grand prix & training

What is the Grand Prix ?

The Grand Prix is a series of races organised for Club members.

The Grand Prix gives members the chance to compete against other members on a level playing field.

The Grand Prix is a chance to measure members own performances over a set period.

September 2021 VGP

Fairly simple course this month. Turn right out of the Centre. All the way along Windybank, left at the end, sharp right down New Lane, back up to the traffic lights at the Pack Horse, back onto Windybank Lane, all the way back to the Centre.

Roberttown Road Runners Grand Prix Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Grand Prix?

The Grand Prix is an annual, optional competition, open to all members of Roberttown Road Runners (RRR). The club designates a number of official races every year as being a part of our “Grand Prix” series – runners enter as many of the races as they like (a minimum of 6) and their times count towards their Grand Prix score. The best 5 scores will be used to determine the overall winners.

I’m a slower runner, so why should I bother to enter?

Although the Grand Prix is a competition, it uses a handicap system so in theory everyone in the club from the slowest to the fastest has an equal chance of winning. Runners are measured against their own times, rather than those of other club runners – in other words, you’re racing against yourself, and striving to do better.

What are the benefits of taking part?

The main purpose of the Grand Prix is to measure runners’ effort and improvement, relative to their expected times. The Grand Prix series is one way that runners can chart their own improvement, and it engenders a  friendly spirit of competition within the club.

How do you choose which races are part of the Grand Prix?

The Grand Prix races are chosen by the Committee but in addition any club member can recommend a race of any distance to be included in the series. We now include a parkrun in each series as well. We will try to keep the maximum distance to 7 miles, so as to be all inclusive to those that feel unready to exceed this distance. Once we are able to include actual races, we will try and limit the travelling distance to around 30 miles.

How has the club run a Grand Prix series during COVID19? 

We’ve tried to keep the Grand Prix going on during the period of the pandemic, and even though official races have been cancelled, the club has designated specific routes in an attempt to try to motivate club members to have something to aim for in terms of routes, distances and their own improvement. We have shortened the competition etc, given runners longer to submit times etc etc.

Grand Prix series 2021 :- Rules and explanation.

The adjudicators for the event will be Jon.B, Michael, and Peter.K.

The series will comprise of a minimum of 6 races, 1 for each month August to December, plus other ad-hoc events as we deem suitable, and the routes will be communicated one month at a time. To be eligible for the overall winner, you must complete 5 of the monthly races within the allotted time frame. Results must be submitted to Michael Childe sometime in the month. If you are unable to run a particular route in the month, we will allow you one month’s grace to complete the previous months route. This will apply to all runs apart from the last month, which will have to be completed on December 19th, 2021.

For that added bit of competition we will hold a timed run on the last Wednesday of each month for that month’s Grand Prix event.

As racing returns to some form of normality, we may add some UKA affiliated races into the series. This will be decided by the adjudicating body.

The base times for each member will be split into 2 categories :-

  1. For those members that competed in the virtual GP that ended in July 2021, we will calculate a time based on the submitted times for those runs.
  2. For other members that run the new series, we will base their times calculated on best known times under race conditions and in some cases, we will have to revert to known times from 2019. We fully appreciate that this is not strictly ideal, but we feel that this is possibly the fairest way to come up with a starting point. If we feel that for any reason the times look to have been miscalculated, we will re-visit and discuss with the member involved.

In a normal year, and last year was anything but normal, looking back at the history of Grand Prix timings, overall, they are pretty accurate. We will try to be as fair as possible to generate a  fair and interesting series.

  • Base time explanation :- For each member that we hold sufficient history of times achieved in competitive races and Park Runs, we can quite accurately determine an average time each member is able to run a mile in, this is what we called the ‘Base Line’ and is an average over all distances, route difficulty etc. It is far too difficult to calculate different base lines for differing race routes e.g., flat v hilly, and we feel that this is fair to all members. For newer members or members that haven’t participated in many races, we will have to calculate their base times on possibly the first event they choose to run in the series.
  • Example – Runner A is given a base line time of 8 mins /mile and runs a 6-mile route in 49mins. The base line for 6 miles would be 48mins (8×6), so would score 97.96% of base.
  • Example – Runner B is given a base time of 9 mins / mile and runs the same 6-mile route in 52mins. The base line for 6 miles would be 54mins (9×6), so would score 103.85% of base.
  • The base line for each runner stays the same minutes/mile over the duration on the Grand Prix series and scores are accumulated over the whole series.
  • If in a 6-race series, runners run all the races, the 5 best scores will count, with the lowest being dropped.
  • For each of the routes that are set, if Runner A runs every race at exactly 8mins/mile, they will achieve 500 points.

The whole ethos of the event is to give each member a fair chance to win the overall trophy and is not just about who is the fastest at the Club, it is about how much each member has improved their own performances.

It is hoped by 2022 that we will be able to return to a full 12-month series for the Grand Prix, if enough races have managed to survive the pandemic, and this will of course be communicated as and when.

training programmes

10K training programme - beginners

10k training programme - intermediate

marathon training programme - beginners

marathon training programme - intermediate

rrr training manual