The first race of the new handicap season is today, Monday, 11th July.
At the end of every season, I review the results of the Handicap and look to see if any change might improve it. This season is no exception, and having received a copy of Member’s e-mail to the Committee, prior to the AGM, I have addressed the points raised and have replied, personally.
The issue of a ‘Slow Start’ to the season, to supposedly gain an advantage throughout the season, has long been mooted, but nobody has ever come up with evidence of anybody who has actually achieved this. Now we have a comprehensive record of the whole event since 2006, perhaps somebody, who has enough time on their hands, will be motivated enough to search through and see if such evidence, exists.
With this in mind, I am introducing a new condition for the coming season which I believe will satisfy you ALL on both the points that were raised.
The Handicap was originally introduced as a monthly Time Trial to test your current fitness. This still remains its primary purpose.
Therefore, ‘Season’s Best’ will remain, as is, and your ‘Handicap Start Time’ will still be calculated using your last ‘Three Recorded Times’. However, no runner will have a time that is more than 10% slower than this, included in their start time calculation.
I had thought of introducing this in seasons past but felt that it might prejudice those runners coming back from injury. However, the integrity of the Handicap depends on genuine times and some times, recorded in the May run, cannot be considered ‘legit’, if used, and these times, although recorded in the Race Results, will be the first to be subjected to this rule. There are 6 times in all, 3 of which only change times by a matter of seconds. Of the other 3, times will be reduced by 0:41, 1:25 and the worst case, 3:56!
The introduction of this measure will, hopefully, alleviate the notion that somebody is able to ‘Work the System’. The Handicap is fair to all abilities and has proved to be so in the past 10 years of its present format. Let’s get out there and enjoy it.
The race analysis from May is available at: Google Docs – May 2016 Handicap Race Analysis
As usual past results are available in the handicap results system: Handicap Results. Start times in the handicap results system do not yet reflect the new 10% rule.