Valley

Striders

Grand Prix

Handbook

Major revision Dec 2004

Minor revisions for 2006/2008/2009/2012/2013 championships

Updated 21 Sep 13

The Grand Prix was started in 1989 and is reviewed on an annual basis. 

Significant changes have been made to the format with effect from 2002 and 2005. 

Summaries of the changes introduced for 2005, 2006 and 2008 and 2009 and 2013 and 2013 are at the end of this document.

Purpose

The Grand Prix aims

  • to encourage club members to participate in a variety of local and key events during the year.
  • to encourage club members to participate in different types of running - road, cross-country, trail, fell
  • to create friendly rivalry through the award of points which accumulate over events to produce a performance score at the end of the year.
  • to encourage a good turn out of club members at these events raising prospects for improving club team placings.
  • to create a sense of comradeship at events.
  • to encourage improvement in personal performances.

Races to be incorporated in the Grand Prix

The number of events to be incorporated is currently approx 28 each year, from the following categories:

  • Short road races – 5k, 5 mile and 10k
  • Medium road races – 10 mile and half marathon
  • Long on and off road races – 15 mile, 20 mile and marathon
  • Trail & Fell
  • Cross-Country
  • V S Handicap races

The season runs from 1 December one year to 30 November the next.  This enables the awards for one year to be presented at the Christmas Dinner whilst allowing two of our most popular events (the Chevin Chase and the Xmas Handicap) to be included in (next year's) GP.

The GP sub-committee will attempt to decide the majority of events in advance, but some may be marked as provisional.  These would mostly be based on popularity in previous years, but consideration would also be given to new local events. Suggestions are encouraged from club members for the inclusion of events not on the list.  Such suggestions may only be incorporated as long as good advance notification is given.

Awarding of Points

100 points are awarded to the fastest runner in an event followed by 99 for the second and so on,

·         so in a race with 31 Striders the last runner scores 70.

As good notice will always be given of forthcoming qualifying events there will be no minimum restriction on the number of Striders participating for points to be awarded.  Thus in a turnout of one that runner would score maximum points.

(new rule 2009) However, in a race where 20 or fewer Striders compete, points are scaled down as follows

·         In a race with 20 or fewer Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 80 and the others are equally spaced.

·         So in a race with 5 Striders, the scores would be 100,95,90,85 with 80 for last

·         The confirmed method is basically the same as the method of the last 21 years, but does not give over-generous scores in races where only a few Striders running.

(new rule 2013) However, in a race where 51 or more Striders compete, points are scaled up as follows

·         In a race with more than 51 Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 50 and the others are equally spaced.

·         So in a race with 76 Striders, the scores would be 100,99,99,98,97,97,  down to final places of 52,51,51,50.

·         The confirmed method is basically the same as the method of the last 21 years, but does not give too small a score in races where lots of Striders running.

Group Awards  (including amendments 2012)

There are 6 groups A-F. All club members will be entered into the Grand Prix automatically and will be placed in a group based on their best performance from the Performance Database over the previous year.

The placing will be based on their pace per mile with groups being based on bandings of 30 second intervals with Group A being sub-6 minute mile, B being 6:00 – 6:30 mile pace , C being 6:30 – 7:00 mile pace, D being 7:00 – 7:30 mile pace, E being 7:30 – 8:00 mile pace, F being slower than 8:00 mile pace. NB Adjustments will not be made for hilly courses!

Groups will be set and published at the start of the year. (It doesn't matter that the number of runners in each group may be different).

New-comers (and other Striders with no recent form) will be placed into group "U" (unclassified) until they have run 3 races and then their grouping assessed on this performance.  This way new club members have the opportunity to complete a qualifying number of events if they join the club mid way through the year.

