Randolph School Cross Country Classic 2015 - Short Course
09/17/2015 8:54:44 AM
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These results were quite good, too good I suspected. I went back to the course at UAH and walked the course with a Rolatape RT312M and measured the course at 4,643 meters. That would be 357 meters short of a full 5K which would explain most times being 1:00-2:00 minutes faster than previous PR's for many of the runners. These results may need to be flagged in MileSplit to keep the Virtual Meets results a little more realistic. If you have any questions about the measurements I would be glad to discuss them. B. Bradford
These results were quite good, too good I suspected. I went back to the course at UAH and walked the course with a Rolatape RT312M and measured the course at 4,643 meters. That would be 357 meters short of a full 5K which would explain most times being 1:00-2:00 minutes faster than previous PR's for many of the runners. These results may need to be flagged in MileSplit to keep the Virtual Meets results a little more realistic.
If you have any questions about the measurements I would be glad to discuss them.
B. Bradford
09/17/2015 12:27:44 PM
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It was right 11 years ago when I last measured it with my wheel. Every year I have to completely create the course by hand, bush hog, weed eaters, and mowers. I am sure that there are corners that get cut a little tighter than in other years. That actual distance that most ran out there on Tuesday was probably close to 3.02-3.05. You also have to factor the idea of relaxed, stressless racing. A lot of the kids who race this meet, simply take time off because of the lack of intensity. Some kids literally take 2 minutes off of their 5k time at this meet, and these are not the back of the packers. You can't tell me that the relaxed mindset doesn't play a factor into kids running a bit faster at this meet. But I do agree that this is a little short of 5k, but longer than 3 miles. Unfortunately I am a bit land locked to go make it a full 5k and still have it as spectator friendly with the 2 creek crossings (4 in total during a race). After all, this is cross country, time is irrelevant as all courses are different, some are long, some are short, and some have a creek in the middle of them. Cross country is about racing a course, doesn't matter how long it is. It's me against you. That's pure racing, that's pure cross country how it was meant to be. You want to fuss over distances and times, December is right around the corner when Indoor Track & Field starts. I promise that course at the CrossPlex is 100% accurate. As far as "flagging the meet" for not having accurate times, so be it. 1300+ kids still had an awesome time!
It was right 11 years ago when I last measured it with my wheel. Every year I have to completely create the course by hand, bush hog, weed eaters, and mowers. I am sure that there are corners that get cut a little tighter than in other years. That actual distance that most ran out there on Tuesday was probably close to 3.02-3.05. You also have to factor the idea of relaxed, stressless racing. A lot of the kids who race this meet, simply take time off because of the lack of intensity. Some kids literally take 2 minutes off of their 5k time at this meet, and these are not the back of the packers. You can't tell me that the relaxed mindset doesn't play a factor into kids running a bit faster at this meet. But I do agree that this is a little short of 5k, but longer than 3 miles. Unfortunately I am a bit land locked to go make it a full 5k and still have it as spectator friendly with the 2 creek crossings (4 in total during a race). After all, this is cross country, time is irrelevant as all courses are different, some are long, some are short, and some have a creek in the middle of them. Cross country is about racing a course, doesn't matter how long it is. It's me against you. That's pure racing, that's pure cross country how it was meant to be. You want to fuss over distances and times, December is right around the corner when Indoor Track & Field starts. I promise that course at the CrossPlex is 100% accurate.
As far as "flagging the meet" for not having accurate times, so be it. 1300+ kids still had an awesome time!
09/17/2015 12:55:01 PM
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As an impartial observer (my team was not there) I think it is a little worrying. On this board I have seen both wheeled and GPS measurements saying 2.9 miles which is a significant shortage. You are probably correct that the kids ran 3.05 miles; however, at a full course they run over 3.1 miles on a 5K course as no kid hits every apex perfectly nor can they always take the best lines. I also agree that courses vary and time varies (our own course times are SIGNIFICANTLY slower due to the hills and tightness of our turns but I made sure numerous times it is a true 5,000 meters) but the constant we must achieve for as coaches is a consistent distance the course is at its shortest point (outlined by NFHS). I think spectator views should be secondary to the course being a true 5K if it is being represented that way in the stats and the meet. Just my two cents as the one consistent factor we can achieve in Cross Country is the distance of the course. Also, with all due respect, not wheeling off the course for over a decade strikes me as a bit strange if it is a course that as you said can be a bit fluid and change.
As an impartial observer (my team was not there) I think it is a little worrying. On this board I have seen both wheeled and GPS measurements saying 2.9 miles which is a significant shortage. You are probably correct that the kids ran 3.05 miles; however, at a full course they run over 3.1 miles on a 5K course as no kid hits every apex perfectly nor can they always take the best lines. I also agree that courses vary and time varies (our own course times are SIGNIFICANTLY slower due to the hills and tightness of our turns but I made sure numerous times it is a true 5,000 meters) but the constant we must achieve for as coaches is a consistent distance the course is at its shortest point (outlined by NFHS). I think spectator views should be secondary to the course being a true 5K if it is being represented that way in the stats and the meet. Just my two cents as the one consistent factor we can achieve in Cross Country is the distance of the course. Also, with all due respect, not wheeling off the course for over a decade strikes me as a bit strange if it is a course that as you said can be a bit fluid and change.
09/17/2015 1:17:55 PM
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ART. 1 . . . [b]The cross country course shall be 2,500 to 5,000 meters (1.5 to 3.1 miles) in length as determined by the meet director or games committee. Measurement shall be along the shortest possible route a runner may take. The course shall be clearly marked. I couldn't agree more with the statement that cross country is, ultimately, not about times. I'm not discounting an individual runner's desire to improve (and using time to do so), but Twig has the spirit of the sport identified appropriately. The fascination with times and course lengths loses focus of this spirit. By example, the state of Illinois has run the same course for their state meet for years. It's 3 miles. It doesn't seem to prevent them from regularly being one of the most competitive states in the country.
ART. 1 . . . The cross country course shall be 2,500 to 5,000 meters (1.5 to 3.1
miles) in length as determined by the meet director or games committee.
Measurement shall be along the shortest possible route a runner may take. The
course shall be clearly marked.

