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.
The 2022 race was somewhat unusual in that no new single-age records were set. The times for the top five runners averaged 1 minute 21 seconds above the single-age records for the race.
Recommendations for 2023:
The changes to the handicaps in 2022 accomplished the desired results, adapting for the improved performance of men in their 50s and 60s over time.
The handicaps also leveled the field for women. Three women in their 30s – Clara Peterson, Stephanie Howe and Chris Lundy, all outstanding runners, placed 3rd, 4th and 5th, separated by just 18 seconds. Five women and five men comprise the top ten finishers.
For the 2023 race:
- No change to the men’s handicaps.
- Add one minute to the head starts for women aged 15 to 25. Last year women age 12 to 40 gained a minute. This year an additional one-minute refinement for women aged 15 to 25.
- Recommendation to the committee is to continue to reduce the head start minutes by one minute for the winners of the last three races:
- Eddie Owens – one minute for winning in 2022
- Mark Tatum - one minute for winning in 2021.
- Brian Pilcher - one minute for winning in 2019
|Head Start Table and Start Times for 2023|