The Park’s 5k and 10k courses are now certified

Dave Bary, lead for this Saturday’s Fun Run/Walk, thought FoGISP might be able to attract more participants if the 5k and 10k courses were certified by USA Track & Field (USAT&F), so he kicked off the rather arduous process that eventually resulted in certification.

The first step was to set up a short calibration course.

Dave and Debra marking out the calibration course

Debra Pence then used her bicycle, which was fitted with a special counter, to determine how many “clicks” it took to cover 300m, the length of the calibration course. To ensure accuracy, she had to travel the calibration course in each direction, multiple times.

The counter

The last stage was for Debra to ride the 5k and 10k courses designed by Dave. She had to ride both courses in each direction, noting the setting on the counter at the beginning and end of each run. During these rides, Lynn Smith and Alan Wilde were on duty stopping traffic, since Debra had to use the wrong side of the road in places (USAT&F insists that you use the shortest line between any two points).

Debra grinding it out

Dave knew with a high degree of accuracy the number of “clicks” it took for Debra to travel 300m. Now he also knew the total number of “clicks” required to travel each course and, from these, he was able to calculate the exact distances Debra had traveled. After ensuring that each course was within the limits specified by USAT&F, he submitted the paperwork for approval.

Kudos to Dave and Debra for a job well done!

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