Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Streets of Kilkenny 5k course found to be short

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Streets of Kilkenny 5k course found to be short

A few weeks ago, the Streets of Kilkenny 5k attracted a huge crowd including a lot of runners from Cork... see previous post.

The organisers Kilkenny Harriers AC have announced that the course was found to be short.

While it's probably a disappointment to some, it was still a race. The winners still finished first, the category winners still got placed first in their category, it's just that times for everyone were faster than they should have been.

Some people like to give the impression that course measurement is some sort of advanced science and all the courses with Athletics Ireland permits are exact. They're not.

Course measurers do a training course that lasts a few hours and they are shown the basics on how to measure a race course. What no-one will tell you is that each course measurer will come up with slightly different values for the length of a course. The hope is that is that they would all be close but it's certainly not exact.

The general principle is that a course should be slightly too long but it should never be too short. That's why a 5k course is never 5k. If it's slightly too long then everyone can be sure they ran at least 5k.

I don't know who measured the Kilkenny course but this only came to light because there were potentially new national distance records. I suspect that there are a lot of other courses which if audited would be found to be short as well.

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