Historical Background

Brief Historical Background

Systematic road race course measurement in the UK began under the auspices of the Road Runners Club in the 1970s, following a paper in 1961 by John Jewell. Details of measured courses were kept by the Road Runners Club (RRC).

In 1985 the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) set up a Course Measurement Working Party (CMWP) comprising five RRC members under the chairmanship of John Disley. Following the CMWP report, the AAA organised the training of more course measurers and Area Course Measurement Secretaries (ACMS) were appointed to administer a measurement and certification scheme. The CMWP was expanded to include the ACMSs and met at intervals to monitor progress.

Administration, training and certification was devolved to the Area and Celtic Associations (North, Midlands, South, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland). The costs of operating the system were borne by the Area Associations out of the race licence fee income. This arrangement continued unchanged when the British Athletic Federation (BAF) assumed responsibility for athletics in the UK and the CMWP continued to meet annually to review the system.

With the demise of BAF in 1998, UKA assumed responsibility for athletics and CMWP continued to coordinate course measurement nationally on an informal basis for a number of years while UKA established its organisation. The Area Associations continued to finance and administer course measurement. Around 2008, UKA took central control of road race licensing and funding for course measurement.

In 2010, following pressure from UKA, the CMWP established the Association of UK Course Measurers (AUKCM) with all existing measurers as members and the CMWP continuing as the committee of the Association. Funding continued to be via expenses paid to CMWP members by UKA. With decreasing budget allowances from UKA, AUKCM decided in 2016 to self-finance on the basis of a measurement registration fee for the inclusion of a measurement in the certification system. AUKCM was restructured in 2017 as a company limited by guarantee.

Relationships and Agreements

AUKCM is recognised by UKA as the authority on road race course measurement in the UK. The Association provides advice and guidance to governing bodies, race promoters and runners via the course measurement website and in response to queries.

AUKCM has agreements with UKA, England Athletics, Welsh Athletics, Scottish Athletics and the Association of Running Clubs (ARC) to operate a measurement system and issue course measurement certificates on their behalf. The bodies have agreed to pay the measurement registration fee for events which they licence. AUKCM only certifies courses for licensed events.

AUKCM does not charge for or carry out measurements. Once accredited, measurers operate on a voluntary basis as independent agents, appointed by and working for race directors. They negotiate their charges and expenses with the race director. Measurers submit their report to the race director, with a copy to the ACMS if certification is required.

AUKCM publishes on its websites locations and contact details of all accredited measurers and guidelines on the current level of charges and expenses.