Runners must run a minimum of 8 events to qualify for any award. For each runner we will calculate a total being the total of their best 8 points scores with the following conditions

  • The 8 scores must come from at least 5 different categories. So if for example, a runner's 5th category is his 9th best score, the calculation will exclude the 8th best and include the 9th best
  • If a runner races in fewer than 5 categories, his/her total will be reduced by 5 points per category less than 5 (e.g. by 10 points if only 3 categories run)

The runner scoring the most points (on this basis) in each group become the group winner, and the runner with most points overall becomes Valley Striders Grand Prix Champion of Champions.

Group winners, other than of group A, will automatically be promoted to the group above for the following year.

Other awards

There will also be titles for Ladies Champion, Men's Vet (O-40) Champion, Men's Vet (O-50) Champion and Ladies Vet (O-35) Champion. All of these will be calculated on the best 8 scores from at least 5 categories as above.

There is no best handicap points award - the Handicap Cup is the prime award in this category and is held for 3 months by each winner.

No Strider can win more than one award (group, sex, or age). The sequence of allocation is Champion of Champions, Ladies Champion, Vets (3), Groups (5).  So for example if group C is won by the MV50 champion, this person takes the MV50 award and also is promoted to group B next year, but does not take group C, nor does the runner up in group C win an award.

Publicising events in the Grand Prix

The Newsletter will be used to publicise forthcoming events and invite suggestions. Information will also be sent out by e-mail. Forthcoming races will be announced at the club each Tuesday. A folder of entry forms for GP events will be held at the club. The practice of handing out a results sheet periodically will continue although this will revert to the previously used format of showing scores and positions by groups rather than across the whole club.

An explanatory note of the Grand Prix competition will be included in the information presented to each new member in the future.

As always, at least one competitor at each Grand Prix event should ensure they obtain at least one set of results to forward to Bob Jackson.

Grand Prix Co-ordinators

The Grand Prix co-ordinators are responsible for selecting events, collecting results and resolving queries. They will call upon the sub-committee to meet as appropriate.

Questions and Answers

Q1. Why aren't handicaps scored on finishing position rather than time?

A1 Because of the difficulty of providing a fair handicap. Two runners in the same group could score 20 points difference purely because of an inaccurate handicap.

Q2 Why are fell races in the Grand Prix when no-one runs them?

A2 To encourage Striders to run them. Before we put cross-country races in the GP a few years ago, we struggled to get a men's team of 6 and usually had 4-6 ladies. Now the cross-countries are among the more popular events and we rarely miss getting a team out.

Q3 Why aren't women scored separately e.g 100 for 1st woman, 99 for 2nd etc

A3 Because we'd then have to do the same for all the other groups i.e. the age groups (MV40), and the "pace" groups (A-F). Runners would get 3 different scores for each event! Too difficult to administer (and explain!)

Q4 How are points allocated for cross-country when the men and women run different races and different distances?

A4 On pace. This is easy where the men and women run a different number of laps of the same course - the women's time is just scaled up. Otherwise we guess the distances and calculate accordingly.

Q5 Why are there so many races?

A5 There are two reasons. Some runners only run road and handicap races, others only run off-road - reducing the number of races overall would make it difficult for these runners to achieve their 8 races. Also it gives new members joining up to May or June plenty of opportunity to run 8 races.

Q6 Is it possible to win a prize by only running 8 races?

A6 Quite possible. Two winners in 2001 only ran 8 races. But past experience has shown that most group winners have run at least 10 races.

Q7 Why are there fell races in the GP when there is a separate Fell Championship?

A7 We have now introduced corresponding awards for road races and off-road (trail and x-c) races to balance this out.

Q8 Do second claim members qualify for Grand prix points?

A8 Second claim members definitely score points in club handicaps and in races where they run in a Striders vest (e.g. Jerry Watson in cross-country). Other than this, they do not score points.

Q9 Do new members joining from another club and under the 9 month rule qualify for points?

A9 Yes.

Details of changes by year

Summary of Changes for 2005

Following a comprehensive review, the Grand Prix format for 2005 has been amended as follows:

·         Short Road - 5 races instead of 4

·         Medium Road - 5 races instead of 4

·         Long –

o        includes road and off-road events;     

o        Spen 20 and East Hull 20 to count as one race, best overall time qualifies for 100 points etc;

o        best notified marathon time, other than London, per member will count, overall fastest time will qualify for 100 points etc.