I couldn't agree more with the statement that cross country is, ultimately, not about times. I'm not discounting an individual runner's desire to improve (and using time to do so), but Twig has the spirit of the sport identified appropriately. The fascination with times and course lengths loses focus of this spirit.

By example, the state of Illinois has run the same course for their state meet for years. It's 3 miles. It doesn't seem to prevent them from regularly being one of the most competitive states in the country.
09/17/2015 1:26:31 PM
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@weathrll AHSAA Fall Sports Book Cross Country Rule 2 The distance for boys and girls in all divisions is 5K. Illinois rules outline that 3.0 miles is acceptable: C. Length of Course: Courses for the regional, sectional and state final meets in either the boys/girls series shall be no more than 3.12 miles (5K) nor less than 2.75 miles in length. Every effort should be made to run on three mile courses. The length of the course for the respective boys/girls Class 1A, 2A and 3A state final will be 3.0 miles.
@weathrll

AHSAA Fall Sports Book Cross Country
Rule 2
The distance for boys and girls in all divisions is 5K.

Illinois rules outline that 3.0 miles is acceptable:
C. Length of Course: Courses for the
regional, sectional and state final meets in
either the boys/girls series shall be no more
than 3.12 miles (5K) nor less than 2.75 miles in
length. Every effort should be made to run on
three mile courses. The length of the course for
the respective boys/girls Class 1A, 2A and 3A
state final will be 3.0 miles.
09/17/2015 2:30:11 PM
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I'm still uncertain as to why we must strive for consistency in measuring courses. I'm assuming your reference to consistency is somehow related to a runner's performance (or your ability to help them improve). My point in referencing Illinois is to highlight a state that offers a range (as does the NHFS), and is consistently more competitive than Alabama (i.e. there's nothing inherently beneficial to running strictly 5K). Cross country isn't track.
I'm still uncertain as to why we must strive for consistency in measuring courses. I'm assuming your reference to consistency is somehow related to a runner's performance (or your ability to help them improve). My point in referencing Illinois is to highlight a state that offers a range (as does the NHFS), and is consistently more competitive than Alabama (i.e. there's nothing inherently beneficial to running strictly 5K). Cross country isn't track.
09/17/2015 3:09:47 PM
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@weathrll Quite simply the rule for Alabama set forth by the AHSAA is a 5,000 meter competition, the competition is reported as a 5,000 meter competition. It is our obligation as Coaches and meet directors to fulfill this basic rule requirement for the fairness and integrity of the sport. There is no arguing that. The AHSAA says 5,000 meters so the competition should be 5,000 meters. You can have fast times because of a fast course or slow times because of a hilly tough course but you should not have PR's and quick times because of a short course.
@weathrll

