Computomarx Steeplechase Courses were designed to correct the two
chief problems in constructing a steeplechase course. These problems
Accurate measurement of the water jump
approach and return so that a true 3000 meters is run. Many
steeplechase courses are set out using methods which either:
measure the approach and return with a wheel
drive pins in the track the required distance out from the
curb and measure around them with a tape
join the water jump to the track with circular arcs which do
not join smoothly to the track as discussed below
The first two methods cannot be done
with proper accuracy, and all errors in measurement are multiplied by
seven since the water jump is negotiated seven times in the race.
The joining of the water jump approach and
return to the main track such that no abrupt changes in curvature or
"corners" are present. Mathematically speaking, this says that the
first derivatives of the track and paths to the water jump must be
continuous at their junctures. Improper joining of the approach and
return paths to the track requires the athletes to slow down and run
wide twice each time the water jump is negotiated, a total of fourteen
times. Obviously this condition results in slower times for the race.
Computomarx Steeplechase Courses solve both of these problems at
once by one of three methods.
Using portions of ellipses for the
water jump approach and return for either interior or exterior water
Circular arcs joined by a straight
section primarily for interior jumps
Extended straightaways with circular
arcs of the same radius as that of the main track joining the jump for
exterior water jumps.
Since all three paths can be described by mathematical formulae it is
possible to calculate with a computer the length of the paths very
precisely. The parameters describing the various path types are chosen
so that the two paths join smoothly with the track and water jump. The
different types of steeplechase courses have various advantages and
disadvantages which must be weighed by the customer. The Computomarx
elliptical paths have the most runner friendly curvature and to our
eyes are the most aesthetic in appearance, but can take more time to
lay out and explain to a certifier.