We have put together a handy list of all the cross-country races for the 2021-22 season:
XC Fixtures Flyer 2021-22
Sunday 17th October: Cheshunt Park, 11am start
Sunday 12th December: Trent Park, Cockfosters
Sunday 19th December: Fairlands Park, Stevenage
Sunday 16th January, 2022: Cassiobury Park, Watford
Sunday 13th February: Royston
Trent Park fixture added at short notice to make a 5 fixture series.
All dates subject to permissions from landownwers.
See XC Captains for more details.
Dates and venues for the county championship races have now been confirmed and are as follows:
Essex XC relays - Saturday 2 October 2021, hosted by Billericay Striders at Weald Country Park, Brentwood
Essex Vets Champs inc U13 and U15 - Saturday 4 December 2021, hosted by Springfield Striders at Writtle University, Chelmsford
Essex Senior Champs inc U17 and U20 - Saturday 8 January 2022, hosted by Basildon AC at Gloucester Park, Basildon
SEAA have announced the dates for their Cross Country championships. Dates for your diaries are:
Cross Country Relays at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday 23 October 2021
London Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill on 20 November 2021
Cross Country Masters Championships at Horspath, Oxford on 11 December 2021
Cross Country Main Championships, venue tbc, on 29 January 2022
Further information: SEAA XC Prospectus 2021-22
- I: Missed race due to injury, illness, self-isolation or exceptional circumstances. Time calculated based on relative performance in other races (see rules below for details). The calculated time will change as the runner completes more races.
- M: Missed race for any other reason. Time = slowest time of the race plus 1 second.
- H: Handicap applied - replacement for a runner who withdrew (see ELR Virtual Cross-Country Teams below).
- G: Ghost runner - replacement for a runner who withdrew (see ELR Virtual Cross-Country Teams below).
- M: missed race. Time = slowest time of the race plus 1 second.
- M: missed race. Age grade = lowest grade of the race minus 0.1%.
The final race of the ELR virtual XC competition was held in Epping Forest in the Pole Hill / Chingford area, during the month of March. Course details here.
The fourth race of the ELR virtual XC competition was held in Claybury Park during the month of February. Course details here.
The third race of the ELR virtual XC competition was held in Epping Forest near Oak Hill, Woodford in January. Course details here.
The second race of the ELR virtual XC competition was held in Hainault Forest in December. Course details here.
The first race of the ELR virtual XC competition was held in Wanstead Park in November. Course details here.
The teams for the virtual XC competition are as follows:
Alex Ward (handicap* 1.599)
Peter Hatley (handicap* 1.395)
Ghost Runner 1**
Ghost Runner 2**
* Peter & Alex joined the competition after teams had been allocated, replacing runners who pulled out. To keep the competition fair, their times will be multiplied by a handicap factor (original runner's race 1 time divided by replacement runner's race 1 time) when calculating team scores. If the handicap time is greater than the time for a missed race (1 second slower than the slowest runner of that race), it will be set to the latter instead. Handicaps only apply to the team competition, not the individual competition.
** Two other runners withdrew from the competition later, after missing races 2 & 3. They have been replaced by 'ghost runners', with times for Race X calculated as follows: (original runner's Race 1 time) / (median time of all team competition runners in Race 1) * (median time of all team competition runners in Race X). This methodology was chosen to be fair, as the teams were allocated based on Race 1 times.
If you're not in a team you can still take part in the individual competition (although you will receive a low score for the November race if you missed that). See ELR Virtual Cross-Country Competition below for details of the team and individual scoring methods.
Given the cancellation of most cross-country races, we are organising our own virtual cross-country series. There will be five races, one each month from November to March, each on a specific course in a local location such as Wanstead Park, Hainault Forest, Claybury Park or Epping Forest. You will be able to run it on any day of your choice in the given month.
To make it more interesting, this will be both an individual and a team competition. The November race will contribute to your individual score and will be used to select teams of roughly equal ability. Teams will be announced in early December, and the remaining races count towards both team and individual scores. Participants should intend to run all five races, to avoid affecting their team's score - but remember you have a whole month to run each one, so plenty of flexibility. There will be five awards: best team, fastest male/female, and top age grade male/female.
- The competition will run from November to March, with one virtual race per month.
- Each race will be on a different local cross-country course of 4-6 miles distance. The course will be chosen to be easy to navigate. A map and route description will be published shortly before each race.
- The first race can be run any day between Saturday 14th November and Monday 30th November. Subsequent races can be run any day of the respective month.
Teams and scoring
- The competition has both team and individual elements. The first race in November counts towards the individual competition, while subsequent races count towards both individual and team competitions.
- At the beginning of December we will use the times from the November race to assemble teams of roughly equal ability for the remaining races. The number and size of the teams will depend on how many members decide to take part.
- There will be five awards: best team, fastest male/female, and top age grade male/female. The best team and fastest individuals will be calculated using the aggregate time across all races. The age grade awards will be calculated using the runner's average age grade across all races.
