mascot
 BuffaloRunners.com 
Buffalo,   New York
Home Forum Races Results Pictures News Articles Tools Links Contact Us
Buffalo Runners Forum
Buffalo Runners Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 The Buffalo Runners Forums
 Race and Run Reports
 Chilly Challenge 5k
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

plpjap

129 Posts

Posted - December 13 2012 :  10:06:57  Show Profile
I know it's a bit early to think of this one (end of Feb), but I was looking at the map and having a problem with the course measurement. It is nice to see this one is now certified but I must be measuring it wrong from google maps. Maybe someone smarter than me can help me out. I can agree up to the 2 mile mark but from there to the finish looks long (about 3.17m).... unless we can run straight through Gates Circle which is impossible. What am I missing? Thanks.

Admin

241 Posts

Posted - December 14 2012 :  17:15:33  Show Profile
That's right Paul! This is a huge and very positive development.

The popular February race, the Chilly Challenge 5K, will be run over a USATF Certified Course for the first time in its impressive 34 year history. Its a very nice course with few turns.

I know you're pulling my leg here and I appreciate it. But some may not have your knowledge. Yes! I can guarantee that this and every certified course is a tiny bit long. In fact, a lot longer than you cite (3.17 meters? or did you mean 3.17 miles? - then that would be about 333 feet... no). Let us review:

1) The USATF mandates that we protect against a record nullifying short course by adding, 1/10 of 1% to the carefully measured distance. We call this the "SCPF" -- Short Course Prevention Factor. So, yeah, this course better be about 5 meters long. The SCPF is distributed evently throughout the entire distance.

2) A warning about intermediate split locations: These points are mentioned, but unless its explicitly stated then they are not "certified" -- Only the total course distance has this assurance.

3) We measure courses multiple times with a calibrated Jones/Oerth counter which gives us a precision of a few centimeters. We can not begin to attain that level of precision with Google Maps. We cant come close. We certainly can not come close with an uncalibrated vehicle odometer which usually only presents a relatively crude 1/10 mile precision.

4) We strive to measure the shortest possible route a runner could legally take over the length of the course. We can not drive that in a car. We come within 30 cm ( about 1 foot) from the curb when "running the tangents". This practice will "lengthen" a course relative to more casual running. But, that's what the savviest runners will do to shave off fractions of seconds or more -- that's why we measure it that way -- so the record will be legitimate.

As for Gates Circle -- You are correct. This is a spot where a savvy runner can shave some distance. Aim for the tangents if you can safely do so, but, you must stay on the road surface at all times.

We measured this one 3 times. We calibrated before the measures and we calibrated again after the measures. The numerical agreement was very good. My work was reviewed by the USATF's NY State Certifier and in turn his work reviewed by the USATF RRTC National Certifier.

We are very confident of the veracity of the USATF Certification measurement process.

You may attain the Chilly Challenge course map here: http://buffalorunners.com/maps/NY12133JG.PDF

Jeff John
Measurer of the Chilly Challenge







Go to Top of Page

plpjap

129 Posts

Posted - December 14 2012 :  23:50:06  Show Profile
Thanks Jeff ...I do appreciate the education. It was the mile #2 to Mile #3 that I questioned. Take care.
Go to Top of Page

JR

237 Posts

Posted - December 15 2012 :  09:01:25  Show Profile
Jeff, this is way to complex for me! Remember when Walt Gantz claimed he could accurately measure a course by the number of strides he ran?

Who needs technology!!!
Go to Top of Page

Admin

241 Posts

Posted - December 15 2012 :  14:12:46  Show Profile
JR - Walt was ahead of his time!

PLPJAP - The measure of Chilly Challenge is rock solid. Three people measured it using 3 different technologies. The big problem you have highlighted is trying to measure using the wrong tool - Google Maps is real good for road directions. But, its not real accurate at distances - and has no interest at all in "running the tangents".

You can get a way more accurate measure with a GIS. You gotta try Google Earth! For fun we did that now to examine your question...

If you know where to look you can actually zoom in onto the actual reference telephone pole at 2-miles, then measure back 2 feet to find the 2-mile, then "run" forward to find the "exact" spot for the 3 mile and then "run" to the finish. Even these splits are right on if you remember to "run the shortest possible legal route".

This course is "easy". You wont lose a lot at the Chilly Challenge if you neglect the tangents. There's not a lot of "S" curves or turns of any sort.

