Grand Prix: Rules

The Grand Prix is an annual competition established in 1989. It is open to all adult members of Valley Striders Athletics Club and is made up of a selection of races predominantly in the Yorkshire area, and of internal club handicap races. In addition results from Half Marathons, Marathons and Ultra events which are not specified will be included if we are notified of these.

The competition aims to encourage club members to participate in selected events throughout the year and to provide internal competition for all. The Grand Prix includes different types of races categorised below.

Races incorporated in the Grand Prix

The internal competition committee agree upon the races to be included at the start of each 12 month season based on popular events and a spread across the categories. Occasionally it may be decided to change or exclude an event owing to a clash of dates. Suggestions are welcomed from club members for consideration.

The number of events to be incorporated is approximately 40 each year, from the following 7 categories:

  • Short road races –  1 mile, 5k, 5 mile and 10k
  • Medium road races – 10 mile and half marathon
  • Long on and off road races – 15 mile, 20 mile, marathon, long trail and Ultra races
  • Fell & Trail
  • Cross Country
  • V S Handicap races
  • parkruns

The season runs from early December to the end of the following November.

Awarding of Points

Effective from the 2022 Grand Prix we have changed the competition to separate male and female scores across all selected events. Thus the first male and first female will each be awarded 100 points, the second each 99 points etc. with some scaling and adjustments being applied where the number of runners in either male or female groups is below 10 in that group.

Scaling of points:

In a race with 26 or more male Striders, or 26 or more female Striders, the first male or female each scores 100, the last scores 75 and the others are equally spaced.

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. However in a race with 10 or fewer male (or female) Striders, the first male (or female) Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 90 and the others are equally spaced. Thus if there were only 3 female Striders completing an event they would score 100, 95 and 90.


The groups are A-G for men and the same for women. 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 in 10k races. 

Male groups are 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 8:00 – 9.00 mile pace, G being slower than 9.00 mile pace.

Female groups are based on Group A being sub-6:45 minute mile, B being 6:45 – 7:15 mile pace , C being 7:15 – 7:50 mile pace, D being 7:50 – 8:25 mile pace, E being 8:25 – 9:00 mile pace, F being 9:00 – 10.00 mile pace, G being slower than 10.00 mile pace.

Groups will be set and published at the start of the Season.

Newcomers (and other Striders with no recent form) will be placed into group “U” (unclassified) until they have run sufficient races and then their grouping assessed on their performances.  This way new club members should have the opportunity to complete a qualifying number of events if they join the club partway through the year.


Prizes will be awarded to the winners of all age groups and of groups A-G. Age Groups are Senior/ 35+/ 45+/ 55+. 

Runners must run a minimum of 8 events to qualify for any award. For each runner we will calculate a total based on 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 their 9th best score, the calculation will exclude the 8th best and include the 9th best
  • If a runner races in fewer than 5 categories their total will be reduced by 5 points per category less than 5 (e.g. by 10 points if only 3 categories have been run)
  • Points awarded for the club handicap race will be based on time run, not position finished.
  • Points for an Ultra event will be based on the finishing time as a percentage of the winner’s time. Male and female times will relate to male or female winner’s times as appropriate.

Awards are made as follows:

  • Overall Grand Prix Male Champion (highest points scored)
  • Overall Grand Prix Female Champion (highest points scored)
  • First Male and Female in each of the age groups – Senior, 35-44, 45-54, and 55 and over
  • First Male and Female in each of  groups A-G.

In the event of a runner winning more than one of the above categories only one award will be made with their age group win taking precedence. For example, a runner achieves first 35-44 category male and first in Group B – no award will be made the runner-up inGroup B. Notwithstanding this each Group winner, other than of group A, will automatically be promoted to the group above for the following year.

Publicising the Grand Prix

The events section of this website will list all Grand Prix events under the category ‘Grand Prix’ (click here). The Newsletter will be used to publicise forthcoming events and invite suggestions. Information will also be sent out on Facebook. The Grand Prix section of the website will include a table showing points awarded for each event and total scores to date, and updates to this table will be announced periodically in the Grand Prix section of this website.

Runners taking part in runs falling within the Any Other Marathon/Half Marathon/Ultra run should send their results to [email protected] to ensure their performance is included in the competition.

Information about the Grand Prix is included in the information sent to new members after joining.

Grand Prix Co-ordinators

The Grand Prix co-ordinator is responsible in consultation with the Internal Competition committee for compiling a schedule of events each year, collecting results publicising the Grand Prix and resolving queries.

Alan Hutchinson – click here to email.

Questions and Answers

Why aren’t handicaps scored on finishing position rather than time? Points are determined throughout the competition based on running times, handicap positions would not provide a fair or consistent basis for awarding points.
Why are 5 points deducted per category of run where a runner has achieved points from fewer than 5 categories from 7 over the season?This is considered a preferable approach to avoid excluding the runner from eligibility for a prize where they have competed in at least 8 Grand Prix events. It also provides incentive to take part in a wider spread of events.
Ultra races are often over different distances, difficulty and terrain. Why are these included in the Grand Prix and how can you fairly compare them?They are included where we are notified of a runner’s participation as we want to Grand Prix to be across a wide range of races and distances. A runner competing in an Ultra race is as worthy of receiving points as in other races in the competition. Fair comparison is achieved through comparing the runner’s time with that of the winner’s time. 
Why are there so many races?To ensure a wide spread of events, e.g. road and off-road providing opportunity for all members to identify a selection of races spread across the season. New members joining in the first half year often have sufficient Grand Prix events still available to select.
Is it possible to win a prize by only running 8 races?Quite possible, although competing in more events will improve chances of achieving better scores than in the first 8 events.
Do second claim members qualify for Grand prix points?Second claim members can only score points in internal qualifying club competition namely club handicap races. Other than this, they do not score points.
Do new members joining from another club score points for races with their previous club? No.