|Page maintained by George R. McConnell||Last updated on : 12/04/05|
There are a number of ways in which the competitions can be arranged in order to give everyone a reasonable chance of winning. The mix of events should be such that there isn't any bias towards particular runners. Some will benefit from one kind of event, for instance some are much better at sprints, others at pace judgement.
The famous (infamous?) fudge factor is a reasonable guide to the relative ranking of the runners. There are now three which should be a good guide to performance over different distances. They are based on running over a particular distance, and are therefore only a good guide to runs over that sort of distance. It is also a 'historic' guide in that its prime purpose is to be used to determine the starting times for the handicap race. It is therefore biased towards giving a standard which the runner will have to do well to achieve, rather than an accurate reflection of how the runner is currently performing. The weightings are all towards the fast runs which the runner has done over the last three months, the last year and ever.
The '100' value was chosen, almost arbitrarily, as being approximately the mid-point of the spread of runners. It equates to a time of twenty three minutes and twenty seconds (about seven minute mile pace) for the race course, six minutes and fifteen seconds for the mile and forty seven minutes and thirty seconds for the 10k.
The fudge factor for a team depends on the particular event and these are described in the rules for the individual events. Other ways of making individual events fairer to all are included in the particular event description.
It is therefore imperative that the organiser is clear what is going to happen and that they communicate that in a clear way to the participants. By all means add those little extra twists to the rules which add that little bit of spice (and confusion), but try to keep the explanations straightforward and stick to the essential information.
When issuing the results, try to ensure that it is clear how the results were calculated, otherwise you will get everyone phoning you up to ask for clarification.