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Course

How long is a marathon? How long is a half marathon?

What time does the Start/Finish area open? What time does the race actually start?

How long is the course officially open?

What is the course surface?

Can I run or walk the race barefoot? 

What are the course rules?

Are there any tips regarding race day etiquette?

What is the course elevation?  Where can I get a course map? Can I take a copy of the map out on the course with me?  Is that cheating?

Is the course officially measured and certified? Can I qualify for Boston on your course?

I’m interested in qualifying for the Boston Marathon. What are the qualifying times?

Is your Half Marathon event a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon?

Why does my GPS unit sometimes indicate that I've run further than 42.2 km?

How is the course marked? How far ahead of race day do you mark the course? 

How many aid stations are there on the course? Where are they located? What kinds of drinks do they serve? Are gels available on the course? Can I wear my own "camelback water" container?

Are there clocks out on the course?

Can I wear my iPod or Walkman during the race? I wear it all the time when I am training.

Are there toilet facilities at the Start/Finish area? How about toilets out on the course?

Are post-race shower facilities available at the Finish area?

Is it possible to drive the course? Is there an official course tour?

 

How long is a marathon? How long is a half marathon?

You know, we get this question more often than you might imagine. And, if you're new to the whole running/walking thing, it's a darn good question. Better to ask it now instead of halfway into the race, because you might not like the answer at that point.

An official full marathon is 42.195 kilometers or, if you prefer to use miles, 26 miles and 385 yards. For simplicity's sake, most people just call a full marathon 42.2 km. A half marathon is, you guessed it, half the distance of the 42.2 km full marathon course - 21.1 kilometers, or a little over 13 miles.

The current marathon distance was set for the 1908 London Olympics so that the course could start at Windsor Castle and end in front of the Royal Box at the Olympic stadium. It wasn’t until 1921, however, that the International Association of Athletics Federations, otherwise known as the IAAF, adopted the distance as the “official” marathon distance. I guess between 1908 and 1921, you could just make up something that was “close enough” and call it a marathon. 

The Credit Union Queen City Marathon course has been officially measured and certified by Athletics Canada to be the correct 42.2 km distance. This is commonly known as being "Boston certified" or being a "Boston qualifying race". This means that a runner who finishes the Credit Union Queen City Marathon under a certain time for his/her age can qualify to run in the prestigious Boston Marathon.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD COURSE MAPS AND NARRATIVES.

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What time does the Start/Finish area open? What time does the race actually start?

  • The Start/Finish area opens at 6:30 AM.
  • The race announcer begins officially announcing at 7:00 AM.
  • The Full Marathon Wheelchair event begins at 7:55 AM.
  • The Full Marathon, Half Marathon Run, Sask Egg Producers Half Marathon Walk and Relay Team Marathon events start at 8:00 AM.
  • The 3K McDonald's Mini Marathon event starts at approximately 8:45 AM

NOTE: All times are local Regina time. If arriving in Regina from another province, state or country, please remember to set your alarm to the local time so you don't miss the start of your race.

CLICK HERE for a schedule of events.

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How long is the course officially open?

The Full Marathon course is officially open for 6 hours (8:00 AM - 2:00 PM) and the Half Marathon course is officially open for 4 hours (8:00 AM - NOON). Participants must be able to complete the Full Marathon or Half Marathon within those time parameters. For pace calculations, those 6-hour and 4-hour time limits translate into the following paces:

  • Full Marathon - 8:32 per km (7.03 kph) or 13:44 per mile (4.37 mph)
  • Half Marathon - 11:22 per km (5.28 kph) or 18:18 per mile (3.28 mph)

Aid stations and traffic control close once the last participant has passed, or at 2:00 PM (for the full marathon and relay events) or NOON (for the half marathon events), whichever comes first. After that point, participants still on the course become, essentially, "informed pedestrians" and must abide by regular pedestrian regulations (e.g. using sidewalks, crossing streets at controlled intersections, yielding to vehicle traffic, etc.).

