I posted this question to the Omaha Running Club facebook page: How important is a USATF Certified course to the Omaha Running Club? It will be interesting to see the responses, should there be any.
Prompting the question is the sea of declarations of personal bests at the Nebraska Half Marathon. Take a look at the course map. Dozens of turns, plenty of hills, and every runner scores a hard fought pr?
Another question, fair and tough. Why did the Nebraska Half choose not to get certified? Was there a discount on the entry fee for providing an “ish” product? Or, are the majority of local runners unconcerned? Its not just a Nebraska problem though.
From my buddy Cal Murdock covering for Team Iowa Runablaze:
Ben Jaskowiak won the DM Marathon 5k (Oct. 17) in 14:13. Ben relates on his PR (?), “Great morning to run with temps in the upper 30s to low 40s and almost no wind. It’s a fast course as well. I knew from my splits the 2 mile marker was wrong. After the race I confirmed . . . they turned us around too early (it’s an out and back course).
I find instances like this unacceptable, and I wasn’t the only one upset about it. This was in fact the third race I’ve run this year where the course distance was not as stated and ended up being short. What this really comes down to is sloppy work by race organizers. They can have all the finish line food and beer to please the majority of runners, but until you can be certain the course is accurately set up and measured, they’re deceiving all runners. I’ve won this race two years in a row . . . I think it’s time runners start seriously thinking about things like this and force the race directors to do some catering to the minority of runners who truly care about accurate courses and timing.”