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I measured a course last year that was almost linear with a common S / F and turnarounds at each end. The RD noted you should be able to start and finish anywhere on the course without changing the distance run. This was important because Morristown, Tennessee is restricting the number of courses they allow due the effort required to "design" police coverage and road closures. This way, someone can set up a venue anywhere along the course and legitimately claim certification. Obviously, the Mile marks will be off. Link to that map:

Johnson City, Tennessee is doing the same thing. The course below is on the list as Standard Course #2.

The question is: Could you claim that this is a certified 5 km course if you stared and finished at the same place on the course using the common S / F as a turnaround point?
And I realize there will be public safety "timing" issues if you do that.
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In 1992 I certified OH92094PR, The Autumn-Bramble Multipurpose Course in Carrolton, Ohio, measured by Carl Hykes. It was laid out on an out/back chunk of road with a spur to the side. Lots of TA’s.

I certified it at 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 miles, and also at 5, 10, 12, 15, 20 km plus Hmar and Mar.

It was a royal pain to check all the certified points. At the time I was charging either $5 or $3 per course, but I did not charge for each distance separately. I doubted that it would ever happen again.

I never heard of any races being held on the course. I never heard that the existence of the course caused a problem for anybody, nor deprived any would-be measurer from the opportunity to measure in the Carrolton area.

I am unable to find the certificate and map that described the course. As I recall it was on one sheet of paper. There is no map on file on the USATF database – I am not sure when USATF began to include maps in their database.
As measurers, we are all about the course length with clearly defined Starts, Finishes, and turnarounds. So much so that these concepts appear to be "written in stone"
The fact is that a closed loop course really doesn't need a defined Start/Finish point as long as there are no intermediate splits.
Adding intermediate splits are very desirable to the point where they have been and may become discussion topics at the National meeting. is a closed loop course with no defined Start/Finish and it acceptable. I'm sure there are others but FL14002DL has recently come across my desk.
This would not be any different then Certifying a 1km or 2km closed loop race walk course. But this also brings up the question of responsibility (or not) of listing the location of splits.
Maybe be we should add a comment on maps of closed loop curses that states -the start/finish could be at any location on the loop but this may invalidate the accuracy of any listed split.
On a related note, I recently certified a half marathon that has a contiguous start/finish. The RD called me and asked me about running the course in the opposite direction next year. I told him, that if he wanted accurate splits (he did), he would have to get a new measurement and a new certification.

If I just measured the new splits on this course for him, would he still be entitled to use the original certification?
He could use the original certification number, if that is what you are asking, since you are using the same start and finish locations, and the route is the same, thus the certified distance remains the same.

However, if he advertises the old cert number and people look it up, they will see the old direction and splits, and feel something is wrong. Best to use the new cert number, since that map shows the splits in the correct location.

Entitlements are bad. He is able to use the original certification number, and he can still use the original course that was certified, as the splits are in the correct locations, and the entire course is still accessible.

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