runbritain is the road running arm of British Athletics. With a mission statement of making British road running the best in the world in terms of organisation, development and performance, it is pretty clear what their goal is. But how are they achieving these lofty goals?
At present runbritain lists 2,600 races a year, which range from one mile events right through to marathons. They also offer a handicap system, which is perfect for the inner geek that you find in almost every runner.
Similar to a golf handicap, the runbritain version uses an algorithm which compares your performance on the day with the general performance level of all runners in the race, whilst also factoring in the course difficulty and any affect the weather may have. To lower or keep your handicap down, athletes must also race regularly, as handicaps ‘decay’ if there is a period of inactivity.
To give you an example, Mo Farah is top of the national ladder with a handicap score of -7.3 and this would be lower still if the double Olympic champion raced more frequently year round. The 100th ranked runner in the UK has a handicap of -4.1, whilst the 1000th is still below zero, with -1.5. There are a quarter of a million runners on the runbritain national ladder.
Introduced in 2015, anther runbritain campaign encourages runners to #clickyourclock and see who the most improved runner in Britain is every week from spring to autumn. By clicking your clock on your latest race result, you’ll reveal your percentage improvement in performance based on your runbritain handicap score. If you’re the most improved runner in Britain on any given week you’ll win yourself a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor, so make sure you #clickyourclock every week!
runbritain also awards British road race championship events over five distances each year as part of a drive to raise performance standards.
In 2015, runbritain’s free online entry service was used by 620 events, 110,000 runners and almost five million performances were recorded in runbritain licensed events, including free weekly parkruns.
The runbritain website also includes a Race Directors’ Club section, which offers resources to help race organisers deliver better events. Once a race is licensed it is automatically added to the event diary and low-cost online entry can be facilitated via the runbritain site.
The final event that runbritain plays a pivotal role in is the Diamond Relays. The event sees teams of five runners take part in a road relay over a 5km loop that starts and finishes in the former Olympic Stadium, the centrepiece of London 2012. The course is contained completely within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on landscaped paths with runners accompanied by live music on the traffic free route. Entering the stadium at the end of your leg, you can have your own Olympic moment as you cross that famous finish line. The 2016 event returns on the evening of Tuesday 19 July, with full details at www.diamondrelays.com
So if you want to be part of the British road running scene, head to www.runbritainrankings.com to find out more.
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