Skip to main content

Does anyone here know of the approximate prevalence of certified courses for low-key "club" races conducted by RRCA clubs around the U.S.? 

Some members of one large RRCA club I know of feel that all courses for races conducted by the club should be certified. The current club management doesn't think it is worthwhile. The "pros" point out that RRCA clubs should be an example of good race stewardship by ensuring accurate courses, and that all participants are entitled to truth-in-advertising as it pertains to the course distance. The "antis" argue that the cost would be too much.  As I reference its annual budget and financial reserves, certifying all its courses at the average going rate would amount to little more than a trivial expense for this particular organization. 

Last I looked, RRCA had no policy on this. Does anyone know of an RRCA club that certifies all its courses? 

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Our club, the Triple Cities Runners Club (TCRC) of Binghamton, NY, requires that all of its races be run on certified courses. In fact, the first race measured with a Jones Counter was the TCRC race: Vestal XX in 1971. Of course, in those days the certification was done by Ted Corbitt. For the first few decades after this, I measured the club races and never charged for the service. More recently two women club members, whom I trained, do the measuring and do charge but, as you say, it is a small price when you consider the fact that the course will stay certified for ten years.

The fact that the club certifies their races, has encouraged other local races to have their courses certified. Runners like the fact that when they run a race in the Binghamton area, they are confident that the course is accurately measured.

I am sure that you are right that the RRCA does not require that RRCA-sanctioned races are not required to be certified. But they should.

Alan Jones

I'm the RRCA rep for N. FL. I can tell you that it varies from club to club. The club in my city has stated outwardly an interest in having their courses USATF-certified, but they do not aggressively, much less mildly, pursue the endeavor. On the other hand, the clubs immediately to the east and west (one not in my region/state) have nearly all of their courses measured and certified.

We (RRCA) strongly-encourage certified course use, and require it for ALL of our championship races.

I've worked with a very proactive approach in the past, "encouraging" certification efforts, but after one five-year stint (and a five-year hiatus) I'm now waiting for clubs (at least in my immediate area) to ask - either 'why don't we get championship events?' or 'how can we get our course/s certified?' It's kind of a tip of the iceberg on the course quality issue - I've measured courses for certification and had the race director set up the course whatever d*mned way they please - and had people complain that the course was "not accurate according to their Garmin." Providing the RD every piece of material to make their race as quality as possible is of no use if they fail to listen.

*steps off soapbox*

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.