Troy meet

EuclidandViren

Well-known member
It has been adjusted on Milesplit to a 3 mile rather than a 5k. I don’t know specifics, but I did see that it is now shown as a 3 mile.

1st- Troy is admitting the course was 200 meters short. This means for a conversion probably 40 seconds added onto the 15:50 runners and upwards to 2:00 for the slowest of runners.

2nd- Nothing is wrong with not running a 5k. In many states- New York, Illinois, and California a 3m course is accepted.

3rd- I have even seen some historic courses listed as 2.85. And that it OK.

4th- All I ask, and probably the public, is just post the correct distance. Let the public know ahead of time. If I were Troy I would keep it at 3 miles. This would be a novelty event and every year the kids run a 3-mile distance at ONLY this course.
 
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4Runner

New member
The issue is not at all with running a 3 mile course. The issue is labeling it as a 5K and having kids think it is their new 5K time.
They can pick whatever distance they want it to be as long as it’s properly labeled as such.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
Imagine that. I actually knew what I was talking about. 28 of the top 30 running lifetime PR’s is just not a thing. Glad it was corrected for both the runners and the various past record holders.
Yes, but you speculating on it without any type of proof doesn't help. There were good indications it was short, but that is proof of nothing except to dig deeper.

It was measured properly and found to be short.
 

madman

Well-known member
There are no formally recognized methods of "properly" measuring a cross-country course. Practically speaking the dramatic shift in times provides evidence as strong as any measuring wheel, gps watch, etc.
 

5x26

Active member
Yes, but you speculating on it without any type of proof doesn't help. There were good indications it was short, but that is proof of nothing except to dig deeper.

It was measured properly and found to be short.
Without speculation why would anyone seek proof? I'm confident enough in common sense to know those times were just not possible based on trends. I was right. Clearly I wasn't alone in my thoughts about it. I've watched 80% of those girls run the previous 3 weeks and it just wasn't possible for that many to make that much improvement. Had nobody raised suspicion would anything have changed? Regardless it's corrected and all is right in the world.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
There are no formally recognized methods of "properly" measuring a cross-country course. Practically speaking the dramatic shift in times provides evidence as strong as any measuring wheel, gps watch, etc.
Many states have written official methods for measuring a course.

GA
 
Probably beating a dead horse at this point, but the Troy coach emailed all of the participating teams last night to share that multiple measurements of the course this week produced a number in the neighborhood of 4920. Certainly not 5000, but not three miles either (4828.03 according to Google).

On to the next meet! Luckily everyone shares a start line at Cedarville, VOA, Troy, and Obetz in the coming weeks. We'll sort everything out head-to-head.
 

madman

Well-known member
Many states have written official methods for measuring a course.

GA
The Georgia Track and Cross-Country Coaches Association has some excellent guidelines.


If we could get all meet directors to follow them here in Ohio, it would be a huge step in the right direction.

These guidelines, however, do not amount to a formally recognized method of properly measuring a cross-country course. To come close to what's necessary to certify a road course read this: https://aims-worldrunning.org/course-measurement.html

Try to find any official body related to the sport of cross-country at a national or international level that identify a method for certifying the length of a cross-country course. The discussion related to this after Running Lane's meet last fall was extensive.

I think the horse is nearly dead if it hasn't already passed, but we should not overlook a major shift in times as evidence that the course length may not be 5000m. It is certainly reasonable grounds for futher investigation.
 

Bookie31

New member
Probably beating a dead horse at this point, but the Troy coach emailed all of the participating teams last night to share that multiple measurements of the course this week produced a number in the neighborhood of 4920. Certainly not 5000, but not three miles either (4828.03 according to Google).
1st- Troy is admitting the course was 200 meters short.
I don't know much about the organization of a meet, so hopefully someone can explain how we get here. I'm guessing a course is measured at least 2 or 3 times before the event to be sure it is 5000. If this is true, and it comes up 4920 (according to Runningfast), 4800 (according to EuclidandViren), or any other number that is not 5000, then why don't they adjust the start line, adjust the finish line, or adjust the course until it is 5000?
 
I don't know much about the organization of a meet, so hopefully someone can explain how we get here. I'm guessing a course is measured at least 2 or 3 times before the event to be sure it is 5000. If this is true, and it comes up 4920 (according to Runningfast), 4800 (according to EuclidandViren), or any other number that is not 5000, then why don't they adjust the start line, adjust the finish line, or adjust the course until it is 5000?
I can not speak to the Troy meet in particular, but I can imagine the problem arising in the set up process of the course (and the follow up of that set up). For the meet I've helped with in years past, the coaches weren't allowed to cut the course - the maintenance guys did. An outside company painted the lines. All it takes is that mower guy going a few meters wider on a turn, or the paint guy cutting a turn a few meters tighter, and the measurement can be off. So you have to come behind and measure again. We always tried to leave a little flexibility with where exactly we dropped our finish line in case we were off on the post-cut/paint measure than what we had when we measured before those things happened. If that check and double check doesn't happen, a course that was 5000 when you measured on Monday before the meet may not be 5000 by Saturday.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
Did a quick calculation based on the times (very familiar with many of the kids) and backed out something like 130m. Three miles is 160m short of 5k.

