Competition Guidelines

Christchurch Runners

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


The most popular event!!! Contrary to popular opinion this is not the event EVERY week!

Seriously, this is probably the most difficult event to ensure an equable result since the performance of a runner over the sprint distance is often considerably different to their performance over the race course. The most important thing is to try to have a method of varying the handicap during the event.

Some formats which have been used in the past are :

Basic Sprints - Have several starting points (about five yards apart) for a 300-400 yard sprint. Each runner is assigned a starting position based on their handicap. The races then consist of three or four runners at a time with points dependent on your position in the race. The organiser must then use his judgement to decide on the fairness of the starting position an move people forwards or backwards dependent on the result of the race. This should in general be that the winner moves back five yards and the last place moves forward five yards, however, if it is a very close finish then no-one needs to move and care should also be taken that any 'slacking' is taken into account. In the early races of a session it may be prudent to move someone by more than one slot. All this must be done by the organiser in an attempt to make every finish a close one. You will never get this to be absolutely fair, but it is better than a fixed handicap where the same people will always win.

Team shuttle runs - These consist of teams of two or three running short (e.g. half the length of the rugby pitch) legs in a relay fashion. The handicapping here is by trying to ensure that as many combinations of team as possible are tried. So the teams are changed after each race. Unless there are only a few runners it will not be possible to cover all the combinations, but again the organiser must try to be as equitable as possible favouring team combinations which he knows will result in a close race over entirely random choices. Points in this are awarded on the position of your team in each race.

Tail End Charlies - As in the basic sprints various start positions are marked out. The whole group is divided into two and several races are run with each half. Only the last person scores a point. The winner is the person with fewest points at the end. Again the handicap should be varied during the event, perhaps by the last person moving forward one (or more) starting positions. For variety the groups should be shuffled at least once during the event to give people a chance to run against a different set of opponents.

Short course multi leg relay - Working on the same basis as the multi leg relay where fastest is teamed with slowest etc., several races of about eight laps of head to head sprinting. This does not work well if the spread of handicaps is not equitable.

How far can you run - A variation of the previous one where teams of three continually lap a short circuit, relaying as often as they like.