Historical Perspective by Paul Riefberg

Course Measurement by GPS: Why it isnít as accurate as a certified course.

When Jim DeBortoli appealed to the club to get more race directors, 1982 maybe?, I was the first to stand up and volunteer.

After that, he had me to his home to review all that was needed to direct a race, and then I proceeded to direct 3-Winter Runs 1983-5, and 6-Heritage Museum Runs 1983-88.

Putting up with Bobby Jackson, who knew not a thing about what happens in running races, going to the guy he sent me to for printing, Allstate beverage for coordinating the beer, and so on. Meeting Greg Calhoun at his office (Calhoun Superfoods) to review all the race arrangements and maintain his support. Answering questions to sponsors as to where their logo will be on the T-shirts.

When Johnny from Johnny's Trophies had a heart attack, part of the team on short notice assembling the trophies he would normally have assembled.

All my articles and race results for the newsletter, lots of work and very enjoyable.  Doing the summer track series and getting the medals for that.

Always with my wheel, not to certify, but to authenticate the distance, who wants to run a PR and then learn the course was short?

This happened to me, by the way. My 2:42:38 at the 1977 Long Island Marathon, in my view was short. Right after the finish, quite a number of us agreed it could not be the full distance. At first I settled on a full mile short and converted the time to 2:49:05. Years later, I inquired and learned the race was uncertified.  The winner ran 2:21, and his prior PR was 2:29. My prior PR was 2:48:57 at Jersey Shore.  After much communication with those who certify, I got a very well educated, but alas still a guess, the course was 400-800 meters short, and so I now call 2:45:48 my PR, 800 meters short from 2:42:38---although from a certified course standpoint, my PR is 2:47:43 at Huntsville, also in 1977.

Also I directed the 1984 Alabama Special Olympics Torch Relay, the portion from the Governor's mansion to the Lee county line.

I volunteered for countless races, and officiated at the indoor meets at Garett Coliseum numerous times.

You remember the times at the Standard Motor Products conference room, several of us going over the labels and coordinating the newsletter bulk mailings.

I had some equipment responsibility, and made the equipment available for races. Meeting Richard Ogle and others when they needed our equipment, keeping everything stocked as needed so race day could go without a hitch.

After borrowing the BTCs and Dothan's overhead clock numerous times, on a trip to Long Island, I brought back literature and reported my impressions on the overhead clock they showed me, which the club ultimately purchased.

And who can forget, in 1984 when the Montgomery cable station did not cover the women's Olympic Trials marathon from Olympia, WA, a bunch of us drove to a hotel in Auburn, to watch the trials and see Joan Benoit win, just 17-days after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

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