For fun and contrast, take a look at the Dunkirk & Fredonia 5K. It's beautiful and fast, but it has got a turn that is over 1-Mile long!!! It makes a huge difference where you run on a course like that. "Hug the rail!" We're able to use the sidewalk on the D & F course - and you better do it too on that course or you are penalizing yourself: http://buffalorunners.com/maps/NY12066JG.PDF

JJ
Go to Top of Page

Npage148

152 Posts

Posted - December 15 2012 :  16:41:14  Show Profile
I guess this is a good place to ask. What is the procedure and cost associated wih getting a course certified. Say if Ii have a route and distance pretty close via GPS or bike computer. Are there set costs or is it really a case by case basis set by the individual certifer?
Go to Top of Page

plpjap

129 Posts

Posted - December 15 2012 :  20:05:30  Show Profile
Thanks ...I guess I'll stop using google maps. It's tough for this 64 to keep up with the newer tech so thanks for the tip. I actually ran both the Chilly Challenge last year and the D-F 5K this year and really like the Chilly course. That 1 mile curve at the D-F is actually Ring Rd through the Fredonia State Campus and you do have to hug the side walk. It tells you on the application to use the sidewalk but probably 99% run on the road and are running a greater distance over 1 mile.

By the way Jeff (this is off topic ) but is this one and the same Jeff John from 34 years ago in this old 10K race result from 1978 finishing in 35:04? If it is you, we were only a few seconds apart and may have run part of the race together... ha -

http://www.buffalorunners.com/results/197x/FFF78.htm

Take care and Merry Christmas...see you at Chilly challenge.
Go to Top of Page

Admin

241 Posts

Posted - December 16 2012 :  07:07:12  Show Profile
Nate, a measurer may charge anything he/she wants to but currently the common cost nationwide is $55/km, hence, the fee for a 5K is about $275.

My colleague Duane Russell is a good measurer in Colorado -- he publishes a helpful list of his fees on his web site: http://racemeasure.com/fees.html His fees are typical. Check it out.

If you like detailed work then you may do it yourself. The Course Measurement Procedures Manual is available free as a PDF file at the USATF web site. You would need to learn the procedure and acquire a Jones Counter. Locally we have about 6 guys that like to do this work. When I first got keen to get courses certified I did it free for races (Empire State Games 10K, Eden 5K) because I really wanted the experience. But I cant do it for free anymore It is very time consuming work.

The easiest route to getting your course certified is to send me (or any other local measurer) an eMail and say you want your course certified! Most measurers either are or were serious runners and know too well the disappointment of running a race only to find it was a random distance so these guys are passionate about helping you get an accurate road course.
Go to Top of Page

Jeff

635 Posts

Posted - December 16 2012 :  07:20:17  Show Profile
Wow! Paul, the answer is "yep". That was my favorite summer time 10K. The "Koch Brewery - Fredonia Farm Festival 10K". I remebmer the '78 race as if it were yesterday. A great race stays with you for a long time.

A belated pat on the back to you Paul for kicking my butt with your 34:55! I recall the sky darkened like night just before we finished and anyone running slower than 35:30 got to enjoy a royal dousing as the rain suddenly cut loose and really gave 'em a pummeling.

JJ
Go to Top of Page

JF

2688 Posts

Posted - December 16 2012 :  12:31:03  Show Profile
Shouldn't the course always be a "little longer" than 3.107 just to cover the tangents?

To me, it's the most important aspect of ANY road race. Everybody has different reasons for running races. Some want to win, others want to finish, others want to be competitive in their respective age groups. For me and many, I want an accurate time so I can gauge my progress/regress over the given season. When you run 18:30 and somebody tells you the course was short, to me, it's like I wasted my time and effort because I can't accurately "rate" my perfomance.

Recently, I ran a 5K and it felt "off." After finishing, I asked three people that had Garmins. One had it at 2.99, the next 3.01 and the third 3.02, all well short of the advertised distance of 3.107 miles.

I don't think certifying the course is that hard to do. There are people that "do it" for a fee and to me, $275 is reasonable to make sure the course is accurate. You have to spend money to make money. 12 to 15 entry fess pay for the certification, right?

You wouldn't play basketball with 9 foot rims and you wouldn't play football with a 96 yard field, so why should we settle for a 3.05 mile 5K or 3.20 mile 5K.

For me, it's simple----if the course isn't accurate, I don't go back. There are a few exceptions; last year's Shamrock Run would be one with the 75mph wind that caused some course damage.

They say that 2013 will offer a new course. Let's see the cert number so everything will be good.

XXIV
Go to Top of Page

JF

2688 Posts

Posted - December 16 2012 :  12:34:16  Show Profile
quote:
Know too well the disappointment of running a race only to find it was a random distance so these guys are passionate about helping you get an accurate road course.


Well said, Jeff....well said.

XXIV
Go to Top of Page

Npage148

152 Posts

Posted - December 16 2012 :  20:21:48  Show Profile
Thanks for the info Jeff. I've always toyed with th idea of putting on a small race with a certified course.
Go to Top of Page

Jeff

635 Posts

Posted - December 18 2012 :  09:27:18  Show Profile
Following up on JF's comments... Our accountant friends might say we should amortize the cost over the relevant time span for a more realiatic view of it.

Barring course changes, the USATF Course Certification can be valid for up to 11 consecutive annual race events. Therefore, at $275 the effective cost can be as little as $25/year.

JJ

Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Buffalo Runners Forum © 2000-2014 Snitz Communications Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.07