The Credit Union QCM assumes no responsibility (including traffic control, medical and aid station support) for registered participants still out on the course after these times. However, out of respect for the dedication and determination of our most tenacious participants, a skeleton finish line, timing and medical crew will typically remain in place until the final participant crosses the finish line in victory.

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What is the course surface?                                                                            

The running surface is primarily paved pathways, with some residential streets and small sections of crushed-stone pathway. There are some curbs present where pathways merge with streets and vice-versa. There are also some wooden, two-way-single-file pedestrian bridges.

Please be aware of the potential for typical city street pavement variations – bumps, dips, uneven pavement, pebbles, etc. Meanwhile, we’ll keep trying to talk the City of Regina into laying down padded, rubberized track & field surfaces throughout 42.2 km of their city streets and pathways. Wish us luck with that.

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Can I run or walk the race barefoot?

Sure, if that is how you’ve always done it. However, we don’t recommend you waking up on race day and deciding to run 42.2 km barefoot just to see if you like it. Remember, you are running and walking on multi-use pathways and city streets – surfaces over which we have very little influence. Pebbles, uneven pavement and other surprises may be under your feet. You’re probably better off lacing up the running shoes.

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What are the course rules?

To read the course rules, CLICK HERE.

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Are there any tips regarding race day etiquette?

We're very glad you asked. Participating in a race like the Credit Union Queen City Marathon is a social event, where - like it or not - you will be interacting with thousands of fellow participants. A little courtesy and advance knowledge can make the day go smoother for everyone. For some tips on race day etiquette, CLICK HERE.

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What is the course elevation? Where can I get a course map? Can I take a copy of the map out on the course with me?  Is that cheating? 

According to the Internet, Regina's average elevation is 577 meters (1,893 feet) above mean sea level. We have no idea what it is above kind sea level. And that is the extent of our elevation humour. We know…you’re thinking we need a more positive altitude. Get it? Positive ALTITUDE...like, as in, elevation? Oh never mind.

The course starts at an elevation of 579 meters (1,900 feet). The lowest point is 545 meters (1,788 feet) near the 16km mark. The highest point is 617 meters (2,024 feet) near the 28km mark, at the crest of a little hill we call "Mount Milos", in honour of long-time participant/volunteer/multiple World IronMan Champion, Milos Kostic. That works out as an altitude difference of 72 meters (236 feet) over the entire 42.2 km full marathon course. 

Regarding maps, yes, you can print off and take a copy of the map with you during your race. Looking at the map while you run or walk is not cheating. Looking at the map and figuring out shortcuts...that’s cheating. 

CLICK HERE FOR COURSE MAP, NARRATIVE & ELEVATION CHART (PDF files).       

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Is the course officially measured and certified? Can I qualify for Boston on your course?

Boston Marathon NEW.jpg

The Credit Union QCM full marathon course is officially measured and certified by Athletics Canada. Participants who run the Full Marathon within a certain time for their age can qualify to run in the prestigious Boston Marathon.

Our full marathon course certification code is SK-2013-090-BDC. For more information about qualifying for the Boston Marathon, please log on to: www.bostonmarathon.org

And remember to wear your Credit Union QCM shirt when you race in Bean Town!

For those curious, our half marathon course has also been officially measured and certified by Althletics Canada. Our half marathon certification code is SK-2013-089-BDC. However, completing the half marathon course does not qualify you to enter the Boston Marathon. That is only a full marathon event.

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I’m interested in qualifying for the Boston Marathon. What are the qualifying times?

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To find out more about the Boston Marathon, please go to their very informative website: www.bostonmarathon.org

Your Credit Union QCM net/chip time is admissable for qualification.  

Please note that Boston qualifying times are based upon your age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which you will be participating.

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Is your Half Marathon event a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon?

Although our half marathon course has been officially measured and certified by Athletics Canada (certification code SK-2013-089-BDC), the half marathon event at the Credit Union Queen City Marathon is not a Boston qualifying event, because the Boston Marathon does not have a half marathon event.

It's true that the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), the organizing body behind the Boston Marathon, does hold a half marathon race called the B.A.A. Half Marathon, which is held each October.

