Winter Handicap Races

Winter Handicap Races

Phil Sears Handicap Races

The Event

The handicap is a series of races held from September to March - 6 races in total.  As the name suggests, each competitor has a "handicap" - calculated from previous handicap races or a recent 5k time.  All levels of competitor are welcome.  


The handicap is a two-lap loop through Denbies then along the A24, including Chichester Road and Calvert Crescent as per map below.  Total distance is approx. 3.8 miles / 6km.

Phil Sear Handicap Route

How to enter

Please see the newsletters for details on how to enter.  Dates will be published on the Calendar.

How it works

The winter race is 3.8 miles long.
45 mins (just under 12 min mile pace) is used as a base time in which most runners can complete the distance.
To work out the handicap for each runner, their current run pace is used to predict their finish time over the 3.8 mile distance.

Example – If you run a 5K race in 27 mins, that is a min per mile pace of 8.41. Running at 8.41 MPM pace over 3.8 miles gives you an expected finish time for the 3.8 miles of 33.00 mins.

The handicap is worked out by then using base time 45 mins minus expected finish time 33 mins = 12 mins.

So, the faster the runner the higher the handicap.

We set runners with roughly the same handicap time off in small groups, at various intervals. This means that most runners finish within a few mins of each other.

To work out the results we use finish time minus start time plus handicap.

Example – Runner starts in start group going off at 8 mins (the first runners go off at 0 mins.) Their handicap set prior to the race is 12 mins. Their finish time recorded from the timekeeper is 41 mins. To get their result we use Finish time 41 mins – Start time 8 Mins + handicap 12 mins = 45 mins.

NB – If your MMP is over 12 mins you have a minus handicap. This is taken off your finish time in the above example.

If the final time is below 45 mins, then a runner has done better than their predicted time and if above, they are slower.

Your handicap is adjusted each time you improve.


Results are issued through the club email system.  Each race can stand by itself as a race with a result showing how each entrant did beating their handicap.  As well as individual race results, points are awarded separately to male and female entrants.

At the end of the season the best 5 results for each entrant are taken from the 6 handicap races and a male and female runner will be announced as the winners of the handicap season with prizes awarded!!

Social event

A supper is served in the clubhouse at Pixham after each handicap race for a small charge to cover costs.  

In the past, there has also been a special festive ‘Non-Handicap’ handicap event featuring a fancy dress run round the town follwed by a Christmas Supper.  This is usually held on the Thursday just before Christmas at the Pixham Lane club house.