Footlocker officials added 70 - 80 meters ???????
11/28/2015 6:49:40 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 218
What!!!! Nolan, I had heard something today about this, but I could not believe it! After all these years of footlocker, how could the course have possibly been SHORT!!!!!!???? This is ridiculous! OR, was the course accurate (which after all these years you have to believe it was) and the course official just decided to add 70-80 meters for no good reason! I don't understand this at all. Can you or anyone out there please explain why this happened!
What!!!! Nolan, I had heard something today about this, but I could not believe it! After all these years of footlocker, how could the course have possibly been SHORT!!!!!!???? This is ridiculous! OR, was the course accurate (which after all these years you have to believe it was) and the course official just decided to add 70-80 meters for no good reason! I don't understand this at all. Can you or anyone out there please explain why this happened!
11/28/2015 10:23:34 PM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 389
@cawitt I did not ask the meet director, nor would I want to when it comes to this. Yes, roughly 70-80m was added (right near the mile mark and hill)-- I think. They basically made it swing out wider which in turn adds a little distance each way. From my understanding, it was always short and I think it just was getting too known that it was short and they had to do something about it. Obviously for historical purposes you don't want to make a big deal when you had assumed the course was the same but it happens. The MileStat.com Invitational course used this year for example was a little short last year (only colleges ran on it). This year though U of R made sure it was exact and added roughly 30 meters onto one part of the course. This year's course was exactly 5K if you ran the inside and tangent the whole way! This happens by course widening. The bigger this meet got (FLSouth) and larger fields meant greater safety concerns and making sure parts of the course are wider. Adding width in turn makes the course shorter as athletes can take better tangents and turns are cut closer to allow for more space depending on what side barriers are on. Look at it this way, if you make slight course adjustments every year (which is very common) you can pick up or lose 10m easily. The course only has to be within 50m to count as a 5K so that small difference is easily forgotten. Then when you multiply this year after year the distances add up and then one year you are shocked to see the course isn't close. I think it was the right move and made a lot of these performances more impressive. Overall great job by Team VA! -Nolan
@cawitt I did not ask the meet director, nor would I want to when it comes to this. Yes, roughly 70-80m was added (right near the mile mark and hill)-- I think. They basically made it swing out wider which in turn adds a little distance each way.

From my understanding, it was always short and I think it just was getting too known that it was short and they had to do something about it. Obviously for historical purposes you don't want to make a big deal when you had assumed the course was the same but it happens.

The MileStat.com Invitational course used this year for example was a little short last year (only colleges ran on it). This year though U of R made sure it was exact and added roughly 30 meters onto one part of the course. This year's course was exactly 5K if you ran the inside and tangent the whole way!

This happens by course widening. The bigger this meet got (FLSouth) and larger fields meant greater safety concerns and making sure parts of the course are wider. Adding width in turn makes the course shorter as athletes can take better tangents and turns are cut closer to allow for more space depending on what side barriers are on.

Look at it this way, if you make slight course adjustments every year (which is very common) you can pick up or lose 10m easily. The course only has to be within 50m to count as a 5K so that small difference is easily forgotten. Then when you multiply this year after year the distances add up and then one year you are shocked to see the course isn't close.

I think it was the right move and made a lot of these performances more impressive.

Overall great job by Team VA!

-Nolan
11/29/2015 9:42:48 AM
User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 272
I heard about the course change and subsequent additional 70 to 80 meters from runners after the race. With all the talk of course records, I'm surprised there wasn't more discussion of this matter. I am of the opinion we shouldn't emphasize "records" in off track distance events -- no two races are the same. However, this was a significant change and merited some discussion. Gives us something to talk about between races. Let's put it this way: Andrew Hunter crushed Sean McGorty by roughly a football field. Weini Kelati is right with Aurora Scott. Four Virginia boys are comfortably ahead of 3 time Foot Locker finalist and UVA All American Thomas Porter. And so on and so on.....
I heard about the course change and subsequent additional 70 to 80 meters from runners after the race. With all the talk of course records, I'm surprised there wasn't more discussion of this matter.

