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May 5, 2017

IAAF measurement guru calls Breaking2 course “most accurate marathon”

David Katz isn’t a household name, even in the running world, a world he quietly exercises tremendous power over. He’s one of a handful of IAAF Level A Road Course Measurers, and literally wrote the book on how to certify a course (he lists “Contributor to the USATF Course Measurement Book” in his resume).

To name just a few more of his accolades, he’s of the IAAF Rules Committee, a USATF Rules Committee Member, NYRR’s Technical Consultant and Road Race Measurer (meaning he re-certifies the NYC Marathon each year), has measured Olympic Marathon courses, and…actually, here’s a link to his resume.

And now, he’s been brought on by Nike to ensure that Breaking2 is accurate to a centimeter. (The attempt is still not record eligible due to IAAF Rule 144.2a, prohibiting “pacing in races by persons not participating in the same race…”)

On March 10th, he posted this publicly on his Facebook page, in response to a question about how the course was measured in Monza:

While some of the language there is confusing (item number six in particular; I assume he’s saying that even if the race isn’t IAAF compliant, the course is), it’s nice to get a little clarification on a behind-the-scenes element of the event. With so many questions surrounding the attempt–everything from the performance-enhancing benefits of the shoes being used to a vaguely phrased drug-testing policy–we can at least rest easy knowing that if sub-two is accomplished, the first man to crack that barrier went the full distance.

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