Every calendar year, the club runs a Target Time Championship. The most important thing to know about this is that all club members are eligible for the championship. All you have to do to automatically enter the championship is to take part in the club championship races while wearing a club vest.
Around the start of the year, a list of target times for the coming year for each club member appears on the website. Your target times for the coming year are based on race times you achieved in the last year.
Typically, members will have 5 target times for distances between 5K and half marathon. However, some of you may have only 1 target time. And some of you may have no target times and not appear at all in the list of members. If you have zero or one target time, don’t worry – remember, all club members are eligible for the championship and an explanation follows below. If you have more than one target time then you can skip this next bit.
Why do I have no target times or only one target time?
If your name doesn’t appear in the list of members and target times this is because we have no record of you having run races in the last year on which we can base your targets. This may be because you are a new member or it may be that you didn’t do much running in the last year. Whatever the reason, all you have to do to get added to the list is take part in one of the future club championship races. The sooner you run a race, the sooner you get included. Once you run a race, you will become a 1 target time member on the list and your next step is explained below.
If you have only 1 target time, this is because we have a record of only one race distance for you over the past year. In order to calculate a full set of target times, we need you to complete races over at least 2 of the target distances. But don’t worry, you can still acquire a full set of target times. All you have to do is take part in a club championship race over a distance other than the one for which you already have a target time. Once we have your second distance and time, we will calculate target times for the other distances.
Where did my target times come from?
Your target times for the coming year are based on your times in races over the past year. At its simplest, your time for a given distance next year will be your best time that we have a record of you running that same distance in the last year. So if the best 10K time we know you ran in the last year was 50 minutes then your 10K target time for next year will be 50 minutes.
If we have no record of you running a race in the last year over one of the target distances then we have to calculate a target time for that distance. We do this using a tried and tested formula devised by Peter Reigel back in 1977. This lets us use any actual race time and distance that you have completed to predict the sort of time you should be capable of achieving over any other distance. So, for example, that 50 minute 10K mentioned above indicates the same runner ought to be capable of training to complete a half marathon in 1:50:19 and the club Brenda Boyle Pier to Pier race in 2:19:18.
How do I get championship points from my target times?
Each time you run a club championship race (wearing a club vest, of course), we determine the percentage difference between your race time and your target time for the race distance. All the club members participating in that race are then ranked by this percentage difference with 200 points awarded to the person with the largest difference, 199 to the second largest and so on.
This means you can build up a good points tally by doing a combination of 2 things
- Running faster than your target time
- Taking part in those championship races that attract fewer members
This means that every club member can be competitive in the target time championship, it does not favour faster runners.
At the end of the year your points for your 8 best races are added together to give your total points for the year. In addition to this, you can obtain an extra 200 bonus points, as described below. Note that you must complete at least 3 club-only races during the year to be included in the final target time championship rankings.
What are bonus points and how can I get some?
A special feature of the target time championship is that every member can obtain 200 bonus points. These points are in addition to the best 8 races used to calculate your total points. To earn your bonus points, all you have to do is marshall one of the club races over the course of the year.
Acquiring your bonus points is equivalent to completing a ninth championship race and being the best performing club member in the race. If you choose not to marshall a race and give up your bonus points then you will seriously underperform in the championship and have absolutely no chance of finishing anywhere near the top. As there are a limited number of marshals required for each race, leaving your marshalling until the end of the year is a bad plan as you may find you are not needed and will miss out on the bonus points.
What about marathons?
The club championship races do not include any marathons. However, you can gain target time championship points for completing a marathon. All you have to do, apart from running the race, is to email HRChampionship@gmail.com to nominate your marathon before you run it.
My target time is ridiculous, how do I get it changed?
Occasionally, someone might feel one or more of their target times are unrealistic. Yes, really, it happens.
This may be because the target time is too slow if it was based one of your races in the last year when you took an usually long time, say because you were pacing or injured or encountered difficult weather or terrain. All you have to do to correct this is email HRChampionship@gmail.com and explain why your time is incorrect and suggest what it should realistically be.
Alternatively, a target time may seem too fast. This could be a genuine error that we made during the preparation of the target times and can be corrected by making an appeal as described in the previous paragraph. If your target time for the coming year is taken from your best time over the same distance in the last year, you will need to explain why you expect to be slower this year. If your target time is based on your performance over a different distance, explain why you think the target time is unrealistic, bearing in mind that it is not a time that you could necessarily walk out the door and run today but is instead a time that your past performance indicates you should be able to achieve by training for the target distance.
I have other questions, who do I contact?
Send all questions, comments, appeals and anything else to HRChampionship@gmail.com.
The small print
Finally, please note that the club reserves the right to retrospectively tweak your target times during the year if your actual performances indicate that we clearly made some error in calculating your original times.