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Doesn't that depend a LOT on how close it is to the START time?
A few days before and an honest race director and you should be able to get them to correct it.
The more common situation is an unconed control point or the cops saying at the last minute, "NO, we are doing it this way" i.e. the "wrong way". I have started put control points well beyond what a cop is going to make them do.

I don't know if there is much you can do, Jim, other than let the RD know that the course was not set out correctly.

I put a disclaimer on all my maps where it will fit, along the lines of "RaceMeasure stands behind the measurement. However, RaceMeasure does not set out the course on Race Day. Courses not set out precisely according to this map are the responsibility of the Event, not RaceMeasure."
Run courses set up longer than or short of how the course was measured are universal problems across all events from small fun runs to large participatory prize money runs. I’m a true believer in two measurers and pre-race verification, which removes most reasonable doubt on the course accuracy. Proper course set up and monitoring eliminates any additional doubts.

The USATF Road Championships require course monitoring. This same Rule could be easily applied to all major events, see Rule 243. Once most major events are on board, smaller events would follow. Adding course monitoring to the job scope of the RRTC is a natural advancement.

Too often the course measurement is secondary to the finish line set up, especially when two different distance races share a common finish line. Separating the two races with barricades inevitably compromises the shortest possible route. While turnarounds are now being talked about for greater accuracy, entire course routes are failing basic set up accuracy.
I agree that there is a big gap between how we see the course as measurers, and how it is set up-- the latter is often in a big hurry, at "Oh dark thirty", and with not enough personnel available to monitor the setup or the race itself. What to do?

One measure would be to insist that all course monitors and other personnel be given a copy of the official certification map. I think runners should get it as well or at least have it readily available. Out of all those runners and course workers, I'd hope at least a few of them would bother to compare the official map with how the course is set up.

Beyond that I agree with the kind of measures Kevin is talking about. Not sure we can get 2 measurers in all cases but for big races pre-race validation is a good idea. Also, race-time monitoring is very useful and but too rarely done. On several major races in DC where I provide this service, I nearly always catch and correct mistakes--some of those are merely inconvenient for the runner (mile marker is in the wrong spot) but many would be dealbreakers if uncorrected, like turnarounds marked a block too early, or sending runners a half mile out of the way, etc.

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