MEASUREMENT OF OFF ROAD SURFACES
This new section of the website is in preparation and will in due course provide guidance to measurers and race directors on the measurement of off-road surfaces.
The majority of the work of course measurers is to measure for races to be held on sealed roads surfaces which can be measured to according to IAAF procedures and issued with a certificate of course accuracy which can be used to guarantee the distance to the IAAF's internationally accepted standard of accuracy of 1 metre in every km.
The IAAF require road race surfaces to be hard/sealed surfaces such as tar macadam, concrete, paving slabs or similar. The amount which is allowed on looser off-road surfaces such as gravel, water-bound macadam, dirt trails, or on soft surfaces such as grass or mud is limited.
The practice in the UK for measurements of courses with appreciable amounts of off road is not to issue a certificate of course accuracy to IAAF standards, but to issue a statement of measurement for a multi-terrain course with no guarantee of accuracy.
There is a demand to provide a measurement with a guarantee of accuracy for some of the better of these off road surfaces. Following a request from RunBritain, the Course Measurement Working Party decided in December 2011 to investigate the feasibility of introducing a new category to cover races on these intermediate surafces. We have introduced a new class of "Registered Distance", covering such surfaces as unsealed gravel cyclepaths and other similar surfces. We have adopted provisional allowances aimed at ensuring the course is not less than the stated distance. These allowances may be adjusted in future as more data becomes available. Documentation of measurements and photographs of suraces will be collected in the links on the right panel of this page.
The first of the new Registered Distance documents were issued in April 2012. The members of the CMWP will appreciate any comments from measurers and runners.