·         Trail and Fell - Combined into one category of 5 races

·         There are now 6 categories (previously there were 7). A minimum of 5 categories should be completed otherwise 5 penalty points will be deducted per category missed.

These changes have been made to try and encourage more members to compete in at least 8 GP races.  The total number of Grand Prix events remains at 28. 

Summary of Changes for 2006

Following a further review, the Grand Prix format for 2006 has been amended as follows:

·         Short Road - 6 races instead of 5

·         Medium Road - 6 races instead of 5

·         Long – unchanged from 2005 - still 5 races road and off-road and including Any Other Marathon

·         Trail and Fell - Remains as one category, increased to 6 races

·         There are still 6 categories. A minimum of 5 categories should be completed otherwise 5 penalty points will be deducted per category missed.

These changes have been made to try and encourage even more members to compete in at least 8 GP races.  The total number of Grand Prix events has been increased to 31, but it is still minimum 8 to count. 

Summary of Changes for 2008

The only changes made concern the “Groups”.

We are continue to group according to pace and the top 3 bands have not changed.  The band D/E border has been changed from 7:30 to 7:40 to get approximately equal numbers in groups D and E.

Rather than making “adjustments made for hilly courses”, we are now using all of the Performance Data.  We have an accurate way of converting the pace for 10k to paces for other distances.  This is the table we have used:

Group

Percent

 

5K

5M

10K

10M

Half

Mara

10k

 

 

World Rec

00:12:54

00:21:20

00:26:51

00:44:23

00:59:13

02:04:55

Pace

A

72.06%

 

00:17:54

00:29:36

00:37:16

01:01:35

01:22:11

02:53:21

00:06:00

B

66.52%

 

00:19:24

00:32:04

00:40:22

01:06:43

01:29:01

03:07:48

00:06:30

C

61.77%

 

00:20:53

00:34:32

00:43:28

01:11:51

01:35:52

03:22:14

00:07:00

D

56.40%

 

00:22:52

00:37:50

00:47:37

01:18:42

01:45:00

03:41:30

00:07:40

Striders who ran 3 or more races in 2007 are graded according to their best performance in 2007.

For Striders running less than 3 in 2007 (including those who joined in 2008), we use the first 3 recorded and grade from the best of these

Summary of Changes for 2009

The only change made was for the scoring of races where 20 or fewer Striders run.

·         In a race with more than 20 Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the second scores 99, the third scores 98 etc.

·         but in a race with 20 or fewer Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 80 and the others are equally spaced.

·         So in a race with 25 Striders, the scores would be 100,99,98, down to final places of 78,77,76.

·         and in a race with 5 Striders, the scores would be 100,95,90,85 with 80 for last

·         The confirmed method is basically the same as the method of the last 21 years, but does not give over-generous scores in races where only a few Striders running.

Summary of Changes for 2012

Previously 5 groups A-E.

Revised 6 groups A-F

Previously Group A being sub-6 minute mile, B being 6:00 – 6:30 mile pace , C being 6:30 – 7:00 mile pace, D being 7:00 – 7:40 mile pace, E being slower than 7:40 mile pace. Adjustments will be made for hilly courses!

Revised D being 7:00 – 7:30 mile pace, E being 7:30 – 8:00 mile pace, F being slower than 8:00 mile pace.

Summary of Changes for 2013

The only change made was for the scoring of races where more than 51 Striders run.

·         In a race with more than 51 Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 50 and the others are equally spaced.

·         So in a race with 76 Striders, the scores would be 100,99,99,98,97,97,  down to final places of 52,51,51,50.

·         The confirmed method is basically the same as the method of the last 21 years, but does not give too small a score in races where lots of Striders running.

Any Questions?

Please address any other queries to either of the Grand Prix Co-ordinators - Alan Hutchinson and Dan Murray.