The Trophy Race is a series of popular members-only 2.5 mile handicap races held on club nights through the summer at Braunstone Park and Victoria Park. It’s a great event for members of all paces, with everyone getting the chance to win by finishing ahead of their predicted time. Expect exciting finishes, with all runners crossing the line within a short space of time. A trophy is awarded to the winner of each event, and there’s an award for the series winner too.
- The series comprises five races. First past the post gets 100 points, second gets 99 points and so on. The person with the highest score wins. Four out of the five races count towards the challenge score so your worst race score is discarded. If you miss a race or fail to finish your score will be 0.
- The handicapping is based on a runner’s predicted race time. For the first race of the series a runner takes part in, a handicap will be calculated based on your best or most recent 5k times (parkrun times accepted). After each race the handicaps are recalculated – a faster run sees your handicap based on that faster time. A slower run sees your handicap recalculated based on an average of times (this is to prevent deliberate slow running to obtain a more favourable handicap!) This allows runners who have lost form to remain competitive within the series.
- The handicapping means that the slowest runner starts first and the fastest last.
- The Route – IS NOT MARKED, there is no guarantee of any marshals telling you where to go, although members are welcome to volunteer to marshal for races! Please familiarise yourself with the route before starting the race. We will be using the existing routes around Victoria Park and Braunstone Park. There will be a map of each course on the notice board and on the website.
- The first and last races in the series may be in the dark; you are advised to wear suitable a high viz equipment. High Viz vests may be available to buy from the kit shop, see the club website for details. There are no major road crossings on either route but please be aware of your own safety and that of the pedestrians and cyclists around you.
- Be prepared to run alone for some if not all of the race, although other runners will most likely be within sight.
- The race ends with a finishing funnel, you MUST stay in line until your number has been recorded. If you do not wait in line you will be disqualified.
- Do not drop out of the race and run home without telling anyone, the race organisers will not be best pleased to stand around waiting for you and then go out looking for you whilst you are at home with your feet up.
- New entrants CANNOT be accepted on the day of the race – the race software is already set up and we can’t amend it.
Will you look after my bike /keys / stuff?
You can leave your things at the race start. Marshals will be there while you run, but you leave your things at your own risk.
Will you look after my baby / dog / horse / Gran?
Why is the race often won by newcomers?
Newcomers tend to improve steadily over the season and so come in ahead of their best of season time at each race i.e. each race is a season PB for them. Experienced runners who are recovering from an injury tend to do well too.
Why don’t fast runners win?
Runners coming in the top few positions are typically running over a minute faster than their season PB. A well-trained runner is unlikely to do that, particularly a fast one.
Why do you collect times from some runners?
We do this to confirm the results from our system. Also, in the event of missing a runner, those times can help us determine which runner had no time recorded.
Why do I need a number?
Once you have been issued with a number, you are added to the Trophy system. Your handicap is worked out, and also your start time. If you’ve not been issued with a number, then you’re not in the race.
Why do I have to remember to bring my number?
The marshals have to record the runners’ positions quickly as all the runners will arrive within a short period.
Who created the race?
The race series and routes were proposed by Yvonne Beckwith to celebrate the clubs 25th anniversary in 2009. Andrew Middleton, one of our Life Members, set it up and organised it for two years.
Where are the results?
- Posted on the club website under ‘Trophy Race’.
- Published in the Newsletter following each race.
- Pinned on the club noticeboard on the club night following each race and remain there until the start of the following season.
- Posted on the club Facebook page.
When does the first runner finish?
Earliest arrival was 23 minutes after the race started i.e. 20:13 when the race started at 19:50.
When are the races?
Please see the events Event List for race dates and venues.
When are the dates set?
Trophy dates are decided at the club planning meeting normally held in November.
What’s the Trophy?
The trophy, or trophies, awarded are decided by the committee. In recent years a small trophy has been awarded to the winner of each race. Then a number of runners at the top of the points table have been awarded a trophy at the Presentation Evening (normally in January).
What’s the Trophy Race?
It’s another name for the Two Parks Challenge; the club’s own handicap race run by members for members. (See “History” section at the foot of this page.)
What is the course record?
13:18 run by Emanuele Schiavon on 10 June 2009.
What are the volunteer jobs?
- Check the course on race day
- Marshall the runners into order in the start funnel
- Marshall the turn into the park
- Record runner numbers in finish funnel
- Time runners
- Record sample runner times
- Bring the equipment, e.g. funnel, table, gazebo, flag
- Take photographs
- Sweep if necessary
What are the rules?
See the “Rules” section above.
What are the routes?
See the “Routes” section above.
My time is wrong!
Runners crossing the finishing line very closely behind others may find their time is recorded a second or two behind what they expect. That’s a human limitation of the timekeeper, and the resolution of the timing devices we use. Think of it as an advantage in your handicap for next time. If you believe your time is very wrong in the results, please let the organiser know.
I’ve not had a number. Can I run in the Trophy race?
You are welcome to run outside the race. If you time yourself, let the organiser know your time so it can be used as your handicap if you join the race later in the season. A marshal may be able to suggest when you start to give you a flavour of the race. Please do not cross the finishing line or enter the finish funnel.
The West End Grand Prix existed for many years utilising local races hand picked by a Committee. The results of which were then subjected to an age-related performance calculation, seemingly formulated by NASA and designed to reward improvement over the course of the year. In 2004 the name was changed to the West End Trophy.
By 2008 interest in the race series had waned, and the AGM discussed ways forward, long-standing club member Andrew Middleton suggested the idea for a handicap race. This was taken forward by Yvonne Beckwith who devised the routes and the format of 6 races during Spring and Summer. We tied in the launch of the race series to our 25th Anniversary (2009) with a distance of 2.5 miles to both commemorate this and be accessible to all members of the club. Andrew Middleton designed and implemented the computer programme for the chasing start, dictated by handicap.
The ‘Two Parks Callenge’ race series was adopted with typical West End enthusiasm. The handicap format provided more interest and a greater challenge than a more traditional race format, allowing every runner the chance to cross the finish line first, no matter what their pace.