Competition Guidelines

Christchurch Runners

Page maintained by George R. McConnell Last updated on : 12/04/05


It has been suggested to me by a few people that I ought to produce a note which covers both the rules which govern the competition and some guidelines for the benefit of those who might like to organise an event. I shall endeavour to keep these pages up to date by adding new events as and when they are introduced into the programme.

General Guidelines

For those who do not already know, the events happen on every Wednesday when there is not a race with the exception of the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year - if anyone needs an explanation of what happens if there is no Wednesday between Christmas and New Year then I shall be pleased to provide one!!! As our regular race takes place on the first Wednesday of each month there are usually three or four training events in the month.

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.

Applying the Fudge Factor

The fudge factor is applied by taking the actual time achieved in an event, dividing it by the fudge factor and then multiplying the result by 100 to obtain an amended time. This has the effect of increasing the time for the faster runners (fudge factor less than 100) and decreasing the time for the slower runners. Anybody who is running for the first time can be assumed to have run at their handicap time, therefore their time after applying the fudge factor is the same as their time before applying it.

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.


Whether you are organising or participating please try to comply with the event's scheduled start. If the event is starting anywhere other than at the changing rooms then try to warn people of that so that they can allow a little extra time. Some people have got tight schedules at lunchtime, so anything which helps to ensure that the event takes place promptly and does not drag on will help.

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 contacting you to ask for clarification.


New events are always welcome, and if likely to be repeated I shall attempt to add to these pages. If you have a new event let the calendar organiser know and we will try to include it in the next quarter.