Minutes RRTC Annual Meeting, 12/5/2020
Chairman David Katz welcomed all participants to the remote video meeting.
David Katz reviewed the meeting agenda.
2019 meeting minutes approved by unanimous consent.
Item 55 rule change (David Katz)
A rule change was proposed by the Rules Committee that if an Open American record is set on a USATF Certified course, it would not be necessary to verify the course length in order for the record to be accepted by USATF.
Several meeting participants objected to this rule change noting that, unfortunately, several courses where American records were set in the past, have subsequently been found to be short by the verification measurement. Even though the verification process can be time-consuming and difficult, it is necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the record system.
This rule change was rejected by unanimous consent.
Item 54 rule change (David Katz)
A rule change was proposed by the Rules Committee that would eliminate the requirement that the straight-line distance between the start and finish of a course where a preliminary American record is set be no more than 50% of the course length in order for the record to be accepted by USATF.
Participants pointed out that it is well known that a tailwind on a point-to-point course can provide a significant advantage. Also, the Ň50% ruleÓ is a required by World Athletics in order to accept records, so it would not be a good idea for USATF to have a different standard than World Athletics.
This rule change was rejected by unanimous consent.
Vice chair reports (Justin Kuo & Jane Parks)
East Vice Chair Justin Kuo gave his report of the East Region. Certifications have been greatly reduced in 2020 due to cancellation of races with the Covid-19 pandemic.
New state certifiers for the East Region have been brought on board as follows:
Justin Kuo(temporary): Florida
Jack Werbler: New Jersey
David Heithaus: Ohio
Diana Bean: New York
West Vice Chair and Registrar Jane Parks gave her report of the West Region. Certifications have been greatly reduced in the West as well.
New state certifiers for the West Region have been brought on board as follows:
Todd Byers: California
Matthew Compton: Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico
Martin Updike: Missouri, Oklahoma
Tom Reagan: North Dakota, South Dakota
New World Athletics appointments:
Joe Galope, A, nominated by Gene Newman
David Heithaus, A, nominated by Mike Wickiser
Jeff Huber, B, nominated by Lee Barrett
Todd Byers, B, nominated by Ron Scardera
Jay Hendrickson, B, nominated by Logan Burgess
Martin Updike, B, nominated by Don Garrett
Trevor Darmstetter, B, nominated by Jane Parks
The East VC approved 400 courses
The West VC approved 169 courses
A rundown on course lengths:
1 mile - 11 courses or about 2%
5k - 234 courses or about 41%
5 mile - 12 courses or about 2%
8k - 14 courses or about 2 1/2%
10k - 68 courses or about 12%
10 mile - 7 courses or about 1%
15k - 4 courses (insignificant)
Half Marathon - 95 courses or about 17%
Marathon - 85 courses or about 15%
For Half and Marathon courses this reflects courses slightly in excess
of the 21.0975 & 42.195 course lengths.
The remaining 39 courses account for odd distances.
Webmaster report (Mark Neal)
All are encouraged to visit the Course Measurement Forum for discussion of many helpful and entertaining topics
https://measure.infopop.cc/ or just google Ňcourse measurement forumÓ and the site will be one of the first items on the list.
USATF website has been completely updated and RRTC no longer has the ability to make any changes to the site. We must request changes from the USATF website people, and there is a delay in getting those changes implemented.
A website that we do have complete control over is rrtc.net. There is a lot of important information on that website and people are encouraged to use that website as a resource in addition to the USATF website. Please let you measurers know about the rrtc.net website.
Thank you to all the people (especially Mike Wickiser) who have noticed errors, dead links, missing items, etc. on the rrtc.net website and let the webmaster know. ItŐs relatively easy to fix things, but much harder to find things that are wrong, so this is a valuable contribution and is appreciated.
Validation chair report (Mike Wickiser)
Only one verification completed in 2020, the Delaware Distance Classic, which was found to be short.
Four courses will need to be verified: Mad City, Morecal Mile, The Tulsa Run, Champoeg ORRC Run. Also the Jed Smith Ultra Races in California. USATF has stopped all travel until further notice, so none of these are currently been scheduled. Zack Raubuck suggested that we submit travel requests and they will be considered on a case by case basis.
World Athletics updates (David Katz)
World Athletics as a list of ŇLabel RacesÓ where athletes can earn points based on their finish places/times. Those points are then used for rankings and subsequently qualification for certain races, specifically World Championships.
Label races must hold World Athletics/AIMS international measurement certificate and be on the list of approved courses. These courses can have separation. Also, they may have any elevation drop, but for courses that have a drop of more than 1m/km, there is a reduction in the number of points earned.
2020 Olympic Trials Marathon & RRTC involvement (Jane Parks)
A great deal of time was spent on measuring and remeasuring the course, which including great support from the Atlanta Track Club, the host of the event.
The original course was a 6-mile loop run 3 times, and then an 8+ mile loop. Because of large number of qualifiers this was changed to an 8-mile loop run 2 times, and then a 10+ mile loop, in order to reduce the amount of lapping on the course.
Everyone involved with the course measurement (Logan Burgess, Jane Parks, Mark Neal, Mike Wickiser, and Jim Gilmer) were present at the race event in order to make sure the course was set up according to the certification map.
Mark Neal mentioned that a couple mile marks were set up in the wrong locations by a few meters because the correct location was in an intersection, and the police were not allowing the timers to set up their timing mats in intersections.
Mike Wickiser suggested in the future the course measurers should work with whoever will be setting up intermediate marks to make sure marks at certified locations, such as the Half Marathon, will not be moved on race day.
Online certification system (Justin Kuo & Jane Parks)
The system has been up and running for nearly 2 years now. During this time corrections, changes, and improvements have been implemented, but there are still many things that need to be updated. Justin and Jane have created a list of to-do times for the developers, along with a prioritization of each item. David said that there is some money available that can be used to pay the developers to make these improvements.
Board member, state certifier, and measurer recruitment (Mike Wickiser)
Mike Wickiser brought up the point that we need to do a better job of recruiting new state certifiers and possibly even new board members. This is especially true in situations where a single certifier is assigned multiple states.
Ted Corbitt Award (Mike Wickiser)
Mike Wickiser announced that this yearŐs winner of the Ted Corbitt Award is Justin Kuo. Congratulations to Justin for this well-deserved honor. JustinŐs bio is available on the rrtc.net website and in the near future on the USATF website.
2022 World Championships – Eugene, Oregon (David Katz)
Jane Parks as been approved as the lead measurer for the Marathon on race walk courses. Jane will be the first woman ever in this roll.
Alternate measurement device (David Katz)
David showed a picture of the measurement device that was used to measure the course where Eliud Kipchoge ran his sub 2-hour marathon. The course was also measured by Hugh Jones, and the two measurements were within one meter of each other.is mounted on the roof of a vehicle
This new measurement device is mounted on the top of a vehicle with a view to the ground below. It records thousands of images per second and uses those to calculate distance. It is very accurate but also very expensive.
Determining accurate start/finish elevations (Dr. Sean Hartnett)
Dr. Sean Hartnett gave a presentation on different techniques to determine the elevation of geographic points, and the difference in elevation of two points. Determining accurate elevation has become extremely important in light of the fact that ranking points for World Athletic Label races will be based in part on the elevation difference between the start and finish of the race if it exceeds a drop of 1 meter per kilometer.
A summary of Dr. HartnettŐs presentation can be found at
And his elevation map of the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials course in Atlanta can be found at