Running GPS vs Certified Running Course

When you finish the length of a half marathon, why doesn’t your GPS say exactly 13.1 miles?

There is nothing more gratifying than finishing a race. You made the conscious decision to become an active person. You trained for months and ran for countless hours, wiping sweat off your forehead, pushing through every ache and pain in your body. Each step another victory all in its own. But then there is that bit of disappointment after course running when you check your GPS watch or smartphone app, and the distances don’t match! You trained to run 26.2 miles, but your GPS distance says 26.8. Or maybe your GPS distance says 26.0, and you feel as though you lose the right to claim that you finished a full marathon length.

Many runners experience this dilemma of having their personal GPS devices not read the official length of the running course. It is important to realize the limitations of your personal GPS and take full pride in the victory you have just accomplished. The infographic, Running GPS vs. Course Length, shows how certified running courses are methodically measured and explains why your GPS distance may not always match the official course distance.

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