Endurance Challenge

The 2017 BUH&AC Steve Kenyon Endurance Challenge counting races have been unveiled – all 25 of them! photo 2smNamed after Bolton’s running legend of the 1970s and 1980s (see inset, courtesy of SK), the competition lasts 11 months, with the ‘endurance’ element being tested over both distance and fitness! The format has been expanded to accommodate as many members as possible and includes the main targeted team competitions.

Races have been split into four categories over the road, trail/multi-terrain, fell and cross country disciplines. They include:

Category A: 6x road and 7x trail races
Category B: 6x fell races
Category C: 4x cross-country races
Category D: 2x endurance races 10M(+) of your choice

Category A: Road/Trail
All ten Central Lancashire Grand Prix fixtures between February and October are included, giving three road and seven trail surfaces. Both Northern Athletics’ Road Relays are included – the 12-Stage for men and 6-Stage for women in March, and September’s 6-Stage for men and 4-Stage for women, though the Nationals are not (team selection is performance-related). The Ribble Valley 10K, which doubles as the Northern Athletics’ 10K Road Championships, held between Christmas and Hogmanay, offers a final chance to complete a minimum of eight counting races before the end of the year. With good PB potential (dependent on festive ‘refuelling’!) and the competition class level, it is popular, so enter early to secure your place.

Category B: Fell
Six races, rather than the recent four, offer multiple chances to complete this category over the spring to autumn period, even if it is not your ‘natural’ or preferred terrain. The ‘short’ Pike races on Saturdays bookend four midweek local-ish trots – so there’s no excuses to not make one.

Category C: Cross Country
All four Red Rose XC fixtures in the autumn are the counters here, with the venues and dates to be confirmed later in the year. A bit of mud, lots of team spirit and great fun is guaranteed!

Category D: 10M+ Endurance
Races of 10 miles or more, taking place anytime between 1 February and 31 December, will count. These can be on any terrain, from the usual roads (e.g. 10 miler, half marathon) to the ultra-distances over Pennine/Lakeland/other fells. The running element of a multi-discipline event (e.g. Ironman) will also be eligible (subject to it being 10 miles or more). Your WMA score will apply but there will be NO adjustment based on terrain. Please note the traditional ‘double-counter’ of Swinton RC’s 10M fixture in the CLGP is NOT scheduled for 2017. You can run any number of 10/10+ mile races; up to two may count depending on your scores – the best will definitely count. This will give much more flexibility for everyone having a chance to put in a performance at a longer distance race. So, if you compete over different distances, the shorter might not necessarily be the best scorer, but both may be better than some of your other races, so do not forget to let the coordinator know! Please include the clock/chip time, distance and date (and preferably, a link to the results).

Email your results to CHALLENGE @boltonunitedharriers.co.uk.

-All times are converted into a score, to which a handicap may be applied (see below).
-The best EIGHT scores are used.
-At least one race in each category must be completed.
-The winner is the person with the highest cumulative score.
-In the event that no-one completes four categories, the person with the best score from eight races over three categories will be the winner.
-In the event of a tie after eight races, the ninth best race score will be used.

All scores are calculated from your race time, taking into account your age and gender. This, in theory, should put everybody on a ‘level’ playing field.

World Masters Athletics (WMA, previously WAVA) records are used, with scoring derived from the world records for multiple standard race distances on roads at different ages; 2015 coefficients are used (most recent). For more details…:
…on the maths behind it: http://www.runscore.com/Alan/AgeGrade.html
…or the basic calculator: http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmaroad15.html

A handicap system is also applied for each race to balance out the scores for the ‘harder’ races against the ‘easier’ ones (e.g. your score for 10K on the fells would be considerably lower than 10K on the road if this wasn’t done). The first race will be used as the ‘scratch’ race and a handicap calculated for the subsequent races from a mean value of the differences between runners’ scores in that particular race and the scratch race (it may be revised during the year). This means all your scores should be comparable, so even if you are not doing that well in the Challenge, you can at least see how you are improving (or not, as the case may be!) over the year.

Cue the good-natured intra-club battle, as the Speedy Gonzales come under pressure from the junior Whippersnappers and ‘experienced’ grizzled Veterans.

Sunday, 19th February – Central Lancashire 5K (CLGP – BOL)
Sunday, 5th March – Trotters 5M (CLGP – BRR)
Saturday, 25th March – Northern 12/6 Road Relays @ Blackpool
Saturday, 15th April – Rivington Pike FR 5.2km/3.2m (213m/699ft) BS
Wednesday, 10th May – Haigh Hall 3.75M (CLGP – WIG)
Thursday, 8th June – Walsh Two Lads FR 8.4km/5.2m (274m/899ft) BS
Wednesday, 21st June – Horwich 5M (CLGP – HOR)
Sunday, 2nd July – Radcliffe 5K (CLGP – RAD)
Thursday, 13th July – Bull Hill FR 8.8km/5.5m (335m/1099ft) BS
Wednesday, 2nd August – Chorley 4.6M (CLGP – CHO)
Wednesday, 9th August – Pilgrims Cross FR Distance: 9.7km/6.0m (336m/1102ft) BM
Wednesday, 16th August – Golf Ball FR 8.8km/5.5m (244m/801ft) BS
Sunday, 27th August – Pennington Flash 5M (CLGP – LEI)
Sunday, 10th September – Blackleach 5M (CLGP – MYM)
Saturday, 16th/23rd September TBC – Northern 6/4 Road Relays @ SportCity
Sunday, 24th September – Swinton 5.25m (CLGP – SWI)
Saturday, 30th September – Thieveley Pike FR – 7km/4.3m (400m/1312ft) BS
Sunday, 8th October – Gin Pit 5M (CLGP – A&T)
TBC Ribble Valley 10K (Northern 10K Champs)

Click here for more fixture location details.

Please note
1) The national road relays do not count towards the Endurance Challenge, but should be prioritised in the event of qualification:
National 12/6 (pending qualification) = April 8th @ Birmingham
National 6/4 (pending qualification) = October 7th @ Birmingham
2) The changes to CLGP 2017 include Radcliffe’s 5K in June (not 10K in April) and that Swinton’s race is now 5.25 miles (not 10 miles).
3) Other than the CL5K, the club’s own hosted races (e.g. Bolton 10K) are not on the list, as many helpers are needed!

2017: TBA
2012-16: coming soon!