The runbritain handicap scheme has reached 100,000 participants signing up to be a part of the initiative.
After being launched in 2010, the scheme has attracted around 10,000 participants a year taking part, following an initial surge of nearly 13,000 people registering when it was first introduced. The person that tipped the scales over 100,000 sign-ups was Kevin Smith of Bellahouston Harriers.
The scheme is a weekly event run in conjunction with UK Athletics to showcase a different perspective on an individual runners’ journey, focusing on more than just how an athlete’s times compare, factoring in things like the weather conditions on the day and the terrain competitors are racing on.
Through a runner’s individual profile, they are able to track their progress and see their own biography and compare their results and rankings against other runner within their postcode and age band to give them an accurate national ranking.
Any athletes signed up to the initiative are able to track their progress on a weekly basis, using a handicap scoring system rather than a personal or season’s best performance to show an athlete’s rate of improvement from their previous races.
The system works like a golf handicap, ranking a runners’ performance between scratch and 36.0 and allows them to actively compare themselves.
The handicap scheme takes into account the terrain and conditions that runners are facing compared to others to help give a more accurate handicap score, meaning that just because an athlete did not record a personal best time, doesn’t mean they haven’t improved. Only results from licenced races are considered for ranking purposes by Power of 10 – with over 3,500 races licenced by runbritain on behalf of England Athletics last year.
There has been international acclaim for previous runbritain schemes as the “Click Your Clock” initiative earned international recognition in 2016, winning the European Athletics Innovation Awards, an award created to encourage research and the sharing of new ideas leading to the promotion and development of the sport of athletics.
Commenting on the 100,000th handicap claim, runbritain Manager Gavin Lightwood commented: “Since it was launched, the runbritain handicap scheme has generated an average of 30 sign ups a day which has now taken us to the magical 100,000 mark.
“This has mainly come about through word of mouth recommendations and is testimony to how the handicap scheme is appreciated by runners of all abilities and is used as an incentive to keep racing. Here’s to the next 100,000!”
More information about runbritain can be found on their website.