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 Bill Rus, 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.
Five runners—three women and two men—established new single-age records in 2019.
- Chris Lundy ran 59:16 at age 48, edging out Gabriele Anderson’s adjusted-time record of 59:39 set in 1993. She ran a remarkable race, placing 4th overall. Still, her time is on the conservative side of the handicap, so no adjustment is indicated.
- Melody-Anne Schultz set a new single-age record of 1:40:13 at age 77 in the AAA group. No changes are planned to the AAA group at this time, so no adjustment is recommended.
- Eve Pell ran 2:26:04 at age 82, establishing a new single-age record. She, like Melody-Anne Schultz, runs in group AAA, so no adjustment of the head start is recommended.
- Alex Varner ran 49:29, the “best time” this year, and set the single-age record for men aged 33. He placed third overall with a 1 minute head start. His time is consistent with records for ages just above and below age 33, including the single-age record he set in 2018. No adjustment indicated.
- Brian Pilcher ran 59:27 at age 62. This time is remarkable, and is about 20 seconds below the handicapping line, but it does not redefine the line relative to the performances of Sal Vasquez (younger) and Russ Kiernan
Recommendations for 2020:
- None of the five record times merit adjustment to the head starts for the 2020 race.
- I recommend that the committee continue to reduce the head start minutes by one minute for the winners of the last three races: Chris Lundy (two minutes for winning in 2017 and 2018) and Brian Pilcher (one minute for winning in 2019).
|Head Start Table and Start Times for 2020|