Hinson Lake ultra = 1.5032 miles

Updated Aug. 5 at 9:10 a.m. 

Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — Veteran course measurer Brad Smythe finished counting the steps around Hinson Lake Saturday morning in order to gain a true distance for runners entered in the 9th annual Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Brad Smythe finishes up a second loop of measuring the tangents of the inner loop around Hinson Lake.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Brad Smythe finishes up a second loop of measuring the tangents of the inner loop around Hinson Lake.

The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 — 55 days, 11 hours and 53 minutes from now (8:06 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2).

While the distance used in years past to track runners’ performances has been 1.52 miles, the actual distance could be slightly shorter. Confirmation of that could come in early August. Update: On Tuesday, race director Jerry Lindstrand provided the official distance for the inner loop: 1.5032 miles. Until this year’s event, the distance of 1.52 — a difference of 0.0168 — had been used as the accepted distance.

Further, Smythe recorded the highest elevation point at the top of “Mount Hinson” to be 71 meters above sea level; the lowest, 66  meters. The 5-meter difference is truly felt as the hours pass.

“As we suspected, the distance came up a little shorter than previously measured,” Lindstrand posted on the event’s Facebook page. “This is due to the way the course was measured as well as some widening of portions of the trail, and the changes made when the levee was rebuilt two years ago. Past mileage records will not change and we will use the certified distance going forward.”

Once Smythe completes his paperwork, the course will earn USATF certification. Elite runners then can use results from this race to qualify for other races. Smythe has helped dozens of race courses across North Carolina earn USATF certification.

Smythe, 36, of Raleigh, finished up his work with the Jones Counter around 8 a.m. The Jones Counter is the American and international standard for course measurement. He then took advantage of unseasonably cool temperature to log a few miles with Lindstrand.

More than 370 runners are expected to toe the start line in September to see how far they can go in a 24-hour period.

Filed in: Sports

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