Quite simply the rule for Alabama set forth by the AHSAA is a 5,000 meter competition, the competition is reported as a 5,000 meter competition. It is our obligation as Coaches and meet directors to fulfill this basic rule requirement for the fairness and integrity of the sport. There is no arguing that. The AHSAA says 5,000 meters so the competition should be 5,000 meters.

You can have fast times because of a fast course or slow times because of a hilly tough course but you should not have PR's and quick times because of a short course.
09/17/2015 3:27:48 PM
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I love how people get so fixated on time. If you are looking for something to argue about in relation to consistency in cross country course measurement, let's please discuss the fact that YOU WILL NEVER HAVE CONSISTENCY BETWEEN CROSS COUNTRY COURSE MEASUREMENTS! I don't care if you wheel it a hundred times, if you GPS it, if you follow NHFS guidelines, or if you use a RRCA or USAT&F road race certification measurement system, the courses are ALWAYS going to be different. You CANNOT compare times to one another. Apples to oranges doesn't work! Comparing times/marks are for track & field season. I don't coach my kids to look at times online to see what such and such ran at the "YADA-YADA WHO GIVES A HOOT INVITATIONAL". I coach my kids to race the course (which is always different,...am I being redundant?). It doesn't matter the distance! Our meet is specifically that. It's about the purity of the event and the sport and the spirit of the sport. And for this event, the spectators do matter,as they are the parents, the coaches, the teammates that are encouraging the athletes who are enjoying an event that is far different than anything in the area. An event that is something that most will remember for a lifetime. When it boils down to it, a large majority of the kids really don't care about how fast or slow they ran at the Randolph Cross Country Classic. All they care about is how much fun they had, who they beat or who beat them, and how muddy they got. For those that are so fixated on time, you can contact me a week out from September 20th, 2016 and you can tell me how I can do my job better. Boom! Have a great day!
I love how people get so fixated on time. If you are looking for something to argue about in relation to consistency in cross country course measurement, let's please discuss the fact that YOU WILL NEVER HAVE CONSISTENCY BETWEEN CROSS COUNTRY COURSE MEASUREMENTS! I don't care if you wheel it a hundred times, if you GPS it, if you follow NHFS guidelines, or if you use a RRCA or USAT&F road race certification measurement system, the courses are ALWAYS going to be different. You CANNOT compare times to one another. Apples to oranges doesn't work! Comparing times/marks are for track & field season.
I don't coach my kids to look at times online to see what such and such ran at the "YADA-YADA WHO GIVES A HOOT INVITATIONAL". I coach my kids to race the course (which is always different,...am I being redundant?). It doesn't matter the distance!
Our meet is specifically that. It's about the purity of the event and the sport and the spirit of the sport. And for this event, the spectators do matter,as they are the parents, the coaches, the teammates that are encouraging the athletes who are enjoying an event that is far different than anything in the area. An event that is something that most will remember for a lifetime. When it boils down to it, a large majority of the kids really don't care about how fast or slow they ran at the Randolph Cross Country Classic. All they care about is how much fun they had, who they beat or who beat them, and how muddy they got.
For those that are so fixated on time, you can contact me a week out from September 20th, 2016 and you can tell me how I can do my job better.
Boom! Have a great day!
09/17/2015 3:59:46 PM
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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 245
The same section of the AHSAA Fall Book you've cited also states: "5. All meets will be conducted under National Federation rules, including its protest procedure. Protests are not allowed after a meet is concluded." I'm certain there was no intent to disintegrate the integrity of the sport with this meet. It would seem like, as long as everyone ran the same course, fairness was not at stake either.
The same section of the AHSAA Fall Book you've cited also states:

"5. All meets will be conducted under National Federation rules, including its protest procedure. Protests are not allowed after a meet is concluded."

