When small mom-and-pop races, as he calls them, come to Jim Gilmer for help with course creation, operational set-up, and logistics, they almost always have a general idea of what they want to do.

“It’s unusual to have no idea,” he said. Gilmer measures and certifies courses, as well as helps RDs with course design and operational set-up.

That means new would-be race directors typically have a park or a bridge or a popular loop or a finishing spot by a memorial, for example, in mind. They have some general idea in their head. What they need help with is how to firm that idea up, how to create a course in the real world, and knowing what issues to look out for.

Where are you going to start and finish?