Running The Mind

Running The Mind
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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Course Responsibility

At a recent cross country meet, the top six runners went off course and were disqualified. The course was marked with white chalk and flags, but had many loops, some of which were repeated over the 3 miles. This brings up the question; who's responsible for the runners staying on the course? Two entities play a role in this, the runners and the meet directors.

Runners - Is it your responsibility to remember every course you race before you compete? If you are provided maps and directions, should you have to run the entire course before hand and remember it all? Does this apply just for front runners or every runner?

Meet Directors - Even if you mark your course with chalk, flags, paint, etc..., should you still have course marshals in questionable or difficult areas on the course to direct the runners?

When this happens, everyone is effected. Runners who go off course miss out on an individual performance as well as hurt their team by not being in the scoring. Meet Directors get hurt by this when teams do not return the next year. As with everything in life, we learn by making mistakes. Hopefully in this case, the runners who went off course and the meet directors will all take note and do what they can to never let it happen again.

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