Course Measurement & Design

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2008 Road Race Management presentation

2008 Road Race Management presentation

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  • VC West of RRTC, body which certifies courses in the U.S. Any course west of the Miss. Goes through me for final approval. I also measure courses, including the 2008 Men’s Oly Trials marathon course in NYC. Second, Ed at Large for Running Times – have covered many of the top events in this country, and have seen what makes a good race, and a good race course. Finally, I’ve been an RD for 3 decades, directing some 2 dozen events a year in CT, and timing and assisting with nearly that many more, which leaves maybe about 3 or 4 free weekends a year. Over the years, all these perspectives have allowed me to get a feel for what ingredients go into making a good course, and in the course of this session (no pun intended) I hope to impart these principles to you, for you to use whether you’re designing a new course or just trying to tweak an existing one to make it even better

Transcript

  • 1. Keeping Your Race On Course Design, Measurement, and Setup of the Running Route
  • 2. How Long is a Marathon?
    • 26.2 miles
    • 42,195 meters
    • 26 miles 385 yards
    • My GPS told me 26.43 miles and I want a Boston waiver
  • 3. Elements of a Good Course
    • Safe
    • Simple
    • Accurate
    • Scenic (maybe)
  • 4. Safety
    • Route Considerations
      • Open/Closed to Traffic
      • Direction of Runners
      • Intersections/Side streets
      • Other
        • Curves, hills, businesses/churches
        • Planes, Trains & Boats
  • 5. Preliminary Design
    • Avoid/minimize potential hazards
      • Side street crossings
      • Alternate Left-Right turns
      • Multi-lane intersection crossings
      • Busy roads or locations
      • Runner lapping/crossing
  • 6. Preliminary Design
    • Other design considerations
      • Race size
      • Business/Churches/Events
      • Topography
      • Weather
      • Road width/condition
      • Scenery/Points of Interest
  • 7. Preliminary Design
    • Multi-distance events
      • Usually held with marathon
      • Simultaneous vs. separate start
      • Amount of shared course
        • Splits, aid stations, monitors
  • 8. Start and Finish
    • Provide sufficient space for pre-race lineup and post-race activities (chute, refreshments, medals, medical, etc.)
    • Potential timing mat interference
    • Security
    • Accessibility
  • 9. The Start
    • Ensure a safe, fair start
    • Physical Layout
      • Minimize potential hazards
        • Turns
        • Bumps
      • Width
        • Determine your “funnel” distance
        • Chip mat “nozzle”
  • 10. The Start
    • Staging runners
      • Corrals/Waves
      • Kids/Walkers Lane
      • “False” start line
      • Final instructions
  • 11. The Finish
    • Physical Layout
      • Minimize potential hazards
        • Turns
        • Bumps
      • Depth/Length
        • Type of timing/scoring system
        • Post-finish activities
      • “To Go” marks
  • 12. The Course Getting Your Runners From Point A to Point B
  • 13. Course Design
    • Accuracy is paramount
      • Measured correctly
      • Run as Measured
    • Flexibility
      • No “Magic” distance (5K-itis)
      • Route changes
  • 14. Design Flexibility
    • Making Lemonade out of Lemons
  • 15. Course Design
    • Pre-measurement considerations
      • Desired distance
      • Start/Finish locations
      • Other
        • Topography
        • Weather
        • Neighborhoods
        • Road width/condition
  • 16. Creativity: Solving the Puzzle
  • 17. Course Design
    • Pre-measurement planning
      • Mapping Software
        • Google Earth, USATF Running Routes, Gmaps
        • Car odometer
      • Official Approval
      • Test Run/Ride
  • 18. Course Design
    • Types of Courses
      • Loop
      • Point to Point
      • Out and Back
      • Combinations
      • Ultra-distance
      • Cross country/Trails
        • 1-day certification only
  • 19. Course Types
    • Loop
      • Advantages
        • Start & Finish close to each other
        • Good viewing, esp. for Criterium-style
      • Disadvantages
        • Maximum road usage
        • Potential for course cutting
        • Often many intersections and side streets
        • Cars “trapped” inside loop
  • 20. Loop Course
  • 21. Course Types
    • Point to Point
      • Advantages
        • Minimize road use early in race
        • Hard to cheat (Rosie Ruiz)
      • Disadvantages
        • Pre- or Post-race transportation logistics
