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Message from Justin Kuo

In a message dated 8/6/2008 3:20:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

I have question for you. Recent discussion on the board indicated that a loop course with multiple distances should have a certification document for each distance.

It was implied that the finish lines were in different locations on the loop.

If the start and the finish line are the same for each loop, do I need multiple certifications? I have a keyhole shaped course that was advertised as for a 5K run and a 10K run. The start and finish are the same point. The 10K is simply two loops of the 5K course.

Do I need to submit a certification for the 5K and another certification for the 10K?

I appreciate your help. Thank you. -- Justin

Pete's Reply
Dear Justin,

Any course (loop or out-back) that can be run multiple times should be certified at the shortest distance. I am assuming that the loop has start and finish at the same point. If the loop is 5k, it can be considered certified for any multiple of 5 km. I don't think you need to certify the 10k separately. That's a waste of work. Drop and sep are zero for all multiples.

It's the damn drop and separation that requires us to issue multiple certs. I wonder if there isn't a way around this.

In a recent posting a mile loop was cited, with different starting points. I would bet that every multiple would have drop less than 0.1 m/km and separation less than 30 percent.

You are the Records Committee Chairman. Have you a suggestion? After all, it's the record possibilities that seem to drive this multiple-certificate business.

I think I'll put this on the BB

Best, Pete
Original Post

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Pete and all,

Here's a simple solution that may be helpful. Instead of issuing certificates for each of the intermediate splits on a single course, why don't we ask the measurer to issue a single certificate and include the drop, separation and record eligibility for the splits on the map itself?

A few measurers already list the drop and separation on the map itself. (Neville Wood's excellent maps came to mind.) I do not know of any measurers that have listed drop, separation and record eligibility status for intermediate distances.

We may loose a bit of real estate by adding the drop, separation and record eligibility on an already fact filled map, but you do not need to list every record-eligible split. For example, there are fourteen US record-eligible distances between the road mile and the marathon. They are the Road Mile, 5 kilometers, 8 kilometers, 10 kilometers, 12 kilometers, 15 kilometers, 10 Miles, 20 kilometers, Half-Marathon, 25 kilometers, 30 kilometers, 20 Miles, 50 kilometers and the Marathon. Although one could list the drop, separation and record eligibility for each split, it's unlikely anyone would set a US record at distances shorter than the Half-marathon, and then continue to complete the full marathon.

The change to include the drop, separation and record eligibility status for intermediate splits directly on the map would require some thought and care by the measurer while preparing their course maps. But it does have it's advantages. It would avoid the need to prepare and submit multiple certificates and would save a few dollars in the processing fee. We could simplify it further by requiring just the drop and separation. The records committee could determine if an intermediate split was record eligible or wind-dependent.

Measurers should be allowed to continue to issue multiple certificates but the measurement community should have the option to include all the data in a single certificate. Let me know what you think.

Thank you. -- Justin
My personal worst example of this kind of multi-course was the Autumn-Bramble Multi Course (OH92094PR). It was a stretch of road in Carrollton, Ohio that had a common start-finish and a number of enroute turnaround points. It was certified at 1 thru 12 miles, 5,10,12,15 and 20 km, half marathon and marathon.

It was a tough course for me to check, as the measurer was new.

By printing small, I was able to get all the distances in the “distance” space on the certificate.
Drop and separation were entered as zero.

At that time Joan and I were doing the course registrar job. The course occupies 19 lines on the course list.

I thought at the time that there could be a class of course called “multi” rather than any specific distance.

I would have resented having to generate 19 separate certificates for this course, and I would have felt guilty charging the measurer a separate fee for each distance.

Is there is a one-size-fits-all solution to this? It is a small problem, fortunately. The 5k/10k duo is common. Marathon/half marathon is there too. There are numerous small loops that can be certified at all sorts of intermediate distances depending on how many laps the competitors use.

Justin’s proposal to put drop and separation on the map is a good one. As for “record quality” I’d leave that alone, as drop and separation give this information already.

I’ve recently measured and certified a 20k/20 mile, a marathon/half marathon, and a 10k/10 mile. In each case I issued a separate certificate for each course. Two certificates was not burdensome, but another Autumn-Bramble would tax my ingenuity. I expect I’d use Justin’s approach and put it on the map. A note to the registrar, when sending the certificate to the vice-chair, would give him the necessary heads-up for data entry.
Several of the races for the Westport (CT) Summer Series consist of variations of a course. When I originally measured them, Dave Reik, the CT certifier at the time, issued multi-numbered certs for each. Here's an example of the maps:

Westport 3/3.5/5

Westport 4/6

These are all local events, so record quality isn't a consideration. What's nice about the way we did it is the RD only has to have a blown-up laminated copy of 2 maps, rather than 5, to post at the site on race day. And, he's only got to file 2 pieces of paper at home.

My own gut feeling on the multi-course issue is to consider them on a case by case basis. Some, such as large marathon/half marathons, should probably have separate certs and maps for each; the Joe's Brak & Muffler 5/10k, probably not.
The problem of multiple distances on a loop course is significant for race walk courses, where different distances are often competed on the same course. I have a 2km out-and-back loop course, with the start finish line in the exact center (so it is 1km out-and-back to one end of the course, and 1km out-and-back to the other end of the course (MN07034RR). I'd love to have it certified for each 5km between 5 and 50, and for 1,2,3,4 km too (for new people), but can't seem to get that done.

How do I fill out the forms to accomplish this?
Since integral multiples of a certified loop are considered certified, you could do this one of at least two ways:

    Plot out a 1000 meter loop that uses the same terrain as your 2000 meter loop

    Plot out a 1000 meter out and back course that starts and finishes on your 2000 meter loop

Or you could do either of the above and submit the documentation for all of the odd multiples of 5K for which you want to have a certified distance; the difference among them would be the number of loops of the long loop.

Because your 2000 meter course is certified, any even multiple of 5K is also certified.

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