Running : Distance and timer only start way past the start line

Already raised in “Running”, here - Run events - why does distance/timer not start counting up as you cross the start line? - but i now wish to raise it as a bug.

Running events are commonly to an exact distance and runners train and time their performance to those exact distances. Why, then, does a 5k running event on Zwift end up as 5.2k or 5.1k or some other random value, since the timer only starts counting some time (hundreds of meters potentially) after the start line in the pen?

I’m not a very good runner and if I’m trying to pace and improve my 5k times it is unhelpful to have the timer starting at some random point after the start banner in the pen. Why can’t a 5k run be exactly that, etc etc for other distances?

This isnt a bug. Its how every event in Zwift works.

Maybe so, but does that make it a good idea? I agree it’s not a bug if it conforms to the system spec.

Did somebody really specify that events start at a random point after the start line? What’s wrong with the start line? Adding 400m to a 5k run is not the same as adding a couple of hundred meters to a 30k ride.

The lead-in is not random - it’s published as part of the route info. An easy way to view the lead-in distance is to look on the ZwiftHacks routes app.

Event organizers could choose to place the finish line 400m before the route ends, if there’s a 400m lead in. But that would mean getting the route badge would require continuing past the event finish line for another 400m.

(I’m also not a fan of lead-ins but they’re not unintended or random)

No, I’m not talking about the lead-in before the start of a route.

For running the clock starts ticking in the middle of a stretch of road some time after the start banner. You have no way to know when the timer will begin to count up. You just run and run and run until at some point the clock starts ticking. There are no visual references. No lead-in specified. You choose, for example, to run a 5k event but in order to finish you must run more than 5k.

There is no need for it to be this way, so why is it this way?

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The timer and distance counters always start on the white line across the road at the exit from the start pens, don’t they?

This is btw a bit weird for cycling events as well, as it means that the elapsed time on your screen shows ~5 seconds less than the event timing. For large running events I believe this kind of timing is actually normal, as in a large crowd it can take minutes before you even reach the timer start gate (many events publish both times).

I think this is ultimately to avoid discrepancies between various pens and to standardise the distance for all.

Agree it isnt necessarily graceful but it’s basically the best solution.