Charlotte aims to avoid lap-count debacle in long races
I’ve been corresponding with the meet director and chief official for this summer’s Charlotte masters nationals, and they seem to be on the ball when it comes to conduct of distance races on the track. Most important, they’re aware that some are worried about hydration and lap counts. (North Carolina is rumored to be hot in early August, and lap-counts have been the bane of masters existence in major meets of late.) Tony Wayne, the tiptop official, wrote me today: ” It will not be our responsibility to take down the split times for each individual; however, each lap will be accounted for.”
Here’s what Tony wrote:
“Gordon Edwards has previously responded to the availability of water during the race. In general I believe ethat water should be made available from the 3K on up in distance and that the water table be located on the back stretch. As to the timing system, I suggest that the running clock be continued for all runners in the race. This is something that will be discussed with the timing organization and meet management. My understanding as an official, that it is possible. No other race will be started until the existing race is completed and the Finish Lynx personel will have individual finishes with electronic timing, so why not?
“I read the result of the races you forwarded. Pretty scarry. During the long distance races at the National Masters Championships we will have at least 5 officials at the finish line that are specifically in-tune to making sure that the number of laps, and individuals in the race, are accounted for and that they all run the prescribed distances. It will not be our responsibility to take down the split times for each individual; however, each lap will be accounted for.
“These people were hand selected as to their experience with finishline ccoordination and lap counting, but also Masters athletes and races that have combined age brackets, to assure that we had lap counting and individual accountability well covered. They also use specific sheets that keep track of the competitors.
“We are making every attempt that these distance races represent National Championship races.
“With all that said, I also want you to understand that I can not guarantee that something might happen, but we are doing everything within our experience to make sure we have no problems.
“I hope this belays some of your concerns.”
All the best,
Coordinator of Officials
2006 USATF Masters Championships
Earlier, Dr. Edwards — the meet director at Charlotte — wrote me:
“We already made plans to have a Water station set up halfway thru the first curve for ALL sections of the 5000m & 10000m Runs and the 5000m Race walk the 10000m Race Walk will also have a Water Station. IT is a 1000m out and 1000m back loop course, so five times around it equals 10000m. We will come up with a form that the Lap Counters can use to record laps & split times. We will keep the Finish Line Clock running for all contestants.”