April 13, 2013, 9:00 am
South Monument Valley Park
(near Bijou Street)
Colorado Springs, CO
handicap race based on age, weight, height and gender.
Wow! Look at the size of those
The 1st Place trophy is taller than Pikes Peak.
(Photo courtesy Jim Kelleher. Trophies courtesy Performance
Awards. Pikes Peak courtesy God.)
race is a true handicap event in that it measures your fitness level
based on your age, sex, height and weight! Following a victory at the
Boston Marathon, Bill Rodgers said that his effort to run a
was not nearly as difficult as the effort of those who were “out
there for 4 1/2 hours!” How would you stack up against those
speedsters, the Hares, if you were able to factor out some reasons for
running a 4 1/2 hour marathon? How good is your training?
the last several years, Woody Noleen and Bob Mutu have worked on
handicap charts for our local running scene. Given that we run high
altitude, we wanted to somehow factor in training at 6500 feet. We
worked with charts from the National WAVA standards that are used by
most races of this type, using local 5K race results to massage the
data. We came with charts and a formula to measure performance and
fitness levels based on four key body factors: age, sex, height and
data indicated that runners aged 20-34 are in their prime. We
therefore gave them no age handicap. All other runners get handicap
seconds subtracted from their actual running time.
are generally not as fast as men at the 5K distance. Local race
analysis showed us that for the prime age group 20-34, this
differential was 2 minutes. As runners get older, this differential
widened and topped out around 4 minutes. For children, it was less
than 2 minutes until they get to be about age 19.
a height to weight ratio based upon local race times to develop
additional handicaps. Men and women are not built the same and the
race results clearly showed the handicap pattern was not the same for
men and women.
The formulas we ended up with seemed refined enough and very
workable. The Tortoise and Hare race became a true measurement of
performance weighted for age, sex, height, and weight!
does it work? At registration you will give us your age and sex. We
will measure your height and weight, taken in your running gear. We
will then compute your handicap according to the charts and use these
seconds to determine your starting time.
runner with the largest predicted handicap starts first. For the
start, the clock is set at this number of seconds and begins counting
down. Other runners start when their handicap time (written on their
hand at registration) comes up on the clock.
the clock reaches zero, all runners have started and the clock then
starts counting elapsed time for the race. Since handicaps were
awarded at the start, the order of finish is therefore the actual
standing in the race. (In addition to handicap times, we will also
compute actual running times for all runners.)
race is like a normal 5k in reverse. The Hares start well behind the
Tortoises and have to catch them. The tortoises experience the fun of
being in front. This can lead to pretty fast times for everybody, not
to mention a very closely contested finish! It is not a predict event,
so you do not have to try and hold onto a certain pace—just race!
fast can you run a 5K if we factor out your age, sex, height, and
Please, no dogs or baby strollers
allowed on the course. Please do not trespass onto private
property. Per PPRR race rules, headphones, i-pods, or MP3
players may not be used during the race. Those not in compliance
will be disqualified.