that traverse this section. However, what about the next construction project? How many instances of tearing up and re-surfacing of these roads or of renovating the bridges under the road do we tolerate before we determine that it is time to re-measure the entire course?

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