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At our meeting in VA Beach it was mentioned that the Certification process should only be done if the Race is also Sanctioned(done through Associations). I feel Certifiers should encourage USATF sanctioning, but don't see us not doing a Certification if a Race chooses not to be Sanctioned.
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I think that insisting on sanctioning be done in order to be certified is a very bad idea. Yes, promoting sanctioning is good, but requiring it for certification dramatically increases the costs to small races, many of which are for charities, which often question the cost vs. benefit of having a course certified to begin with. In my opinion, it would hinder efforts to promote certification as being good for road racing.
This goes back before me, but it is my understanding that the (what is now) USATF certification process was instituted because the organization wanted to keep road race records and a major factor in whether a record was set was whether or not the course was at least the distance it was advertised to be.

Over the last almost thirty years the reasons have evolved. Records are still set, but race participants have begun to trust the "USATF Certified" "brand" as an almost certain indication that the course is properly measured start to finish, and that the intermediate points are the right distance from the start, finish, and each other.

If we limit the use of the "brand" to the smaller number of races that see an advantage in USATF sanctioning, my fear is that fewer races would seek certification, thus fewer courses would be accurately measured, and the quality of the sport, as measured by the quality of its events, would suffer.

If USATF insists on this, I would suggest we look into a more formal alignment with another group- such as RRCA.
This topic was brought up By David Katz. I feel David is not saying this is the direction we should be headed. However, in my opinion this is all tied into obtaining insurance for a measurer.

In 2007 the idea of providing Insurance for measurer's was brought to my attention at our Annual Meeting. After lots of emails back and forth it was decided to let it die. Bill Roe, USATF President at the time, stated this would not be a good thing for the RRTC.

I will not support the idea of us making sure all races that are Certified will also be Sanctioned. All I want is for our Certifier's to mention they can get a sanction from USATF.
Folks, here is where this is all going from a Sanctioned Chair in Georgia. Here are her comments!

I don't think we should couple certification and sanctions either ... it will bring back all those negatives about having to be card carrying members. However, my suggestion that we partner together was specifically to promote our three initiatives - certification, sanctioning, and recoginizing and promoting "record certified" courses. It should be a standard that we promote so that all event directors want to be certified/sanctioned and all runners expect the same. That doesn't mean we have to make it a requirement.

Secondly, I was state rep for RRCA for 8 years and on the national state rep committee for about 4-5 years. Never did I consider that RRCA sanctions events. They provide liability insurance. Their only requirement for liability insurance coverage is that a club list all club owned races on their national calendar in order to be covered. The other stipulations are that the club manage the race from start to finish, and that they do not lend out their liability insurance to other clubs or events. The only time they require more indepth information is when they are awarding regional and national championships. Sanctioning to me comes from the governing body. Liabiilty insurance can be procured anywhere.

I think we could be missing a marketing opportunity by not considering offering a "records" sanction...this is part of the education I was talking about.

Last edited by genenewman
New Jersey has a very active USATF Association. We have a partner relationship between USATF Sanctioning and RRTC Certifying. Races don't have to be sanctioned to be certified or certified to be sanctioned but there are benefits to both.

Measurers and timing companies in NJ know the value of USATF sanctioning and will suggest that race directors see if sanctioning will benefit their race. The USATF NJ association knows the value of a certified course and will suggest that race directors consider certification of their courses.

As Gene stated at the start of this thread it is an education opportunity. Many race directions don't understand certification or sanctioning.

To be in the USATF New Jersey Grand Prix series a race must use a certified course and be sanctioned. As a result runners in NJ have high expectations about the quality of the races they run and generally expect to run a certified course.

I don't recommend mandatory certification or sanctioning but when race directors in NJ understand the value of both they generally opt to have their courses both certified and sanctioned.

Jane Parks - Regional Certifier
RRTC Data Accuracy Officer

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