SANCTIONING / INSURANCE
Sanctioning is a process of listing your race with USA Track and Field. There is a form to complete, which is essentially an agreement to operate by the USATF rules and standards. While this adds a prestigious credential to your race, the biggest benefit is that it enables you to purchase liability insurance. Many events find themselves in need of a policy, and USATF offers good coverage.
More info: USATF website.
COURSE DATABASE SEARCH
Here's a link to USATF Certified Courses.