Race Resources – Comprehensive Race Support Services

Experienced Help to Run Your Race Benefit from over 25 years of experience to ensure your running or triathlon event is a success.

Why Should I Get My Course Certified?

Distance Accuracy

The most basic reason is that runners of all ability levels want to know they are actually running the advertised distance. Can you imagine running a 5K" (3.11 miles) only to learn later that the actual distance was 2.85 miles? We have witnessed just such races and the incredulous looks on the faces of runners who discover this kind of inaccuracy about a race they have run. In fact, over 95% of all running courses measured by any other means than USATF standards are short – by 5%, 10%, or more.

Performance Comparability

Anyone who has run or walked a certified course of the same distance as your event wants to know how his/her performance "stacks up" against his/her prior performance(s) and against friends and competitors. USATF certification ensures that every course of a specified distance is exactly the same when laid out properly. It is then possible for your participant to gauge his/her performance and to compare it to others of the same gender and age group. She can then compare her performance with her own current or prior years' race on the same course or any other certified course of the same distance.

Records Qualification

"Records are made to be broken" states the old platitude. Records are broken frequently in road races. If one of your participants sets an age group record, the record won't count for anything if your course is not certified. Anyone who thinks he or she can get close to a record will select another event to register for instead of yours – one that has a certified course.

Why shouldn't I measure my course with my GPS device or one of the online mapping services?

No practical procedure other than the USATF method has ever been devised that is acceptably accurate. The Road Running Technical Committee of USATF perennially reviews all measuring technologies to ensure its practices are up to date. GPS devices are adequate for locating points on a map or on the ground. However, repeated testing by RRTC confirms they are inadequate for distance measurement. The same is true for all on line mapping services.

USA Track and Field requires the same exacting measurement and quality standards for your race as for the Olympic Marathon. If you lay out your certified course according to the map we provide you, your course is exactly accurate.

What do the authorities say about this?

Learn more information set forth by the USATF Road Running Technical Committee.