The plan is to have a 21-race virtual season in much the same way as our race schedule would have been if not for this insidious virus.
See below for details. This is all very exciting, so let’s get it underway!!
May we take this opportunity to wish all of you, your families and friends a safe and healthy time through this unbelievably unsettled period of uncertainty and upheaval. Please use the club’s email and social media to keep in touch and reach out for assistance if you need to. That is what we pride ourselves on.
What is a virtual season? Each week, participants do a run, on their own, on a course they choose, with the distance for that week from the GCCC race calendar.
Must I do the run on Sunday morning? You do the run any time during the week, but you must submit your time by midnight on Sunday. For instance, for the 5km run set for April 19th, you can do your run any time between Monday 13th to Sunday 19th April.
Do I run a set course? No, you can choose your own course, trying as much as possible to replicate the type of course on the race calendar. In this regard, and considering the COVID-19 mass gatherings and travel restrictions, we implore you to not travel if possible to do your run. Yes, it may seem impractical in the first instance, but all we ask is that you simply use common sense and discretion where you choose to run. Hence the introduction of the difficulty rating (see below), this will help us to create a more “level playing field” when it comes to the results. Your weekly survey entry will also assist as we ask you to record where your course was.
What happens if the course I run is much harder/easier than the course on the GCCC race calendar? We are going to introduce a new concept – a difficulty rating. You will be asked to rate the course you ran on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is a flat course on a firm, smooth surface and 5 is a very hilly course or difficult terrain such as sand or trails.
What about varying weather conditions? You can consider the conditions in your difficulty rating. A flat course with light or no breeze would have a rating of 1 whereas the same course with a strong head wind would have a rating of 2, or if it there was a Force 10 gale, it could move up to a rating of 3.
Do I have to run the exact distance? Please run as close as possible to the set distance. A slight variation will be allowed but if your run is too short it could make you ineligible and if it is too long you will be disadvantaging yourself.
Is this a competition? Well, there are no prizes, but let’s make it a friendly competition. The main purpose is to provide the membership with a challenge in the lockdown, something to do, something to look at and something to amuse oneself!
We are looking at having a score of sorts allocated to every participant that enables us to view a week by week aggregate of scores. Hopefully, we will be able to use this from Week 1. So there may be some friendly rivalry!
We also plan to introduce some virtual rewards (eg. possibly a Magic Money group – might have to call this the Magic Moneyless award!). Also, suggestions put forward have included the best social media contributions (includes email), the most impressive Strava course, best captions/stories etc.
Are the races handicapped? Yes, you will be given a handicap based on your club handicap, but it is not using the club’s system. By this we mean that we are not using the live club handicapping system as it would compromise the data that is sitting there awaiting a true season start. Therefore your official club handicap will not be affected by this virtual season.
How is the winner determined? The winner will be the runner with the lowest virtual finish time. This is calculated by adding your handicap to your time and subtracting a difficulty allowance (if your course has a rating higher than 1).
How do I submit my time? At the beginning of the week you will be sent a link to an on-line questionnaire. You must submit your time using this questionnaire by midnight on Sunday. It will only take a minute or two to enter your details.
Will results be published? You will all receive a weekly results email on the Monday after the event week, this will also include the link for the next week’s race.
We will include the intended sponsor for that race in the weekly email. As impractical as it may be, please try and continue to support them.