Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Race Director Glassman Believes Toronto Marathon Courses Were Accurate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Race Director Glassman Believes Toronto Marathon Courses Were Accurate

Article excerpt

Director defends Toronto Marathon courses

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TORONTO - The race director of the Toronto Marathon firmly believes Sunday's event was the traditional 42.2 kilometres long.

Jay Glassman said the course was measured at 42.195 km by a certified measurer and authenticated by Athletics Canada on March 27. He added the course was re-measured at that length two months prior to Sunday's race.

"As for the measurement of the course -- marathon, half-marathon, five- and 10-kilometres -- 100 per cent I believe they were all measured accurately and properly," Glassman said in a telephone interview. "And we had the Athletics Canada certificate for it."

Following the race, some participants publicly stated they felt they'd run further than 42.2 km, saying their GPS watches recorded distances exceeding the traditional marathon. That was a concern for some who were trying to hit qualifying marks for other marathons.

"The distance is 100 per cent correct, it's not going to affect peoples' times or qualification for Boston assuming they met the standard," Glassman said. "We run into this all the time and it's not just our event, I've seen it in New York, in Chicago in other races in the U.S. where people say, 'The distance for this race was inaccurate. It's too short or it's too long.'

"What often happens is people run with a Garmin or GPS. They're great for point to point . . . but they don't take into consideration the topography or elevation changes necessarily of an event."

Cathy Vandergeest, a Toronto runner, tweeted after the race it's not uncommon for tall buildings to wreak havoc with GPS readings.

"I'm guessing the runners in the story aren't used to running with the interference of the buildings on GPS satellite," Vandergeest said. "Toronto runners are used to laughing at the random patterns on their route maps and crazy paces they could never achieve. …

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