MEASUREMENT SEMINAR AT 2008 RRCA CONVENTION
Cincinnati, Ohio – May 2, 2008
by Pete Riegel – Seminar Leader
Commentary by Duane Russell
Mike Wickiser was contacted by RRCA and asked to provide a speaker for a one-hour seminar at the RRCA Convention. RRTC has done this annually for many years.
Mike contacted me, and I agreed to come and work with him at the seminar. A few days before the seminar, Mike found himself unable to come, and asked me if I could handle the presentation. I said I could and would.
I drove to Cincinnati the morning of the seminar and arrived early. I spent some time socializing with those few of the RRCA people who I knew. I was pleased to find Duane Russell, RRTC’s Idaho and Nevada Certifier, who has been active with his postings on the Course Measurement Bulletin Board. He said he would be at the seminar.
At 11:15 AM I went to the meeting room, bringing along my measuring bike as part of a show-and-tell. About 20 to 25 people were present. I introduced myself, and expressed the hope that at least a few of the attendees would become course measurers. The sport needs more measurers.
Then, since there was obviously not time to completely educate the group, I asked them to write down the web site www.rrtc.net. I explained that this web site contained links to everything they might want to know about course measurement. I also gave them my email address, and promised that any inquiries would be answered.
At that point I asked for questions, as I had no clear idea exactly what they might be interested in. Some of the questions involved:
1) The distinction between a measurer and a certifier
2) How to use the USATF course search engine to evaluate the mapwork of a prospective measurer
3) Measuring fees
4) The value to a race to have a certified course
5) The value of measuring it yourself vs hiring a measurer.
Duane Russell provided some valuable answers to some of the questions, as did an experienced course measurer who recounted some personal measurement experiences.
People seemed interested in my bike, and I pointed out the Jones counter and the electronic counters that I also have mounted.
At 12:15 the seminar was over, and I went home.
Since the seminar I have not been contacted by anyone except Duane. I asked him to comment on this report to fill in anything I may have omitted. His comments follow:
Following comments by Duane Russell:
I feel Pete did a good job with the time constraint, and his idea for a very broad overview followed by accepting questions is probably the best way to handle a 45 minute slot. For this reason, I would suggest the following in a similar setting:
If only allowed 45 minutes per session, host an informational session, in which more details are given about measuring and certification. Basically, instead of a 30,000-foot view, give a 10,000-foot view, in which many questions would be answered strictly by presentation. There may be time for a few questions from attendees at the end of this session.
Then, have a follow-up session scheduled, where, if new people arrived, a 60,000-foot view would quickly be presented, then attendees could ask more specific questions, based on what they heard in the previous session.
I offer this format as a result of 4 attendees talking to me in more detail after the presentation, with questions that were more specific to their situation. If we listed the two sessions as one being a more complete presentation, then one open for specific questions, I think we would have 75% overlap, but the other 25% at each session would not attend the other presentation. They can choose which/both session(s) depending on their current understanding of measurement and certification.
I would be happy to assist in developing the presentations, or take the entire presentation on myself. I am comfortable speaking in front of groups, and have made somewhere in the range of 30 presentations covering various topics in the last 10 years.
As of now, like Pete, I have not been contacted by anyone, despite distributing over 100 pens with contact info on it to RRCA attendees.
That’s my 2-cents worth,