However, the world-famous Boston Marathon - which you must qualify to enter - is held each April, and it is a full marathon and only a full marathon. There is no half marathon event at the Boston Marathon.

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Why does my GPS unit sometimes indicate that I've run further than 42.2 km?

The full marathon course (this year and all years previous) has been and is officially measured and certified by Athletics Canada as a full 42.2 km marathon course. Recently, our half marathon course was also officially measured and certified.

Our full marathon course certification code is SK-2013-090-BDC and our half marathon course certification code is SK-2013-089-BDC. Including preliminary and final measurements, we would estimate that the entire full course was measured no less that half a dozen times by qualified measurers trained and certified in marathon course measurement by Athletics Canada.

Each year, we field one or two inquiries from participants running with personal GPS units who wonder why their unit says they ran longer than the required distance.

The reasons behind that apparent distance discrepancy are:

Officially measured and certified marathon courses are measured with an industry-standard device known as a Jones Counter. Civilian GPS units (such as those manufactured by Garmin and other companies), can be a good tool for rough estimations, but they are not, frankly, accurate enough for official course measurement. Even the best commercially-available GPS unit is only accurate to about 12 feet at any given time, and can be up to hundreds of feet off in accuracy. 

GPS units must have a clear view of at least three satellites to achieve the triangulation required to read a location. Trees, buildings or even a runner's body can interrupt the signal, however, making the calculation of location less accurate at any time. 

Further, GPS units only check their position periodically, not constantly. Some units check every second, some every 20 seconds. During that interval, the unit loses contact with the satellites, which must relocate the unit the next time the position is checked. During those intervals, the chance for even small inaccuracies to pile up becomes much greater. 

Personal GPS units are good for training and for close approximations, but they are not accurate enough for certification purposes, which is why the Jones Counter device is still the world-wide industry-standard for marathon course measurement.

Also, courses are measured on point-to-point tangents or SPR (Shortest Possible Route), taking a line that cuts all the tangents just one foot from the curb or road/pathway edge. Very few participants - even elite athletes - are able to run completely perfect tangents throughout a 42.2 km distance, particularly when running in a group with other people.

When you take into consideration things like moving to the side to get water from an aid station or to use a portable toilet or to weave around another participant...and then combine those with the inherent inaccuracy of a consumer GPS unit, most participants will find that their GPS unit says they ran farther than 42.2 km during a full marathon.

It's also important to note that, strictly speaking and in accordance with international race course measurement and certification standards, all officially certified courses are, in reality, "long," as a 0.01% Short Course Prevention Factor is added to every course measurement prior to certification to ensure that the course will not come up short and fail to be valid in the case of a record.

If you are interested in downloading an interesting and informative article about Official Course Measurement and why personal GPS measurements may differ, CLICK HERE.

Here is the original link to the article: http://hamptonhalf.com/hamptonhalf-GPS.html

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How is the course marked?  How far ahead of race day do you mark the course? 

The course is marked in both miles and kilometers, painted directly on the running surface and, wherever possible, also marked by signs at the side of the course. In accordance with City of Regina and Wascana Centre regulations, the course surface will not be marked with distances or directions until 7 to 5 days prior to race day. Some old course markings from the previous year may still be visible earlier than that, but the fresh, updated markings won’t be put down until 7 to 5 days before race day.

The Credit Union QCM marks its course with a temporary, biodegradable, spray-on landscape chalk that is environmentally friendly and should disappear from the streets and pathways in a few months. Some guys on the committee tried to convince me it was also mint-flavoured, but I was not about to fall for that... again.

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How many aid stations are there on the course? Where are they located? What kinds of drinks do they serve? Are gels available on the course? Can I wear my own "camelback water" container?

For the answers to these and other aid station-related questions, please CLICK HERE.

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Are there clocks out on the course?

There is a timing clock located at the 21.1 km mark of the full marathon course. Oh and we have one at the finish line, too. That one’s pretty important.

NOTE: The clocks at the finish line and on the course are running on unofficial Gun Time. By unofficial, we mean that the clocks are manually started when the race begins and, while pretty close to official time, they are naturally not perfectly synced up with the computer timing mats.