Regarding course measurements. +/- 50m is very possible between different people and wheels. I know when I used to do them on courses my reproducability was +/- 10m and that is being very careful and methodical. I don't measure the courses anymore because it just doesn't really matter.

One course we always go to is Thomas Worthington. A couple of years ago they flared out the turns down in the lower half and added 70-80m to the course length. I was thinking when Zegarski was running there his time would have been 10-12s faster in the past. They only moved the fences a couple of feet, but it adds up.

Every year a have arguments with the kids because I set up different courses for our mile repeats and tempo work. We always do them on grass and they are not always in the exact same places and I adjust them over the season to simulate different types of courses we will be running on (# and type of curves vs longer steady ones...). I measure multiple times with a wheel. Their GPS watches ALWAYS without fail are 0.01 to 0.03 long. They even get variability with their measurement. 3% difference for a mile doesn't sound like much, but it is almost 50m, which is more than a handful of seconds.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
3 miles = 1609.344m/mile * 3 miles = 4,828.032m, or 171.968m short of 5km, not 160m short.
My quick calculation was in my head sitting at a railroad crossing. Should have added rough.

But if we are trying to be exact, a mile is 1609.347m. 39.37in/m or 25.4mm/in

In any event, just don't measure any courses anymore but our own now. Unless you have permanent location markers, there is always some "float" in locations every year on a course. I have two wheels and don't get the same exact number with them. One is heavier than the other and a smaller diameter wheel. Close enough is the expression...

My point was the GPS systems are not the way to go for measuring courses. Nice way to rough them in for sure. The 1% error gives you 50m short vs wheel, which for 5:20 person in a 5k is 10s. That's why 10s variation when it comes to PRs is a wash to me. The kids care about that 10s.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
When I ran, I couldn't tell you if a course was long or short or correct. Never had a coach wheel a course. My children could care less about their times. Only like breaking 17 min or something like that. State meet times were the only ones that ever meant anything and that wasn't much. Fastest HS time I ever ran was 15:15 on a course that had tall, but very nice grass. Short steep hills. (Hills ish) a lot of running on sides of slopes so one leg/foot was higher than the other. Ton of turns. Years later I was told the course was no longer used because of complaints about the side hill running and just too slow a course. It fit me fine. I loved hills. I loved turns. I loved poor footing. I did not like long straights. I was not a rhythm runner. I liked things broken up with a lot of changes in direction and pace. I only know I ran 15:15 because my dad kept a stat book and I saw it years later. I do know it was the only race I ever ran where I just took off. Didn't help a teammate. Didn't have anyone close to me all race. Not typical at all of how I raced. Every race hurt. I remember Kent Roosevelt had a very good team and they wheeled the state course with 3 different wheels and came and was talking to me and my coach about things and let us know that the LH side was this long and the center was this long and the RH was this long. I looked at my coach after they left and said. If I ever think of what the shortest line on a course is, I'd lose my mind and probably be out of the race mentally at that point anyway.

Compare times from the same course from year to year fine. Compare your times to your teammates on the same course on the same day... Fine. Other than that, Who cares? You don't advance on time at any point in CC. Not a single time is used for anything. They don't assign starting positions. It's a goal. It's a carrot out there for some kids. Time gaps between teammates is a useful tool and maybe where you were in relationship to other runners on other teams in the same race is useful, but other than that, they aren't really even helpful.
 

4Runner

New member
That’s great…for you. Everyone’s approach to the sport is going to be a little bit different. The fact is that time is a gauge of success in the sport. A smart runner acknowledges that it can vary based on a number of variables, but it is still a gauge of their progress and success. Can’t say I’ve known many kids in my time with the sport who just don’t care about that aspect. There’s also a big difference between a course that is just more challenging and one that is legitimately short. I know kids who lost their school records due to times run at Troy…they certainly care
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
So, they care about a school record that was set with over a month left in the season? What does that matter once League, District, Regional and State meets are run? Kids can gauge themselves all they want with times on the same course the same race as teammates. And by what place they came in. Times are for practice. Even if a time is something you use as a gauge or motivator, you still know the outliers and know which ones are not legit. Easily explained to kids. How is time a gauge of success in a sport when places are the only thing that counts for scoring? If someone is good enough to be the school record holder, does time mean anything to them? They should be gauging themselves on if the won the race or not at that point.

