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I have been asked to measure the course for the high school regional in our area. I'm looking for any advice or suggestions on how to go about this. My plan for it is shown below.

1) Ask the RD to paint the course line before I measure the course.
2) Ask for a course map ahead.
3) Check with google earth to make sure the course distance will be close, and that there is enough room at the start to adjust the length as necessary.
4) Create a 300-meter cal course on the grass to use for calibration.
5) Ride the cal course multiple times.
6) Measure the course from finish to start following the painted line.
7) Establish the start line based on the measurement.
8) Mention to the RD that the flags should be placed X-feet to the inside of the painted line on turns.

I will probably not bother to measure the course twice or do a post-cal(unless there is a big change in weather).
Keep in mind this is not a USATF certification.

One thing I know is that the rules(guidelines?) for cross country courses are not the same as for road courses.
I believe the measurement is not along the SPR, but rather, the runners must stay within X feet of the center line of the course. So on turns they can be X-feet inside the white line. But the course is measured on the white line.

Is all this true?
Does anyone have a link to cross country course measuring rules or guidelines?
Does anyone have any other suggestions or comments?
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Mark, we measure Road Races.

I suggest you tell the race you have measured as described and done so according to our standards, but USATF doesn't issue a certificate for XC courses.

As you know there are too many variables on these type of courses. Next time the course is run, I would bet things will not be setup as you measured. However, at least the course will be reasonable accurate.

As a HS and College XC coach, I found too many courses over the years and run differently each year. Also,i found many courses not what distance they claimed.
Gene, I don't think anyone involved is under the impression that the course will be certified.
The regional has been at this location a couple times in the past, and people have questioned the distance both times. The RD is happy to have a third party measure the course so questions won't be raised again this year.
I plan to make it clear that the measurement is valid only for this race. Once the white line he paints disappears, the measurement disappears with it.
I measured an XC course a couple of years ago. I made detailed notes of every turn and documented every turn point and timing point with GPS coordinates. I created a good map for the client and I enclosed the documentation with the map.

Since then, most if all the races held on this 5K course have been held on the same path with the exception of the out and back segment I added to the old course to make it as close to 5K as possible. No one liked having to run that extra piece of ~ 200 yards. Of course, this has never stopped all the races there from being advertised as "5K".

I don't know about measuring a line like that, I would have a hard time not trying to get the SPR. But whatever measures you want to take are probably mostly for your own satisfaction, since you won't certify it and most XC runners and coaches probably aren't too worried about some of the finer points of ensuring accuracy.
Lyman did a good job with the course he refers to. Although most meet managers won't go in for the kind of demanding specs that Lyman used to create his course, it's worthwhile to figure out a course so that there will be a limited number of definable key points that they can use to lay out an accurate course.
After doing XC measuring and layout for many years, I'm thinking that it's best for most courses to lay the course out and measure it each season, rather than try for a "permanent" route. With some luck you can find a way to set it up during one season and be consistent, but beyond that is maybe a bridge too far.
One more item to be aware of is that a lot of places will frown on the use of paint, so check on that before painting you or RD into a fine or worse!

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