When is a mile not a mile ?

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09/11/2002 at 12:40
I originally measured the mile I'm killing myself to run faster over in the Rover - old clockwork mileometer.

By chance this week I re-measured it in the newer Peugeot with all singing all dancing computer thingy on it. It came to just over 1.1 miles. I measured it again 3 times - driving fast and slow just in case it made a difference (!) and it still came to just over 1.1miles. Suddenly, over night I'd transformed from someone unable to do 10min miles to someone romping round in 8min 14secs/mile. Paula watch out!!

Boy was I made up. Then reality struck a chord - who's to say the new computer mile gauge was the correct one? So I rang the garage - they said an error of up to 15% was acceptable!!! It isn't to me...I pay by the mile for my car quite apart from the running implications!

So I borrowed a wheely measuring thing from the LA and have just come back from measuring it.

RELIEF !!!!its 1671m = 1.0381 miles.

Could have been much much worse eg just under a mile - in which case I'd've had to move the dead badger which is one of my markers........

So just as a word of warning..if you think you've done a 20 mile run - accurately measured on your car - it might have been 17 miles - or 23 !
09/11/2002 at 15:59
I use a combination of maps, pacing and the computer on my bike to measure distance. Taking an average of all types works quite well, I find :)
09/11/2002 at 16:46
Hi, I generaly use the bike to measure my routes as well, and check it with a map, obviously the map measurement should always be shorter as there is no allowance for hills, so this is a good back-up.

Glad your route was over the mile :)
09/11/2002 at 17:14
Must admit to being borderline obsessive/compulsive on this one. I have 2 choices when I want to know the exact distance either:
1. use a track
2. run on a 4 mile that I accurately measured and marked in 0.5 mile increments using a GPS (sad I know, but I got really into the Garmin eTrex and just had to get one).

The marked route is along a canal (so totally flat) and I find it really useful for tempo runs, making a reasonable estimate of average pace during a long run and even speedwork if I don't feel like to going to the track or can't get there.

you should be well-chuffed that your marked distance was over a mile, it's always great when it turns out you're going faster than you think ;-)
09/11/2002 at 17:20
SS - I dipped into the Sean Fishpool's HR thread yesterday...you are truly awesome, I can't BELIEVE how hard you are working!
09/11/2002 at 17:31
I marked out mile markers on a regular route once with blue spray paint markings here and there.

When I came past another day, the Water Board had crossed them all out!

I guess blue paint marks on the path must mean the water pipes need repairing?

09/11/2002 at 20:54
Mauve man, brilliant idea......
09/11/2002 at 21:11
Brilliant idea, except use a different colour than blue, or you'll confuse the water board into digging up your running route...
09/11/2002 at 22:19
If you use yellow for the route it might stop cars parking in your way too ;-)
10/11/2002 at 09:21
I have a feeling other boards use different colours - I saw a pavement covered in blue, yellow, green and all sorts of colours, and over the next few weeks vans from various boards pulled up and people digging.

How about the dead badger idea?

Accurate to within 15% is a bit poor - next to useless in fact!
10/11/2002 at 10:40
Yes Iain, you're right:

Blue is Water
Yellow is Gas
Red is Electricity
Green is (I think) telecoms
Highways seem to use white

All these paints are biodegradeable, so they gradually disappear (if they're not dug up!)

I suspect it may be an offence to mark the road or pavement for running purposes.....

Regarding measurement by car, in addition to the inherent lack of accuracy it will also make quite a difference if the tyres are under or over-inflated.
10/11/2002 at 15:06
Although race organisers are allowed to spray paint the road, they must get permission from the police or someone though, maybe!
10/11/2002 at 17:05
Hi Shattered Shins ,intresting thread, I as wondering if you had any spare dead badgers as they are in short supply in Birmingham. If not would dead squirrels be a good substitute? Does any one else have any strange mile markers?
10/11/2002 at 18:06
Hi B'ham Snail

Loads of spare dead badgers up here, I wonder if I could post one to you! And strangely even more dead rats - this last week I've seen close to 15 rats - dead or alive - and that's not counting the 2 legged variety. Must be cos its so warm and wet ? Horrible.

Trickle - thanks!
11/11/2002 at 05:28
Bugger! God knows what distances I've been running then. I've got an old Mazda and I'm sure the speedometer can't be that accurate. I'll have to measure it with another car. Bah.
11/11/2002 at 08:13

It would be useful to know if it is illegal or is OK to put a small marker of paint on the public footpath (other than in blue, yellow, red, green or white of course, if those colours have been claimed by the statutory undertakers) by way of mile markers.

Other groups seem to mark their territory with bubble gum, doggie do, broken glass and old fridges on the public highway, so an occasional paint marker seems fairly innocuous by comparison?

There aren't going to be enough dead badgers to go round, if that is the sole permissible method for runners to mark out their turf. No point in knowing what a mile is if you can't remember where each one ends.

11/11/2002 at 12:38
See its threads like this that make me realise people who run have insufficient to think about
11/11/2002 at 12:51
does anyone know why - usually out in the middle of nowhere - theres suddenly a 'start of measured mile' post then (presumably a mile later if the measurer was sober) an 'end of measured mile' post??

marker - maybe thats a good use of ones old trainers? you could either string them together and hoof em up a tree, or over the telephone wires, or throw one on someones guttering. These seem to stay around forever !!
11/11/2002 at 13:16
I confess to being a teeny bit obsessive about the whole distance thing. So much so that I'm tempted to ask Santa for one of those Nike Triax things featured in this month's RW. Although I suspect that Santa will tell me that £220 for a 'gadget' is a bit steep, and what's wrong with the marked piece of paper I've been using to measure distance up to now?
11/11/2002 at 14:35
Yes i like the sound of the timex
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