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Athletics Canada needs your feedback. They are currently working with a team of race directors to develop national standards for road running events.

“As part of this process, we would like to survey the Canadian running public on what they feel are the most important elements of a road running event,” read the release.

They estimate that the survey will take 15 minutes of your time, or in running parlance, about how fast a community 5K road race is won in. There is a reward for helping AC out. You will receive a coupon valued at 15% off at their online store:

“Your answers will provide valuable feedback to us as we undertake a process to develop an accreditation system that will assist the running public to able to identify quality events, as well as to inform best practices and minimum standards for event organizers.”

In other words when you race on the roads, what is it that you notice that you wish was done better; do you have a pet peeve?

A common complaint is of course length. Whether you are a 30-minute or 50-minute 10K runner, invariably you will check your watch or the race clock or the results afterwards to find out how you did; it’s natural.

A course that is properly measured and can be used to certify records and standards are measured several times over with a device called a Jones Counter, which is set and calibrated on a bike with the tires inflated to a certain amount and bike size considered, in other words they don’t fool around.

When measuring the route with the bike, the certified measurer will ride the course several times, one being on the shortest possible tangents that a runner could take and then add one metre for every kilometre over the shortest possible tangents. This, to ensure that the course is as long as it is advertised. You pay your money and you want accuracy.

Often a complaint of runners who do not know this, is that the course is long. They will wear their watch, for example a Garmin that hooks up to a few satellites to track their route. When they cross the line they find that they have run 10.1K instead of 10.0K. The automatic response is, “my 36:04 10K was a 35:XX for sure.” Not true. If you want to run 10.000 kilometres, run a 10,000m race on the track and run as tight as possible to the rail.

Often athletes will not run the perfect tangents and will cover more than the 1m/per km difference. Or worse, the course could be short! That is indefensible.

So provide your feedback, by going to the Athletics Canada survey here and like political voting, you can’t complain, if you didn’t participate.