Rules Refinements: Alternative start/finish points and running a course in segments

As people have started to run the FLRC Challenge courses more frequently, several questions have arisen, and I’ve now modified the rules to make running our courses more fun. Both fall into the general principle of “cover the ground.”

  • I’ve noted previously that it’s acceptable to run courses other than the East Hill Rec Way in whatever direction you want, so you could go around the Cornell Botanic Gardens in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. That way you can play with which direction is faster or just mix things up.

    It’s also now acceptable to start and finish wherever you want along the course, as long as you cover all the ground for the entire course. Obviously, if you do this, you’ll have to enter your time manually instead of scanning the start/finish sign. This enables you to, for instance, run the Cornell Botanic Gardens loop starting and finishing at the ponds, run the Black Diamond Trail starting at the turnaround point and running to and then back from Cass Park, or run Pseudo Skunk Cabbage starting at the Ellis Hollow/Genung intersection to avoid extra distance when changing direction.

  • To make it easier to include a course in a longer run, it’s also now acceptable to run a course in segments, adding up the time manually at the end. For instance, I could see someone starting in Stewart Park, running the first half of the Waterfront Trail course, continuing over to Cass Park, running the Black Diamond Trail course, and then returning to Stewart Park to finish off the second half of the Waterfront Trail course. One long run, two course efforts!

    There are three caveats to running a course in segments:

    • It’s up to you to add up your first half and second half times manually.
    • Segment-based runs won’t be accepted for fastest times. You may not, for instance, run fast for half a course, jog easy to rest, and then run fast back on the second half.
    • All segment-based runs must be completed in the same session. No going home in the middle and completing it the next day.

Any questions?

Is it acceptable to record a Challenge course time as part of an in-person race? For example, someone runs the Tortoise & Hare race and records their split for the Challenge course, which is the same route minus the 1-mile field trail at the beginning. This could also be done on the Frolic and Danby courses, assuming they take place this year. The Thom B loop is different enough near the start/finish that it probably wouldn’t work.

Good question, @Petorius. I think your instincts about which course will work and which won’t is spot on. The mantra is “cover the ground.”

  • With Tortoise, people can just get a split as they pass the playground on the way in and out, so that should work fine for a Challenge effort subset of the longer race.

  • With Danby, the official start will be slightly further down the road from the finish, so everyone can deduct a few seconds from the final time to match those up.

  • With Frolic, the course is identical, but has a different start/finish point at the intersection of the roads, so no time modification will be necessary there.

  • With Thom B., the Challenge course with the start/finish at the parking lot is just too different (and somewhat longer, I think) so it won’t be possible to use Thom B. race results for Challenge efforts at all.

1 Like

With Tortoise & Hare and Danby Down & Dirty, where the in-person race courses are longer than the FLRC Challenge courses, there’s a neat trick that Strava users can employ to figure out their
FLRC Challenge subset time. On a smartphone (definitely an iPhone, but I assume Android is the same), follow these steps:

  • Open the run in the Strava app.
  • Tap the ••• button at the top-right corner, and then tap Crop.
  • In the Crop screen, move the green starting dot at the bottom (not on the map) to where the FLRC Challenge course starts.
  • Move the black-and-white checkered dot at the bottom to where the FLRC Challenge course ends.
  • Subtract the start time (3:48 in the screenshot) from the finish time (26:12). Here’s a time calculator that will help if it’s an awkward calculation. Then submit that time manually in the Webscorer app.

There are several other ways you can do this. Here are a few examples for those who don’t use the Strava mobile app.

The Lap Button

The simplest is to use the Lap button on your watch, if you have one. Hit the lap button as you start your Challenge course, run the route, hit the Lap button again at the finish, and then keep running. No need to stop the watch, save the activity, and then start a new activity if you want to run longer. After the run, review the lap data and manually enter your split for the Challenge course. (If you load your run to Strava, the Web version shows the lap splits.)

In the Web browser version of Strava

Scroll down to the elevation/pace chart. You can pull the black vertical bar back and forth to look at time, distance, and pace at any given point during your run. Watch the blue circle on the map above the chart. Position the bar so that the blue circle appears at the spot where your Challenge course finishes, then look at the elapsed time on the chart. That’s your finish time for the Challenge.

This example shows my split for the FLRC Challenge Danby Down & Dirty 10k course when I ran the full 20k route.

If you ran extra mileage before starting the Challenge race, do the same to get your start time, then calculate the difference. The finish time minus the start time is the time you spent running the course. Use Webscorer to enter this time manually. (This is different from Adam’s cropping example, but you’ll use the calculator and Webscorer in the same way.)

1 Like

Doh! Of course. I forget about that because I have Auto-Lap turned on in my Garmin, so I get a “lap” for every mile. But yes, if you’re not using Auto-Lap (and assuming you know how to review the laps in your watch after the fact—Google on “watchName manual” for help), this is a great solution.

1 Like

I hope you all realize that Strava and any other app that depends on GPS is being manipulated by aliens for their amusement. In fact GPS does not work but the aliens seized the opportunity to simulate GPS signals, under their control and with their cloaked transmitters. Most of the time they just reproduce what the GPS would do if it really worked, but sometimes they get bored and decide to mess with us. Not so much as to cause airplane crashes (they want to preserve us for their continued amusement) but obviously when they see the chance to send a vehicle where it can’t pass, but also to see Strava-enabled runners frantically comparing their supposed distance with others. You have been warned. For me, I follow the blazes and don’t worry about the distance.