2020 Road series update and Superteams
With all road racing as we know it currently suspended, and a resumption date unknown, the club committee decided to ensure that our members got the next best thing to actual racing, and backed a proposal to substitute the planned series with Virtual Challenges, until road racing can start up again. Of course permission was sought and athletes had to observe the guidelines put in place for the safety of all Boy, have these virtual challenges proven to be popular with members from pre teen years, right up to those who remember when the most famous boy band in the world was a group of lads from Edinburgh. Bay City something or other??
First up in early May was the Scottish Athletics 1 mile event. Straightforward enough concept. Go out and run a recorded mile and send the Garmin or Strava link to SAL. Ok, there were a few rules to make it as fair as possible, and whilst the rules can’t replicate the excitement and conditions of standing on a starting line, toe to toe with your fellow athletes and competitors all around you, they did provide for a great rush. Over 2,000 Scottish athletes, mainly in Scotland, but many who were in lockdown as far away as Australia took part. 38 Vics were amongst them!! What a fantastic turnout from club members. Well done to all 38, but especially well done to Kane Elliott who recorded 4:14 for the third fastest time of the challenge, but the fastest time of any athlete without a para classification. Well done Kane we are all very proud of you. Our second and third fastest males were also under 5 minutes, with Callan Hogarth recording a very fine effort of 4:45, and our Senior Scottish and GB&NI International sprinter, Grant Plenderleith, with track racing not on the horizon currently went “long distance” for him in the mile and recorded 4:54. Callan, that’s two great athletes to be sandwiched between. Our leading lady was the ever reliable Olivia Vareille, just a few seconds behind the guys with 5:04. Superb running.
Of course, our road series is decided, not on times but on “wava” scores. This age graded score, out of 100, tries to equalise the efforts of runners of different ages, by comparing the time run to the worlds best for that age and gender for the distance. Basically, if you run a world’s best for your age and gender, you will score 100, and if your time is, say 10 mins and the worlds best for your age and gender is 5 mins, then you score 50%. In excess of 90% is regarded as world class, and in excess of 80% is regarded as GB&NI class. By using this scoring methodology we can compare mothers and sons, husbands and wives, training partners whatever the age gap is. On this measure Kane retained his top club placement with a wava score of 90.63%, and Olivia was pipped for top lady by Caitlyn Christie, with 83.21%.
Hot on the heels of the 1 mile Virtual we had the club’s very first exclusive Virtual Challenge, the 3k. Not only was this hugely popular with club members, with more than 50 entries, it also attracted entries from other club members. Unfortunately due to the conditions of our race licence we couldn’t accept athletes from other clubs, however I feel sure they’ll be approaching their own committee’s asking them to get permits to run their exclusive events.
Although we could hardly ask for any more in terms of interest from the members, unfortunately we couldn’t have anticipated the extreme weather that was going to hit Falkirk for most of the 3 days the event was open for. Rain, and winds in excess of 50 mph on Friday and Saturday, and not much better on Sunday, not surprisingly took its toll on the number of finishers. That said, an impressive 35 club athletes competed successfully. Another huge achievement.
Callan (9:41) and Grant (9:51) were our quickest finishers and our fastest lady was Katy McGonigal at 12:07. On wava scores Ray Taylor was top finisher on 80.02% and Emily Christie was top lady on 78.95%. Well done to you both. See the full results here
Our road series is now 4 events old and leading the way for the men is Grant Matheson, with an average wava over 4 races, of 78.88%. Leading lady is Monica Anderson with an average wava, over 3 races of 68.46. Well done all. Can you catch them?
Next up will be the Club 5k Virtual Challenge, taking place on 12th to 14th June. We already have 35 entries, but you still have time to get your entry in (U15 and older for this one) by 11th June. If the weather plays ball it’s set to be another cracker. Enter here Note - we are also considering adding other vrtual races and will keep you posted
Meanwhile some of our younger athlete took part in a National Virtual Superteams alongside 40 other clubs across the country. Again, this event was licenced with athletes following the guidelines. We had 16 FVH athletes from U11 to U15 entered which sees a different weekly challenge spread over four weeks. These are a 75m shuttle run. target throw, standing long jump and an 800m to finish. The athletes follow coaching videos and train for the event over the week before submitting their results. We are awaiting the results for scottishathletics and will refresh this page when we get them. You can still take part in this event, further info is on a separate web article and you can enter here