by Sam Dolinar
This course uses green dots to identify distances. These dots are each about 2.5 inches in diameter, and are spray painted onto the sides of the road. The start and turn-arounds use double green dots, which are placed in pairs, and appear on either side of the road. The two turn-around points are each 1/2 mile from the start.
Here's the original flyer from 1985 describing the Green Dot Course, along with Jim Ulvestad's wry analysis of "unmodelled effects" when running the Green Dot Course.
The Running Club's official 2-mile course is as follows:
Go up the paved road from the East Lot to the Arroyo road. Turn right (South). Within 100 yards you will find a telephone pole with transformers opposite the Water Treatment Building. Look for 2 green dots (on either side of the road) just 15 feet South of this pole. Set your fancy Timex watches/chronographs - this is the start! Go!!
Run North (up the canyon) along the paved road for 1/2 mile. You will pass a bridge with a wooden floor, then a stone wall on the left (West) side of the road as the road bends sharply to the right. 19 feet past the end of this wall you will find the turn-around markers (double green dots). Soooo.. turn around (what else???)
Retrace your steps, running past the start, then continue toward Windsor/Ventura streets for an additional 1/2 mile. The turn-around markers (double green dots) are 11 inches shy of a small yellow pole just before the gate at Windsor/Ventura streets. Turn around!!
Retrace your steps again, stopping at the start line where you began (double green dots near telephone pole opposite Water Treatment Building). Stop your timers and record your time. You've done it.
P.S. It's also OK to run this course in reverse, i.e., run to the South turn-around first, then to the North turn-around, then back to start.
P.P.S. If you want to minimize turn-arounds (but maximize the distance to your starting line!), you're also permitted to start at either the North or South turn-around, then run to the opposite turn-around, then return to the turn-around where you started. (All of these legal options cover exactly 2 miles, with no net uphill or downhill.)