I am of the opinion we shouldn't emphasize "records" in off track distance events -- no two races are the same. However, this was a significant change and merited some discussion. Gives us something to talk about between races.

Let's put it this way:

Andrew Hunter crushed Sean McGorty by roughly a football field.
Weini Kelati is right with Aurora Scott.
Four Virginia boys are comfortably ahead of 3 time Foot Locker finalist and UVA All American Thomas Porter.

And so on and so on.....
11/29/2015 10:41:21 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 218
It was a tremendous day for the state of Virginia! A pleasure to watch.
It was a tremendous day for the state of Virginia! A pleasure to watch.
11/29/2015 9:33:15 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 49
http://nc.milesplit.com/discussion/topics/135569 See below from Milesplit NC Subject: McAlpine Course Changed . . . now a 5k (again) So with all the recent talk about course length, Larry McAfee has just adjusted McAlpine to be a 5k. The Hares & Hounds Invite tomorrow will be following the new addition, but will be the first meet this season to do so. The addition was just completed yesterday I believe. Right before the 1.25 mark, there is a small new section through the woods. Larry says it's about 100m, but after running it today, I'd say it's about 50-75m. The rest of the course is the same. Why the addition? With the construction done at McAlpine this summer, sections were widened, and the end of the straightaway was shortened. Also, the hill has been widened.
http://nc.milesplit.com/discussion/topics/135569

See below from Milesplit NC Subject: McAlpine Course Changed . . . now a 5k (again)

So with all the recent talk about course length, Larry McAfee has just adjusted McAlpine to be a 5k.

The Hares & Hounds Invite tomorrow will be following the new addition, but will be the first meet this season to do so. The addition was just completed yesterday I believe.

Right before the 1.25 mark, there is a small new section through the woods. Larry says it's about 100m, but after running it today, I'd say it's about 50-75m. The rest of the course is the same.

Why the addition? With the construction done at McAlpine this summer, sections were widened, and the end of the straightaway was shortened. Also, the hill has been widened.
11/29/2015 9:50:56 PM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 415
I'm curious, based upon the final posting, which states that it is a 5K (again)....when did it cease being a 5K? Assuming that it has always had the same start and finish throughout it's entire history, has it always been short? Or as the race has gotten larger, has it been set up a bit differently. I didn't see the change, but couldn't one argue that depending upon what line one takes, a runner (especially a leader) might not always run a 5K anyways? Obviously, it is easy to run longer, especially if you are in a large field and taking long turns, but on the flip side, a solo runner up front, who can choose his line, could potentially always run slightly less. I'm curious to know what other changes have been made over the years, or indeed when it was measured short. I also agree, though, that in the end, its about beating the person in front of you....obviously, for runners like Hunter or McGorty, they were racing the clock, but in general, cross country puts less emphasis on time, although on a historical course like this one, I would've preferred to leave it alone, just to be able to make comparisons from one year to another. Just my humble opinion, though.
I'm curious, based upon the final posting, which states that it is a 5K (again)....when did it cease being a 5K? Assuming that it has always had the same start and finish throughout it's entire history, has it always been short? Or as the race has gotten larger, has it been set up a bit differently.

I didn't see the change, but couldn't one argue that depending upon what line one takes, a runner (especially a leader) might not always run a 5K anyways? Obviously, it is easy to run longer, especially if you are in a large field and taking long turns, but on the flip side, a solo runner up front, who can choose his line, could potentially always run slightly less. I'm curious to know what other changes have been made over the years, or indeed when it was measured short.

