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Dave McGillivray created the Fenway Park Marathon which was held last Friday, September 15. I wrote to Dave asking how it was measured. I said, "Inquiring minds want to know." Here is his response. I think you'll find it interesting.

• Wanted to do this marathon 13 years ago but couldn’t get the Sox to agree. Finally did about 6 months ago.
• Contacted Ray Nelson and asked if he would certify it. Graciously and innocently, he said, yes, he would come up and measure it.
• I told the world that the course would be (not was) certified.
• We announced the race about 3 months ago saying “it would be certified”.
• Then received an email from David Katz saying this course actually could NOT be certified.
• I call David and we chatted and told me why it could not be certified, at least by a bike and Jones Counter. Said it had to be calibrated on a similar surface and of course that couldn’t be done on a straight mile.
• At that time I thought, well, that is that…can’t certify.
• David then contacted me again and said that perhaps it could be certified if we measured it with a steel tape instead.
• I contact Ray Nelson and asked if he ever measured a course by this method and he said no and was not comfortable doing so. And, based on this method, I know it would be challenging to get the Red Sox to allow it.
• I was running out of time and decided then I would NOT certify it.
• Thus, this would NOT be a qualifier for Boston – BIG TIME BUMMER – but I let all the entrants know that up front. No one seemed to complain (still haven’t).
• Ray still came with a calibrated bicycle which was calibrated on a road calibration course. See attached his measurements and diagrams.
• Ray measured the SPR (shortest possible route) and measured it no further than 20 cm from the edge of the grass.
• After he measured it, riding the tangents from the edge of the grass to the wall, he did the math and said it would have to be 116+ laps, starting at the left field wall and finishing at the Red Sox dugout.
• Then Ray left.
• Then the Red Sox groundskeeper came up to me and said, oh, by the way, I will be putting cones and tape all around the warning track and place the cones 5 feet off the edge of the grass. I almost had a heart attack!!! Why 5 feet, why not on the edge??? He said he didn’t want runners on the grass? Didn’t seem to make sense cause no way were the runners going to run on the grass but nothing I could do.
• At the time of the measurement we did not know that stanchions would be placed about 2-5 feet out from the edge of the grass, thus restricting runners to running a longer course.
• I spoke to the Red Sox Foundation and asked them if we could push the cones to the edge. They said they would pursue it.
• I got there on Friday afternoon and the cones were about 2 feet out from the grass. I begged them to see if we could still move them even closer to the grass…but that didn’t happen.
• I had a meeting with all the runners and told them that the course would definitely be a little long, that their GPS watches would show 26.8 or 27.5 or who knows. They actually understood and were just excited to be there. I told all the faster runners like Michael Wardian that they would be running longer anyway given they had to “run around” the slower runners and they all understood that and accepted it.
• As I knew, the times were “slow” in that yes, everyone ran longer than 26.2 miles. I know I ran about 27.5 myself.
• In the end, everyone was still psyched they did it so no complaints (yet). I was totally upfront and transparent the entire way.
• I will fix this for next year, if there is a next year…which I am guessing there will be.
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