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Fox Valley Systems, the company from which I get my spray chalk, has stopped making the product in the 3 flourescent shades I found most visible/useful. I've gotten some bright blue from Aervoe Pacific, another supplier, but can't find flourescent colors, except in the longer lasting paint. Anyone have any other sources?
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Jim, I have been buying spray chalk from Rainbow Racing Systems , Spokane Washington. (800) 962-1011 or (509) 326-5470. A case of fuorescent orange was 48.00 for 12 cans. . They also have a UV sensitive chalk that disappears after about 10 days. that is 45.00 for 12 cans. The last catalog had white ,yellow, gren and blue and paint as well. I have an extra catalog -email your addrss and I'll drop; it in themail to you. Mike if anyone has any source that is cheaper please let me know ok?
I recently purchased a case (bright yellow) from Cansel Survey Supply in Burnaby BC. They had to bring it in from the east, but it only took a few days. I think the cost was around $55.00 CDN for 12 cans. I suspect that any survey supplier can get it for you. The product I have is made by Aervoe and simply called "Inverted Marking Chalk". The can says it is made in the USA.
I use it when measuring the course, since it's semi-permanent - that way, a goof won't last forever. Then I use it race day (or usually, the day or so before). It disappears in a couple weeks, depending on traffic/weather.

For permanent marking, I use nails and paint for the start/finish/turnaround, and pretty much just rely on good landmarking for the intermediate splits.

I think the price I'm getting from Aervoe is around $35/case of 12 - Fox Valley was similar.
Rust-0leum has entered the spray chalk market. It seems they have been marketing it to police departments to draw outlines of dead bodies. Hopefully your city has more races than murders. I had a devil of a job finding it on their web site.
Maybe, now that a major brand makes the stuff, you can get your hardware store to stock it.

I sometimes use the spray chalk for start lines or marking the road to show turns on course. I put the mark a little before runner or bike gets there.

Most of our courses are in parks so putting down a ductape start line is easy. One or two races start on roads that have real traffic. In theory it is easy to go out on the day of the race, after the road has closed and stick down a temp start line. Unfortunately I am often out on the course, setting up the course and have no extra time. I like to personally do the marking of the start and finish to make sure there is no mistake. Sometimes marking the start a few days in advance is better. For that I use spray chalk. To get the line straight I have some one run across the road with the other end of a string. We put in nails each end to hold it tight. When we are happy that its correct I walk across the road spraying the string. You end up with a chalky string and something approaching a straight line.

It lasts for a few weeks, depending on rain and traffic.

If you think that it may rain on race day and the road may be wet, then a chalk start line done in the week before the race is better than trying to stick something down on a wet road.

I have used tape, spray chalk and regular spray paint in dark colors to put down temp marks during measurement. What ever I use I try to make the temp marks discreet. I often adjust the course, or turn around, and do it all again until I am happy. This may mean there are several marks close to one place. I try to make sure that temp marks can't be confused with any thing else so I use removable marks or dark paint. (I don't measure in the dark)
Last edited by jamesm
I've been buying spray paint from Fox Valley Systems for years. The main reason I went to them was that the spray cans are designed to be used upside-down, which puts the nozzle close to the pavement. This is tough to do with normal spray cans. I've stuck with Fox Valley out of habit, since their paint is OK.

I carry a paper clip with me for clearing stoppages in the nozzles, which happens sometimes. I'm religious about clearing the nozzle by holding it upright and spraying until the paint quits, but sometimes I still get a jam. It also helps to carry a couple of spare nozzles salvaged from used-up spray cans. It's easy to pull off a plugged nozzle and pop on a replacement

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