Barking Road Runners: Handicap series

Members of Barking Road Runners can compete each year in a series of 5K handicap races, with the overall winner awarded a club trophy.

In contrast with ordinary races, where all runners start together, in a handicap race the slowest runner starts first, followed by the next slowest runner, and so on. Before the series begins, the starting time for each runner is calculated, based where possible on their best performance over 5K during the previous season. This time is then deducted from 40 minutes, giving a handicap time. The race clock counts down from 40 minutes, and when the clock reaches a runner's handicap time, he or she starts. For example, a runner who has finished in 19:38 will have a handicap time of 20:22, so they will start the race when the clock has counted down to that time. After each race, a runner who has beaten their previous handicap time will be given a new, reduced handicap time.

The club's handicap series is made up of seven races, each of which takes place at Barking Park. Guest runners may take part, but only club members are eligible for any prize awarded for finishing first in a race.

Points are awarded to members based on relative position in each race. The fastest member to finish in the race is awarded 100 points, the second fastest is awarded 99 points, and so on. At the end of the series, each member's four best results are totalled; prizes are awarded by the club to the member with the three highest scores, with separate prizes for men and women. To be eligible for a prize, a member must also have assisted at a handicap race as a marshal or in some other capacity.

Results of each handicap race are published on our website.