        • Maximum road use
  • 22. Point to Point Course
  • 23. Course Types
    • Out and Back
      • Advantages
        • Minimal road use
        • Start and Finish can be the same (Chip mats)
        • Multiple duty aid stations, spectators, and possibly split points
        • Runners can see the rest of the field
      • Disadvantages
        • Double runner density after turnaround
        • Maximum road use - closure usually required
        • Potential for course cutting
  • 24. Out and Back Course
  • 25. Course Types
    • Combinations
      • Out-Loop-Back (“Lollipop”)
        • Less road use
        • Start and Finish can be the same point (Chip mats)
        • Multiple duty aid stations and split points
  • 26. Lollipop Course
  • 27. Lollipop Course Variation
  • 28. Course Types
    • Combinations
      • In-Loop-Back (“Keyhole”)
        • Less road use
        • Start and Finish can be the same point (Chip mats)
        • Multiple duty aid stations and split points
        • Spectator friendly
  • 29. Keyhole Course
  • 30. Course Types
    • Combinations
      • Multiple Loop
        • Often used for ultras & racewalks
        • Multiple duty aid stations and split points
        • Loop and Start/Finish certified
      • Combination of Loops
        • Figure 8
  • 31. Multiple Loop Course
  • 32. Combination of Loops Course
  • 33. Combination of Loops Course
  • 34. Figure 8 Course
  • 35. “T” Course
  • 36. Measurement & Certification
    • Accuracy
      • USATF Certified
        • Sanctioned vs. Certified
        • Required for rankings, qualifying, championships
        • Meaningful times
        • High cost to benefit ratio
        • Any distance can be certified
        • Ownership?
  • 37. A Big Surprise
  • 38.
    • D.I.Y. or outside measurer
      • Typical costs
      • Number of courses
      • Equipment and expertise
      • Guidance from RRTC and State Certifier
    • www.rrtc.net
    Measurement & Certification
  • 39. Tools of the Trade
    • Original Jones Counter
    Original Jones Counter
  • 40. Tools of the Trade Prototype Jones Counter
  • 41. Measurement & Certification
    • Process
      • Calibration
        • Ride 300m course 4X before & after
        • Add 1.001 SCPF
      • Measure
        • Ride course 2X, adjust distance
        • Lay out splits
      • Document
        • Map & Certificate
  • 42. Measurement & Certification
    • Work with your measurer
      • Spell out requirements and limitations
        • Fixed Start/Finish
        • Road Restrictions
        • Desired split marks & documentation
          • Course Map
          • Photo disc
      • Listen to his/her suggestions
  • 43. Documentation
    • A picture is worth a thousand words, especially at 5 A.M.
  • 44.
    • Work with your measurer
      • Segmental Certification
        • Useful for course changes, especially longer races
        • Certified Intermediate Splits
          • Record Requirements - Timing
      • Map Formats
        • Print, Web
      • Cost, deadlines, and payments
    Measurement & Certification
  • 45. Measurement & Certification
    • Course Certification Documents
      • Certificate
        • Unique alphanumeric course number - CT08023JRG
        • Use this number in all race literature - Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval
        • Lists drop/separation/distance
        • 10 year expiration
  • 46. Measurement & Certification
    • Map
      • Route, start/finish/turnaround detail
      • Elevation profile optional
        • Official
          • All details including Course restrictions
          • For race workers and course monitors
          • Don’t go out without it!
        • Simplified
          • Route and mile marks
          • Post online and at race site - runner’s packets
          • Lead vehicle driver!
  • 47. Course Map
  • 48. 3D Course Map
  • 49. Measurement & Certification
    • USATF Approval Process
      • Can take several weeks from measurement to online posting
      • Course is certified as of paperwork postmark
  • 50. Measurement & Certification
    • Validation
      • Performed in case of records
        • Independent USATF-assigned measurer
        • Pre or Post
          • Post - Paid by USATF
          • Pre - Paid by race
            • Records accepted immediately
        • Documentation
  • 51. Course Setup Running the right route, and the route right
  • 52. Course Setup
    • Pre-Race checks
      • 1 week
      • 1-2 days
      • Race morning
        • Changes and/or detours
        • Confirm traffic control and water stations
        • Course marking
  • 53. Course Setup
