Skip to main content

I often measure for events that include two or more race distances, like a 5k and a 10k. It is also often the case that the RD would like to have the same start and the same finish for the two courses. Of course without a turn-around in at least one of the courses, it nearly impossible to have both courses share a start and a finish and both be the correct distance. But with a little work on GE you can sometimes get to the point where the 10k is the correct distance and the 5k is say, 20 meters long. And in that case you can go ahead and certify the 5k, noting on the certification map the true distance of the course.

But the alternative is to include a turn-around in one of the courses. That allows you to get both distances correct.

So my question is, as a participant in a race, would you rather run/race a 5k that is 20 meters long but with no turn-around, or one that is the correct distance but has a turn-around? As a follow-up, what is the extra distance threshold for you for eliminating a turn-around?
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Mark, As a long time runner I do not like turn arounds but I think I would rather have one than the course be 20 meters long. At a 6:00 pace that equals about 4.7 seconds so would it take around 4.7 seconds to go around a turn around and get back up to speed? I think it might take a little less time but than how much more energy to get back up to speed? I would say as a runner no more than 5 meters long but as a measurer I would want the race at the correct distance and if that means a turn around so be it.
When I was running my times were all over the lot. I would never have noticed 20 meters in a 5k. It's possible that highly-trained professionals could detect errors in course length, I suppose, but when I read claims that they could I was somewhat skeptical that they were so accurately calibrated. Detecting misplaced splits was not a problem, but as for overall length I'd never notice errors well in excess of the SCPF.
I recently had a 5K/10K combination where they had to use a common start/finish for both events, and there was a limited, almost long enough space for an out-back for the 10K.

Stretching the out-back to the limit, even adding a big circle on that TA for more distance, I still had to leave the 5K about 15 meters long.

For the record I didn't hear any complaints about that. But then the actual distance was stated on the map and the cert.
Whenever I do this I put the actual distance on the map as we are required to do. But I have no problem listing the race name at the top as MOM and POP's 5k. When I have done this though, the "5k" is no more than 20 meters or so over, and usually less than that.
We don't really have a rule for how long the course can be and still have "5k" in the name at the top. But we do have a rule that the actual distance has to be stated on the map and cert, so in any case there is full disclosure.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.