In March we cancelled the handicap series until further notice and started a virtual version.
However, we are pleased to say we have now brought this back but in a very different form to meet government, England Athletics and the club guidelines for such events. As such this is a club members-only event for the time being.
The format is very different as you are now required to register for each race, the assembly point, starting process and course have all had to change to meet these requirements.
Trent Park Running Club has been holding the handicap (time trial) race for almost as long as the club has been established so dates back to the 1980’s. Initial it was for club members only so they could track their improvement but was soon opened up to guest runners.
It is a 5 Km race around Trent Park, but unlike a normal 5 km race, where the winners are determined by their finishing position, the winners of the handicap is based on their improvement over their previous personal best on the course, referred to as their handicap time. Therefore, a great way to track improvement.
This event takes place on the last Saturday of each month (except December). The race is open to both members and non-members of TPRC. Previous guest runners paid a fee of to enter but for the 2019 series this is now free to all. You are required to register to take part so see our registration page for details. (Please Note: The junior handicap is for club members only)
The route follows an undulating circular route through Trent Park. The surface is mainly gravel with approximately 1.5 Km on park road and firm although one or two sections may be slightly muddy on occasion. Normal running shoes are recommended, do NOT wear spikes.
Please note: For 2019 a 45 minute cut off has been introduced. Therefore, if you finish after 45 minutes no time will be recorded.
How does the Handicap system work?
Each runner has a recorded time which is their personal best time (PB) over the course and this is their Handicap.
Each month you try and improve this time and the results and points are based on the improvement on your PB. The handicapping system means that all runners have a chance of winning as the results are based on a runner’s improvement in performance rather than who is fastest.
New runners, referred to as scratch runners, are required to run one race to set a PB (handicap time) for the course. Scratch runners are not award points for their first race.
Previous runners can elect to reset their handicap time at the being of each series (January). Therefore, if you set a time years ago and this is no longer obtainable then you can start over again as a scratch runner.
In short, the Handicap provides a good opportunity for all standards of runner to measure their performance and take part in an enjoyable race in the beautiful surroundings of Trent Park.
For the 2019 series we have changed the calculation of the improvement from a straight time improvement (time minus the handicap time) to a percentage improvement so time improvement divided by the handicap time. This is to further balance the winner across the field as previously a 40 minute runner who improves by 2 minutes would have been ahead of a 20 minute runner who improves by 1 minute. The percentage improvement now gives them the same imrpovement percentage.
How does the Points system work?
Points are awarded based on your improvement on your Handicap, PB.
The most improved runner is awarded maximum points based on the number of participants, second place is awarded one less point, and so on. A bonus of five points is added if a runner beats their Handicap, and an additional points are awarded 5 fastest men and women, 5 for the fastest, 4 for the second fastest and so on.
Points, are not awarded to scratch runners who are running their first handicap, and bonus points are not awarded to runners that have only run one previous handicap. However, they do receive points for being the fastest.
These point are collected across all 11 races that form the series.
Trophies are awarded to the first three based on the biggest improvement
What is the Point Series?
The points awarded for each race are accumulated into the series points.
The series starts in January and ends in November, there is no race in December. Trophies are awarded to members and non-members who have the most points at the end of the series.
For 2019 only 10 races count towards the series.
All runners are required to register to run.
New runners need to run one race to set a handicap time. They are not awarded any points for this race.
We have marshals will be at key points on the course and it is clearly signposted, you can view a map of the course here.
After your first race, you will be given a handicap time, this will establish your target time for the next race if you beat this time the new time. Most runners need a couple of races to familiarise themselves with the route, points are awarded for the second and subsequent races.
You are required to register for the race series online so we have up to date emergency contact details and to confirm, we have your consent to use and store your data. Please visit the registration link.
Registration opens at 08.45 am and closes at 9.15 am prompt, no entries will be accepted after 9.15. The race will start at 9.30 am.You will need to visit registration for your first race in the series so you can collect a new number, which you then keep for future races. Once you have your number for all over races you can go straight to the start.
All results are recorded on a computer database and results are usually available 45 minutes after the race finishes, they are published on our handicap results page.
Bike and Run
To celebrate the 5 km spirit of encouragement, each month Bike & Run will be awarding the man and woman who make the greatest improvement with a £25 voucher which can be used to purchase anything from their wide range of products and services.
All handicap runners can obtain a 15% discount on runner items, by showing their handicap number in store.
Bike & Run is an established and specialist Running, Bike & Triathlon store based in East Finchley, visit their website for further details.
To qualify for a prize competitors must have completed at least 2 Handicap events. The voucher can be used towards the purchase of any item in the shop and has a maximum value of £25, the voucher has a cash value of 0.01p.
Bike and Run
Bike and Run are a specialist one-stop-shop selling bikes, clothing and shoes for cyclists, triathletes, runners and swimmers, based in East Finchley. They support the handicap series with a prize for the most improved male and female runners and offer a 15% discount on running items to anyone showing their handicap number in store.