A former international marathon runner and previous winner of the Manchester and Belfast Marathons, Jackie Newton is an England and GB team manager for mountain running, tutor and regional trainer for UKA Coach Education, performance running consultant for Puma (UK) and contributor in the performance section of Athletics Weekly. She is a Level 3 endurance coach and member of Stockport Harriers.
www.runbritain.com is a
resource for runners and aims to keep you motivated towards your
• five news items each day bringing the latest stories and
findings from the world of running
The handicap scoring system is proving to be a big hit with runners of all standards. Just like golf, runners now have a handicap score that reflects their current level of performance and allows them to benchmark their progress. Andrew Lemoncello is currently the UK leader with a score of MINUS 5.1. It starts at 36.I'm not sure of who is on 36 but I know Katherine Jenkins, the opera singer, got a handicap of 35.4 after she ran the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k last year in around 70 minutes. The power of 10 are the brains behind the system. They have developed a sophisticated algorithm that works out runners handicaps depending on the times they've run, the difficulty of the courses they've raced on, the weather conditions and how frequently they race. The system is developing all the time. Recently they've improved the profile pages by showing a time that the runner needs to achieve to reduce their handicap in the next race. If the runner hasn't yet run a particular distance or hasn't done one for a while it will predict the time he or she will run for any distance. For example, if your last run in a UKA licensed event was 5k in 24 minutes, you will see that the system predicts that you will run your 10k in just under 50 minutes and your half marathon in just over 1:50. If you know that the run you have chosen to do will be difficult, in that the weather forecast is poor or the course is hilly, twisty or over rough terrain, you can select 'slow' course and see that the system is now predicting that your 10k will actually be 45 seconds slower and your half marathon 90 seconds slower, if you are a 24 minute 5k runner. These variables alter depending on the pace of the runner's last race. The runner can also click through from there to one of the training programmes applicable to their level of fitness.
I must also mention the runbritain Grand Prix that we have developed to help raise standards. There are five races and the runner's best four count. Points are awarded to everyone who finishes in the top 250 (so pretty deep) of each race and there are also time bonuses. The aim is to help drive standards up and to give runner's regular races where the competition will be good. There is £55,000 of British only prize money up for grabs!
What does it offer races?
We have also compiled a new 66-page Road Race Handbook that is now operational and can be viewed on this link. The handbook supersedes the previous 2003 version and has guidance on key areas including risk assessment, highways, health and safety, disability discrimination, course design and promotion.
Along with England Athletics we have been delivering Race
Organiser's Courses and we aim to develop three tier of
courses at accredited, intermediate and advanced levels over the
next two years. The course lasts one day, costs £40 including lunch
and covers rules, risk assessment, legal and administration,
working with public partners, health and safety, use of IT and
briefing of marshals as its core components. There are
opportunities for questions and discussions on other topics.We held
one at Trafford AC in February that was very well attended.
I am always keen to get hold of stories and interviews from races, which then publicise the race further. If anyone has a story to tell or can put me in touch with a runner or race organiser who is doing something a little bit different please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I aim to help drive entries into these race by putting together articles to go on the website and also in the newsletter that goes out fortnightly.
Posted 02/01/2012 22:13