Harriers Handicap Scheme

2020 is the 17th year of the competition. It is based on a handicap system devised by Mike Shipway. Every first claim member in the Club has a chance to win irrespective of ability, and the competition should provide an incentive for all members to run in as many races as possible. This competition is a bit of fun and should not be taken too seriously as we acknowledge that there are shortcomings in the system. If you have any suggestions for the improvement of the competition please contact Mike Shipway and your comments will be considered for future years.

Handicap Races for 2020 (Best 12 of 17 races to count)

(01) Banbury 15 – March 15th
(02) White Horse Half Marathon – April 5th (CANCELLED)
(03) Charlton-on-Otmoor Mota-Vation – April 30th (CANCELLED)
(04) County Road Relays – May 3rd
(05) Banbury 5 – June 2nd – (CANCELLED)
(06) Otmoor Challenge – June 6th – (CANCELLED)
(07) Thame 10K – June 28th
(08) Didcot 5 – July 5th
(09) Hornton 6 – July 18th
(10) Hooky 6 – August 2nd
(11) Alchester 5K – August 12th
(12) Headington 5 – August 30th
(13) Witney 10 – September 5th
(14) Woodstock 12 – September 13th
(15) Hanney 5 – October 4th
(16) Eynsham 10K – November 29th

(17) Any Marathon

The Table (2020)

PositionNameNumber of racesTotal Points
1James Bolton125
2Tom Preskett124
3Adam Smith123
4Dave Cantwell122
5Alan Harrison121
6Leo Brooke-Little120

Banbury 15 Breakdown

Previous Harriers Handicap Scores

The Rules The basis of the handicap, will be each member’s 2019 best performance for 10K. Some members have run a 10K but, for those who have not, the nearest equivalent distance will be taken as the basis (i.e. 4,5 or 6 miles). Those who do not have an appropriate qualifying time in 2019 will be given a handicap as soon as his/her next appropriate race is completed.(No new handicaps will be given after 10 races have been completed, and no new entrants to the competition will be allowed). Taking the fastest 10K or equivalent time, the average time taken per kilometer is calculated (see below under average per kilometer). The fastest time is allocated as the standard/base time. Other times are then compared with the base time and given a factor to equate with the standard. For example: James Bolton’s fastest time for 10K in 2019 was 33:19 which is 3.317 mins per kilometer. Dave Cantwell’s fastest time was 36:59 which is 3.698 mins per kilometer. Jess Webb’s fastest time was 38:03 which is 3.805 mins per kilometer. Using James Bolton’s handicap as 100% Dave’s handicap will be 90.1% and Jess’ 87.6%. In all future races these handicaps will be used to determine performance against standard. If James runs 35:50 minutes in his next  race, Dave runs 38:20 and Jess runs 40:15 the handicap times will be as follows: James 35:50 x 100% = 35:50,  Dave 38:20 x 90.1% = 34:32 Jess 40:15 x 87.6% = 35:16. Dave is, therefore, fastest on handicap and will receive more points than either James or Jess.

How the points are calculated For each Club Championship race 25 points are awarded for the fastest handicapped time, decreasing to 1 point for the 25th fastest. If there are only 5 Woodstock runners in the race, then the fastest will receive 25 points and the slowest 21 points. If there are 30 members in the race then those who finish from 26th to 30th will receive no points.

Results from the best 12 of the 17 races will be used to determine the competition winners. This allows for holidays & injuries and rewards the regular participant.

System Shortcomings One weakness of this system is that it is based on results from 2019 and if anyone has dramatically improved since the previous time was registered, then the handicap will appear generous. Likewise, if someone’s fitness has deteriorated, perhaps due to injury, then they would have no realistic chance in the competition. A review of the handicaps will, therefore, be carried out in August after race 12 to adjust any glaring anomalies. No new entries to the competition will be allowed after race 10.

Prizes Inscribed trophies will be awarded to the competition winner, runner-up and third place after the last race in November. Good Luck! Everyone has a chance to win – so go for it! The Club’s officials and committee members reserve the right to vary these rules from time to time and their decision is final in any dispute.