If you are well out of varsity, then I can see using times as motivation. Goal setting. But if you run a short course or long course, it's just one of 10 times you should have. You also have times you are hitting in work outs. So many other gauges that a time on a certain course means nothing. Place and position on the team should be stressed much more than time. Time might have a place, but it is very for down on the list.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
It is easier to not care about times when you are winning races or finishing top ten at race. Harder when you are not finishing that high even harder to not care about times when you are the 15-20th fastest kid on your team.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
It is easier to not care about times when you are winning races or finishing top ten at race. Harder when you are not finishing that high even harder to not care about times when you are the 15-20th fastest kid on your team.
Then work to be 14th or 19th. Then 13th. Still able to see where you are in relationship to everyone on your team regardless if the course is long or short or fast or slow. Compete and beat the next person in front of you and times will be there. lessen the gap between you and the kid in front of you and use that as a gauge. It's a cross country course not a track. Races are not time trials.

I used to work the Galion meet and would see kids coming into the finish looking at the finish line clock and raising their hands in joy because of the time they ran. Meanwhile, letting 6 kids pass them in the final 30 meters because they were more interested in the time than competing. You scored 20 points! Good for you. The kid you were guarding scored 22 and we lost the game.

It's fine to be the 20th person on a team. No shame in that. The goal should still be to be a scorer. After all, it is a team sport that keeps score. One of the beautiful things about the sport is that everyone gets to participate at some point. You aren't sitting your butt on a bench just because you aren't as gifted as the top runners. However, the sport still should be focused on the varsity runners and the team score. The course being short does not change that a race was run and scores were kept. The kids know in advance that the race starts and point X and ends and point Y.

It's a sport where the objective is to beat other teams. It's not a fitness class.
 

madman

Well-known member
Then work to be 14th or 19th. Then 13th. Still able to see where you are in relationship to everyone on your team regardless if the course is long or short or fast or slow. Compete and beat the next person in front of you and times will be there. lessen the gap between you and the kid in front of you and use that as a gauge. It's a cross country course not a track. Races are not time trials.

I used to work the Galion meet and would see kids coming into the finish looking at the finish line clock and raising their hands in joy because of the time they ran. Meanwhile, letting 6 kids pass them in the final 30 meters because they were more interested in the time than competing. You scored 20 points! Good for you. The kid you were guarding scored 22 and we lost the game.

It's fine to be the 20th person on a team. No shame in that. The goal should still be to be a scorer. After all, it is a team sport that keeps score. One of the beautiful things about the sport is that everyone gets to participate at some point. You aren't sitting your butt on a bench just because you aren't as gifted as the top runners. However, the sport still should be focused on the varsity runners and the team score. The course being short does not change that a race was run and scores were kept. The kids know in advance that the race starts and point X and ends and point Y.

It's a sport where the objective is to beat other teams. It's not a fitness class.
PD, I think you're being purposely obtuse.

Every runner has their own path of progression. While the goal is to become a scorer, not every kid is one or will become one. When you are the 41st kid on your team. As a coach, I believe you are doing a disservice to that kid to simply say "I don't care that you got a PR, your goal should be to be a scorer."

Acknowledge the point other coaches are making on this if your goal is anything than arguing for arguing's sake.
 

EuclidandViren

Well-known member
PD, I think you're being purposely obtuse.

Every runner has their own path of progression. While the goal is to become a scorer, not every kid is one or will become one. When you are the 41st kid on your team. As a coach, I believe you are doing a disservice to that kid to simply say "I don't care that you got a PR, your goal should be to be a scorer."

Acknowledge the point other coaches are making on this if your goal is anything than arguing for arguing's sake.

I believe the TROY thread has changed the subject...

But I will chime in. The beauty of cross country and coaching cross country is that everyone can be a winner. Winning means something different to everyone in life and cross country.
Most student's/athletes brains do NOT think the way Psycho Dads' brain works. It would be great if all high school athletes believed that way. I will go even further most college and professional athletes do not think that way in all sports from basketball, football, and baseball to individual sports. Winning means something different to every single person. The goal of every kid playing every sport is not the same. It would be all cheery and great if it was but it is not in reality.

Winning is not trying to be a top 5 scorer for 90% of the kids on the mega teams like Mason and St. Xavier. Winning can be just finishing a 5k, running under 35:00 minutes in a 5k, trying to beat a PR, trying to beat a friend, trying to beat your dad's PR, trying to beat a kid from another school, earning your PE credit, running races because your parents make you run in order to play video games, running because your parents make you in order to have a social life, and winning can be trying to break any time goal.

I would have to assume from my coaching experience that most kids' goals- the primary reason they are out there, in my 25 years of coaching is not to be top 5 on the team.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
PD, I think you're being purposely obtuse.