I'm certain there was no intent to disintegrate the integrity of the sport with this meet. It would seem like, as long as everyone ran the same course, fairness was not at stake either.
09/17/2015 4:19:34 PM
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Joined: Aug 2013
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Never argued for protests or removal of times as I do not have kids in the event. As I stated, feel free to check my posts, I simply find it troubling there is an attitude that the length of the course is not an important factor when that is a clearly stated rule from our governing body. I will not post further on this topic as my point has been made and I do not wish to offend anyone or go further. I hope everyone has a great rest of the season and I look forward to competing with everyone the rest of the year!
Never argued for protests or removal of times as I do not have kids in the event. As I stated, feel free to check my posts, I simply find it troubling there is an attitude that the length of the course is not an important factor when that is a clearly stated rule from our governing body. I will not post further on this topic as my point has been made and I do not wish to offend anyone or go further. I hope everyone has a great rest of the season and I look forward to competing with everyone the rest of the year!
09/17/2015 9:54:48 PM
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There is an old saying "that is why we run the races". People get too hung up looking at virtual meets and state rankings. If the course was short it will have 0% effect on the outcome at the state meet. If you want an accurate course run a road race. The USATF site list all certified courses. I don't think many courses in this state would measure exactly 5000m. I didn't take my team to the Randolph School Cross Country Classic this year but we have run it in the past. It is a well run meet and the runners have a great time. It has a start line and a finish line and the fastest runner gets there first.
There is an old saying "that is why we run the races". People get too hung up looking at virtual meets and state rankings. If the course was short it will have 0% effect on the outcome at the state meet. If you want an accurate course run a road race. The USATF site list all certified courses. I don't think many courses in this state would measure exactly 5000m. I didn't take my team to the Randolph School Cross Country Classic this year but we have run it in the past. It is a well run meet and the runners have a great time. It has a start line and a finish line and the fastest runner gets there first.
09/18/2015 9:05:41 AM
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Joined: Oct 2007
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The rankings and times are fun to look at but they are really useless in the big picture. WE have been ranked higher than we deserve and lower. All that really matters this year is what happens on November 14 at Oakville. Every race is fair to the runners of that race. You can't compare teams from other races in other places accurately anyway, there are to many factors. Weather, temp, course, heck even time of day effects the times...... place, place, place is all I preach to my team, time really doesn't matter. Unless we bring the Wild Card races back from 14-15 years ago. Just my 2cents lol.
The rankings and times are fun to look at but they are really useless in the big picture. WE have been ranked higher than we deserve and lower. All that really matters this year is what happens on November 14 at Oakville. Every race is fair to the runners of that race. You can't compare teams from other races in other places accurately anyway, there are to many factors. Weather, temp, course, heck even time of day effects the times...... place, place, place is all I preach to my team, time really doesn't matter. Unless we bring the Wild Card races back from 14-15 years ago. Just my 2cents lol.
09/20/2015 5:15:13 PM
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Joined: Sep 2012
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Randolph is an exciting fun course. Yes, I would agree it is a little short, probably 2.9-3 miles. But, in the spirit of running, our kids love it. And, it hasn't given false hope to any of our runners about their individual times over the years. When it comes down to it, the State Meet will decide your time for the year and where you will rank. And, Jesse Owens is one course that is maintained and offers a little of everything for everyone. It's fine to define Randolph as a 3 mile course. But, it will make no difference when they all get to state. Try to enjoy some of these courses for what they give us and the training that they give to the athletes! Our athletes like the differences and challenges
Randolph is an exciting fun course. Yes, I would agree it is a little short, probably 2.9-3 miles. But, in the spirit of running, our kids love it. And, it hasn't given false hope to any of our runners about their individual times over the years. When it comes down to it, the State Meet will decide your time for the year and where you will rank. And, Jesse Owens is one course that is maintained and offers a little of everything for everyone. It's fine to define Randolph as a 3 mile course. But, it will make no difference when they all get to state. Try to enjoy some of these courses for what they give us and the training that they give to the athletes! Our athletes like the differences and challenges
09/21/2015 10:11:51 PM
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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Randolph is noob.
Randolph is noob.

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