So that people of all ages can compete in this race on a more or less equitable basis some runners are allowed to begin the race before others. The following table indicates how many Headstart minutes each entrant will receive based on gender and age. Headstart minutes are based on years of historical data of actual times and records of male and female runners. Compiled and interpreted by "Birdman", the race's official handicapper, the information is presented to the committee for review annually. Typically at least eight of the ten top finishers have been from different handicap groups.
Six 2015 runners – three women and two men – established new single age records.
Women: Three older women set single age records. They were Melody Anne Schultz at age 73, Eve Pell at age 78, and Barbara Robben at age 81. None of the new women’s age records justifies revisions to the 2015 head starts.
Men: Rickey Gates ran :49.10 for men age 34, good for third place in the race. His time is excellent, but it does not threaten the handicapping “line” and is close to the :49.30 that Gates ran in 2014. Brian Pilcher won the 2015 race by almost two minutes, recording a time of :56.56 at age 58. The new record by Pilcher is close to the “line” but in the handicapper’s judgement it does not match previous performances by Sal Vasquez or Russ Kiernan. Finally Hans Schmid ran 1:15.20 for men age 75. The new record is impressive. It is almost five minutes slower than Schmid’s 2013 record for men age 73. The new record time, if repeated, would be no threat to win the race. Schmid finished in 17th place in 2015, more than five minutes behind Pilcher.
Hence, no adjustment to last year’s head starts is needed in 2016.
|Head Start Table and Start Times for 2016|