Minutes RRTC Annual Meeting, 12/4/2021

Chairman David Katz welcomed all participants to the remote video meeting.

David Katz reviewed the meeting agenda.

Participants in the conference room and remotely joining introduced themselves.

2020 meeting minutes approved by unanimous consent.

Registrar report (Jane Parks)

At the time of the meeting there were 954 2021 certifications, which is about a third of the number in 2019. There was a small  amount of additional certification activity, which consisted of course adjustments, corrections, etc.

David pointed out that even though the 954 number is low, it is still twice the number of World Athletics certifications for 2021.

East Vice Chairperson report (Justin Kuo)

632 East certifications in 2021, which is about two-thirds of the total. We have a new certifier for South Carolina, Brandon Wilson.

West Vice chair report (Jane Parks)

322 West certifications in 2021, which is about a third of the total.

Online Certification System Update (Justin Kuo & Jane Parks)

Justin thanked the developers of the online system, Josh and Kevin, for all the work they have done on the system over the past 3 years.

The system is working pretty well now for standard measurements where the course is measured in continuous measurements from start to finish or finish to start. Some courses are measured in segments, which the system cannot handle. As a result, about a third of the certifications are submitted through the LDE portal of the system.

Jane gave an update of the system improvements completed over the past year:

Budget (Zack Raubuck)

Zack stated that $5000 has been approved for RRTC budget, which mostly will be used to update the online certification system. Some of it will go towards other training.

David stated that the Jones Counter business has been good in the past year, and some of the money from that can be directed towards RRTC projects.

World Athletics (David Katz)

David showed the new logo for World Athletics course measurers. David stated that measurers can use the logo to advertise their services.

The WA administrators have not met for over 1.5 years to discuss upgrading measurers to Grade B or Grade A. It is important to get nominations together to submit to Bernie Conway so the administrators have it when they decide to have a meeting.

David mentioned that it is very important to make sure that important races are World Athletics certified. This is because athletes who perform well at important races will score WA points only if the race course is WA certified.

Molly Seidel asked if it is possible for a course to be certified after the race has taken place. David replied that it is not. The course must be certified before the race takes place.

 Training Seminars

Brandon Wilson talked about the measurement seminar they recently held in North Carolina. David said we really need to hold more measurement seminars around the country. Brandon mentioned  the need for an entry-level, introductory, course for people who might be interested in becoming a measurer. Mark mentioned that there is an introductory video on the RRTC website about the measurement process. David suggested we should have info sessions a few times a year. We could do this online.

2022 World Championships Update (Jane Parks)

Jane showed the preliminary course for the World Championships Marathon. It is a 14km loop that will be run 3 times. The loop is actually 30 meters short of 14km currently, and different possibilities for lengthening it slightly are being considered.

The race walk will be on the road in front of the stadium. It is a 1km loop.

David mentioned that the reason the loop needs to be exactly 14km is so the km marks will be in the same locations on each loop, and the athletes’ splits will be recorded for each km.

Christo Laundry said he had heard that a significant part of the course is on unpaved trails. Molly Seidel also commented that the trail seems quite narrow in places. David showed the course using Google Earth. He said that the trail entrance is 2km after the start line. He also mentioned that the field in the World Championships is smaller than the field in the Olympics. He also stated that the entire course is paved.

Procedures Manual Update (Mark Neal & Jane Parks)

Mark went through the multiple changes documented in the revision notes near the beginning of the manual. Major changes include:

During the discussion of the changes made to the manual, it was decided that calibration courses must always be adjusted based on the ambient temperature. Previously it was allowable to not adjust the course to be shorter if the temperature was above 68F.

The new manual will be published on the rrtc.net website in January 2022.

New Business (All)

David brought up the fact that World Athletics suggests a short course prevention factor, but does not mandate it. RRTC/USATF does require a short course prevention factor. David suggests that if two World Athletics “A,” or an “A” and “B,” measurers measure a course, we should leave it up to the RRTC chair and vice-chairs to NOT require the full short course prevention factor. David notes that we actually already do this for post-race verifications, where the only requirement is that the verification proves the course is as long as the stated distance. Justin recommended  that this should be used very cautiously.

Ric Wilson asked if there has been any developments in counter technology to accommodate bicycles with disc brakes or other features that make it difficult to fit the Jones counter. David said that the counter produced by Mike Wickiser in now mounted on the right side to avoid the disc brake, which is always on the left side. Another new feature of the counter is the inclusion of an extender tab that can be used if the fixed extender on the counter is not long enough to reach the spokes. There is no real solution to the problem of an axle with a diameter that is too big other than to buy a spare wheel for the bike with a smaller axle.

David also brought up the point that we need to include in the procedures manual mentions of other counters that are available other than the one produced by the RRTC. A discussion followed about how these other counters might be tested to make sure they work. David stated that RRTC really needs to follow whatever World Athletics says are acceptable counters.

Matt Slocum asked when GPS coordinates are acceptable on certification maps. Jane stated that it is spelled out in the map requirements appendix of the new version of the procedures manual. Basically, start, finish, and turn-around locations must always be located based on their distance from a permanent landmark. GPS coordinates are acceptable as a secondary locator for start, finish, and turn-arounds. Intermediate points that are included on the map, such as mile marks, should also be located based on their distance from permanent landmarks, but it is acceptable to use GPS coordinates to locate them if no permanent landmarks are available.