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Forgive me if I am unknowingly resurrecting an old discussion topic or if I am asking about something I should already know - but here goes anyway...

Recently reading a discussion about a road running record being disallowed after validation measurement made me think about the parked cars I sometimes encounter while measuring. Occasionally, parked cars prevent me from tracking the SPR, and I have no way of knowing whether cars will be parked in these spaces during the race. Most of the courses I measure are "Mom & Pop" - type races, but I do a few big ones, including some in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. Some of these courses are relatively flat and are used by races with modest prize money at stake.

Therefore, if I measure wide on a street or two in a 5K or a 10K due to parked cars, and then there are no parked cars in these spaces on race day, and runners are consequently able to traverse a shorter distance than I measured due to the SPR being available to them, is it likely that I have I measured a course that would fail validation?

I realize that this question may be unanswerable without specific data on the length of the street in question, how much is blocked by cars, etc. I have consoled myself by assuming the SCCF would cover the difference in most if not all cases I have encountered. Further, most of the courses I have measured are for events that are not able to clear the streets of parked cars for race day except in limited portions of the course. For some courses, I know that it is a near certainty that cars will be parked all along the route during the race. It is the other eventuality that concerns me.

Lyman Jordan
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When I encounter parked cars, I ride my inside curve to the bumper, lock the brake, pick my bike up and move to the outside of the car(s), ride to where my back tire is in front of the opposite bumper, lock, move back to the curb, and resume. If it is a long line of cars, I use my judgement regarding the difference in the length of the curve relating to the inner curve vs. the arc I rode between offsets. Not perfect, but it is closer than just swinging-out to avoid the cars, then swinging-back in when I pass them.

Hope this helps.

Below is how our manual suggest you deal with this situation.

APPENDIX A - Supplementary Tips

Dealing with Obstacles

When measuring the course, you may encounter an obstacle, such as a parked car, that will not be present on race day. One way to deal with this problem is as follows:

a.stop your bicycle just before the obstacle
b.freeze your front wheel with your hand or the brake
c.very carefully move the bicycle perpendicular to the route being measured until you are clear of the obstacle
d.release the wheel and proceed until past the obstacle
e.reverse the process with the wheel frozen to return to the shortest possible route
Use this procedure sparingly and report each instance in your application for certification. If you have to do this more than a few times on the course, try again on another day when most of the obstacles are gone.
Thanks, Duane, thanks Gene.

Yes, I have used this method in the past, so I will just use it every time now. When cars are parked int he same spaces on race day, this could yield a slightly long course if there are many cars involved, I suppose. But it would be in the "right" direction - right?

This makes me wonder: has any record been disallowed due to a validation that revealed a long course? What would be "excessively" long?


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