Tallinn Marathon (on Sunday, September 8) course measurements with Hugh Jones
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Tallinn Marathon - Photo: Horst Milde

Tallinn Marathon (on Sunday, September 8) course measurements with Hugh Jones

By GRR 0

This week, AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) measurer-administrator Hugh Jones is visiting Tallinn to officially measure the Tallinn Marathon 42.2km, 21.1km and Optibet 10km courses.

Together with an Estonian apprentice measurer Karen Aau, they have been on the courses since Monday and spent several night hours to avoid the day-time traffic. As Hugh said ‘’Karen is about to become a measurer as we need somebody in this area. He is doing good as Karen is already picking up on my mistakes.’’

Hugh Jones (r.) – Photo: Organisers

Hugh was kind to explain the measuring technique, for which one would need a bicycle, a Jones Counter, some tape and safety equipment as a reflective vest and helmet. The Jones Counter is placed on the bicycle’s front wheel, which follows the direction where the runner would run. The measurements on the counter are recorded in numbers. So that when the bike goes forward the numbers go forward and vice versa. To make the numbers on the counter real in terms of distance one would need to establish a baseline. Baseline is measured out with a tape measurer on a straight section of road with little traffic so one can ride up and down to get an average and then calculate how many digits on the counter makes one meter and then you can calculate how many meters you want.


Jones Counter – Photo: Organisers

When asked, how long does it take to measure a half-marathon distance he said ‘’ This depends if the organizer wants every kilometre marked or every five kilometres, but straight start to finish it would only take an hour and half. But if doing every kilometre mark then about three hours. And even then, if it is not the right distance you would have to think of a way to adjust it and make it right. The physical work is less than the decision-making time.’’

Hugh’s best marathon related memories include winning the Stockholm Marathon twice and winning the London Marathon in his home city with his personal best time of 02:09:24. Being in Tallinn last year, he described the Tallinn Marathon as a community occasion, where everybody is part of it. When asked if he would recommend the Tallinn Marathon, he said ‘’Oh yeah! I mean I haven’t run the marathon myself, but I know the course and is very attractive. The start and finish at Viru Gates is what you need, it a sort of emblem of the city that helps to project the race in a very strong, emotional way.’’

The anniversary scented 2019 program for Tallinn Marathon and Optibet 10km that involves thousands of running enthusiasts and recreational athletes kicks off on Friday, September 6 with the five kilometer We Run Tallinn (Nike Youth Race), continues on Saturday, September 7 with Optibet 10 km, and draws to a close on Sunday, September 8 with the classic marathon (42.2 km) and half marathon (21.1 km).

Cheaper entry fees are valid until the end of August and registration for Tallinn Marathon is available on www.tallinnmarathon.ee


Measuring the Course in Tallinn – Photo: Organisers

Source: Tallinn Marathon

author: GRR