Virtual Trail Race Ideas

I’d like to set up a virtual trail race, not specifying the route, just the distance. All routes submitted to the competition would need to return to their starting points, so no net decline or incline and competitors would upload their GPS tracks. However, in order to create a “level playing field”, the time taken would be normalised according to the total amount of climb they achieved in their run. Can Open Track support this normalisation process?

Hi Mike
It’s a good idea but unfortunately not. Is there a standardised format for handicapping a time based on the elevation climbed? I have not seen this before.

Hi Gus, work by Jack Daniels, author of Daniels Running Formular, states that “every percent gradient of incline (going uphill) will slow you by 15 seconds per mile, and every percent gradient of decline (going downhill) will aid you by 8 seconds per mile.”
So to take some account of total climb in a circular or out and back route whilst keeping things simple, normalisation could assume uphill to half way point and downhill back to finish/starting point. The maths is really simple using the Jack Daniels formular and irrespective of horizontal distance covered the correction would be = h x 700 seconds where h is the total climb in miles. So if you ran 6 miles out and back in 45 mins with a total elevation climbed of 528ft, the correction to your run time would be -70 sec, giving you a corrected time of 43:50.

Right OK. I was not aware that someone had come up with a formula for this. Regardless, I am afraid it is unlikely we cannot code it, and we could definitely not unless someone funded it. You are the only person to ask for this so I imagine it would have to be yourself or your club but to be honest we simply do not have the time.

However, if the formula is readily available, an easy solution would be to put the ruling on your competition homepage text and then people can calculate it for themselves and input their results accordingly.

Good luck!