I also agree, though, that in the end, its about beating the person in front of you....obviously, for runners like Hunter or McGorty, they were racing the clock, but in general, cross country puts less emphasis on time, although on a historical course like this one, I would've preferred to leave it alone, just to be able to make comparisons from one year to another. Just my humble opinion, though.
11/29/2015 11:22:00 PM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 389
Here is a picture of the Change. The old part turning immediately and the red line is the new part
Here is a picture of the Change. The old part turning immediately and the red line is the new part
11/29/2015 11:22:36 PM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 389
[img]http://www.milesplit.com/static/170426/e[/img]
11/30/2015 7:09:44 AM
Coach
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 162
@CoachDSM I agree with you about leaving it alone......It's just such a historical course. That being said, it makes what Drew did that much more amazing!
@CoachDSM I agree with you about leaving it alone......It's just such a historical course. That being said, it makes what Drew did that much more amazing!
11/30/2015 1:19:33 PM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 136
I'm not sure of another way to measure that course other than going down there with a Jones Counter, so I just did a fairly accurate mapping of it using Google Earth. I went back through years of images until there was one in the fall, with the trail completely showing and the start and finish lines drawn. I mapped it very accurately. For those who have never used GE to map, it gets within a foot, usually, if you take your time with it when mapping a known accurate distance- like a track, turf football field, etc(Hayward Field came up at 399.67m....so it's very accurate, but not perfect). Anyway, when I did this for the OLD McAlpine course, it came up at 4974m. That's running every tangent and hugging the turns (there are a lot of winding turns on that course). Take it for what it's worth.
I'm not sure of another way to measure that course other than going down there with a Jones Counter, so I just did a fairly accurate mapping of it using Google Earth. I went back through years of images until there was one in the fall, with the trail completely showing and the start and finish lines drawn. I mapped it very accurately. For those who have never used GE to map, it gets within a foot, usually, if you take your time with it when mapping a known accurate distance- like a track, turf football field, etc(Hayward Field came up at 399.67m....so it's very accurate, but not perfect).
Anyway, when I did this for the OLD McAlpine course, it came up at 4974m. That's running every tangent and hugging the turns (there are a lot of winding turns on that course).
Take it for what it's worth.
11/30/2015 5:35:38 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 9
It's worth noting that, prior to 2012, NFHS rules required that measurement of a cross country course "shall be along the middle of the course." In 2012 the rule was changed to require that measurement "shall be along the shortest possible route a runner may take." Accordingly, the McAlpine course could well have been an accurate "5K" under the rules in existence prior to 2012, but short of an accurate "5K" after the rules were amended in 2012. Whether the change in the course had anything to do with bringing the course into compliance with the 2012 change in the rules, I have no idea. In all events, the rules also provide that a cross country course "shall be a course 2,500 to 5,000m (1.5 to 3.1 miles) in length as determined by the meet director or games committee." This language would appear to give meet management the option to retain the older "short" course, as the "shorter" distance would clearly still be between 2,500 and 5,000m. Whether this is something that should be done I suppose is something that can be the subject of debate, although it seems to me there’s a lot to be said for maintaining the continuity of historical courses such as this. Regardless of any course measurement issues, great runs by Hunter, Kelati, and the other Virginia athletes.
It's worth noting that, prior to 2012, NFHS rules required that measurement of a cross country course "shall be along the middle of the course." In 2012 the rule was changed to require that measurement "shall be along the shortest possible route a runner may take." Accordingly, the McAlpine course could well have been an accurate "5K" under the rules in existence prior to 2012, but short of an accurate "5K" after the rules were amended in 2012. Whether the change in the course had anything to do with bringing the course into compliance with the 2012 change in the rules, I have no idea.

In all events, the rules also provide that a cross country course "shall be a course 2,500 to 5,000m (1.5 to 3.1 miles) in length as determined by the meet director or games committee." This language would appear to give meet management the option to retain the older "short" course, as the "shorter" distance would clearly still be between 2,500 and 5,000m. Whether this is something that should be done I suppose is something that can be the subject of debate, although it seems to me there's a lot to be said for maintaining the continuity of historical courses such as this.

Regardless of any course measurement issues, great runs by Hunter, Kelati, and the other Virginia athletes.

You must be logged in to comment.

Click Here to Log In.