Macc race dis­tance to be re-mea­sured

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

THE Mac­cles­field Half Marathon is among more than 30 races be­ing re-mea­sured af­ter it was found the de­vice used to cal­cu­late the dis­tances was in­ac­cu­rate.

Routes across the coun­try are mea­sured us­ing a bi­cy­cle fit­ted with a counter to record the dis­tance.

But the As­so­ci­a­tion of UK Course Mea­sur­ers (AUKCM) has found that the course used to ini­tially cal­i­brate one of the bikes – The Mid­dle­wood Way in Mac­cles­field – was found to be short by 0.5pc, which meant the Greater Manch­ester Marathon was short by 380m for three years run­ning.

Four more races have been de­clared too short, with a fur­ther 28 – in­clud­ing the Mac­cles­field Half – yet to be tested.

A AUKCM state­ment read: “Fol­low­ing a re­mea­sure­ment af­ter com­plaints were re­ceived both from run­ners and the run- bri­tain rank­ings of a short course be­ing used for the Greater Manch­ester Marathon, a pos­si­ble con­trib­u­tor to the short course was iden­ti­fied as the cal­i­bra­tion course in Mid­dle­wood Way which was used to cal­i­brate the bi­cy­cle wheel.

“An in­de­pen­dent check, by a mea­surer hav­ing cal­i­brated on an al­ter­na­tive cal­i­bra­tion course, iden­ti­fied that the Mid­dle­wood Way course was short by 0.5pc.

“Ac­cord­ingly we have iden­ti­fied cour­ses which may have been af­fected.”

UK Ath­let­ics has said it will not recog­nise times from the three Greater Manch­ester Marathon races from 2013, 2014 and 2015 due to the blun­der.

But Mandy Calvert, Mac­cles­field Half Marathon race di­rec­tor, said they are con­fi­dent the Mac­cles­field route, last mea­sured in 2013, is ac­cu­rate.

She said: “The Mac­cles- field Half Marathon com­mit­tee are aware of the re­ports of po­ten­tial er­rors in the of­fi­cial mea­sure­ment of some races in the North West and are seek­ing fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the im­pli­ca­tions for the Mac­cles­field Half Marathon and 5K.

“We have never been made aware by run­ners that the cour­ses have been recorded as short on their GPS traces. How­ever, the com­mit­tee will be tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion in­clud- ing hav­ing the cour­ses re­mea­sured, and have ev­ery con­fi­dence that our races meet all the nec­es­sary stan­dards.”

She added: “As the races start and fin­ish on the ath­let­ics track we are able to make ad­just­ments to the course length by chang­ing the dis­tance that the run­ners run on the track at the start and fin­ish of the races, there­fore we do not an­tic­i­pate any ma­jor changes to the race routes what­ever the out­come.”

Neil Gunn

●● Last year’s Mac­cles­field Half Marathon

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