USATF Course Certification
What is course certification?
The purpose of the USATF course certification program is to produce road race courses of accurately measured distances.
For any road running performance to be accepted as a record or be nationally ranked, it must be run on a USATF-certified course. In addition, the certification program is very important to the average road racer, as well as those of exceptional speed. Most runners like to compare performances run on different courses, and such comparisons are difficult if course distances are not reliable. No one can truly establish a personal best if the course distance is not accurate.
On use of GPS devices: See our statement, Position on GPS used by runners.
How to get your course certified:
The easiest way to have your course certified is to hire someone who is already skilled at measuring courses for USATF certification.
Search our Database of Known Course Measurers
Alternatively, you can measure it yourself if you are sufficiently motivated and willing to devote the time and attention that it requires. In either case, you may need to contact the USATF Road Course Certifier for your state. This person can refer you to qualified measurers that you might hire. Or, if you choose to measure the course yourself, the Certifier can provide guidance to help you through the process, and when you are finished, you will need to send paperwork to your state Certifier.
View the list of USATF Road Course Certifiers
For anyone who wishes to measure road courses for certification, our complete Course Measurement Manual is provided online (see below). After measuring according to the procedures in this manual, the measurer must submit complete data and application forms and a detailed map of the course to the Certifier in the state where the course is located (most certifiers charge a fee for reviewing the application, up to a maximum of $30). The certifier will either approve the course or, if the measurer made a mistake, notify the measurer and explain how to fix it. Once a course is approved, the certifier will assign it a course ID number, and prepare a certificate which is combined with the course map to become the official documentation for this certified course.
View or download the Course Measurement Procedures Manual
Access Additional Tools Available to Course Measurers
Duration of certification:
Because courses often degrade over time, all course certifications expire automatically 10 years after the year of issue, and must then be re-measured in order to be recertified.