    • Course marking
      • Impossible to overdo!
      • Paint/Chalk/Tape on Road
        • Can be done ahead of time
        • Semi-permanent
        • Highly resistant to tampering
        • Visibility can be compromised by weather
  • 54. Course Setup
    • Course marking
      • Signs
        • Can sometimes be done ahead of time
        • Sponsorship potential
        • Must be removed afterward
        • Vulnerable to tampering
        • Requires upright object
          • “ L” backet hangers
          • Campaign-style
  • 55. Course Setup
    • Course marking
      • Cones
        • Can only be done just before race
        • Must be removed afterward
        • Vulnerable to tampering and theft
        • Bulk creates storage & transport challenges
        • May be necessary for restricted courses
  • 56. Course Setup
    • Course marking
      • Flags
        • Can only be done just before race
        • Must be removed afterward
        • Vulnerable to tampering and theft
        • Large quantity required
        • Primarily for cross country
        • Can be used on roads in a pinch
  • 57. Course Setup
    • Start & Finish
      • Be certain of location
        • Should be marked with survey nail and/or referenced from permanent object
      • Stencils for painting
        • Problems with extra-deep finish lines
      • Proper location of timing mats
        • OFF the course
  • 58. Course Setup
    • Is your finish landmarkedthis well?
  • 59. Course Setup
    • Intermediate Split Points
      • Be certain of location
        • Referenced from permanent object
        • Photo CD
      • Additional marking
        • Balloons
        • Clocks
      • Location relative to aid stations
        • Before is Better
  • 60. Course Setup
    • Run as Measured!
      • Required for Records
        • Race video
        • Certified official in Lead Vehicle
      • Mark, mark, and mark some more!
        • Multiple methods
        • Course monitors as backup
          • Pre-race meeting
  • 61. Course Setup
    • “ Restricted” Courses
      • Runners do not have full road width
        • Distance requirement
        • Safety/Official restrictions
        • Out & Back courses
      • Avoid if possible
        • Requires enforcement and documentation
        • Certified official in Lead Vehicle
  • 62. Course Setup
    • “Effectively Restricted” Courses
      • Runners MAY not have full road width
        • Out & Back courses
        • Safety/Official restrictions
        • Traffic
      • Measure as if unrestricted
        • Runners will go long, but times & records will count
  • 63. Course Setup
    • Restricted Courses
      • Cone & Barricades
      • Course Monitors
  • 64. Course Setup
    • Restricted Courses
      • Movable ropes
  • 65. Course Crises Preparing for when (not if) it all goes wrong (And improving your odds that it won’t)
  • 66. Course Crises
    • Murphy’s Law governs all aspects of Course Monitoring!
    • If it can go wrong, it will.
  • 67. Even the best go wrong sometimes
  • 68. Course Crises
    • Inevitable course SNAFU causes
      • Missed signs/markings
      • Misdirection by monitors/lead vehicle
      • Weather
      • Obstructions
        • Fire
        • Water
        • Vehicles
        • Bridges
        • Suicide
        • Drug Bust
  • 69. Course Crises
    • Missed signs
      • Mark via Multiple Methods
      • Post Course Maps prominently
      • Tech meeting/course tours for elites
      • Course monitors at critical intersections
      • Lead Vehicle
  • 70. Course Crises
    • Misdirection
      • Make sure vehicles & monitors have course Maps
      • Pre-race meeting
    • Weather
      • Alternate route
      • Traffic greater concern than runners
  • 71. Course Crises
    • Obstructions
      • Pre-race drive-through
        • Designate course supervisor
      • Communication with authorities
      • Pre-planned detours
        • Segmental certification
      • On-the-fly
        • 2 Lead vehicles: Course & Pace
        • Have measurer on site
  • 72. Course Crises
    • Prevention
      • 5P Theory
        • Proper Prior Planning Prevents Problems
      • Examine all scenarios for problems
        • Test run/ride
        • Do the pace math
      • Have a backup, and a backup backup
      • Prepare for the worst, hope for the best
  • 73. Course Crises
    • Obstructions
      • Pre-race drive-through
        • Designate course supervisor
      • Communication with authorities
      • Pre-planned detours
        • Segmental certification
      • On-the-fly rerouting
        • Have measurer on site
  • 74. Design for Disaster