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Investigation of Trafford 10k 2016:
Three members of the AUKCM have been looking at the course for the Trafford 10k run on 13 March 2016. Here is a summary of our investigations:
14 Mar. Mike Sandford received a notification from Tim Grose of Powerof10/runbritain rankings which reported that there were a few questions about the race distances as most garmins were showing 6.1 miles.
- 15 Mar. Mike Sandford had studied Garmin traces and agreed they suggested a short course. He also plotted the course as accurately as possible using Google satellite views. He assumed the full width of road was available as the race website said all roads were closed to traffic. The result was 9.89km. He concluded that the course was probably about 100m short and should be remeasured by a measurer on a calibrated bicycle.
- 15-17 Mar. A further enquiry thread was started by an email from Gary Dunn who said that "These results surely cannot be genuine. Nearly all the first 250 runners running a PB with a huge improvement as well." this was forwarded to Gavin Lightwood who passed it on to Alan Barlow asking if he was aware of any issues regarding course layout, which he was not. The race director Dave Norman then provided helpful information including videos and photographs. These were reviewed by several people. They confirmed that start and finish were as had been plotted by Mike Sandford.
The AUKCM decided two further investigations should be carried out:
Remeasure the calibration baseline on Middlewood way Macclesfield which had been used by the measurer in 2009 when the Trafford 10k had been certified. A shortfall in at least one other course which had been calibrated using Middlewood Way (Manchester Marathon measured 2013) pointed to a possible incorrect length being used for the baseline.
- Examine the original Trafford10k 2009 measurement report, and remeasure the course.
Dene Townend carried out a check of the Middlewood Way Baseline, using his bike calibrated on his home baseline. He found the Middlewood Way baseline to be 0.5% short of the 400m length which had been used for its length. This would have caused any courses measured using the Middlewood Way Baseline to be short.
Dene then met with Brian Porter and together they remeasured the Trafford 10k course. Conditions were wet with pools of water in some places. Dene carefully rode the shortest line going through the puddles where necessary and found it to be short of 10k by 100.8m. Brian followed behind observing Dene's riding line and confirmed he used the Shortest possible route. Brian did not follow the shortest possible line since he avoided the puddles so got a longer result, but still 85m short of 10k. Dene's summary is available as a pdf here
The way forward:
- The AUKCM measurers will consult with race director Dave Norman to see where he would like to modify the course to add 100m so that the course will be correct for 2017. The modified route will be measured by AUKCM measurers free of measurement fees and expenses, and also free of the course registration fee.
- The AUKCM will identify other courses currently in use that have may have been affected by use of the Middlewood Way baseline, and will ensure that they are remeasured free of charges. For progress on this see this summary.
The original measurer retired 3 years ago and no longer has his records, so at present we dont know how it happened that the baseline was wrongly laid out. Although it remains a prime responsibility for the measurer to layout his baseline accurately with a steel tape according to the IAAF/AIMS international procedures. For detials of the layout procedure see this page from our training lessons. The AUKCM will investigate provision of making a baseline checking service available to its measurers.