Course Measurement

Course Measurement & Certification FAQs

Who can register a course for certification?

Course certification is available to any individual/event organizer wishing to have a course certified. Fees collected are used to cover the cost associated with maintaining the registry of certified courses, review course applications and the training and upgrading of course measurers. Fees are currently $50 for a road course and $15 for a calibration course.

Measurement Costs

Certification fees must be paid for the registration and validation of all course measurements. Measurement costs are above and beyond the cost of registering a course measurement for certification and are negotiated directly between the course measurer and the race organizer.

Some provincial/territorial branches offer course measurement services to race directors.

Measurers can charge a variety of rates depending on the complexity and length of the course. Here are some guidelines of what you can expect from expert measurers:

5k or less $375 to $550
10k: $750 to $1000
Half Marathon $1250 to $1750
Marathon $2000 to $3000

In general, $60 to $100/km with a minimum of $375

Who sets the standards for course certification?

The standards for course measurement which form the basis of course certification are jointly established by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and World Athletics (WA). In Canada, the issuance of certification in managed under the authority of Athletics Canada.

Who can certify a course?

In Canada, anyone can measure a course and apply for certification, it is not necessary to enroll in formal training. The measurement manual is designed to guide a novice measurer through the steps, lists the necessary equipment, and provide the forms for completing the paperwork. Elite level races including WA and AIMS designated events and Athletics Canada Championship events may require that measurement has been completed by a graded measurer.

All measurements are validated by an accredited course certifier prior to granting certification. The instruction manual can be downloaded here.

What is the difference between course certification and race sanctioning?

Course certification provides a guarantee with regards to the accuracy of the course measurement including distance and changes in elevation, while sanctioning formalizes the agreement of the race director to abide by guidelines relating safety, the adherence to stipulated racing regulations and other guidelines put forth by the governing body for road running in the designated region.

Different sanctions will provide different guarantees based on the nature of event being sanctioned and may or may not include a requirement that the course be certified. All sanctions within Canada have three primary requirements ? proof of insurance on the part of the race organiser; demonstration of application of minimal safety requirements for race participants and acceptance to abide by other regulations tied to the granting of sanctions.

For more information on sanctions visit the website of your provincial/territorial branch or contact them directly.

How do I know if a course is certified?

Until an event is included in the national certification database, it isn't certified - regardless of the claims made by the race organization. The size and prestige of an event do not ensure a certified course.

View the list of certified races here. (Courses certified in 2012 and prior can be found here. We are in the process of transfering the certificates to the new site.)

What qualifications are required to become a course measurer?

Anyone can measure a course and apply for certification, it is not necessary to enroll in a seminar. The measurement manual is designed to guide a novice measurer through the steps, lists the necessary equipment, and provide the forms for completing the paperwork.

Seminars are offered from time to time and they allow a measurer to gauge his or her riding ability against that of experienced measurers. Though they are helpful in boosting a measurer's confidence, they are not mandatory unless a measurer seeks WA or AIMS credentials.

Courses that are measured for the WA or AIMS must be measured by an "A" or "B" level measurer.

What is the maximum allowable net change in elevation between the start and finish for a point to point race?

A "standard" course will have a drop of no more than 1 m/km, or 21.1 m for a half-marathon. This eliminates downhill aid to the runner. Also, the start and finish must lie no farther apart than 30 percent of the race distance - 6.3 km for the half-marathon or 3 km for a 10k. This mostly eliminates aid due to wind. Only runs made on "standard" courses may qualify for records.

There is no prohibition against races that exceed the "standard" limits. One may put on a race at any distance along any route. The only thing different is in the potential for records. This is not in the measurement manual because it has little to do with measurement - it's a standard set up to facilitate record keeping and to allow meaningful comparison between race results.