AIMS/IAAF measurement and certification, and what is all about?24.11.2016
On November 19th and 20th 2016 the route of Marathon Plovdiv 2017 was measured according to standards of the Association of International Marathons and Distance running by the internationally recognized certifier Class B, Mr. Giorgos Doussis. We have invited Mr. Doussis through our friend and true friend of running development in Bulgaria, the Marathon Sofia Race Director Daniel Dukov. About the AIMS/IAAF measurement regulations and the meaning of measurement Milena Alen is talking to Mr. Doussis.
МА: Mr. Doussis, thank you for accepting our invitation for the Marathon Plovdiv 2017 route measurement and for agreeing our conversation to be published as an interview. Tell us about yourself and your work.
GD: I am member of Hellenic Athletics Federation and part of the Athens Marathon Organizing Committee. I have studied law and sports, I am a running coach and I have experience as a blind runners accompanying person. In 2003 I have been assigned the measurement organization of all routes where 2004 Olympic athletic disciplines outside stadium will take part and that’s how I got in this activity. Few years later after many trainings and serious practice, after examination of my work I received my Class B certificate. I have already measured dozens of routes.
МА: What measurer Class B stands for?
GD: The society of certified measurers enumerates about 200 pers globally, organized in 4 regions, every one of which has its own certified coordinator, there are several emeritus measurers. Practically there are measurers Class A and B. Those of Class A are more experienced and work on the more difficult and recognized routes, although the measurement process and regulations are one and the same for all of us. IAAF Gold and Silver Label Races are being measured exclusively by measurers Class A. I would like to clarify that we are talking about road races measurement only. There are no uniform rules and certified measurers for trail races. In this case all organizers are responsible for the proper measurement of their route.
МА: Yes. This is my next question going to be about. What is the difference between races marked with gold, silver and bronze label?
GD: These labels are given each and every year by IAAF in case the event organizer had applied for gold, silver or bronze label and the event is meeting certain criteria, different for each label. They are related to the route measurement, how fast it is, to the elite runners who should be invited by the organizer. They have to be at least from 5 different nations / 4 nations for the bronze label/, to cover their expenses, to provide doping control etc. World records are expected to be set on Gold label road races that is why the distance is measured by Class A measurer, a second Class A measurer is among the elite runners group during the race, observing all road marks and rules of the race conduct are respected by all runners. In case there is a world record, in the day after the marathon race a third measurer Class A is measuring from scratch the route again and based on his report the record is recognized, money prizes are given etc.
МА: Route measurement and the race labelling are two different things and if the race labelling is an organizers decision, then the route measurement is their obligation, is that right?
GD: The route measurement according to the AIMS/IAAF regulations for a particular race is probably the most important thing in the race. The measurement is obligatory for all AIMS members and strongly advisable for all competitions and particularly marathon organizers in order to comply with high standards of conduct and most of all who respect their participants. Otherwise why an organizer will invest in timekeeping if he does not know the exact length of the route. Don’t you agree that it is not one and the same thing to have 30 min for 9, 95 km distance or for 10,20 km? Only when the route has been measured by a certified measurer the runner knows that his/hers result is correct and valid for qualification time in other bigger competitions with national, regional or international ranking if there is such requirements. There are thousands of marathons organized yearly and globally that is why it is necessary to testify their results by relevant timekeeping system and route measurement exactness.
МА: What do you think about the Marathon Plovdiv 2017 route?
GD: In my opinion the marathon route is very interesting, well balanced nicely developed. For me it will be very interesting to work in the streets of Plovdiv, the city with unique millennial history and culture.