Every runner has their own path of progression. While the goal is to become a scorer, not every kid is one or will become one. When you are the 41st kid on your team. As a coach, I believe you are doing a disservice to that kid to simply say "I don't care that you got a PR, your goal should be to be a scorer."

Acknowledge the point other coaches are making on this if your goal is anything than arguing for arguing's sake.
Exactly what my wife said when discussing this. However, when applying the same logic to other sports, she has a different opinion. CC is unique in that we allow kids of all skill levels compete. Just because that is true, don't set up the sport for the competitors that are not scoring.

What I will acknowledge is that you can use time for whatever you want. However. Every CC course is different, so comparing times to different courses means nothing to me. Much more important that you compare to teammates, so who cares if a course is exactly 5k? The 41st kid should be compared to the 40th kid. Worry about that and not a time that literally means nothing in the scoring of the sport.

Did anyone come away from the meet thinking it was a terrible meet because it might have been 3 miles and not 5k. Do you actually worry about the distance being 50 meters off?

Do what you have to as a coach for your team and your 40th runner, but don't get all upset about a course.
 

mathking

Well-known member
If you want to be effective as a cross country coach, you need to understand that kids are not all the same. Different kids will have different motivations. For some kids time is a very important motivator. For some kids their first chance to run in the varsity race is a huge motivator. For some there are specific opponents they try to beat. I try as much as possible to focus them on how far they were behind the same opponents in previous weeks to gauge their performance. Another thing that can help is to post how far each athlete is behind your first athlete when you post results. I stripped out the names, but here is such a result sheet for us. (I try not use how far were you behind the race winner as a metric, because that is so variable depending on who the competition is each week. You run against your own teammates the most, so it is the best comparison for the quality of your race.)
 

mathking

Well-known member
It is probably worth noting that parents often do not like posting the "time behind #1" so I don't put it on the results I post to the web page. Just with athletes, largely because it is another way to demonstrate that they had a good race. I have a junior now who ran a "fast time" on a short course as a freshman and is consistently depressed that she is "slower than she was as a freshman" even though that is demonstrably not the case. Looking at how much closer she has been to our #1 and #2 this year is helping her overcome the angst.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
To try and be constructive: You can let the kids know where they finish in the race by percentage. So, you finished in the top 50%, Or top 75%. Spin it however you want. Also, leadership as big a deal as anything for a successful team. 25th runner can be a great leader. Top teams usually have kids pushing from the back.

It just irritates me when time is bigger than what the sport is really about. (About to me...per my wife) Where she, and others, do not see CC and T&F as team sports, I see them as the ultimate team sports. CC being probably the simplest team sport and T&F being one of the most complicated.
 

Rohbino

Well-known member
That’s great…for you. Everyone’s approach to the sport is going to be a little bit different. The fact is that time is a gauge of success in the sport. A smart runner acknowledges that it can vary based on a number of variables, but it is still a gauge of their progress and success. Can’t say I’ve known many kids in my time with the sport who just don’t care about that aspect. There’s also a big difference between a course that is just more challenging and one that is legitimately short. I know kids who lost their school records due to times run at Troy…they certainly care
Records or lists of best times for cross country are silly. It would be fine if every single race was run on the same course, but that isn't the case. Even if a school keeps a list of times from a home course that is run often, like a home course or a course that might be used for a home invitational, a league meet, and a district or regional meet, that is fine. Otherwise, the lists are pointless and meaningless. Don't have times from different courses on the same list and certainly don't establish school records for the sport unless, of course, all meets are on the same course. But doesn't happen, does it?

Some years ago schools ran more duels than they do now. That means that invitationals are the more commonly contested event. Some runners might run every single race during the season on a different course. I know of a coach some years back, not a very good coach, that decided who ran in the post-season based on times throughout the year. A runner was bumped off of the seventh spot due to a time run on a course that was more difficult and was less than 5 seconds slower than the one that ended up as the seventh runner. Is that fair? That is essentially analogous to keeping school records and school lists.
 

4Runner

New member
Whether it is fair or not, I imagine every school has a record list and the kids do in fact aspire to get the school record. They’re kids. It’s not really about what it is to me as an adult, but what it is to the kids who are actively participating and striving to reach goals.
 

Rohbino

Well-known member
Whether it is fair or not, I imagine every school has a record list and the kids do in fact aspire to get the school record. They’re kids. It’s not really about what it is to me as an adult, but what it is to the kids who are actively participating and striving to reach goals.
Fair enough. And you're right, it is about the kids. But what do you say to the kid that ran perhaps their best race of the season or high school career but can't get on the list because the effort was put in on a tough course? Someone else is on the list with a time only a few seconds faster that was run on a course that was 15 meters shorter and didn't have a hill in sight. How does the kid feel that barely missed out on the list?

Look, I'm not discounting lists. I made that pretty clear in the previous post. But if they're to be kept, have results grouped together that are from the same courses.
 
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