Jeff, your story about the 1985 marathon is well-known. This race and a few notorious races in the D.C. area over the years has inspired me to counsel all my race clients: "Never allow police to lead any race unless a race staff person who is knowledgeable about the course is riding in the lead vehicle".
Originally posted by Jeff:
J.A. and Paul, thanks for your input. I confess I agree with you strongly. We absolutely do not want to put mutiple differing versions of a single "Certified Course" into the public domain. The potential chaos should be obvious.
I had the pleasure of being one of the runners hanging onto the lead pack of the infamous 1985 Buffalo-Niagara International Marathon. The Ft Erie police had a valid race map -- but the course had been "altered" since their map was produced. The well-intentioned police led us almost three miles off course, deep into the Canadian hinterlands before the "old" course rejoined the "new". We did not know if we were running 26 or 29 miles. Many good runners quit in disgust when news got to us at about 10 miles into the run.
The RRTC should not be encouraging the creation of this type of fiasco.
I have heard mention of the words "ALTER" and "MODIFICATION" as if they were routine to some. I suggest we have a review of whatever doctrine has spawned these ill advised notions.
I would encourage that no published certified course map be touched except for corrections at the Certifier's discretion.
Is that reasonable?