Glasgow runner is the 100,000th running handicap claimant

happy finishers

The runbritain running handicap campaign has reached 100,000 participants who have signed up to be a part of the initiative with a Glaswegian man taking the title.

After being launched in 2010, the running handicap has attracted around 10,000 participants a year, following an initial surge of nearly 13,000 people registering when it was first introduced.

The runner that tipped the scales over 100,000 sign-ups was Kevin Smith (running handicap 8.4) of Bellahouston Harriers in Glasgow. Kevin has been improving continually since May last year and his latest run was at the SVHC Open Masters Road Relays just one week after his 44:31 at the Nigel Barge Memorial 10K

The scheme operates running biography in conjunction with UK Athletics to showcase a different perspective on an individual runners’ journey, focusing on more than just how an athlete’s times compare, factoring in things like the weather conditions on the day and the terrain competitors are racing on.

By signing up to the  running handicap scheme, runners are able to track their progress on a weekly basis, using a handicap scoring system rather than a personal or season’s best performance to show an athlete’s rate of improvement from their previous races.

The award winning scheme also takes into account the terrain and conditions that runners are facing compared to others to help give a more accurate handicap score, meaning that just because an athlete did not record a personal best time, doesn’t mean they haven’t improved.

In 2016, the campaign earned international recognition as it was named as the winner of the European Athletics Innovation Awards, an award created to encourage research and the sharing of new ideas leading to the promotion and development of the sport of athletics.

Commenting on the 100,000th handicap claim, runbritain Manager Gavin Lightwood commented: “Since it was launched, the runbritain handicap scheme has generated an average of 30 sign ups a day which has now taken us to the magical 100,000 mark.

“This has mainly come about through word of mouth recommendations and is testimony to how the handicap scheme is appreciated by runners of all abilities and is used as an incentive to keep racing. Here’s to the next 100,000!”