For more information about the definition of Gun Time and any other timing information, please see the TIMING FAQ section.

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Can I wear my iPod or Walkman during the race? I wear it all the time when I am training.

Please CLICK HERE for the course rules, which includes our policy towards iPods and other portable headphone devices.

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Are there toilet facilities at the Start/Finish area? How about toilets out on the course?

Please CLICK HERE for information regarding toilet facilities at the Start/Finish area and on the course.

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Are post-race shower facilities available at the Finish area?

YMCA smaller logo.jpgThere are no shower facilities at the Credit Union QCM Start/Finish area.

However, after the race, the downtown location of the Regina YMCA has generously agreed to waive their usual day-pass fee, allowing any Credit Union QCM participants to use their shower facilities at no charge.

All you have to do after the race is present your race number at the front desk of the downtown location of the Regina YMCA.

The downtown Regina YMCA is located at 2400 13th Avenue, on the corner of 13th Avenue and Smith Street. In fact, the YMCA is situated just two blocks east of the Regina Running Room store (which is on the corner of 13th Avenue and Albert Street).

Because Albert Street near the Start/Finish area is closed during the race, the quickest way to get to the downtown Regina YMCA from the finish line area is:

  • Go east on 23rd Avenue to Hillsdale Street
  • Turn left (north) onto Hillsdale Street, which becomes Broad Street.
  • Continue on Broad Street until you reach 13th Street (a one-way street heading west)
  • Turn left (west) onto 13th and drive 6 blocks to Smith Street
  • The Regina YMCA is on the corner of Smith and 13th 

This offer only applies on race day. Please show your Credit Union QCM race number at the YMCA front desk and you can use the showers there at no charge, compliments of the fine folks at the downtown Regina YMCA.

I believe that you need to bring your own towel.

We thank the management and staff of the Regina YMCA for allowing you to get as clean and shiny as your finisher medal!

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Is it possible to drive the course? Is there an official course tour?

There is no official course tour offered prior to the race. As to whether it is possible to drive the course, the answer is both yes and no. The Credit Union QCM runs primarily on pedestrian pathways throughout Regina, and therefore only a small percentage of the course can be toured by car.  

On the first half of the course, you can drive:

  • The opening 3 km loop from the Start/Finish line, heading north up Memorial Way (formerly called Saskatchewan Road), curving right onto Lakeshore Drive in front of the Legislative Flower Gardens, then heading down south on Lakeshore drive, towards the pedestrian pathway (a right turn) at Avenue G.
  • The 6 km to 9 km (approx.) section on Wascana Drive east of Broad Street to McDonald Street, then down McDonald Street and around Assiniboine Avenue East to the pedestrian overpass.
  • Assiniboine Avenue from Windfield Road, down Banebury Crescent, Edinburgh Drive into Wetmore Crescent and then into Dorsey Place.

On the second half of the course, you can drive:

  • The far northwest loop from Ritter Avenue and Dorothy Street, north on Sneddon Street, crossing Mikkelson Drive, turning left onto Read Avenue, down Read to Toothill Street, left onto Toothill, down Toothill crossing Mikkelson Drive again, then left onto Ritter Avenue and back to the pathway at Ritter Avenue and Dorothy Street.
  • From the pedestrian bridge at 17th Avenue and Coronation Street, down Coronation Street to Regina Ave, across to Wascana Street and down (which becomes Kings Road), down Kings Road to Lakeview Drive, down and back Lakeview Drive in a short 180-degree turn-around, then turn right onto L’Arche Crescent, crossing Argyle Road onto 24th Avenue, turning left onto Rae Street to 23rd Avenue, then across Albert Street at 23rd Avenue, entering back into Wascana Park at Avenue K, then turning right onto Memorial Avenue to the Start/Finish area just south of the T.C. Douglas Building.

FOR DOWNLOADABLE COURSE MAPS AND COURSE NARRATIVES, CLICK HERE.  

For our out-of-town guests, City of Regina Maps can be viewed at the City of Regina website: www.regina.ca or you can purchase a map of Regina at any local gas station.

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Qualifier for the Boston Marathon