Friday, November 14, 2014

GPS vs. Certified Course

An infograph:

I see the difference even on short courses. I have a goal of breaking 20 minutes for a 5k. I've come within three seconds of doing that - except for one race, my time was 19:40 for the course. I don't think I magically gained 20 seconds - and my watch that normally reads high for distances, only reported 3.03 miles.


  1. If you finished with an unusually fast time and your watch "shorted" the course, I'd say the problem was more with the RD's measurement of the course rather than anything you brought to the race. We had a famous problem along these lines in Chicago a few years back when a new marathon course ended up being close to 27 miles long. Needless to say, the race didn't make a second year.

    1. I concur. I've also seen races where wrong turns were made by runners (sometimes following a police car or bike, sometimes one their own) to lengthen or shorten a course. I'm not racing for fame or glory, so it is just a minor thing for me.