- Age grades will be calculated using 2020 WMA 5 mile age factors (updated versions of the ones we used for last year's winter leagues competition), adjusted for course length (but not terrain/elevation). They are similar to parkrun age grades, but may differ slightly (parkrun don't publish their methodology).
If any runner misses a race, scoring will be as follows:
- For the individual competition: the runner's race time will be set to 1 second slower than the slowest runner of that race, and their age grade will be set to 0.1% below the lowest age grade of that race. If a runner misses three races or more, they will not be included in the series ranking.
- For the team competition, in case of injury, illness or self-isolation only, and up to a maximum of two races in the series: the runner's race time for the purposes of team scoring will be calculated by dividing their time for each race they did complete by the median time of all runners in that race (to give a course-adjusted performance number), averaging this, multiplying that value by the median time of all runners in the missed race (to give a predicted time in the missed race), and finally adding a 5% time adjustment (to avoid the team benefitting from any inaccuracies in the prediction formula).
- For the team competition, for any other reasons, or if more than two races are missed: the runner's race time will be set to 1 second slower than the slowest runner of that race.
- You can run a race more than once, provided it is within the time window. This could be useful if you take a wrong turning and want to try again. The best time will be used.
- You must submit your race time through a Google form (link to be provided). We will also have a Strava segment for each race, which you are encouraged to use to provide a live leaderboard; however, it is not mandatory to upload your run to Strava. If you do not upload to Strava, please retain evidence of your run in case of any queries.
- Times should be elapsed times, measured between the official start and end points of the course. Alternatively, the Strava segment time can be submitted, but this may be adjusted slightly to be comparable - see route descriptions for details.
- The competition is open to all ELR members (first or second-claim).
For further information, please contact Jacob Stevens or Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera.
2020/2021 provisional cross country championship dates and venues:
XC Relays, Weald Park, Brentwood, 3rd October 2020
U13/15 & Vets XC , Writtle College, Chelmsford, 28th November 2020
Senior XC Champs, Gloucester Park, Basildon, 9th January 2021
Well done to all members who ran in this winter's Sunday Cross-Country League.
The club finished in good positions in all categories:
- Men overall: 7th, vets: 8th
- Women overall: 11th, vets: 11th
Out of 19 clubs.
The following members finished in the top 10 of the individual categories:
- Maud Hodson: 5th VW45
- John Henry: 7th VM40
See you all again at Cheshunt in October 2020!
Michael Wilson and Jacob Stevens
Winter League Captains
For the 2019-20 season, we have introduced a new internal ELR competition, where runners are given scores based on a combination of participation and age-adjusted performance in the Chingford and Sunday League races (see Scoring Method below for details). Trophies will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed runner of each gender at the end of the season.
Here are the final results of the 2019-20 competition.
Some interesting stats:
- 109 ELR members took part at in at least one Winter League race. Almost certainly a club record!
- 9 members ran in all Chingford League races: Euan Brown, Fiona Day, Becky Evans, Maud Hodson, Catriona Hoult, Mark Moir, Billy Rayner, Jacob Stevens & Michael Wilson.
- 7 members ran in all Sunday League races: Karan Gadhia, John Henry, Maud Hodson, Mark Moir, James Nichols, Jacob Stevens & Michael Wilson.
- The 5 women with the highest age-adjusted performance score (omitting volunteering) were Becky Evans, Paula Bedford, Caroline Frith, Emily Clarke & Ellie Wilkinson.
- The 5 men with the highest age-adjusted performance score (omitting volunteering) were Euan Brown, Calvin Bobin, John Henry, Rhys Edwards & Thomas Grimes.
- 31 members ran in only one Winter League race.
Part. - Participation score
Perf. - Overall performance score
Race perf. - Performance score in last race
Score - Overall score
Pos.chg. - Position change (N: new runner/volunteer)
For each runner, we calculate a participation score and a performance score. The participation score is the percentage of Chingford and Sunday XC League races that the runner has taken part in. The performance score is calculated by taking the runner's time for each race, applying a gender/age adjustment (similar to parkrun age grading) and then comparing that to the median time of all runners in the race; this is then averaged over the races they took part in. The overall score is a weighted average of the two scores: 60% of participation score plus 40% of performance score.
All Winter League races are included in the competition, both cross-country and tarmac, including the Chingford League relays in March. Volunteers at the relays (organised by ELR) also score points: a fixed race performance score of 100 is used.
For anyone interested in the details, the scores are calculated as follows:
Time = Runner's race time (individual time in the relay)
CatFactor = Conversion factor from gender/age category standard to mid-point between SM & SF standards - see below.
AdjTime = Time * CatFactor
MedianTime = Median time of all runners in race (all clubs, all categories)
RacePerfScore = MedianTime / AdjTime * 100 (or fixed value of 100 for relay volunteers)
PerfScore = Mean RacePerfScore for runner over season
PartScore = (Number of races attended by runner) / (Total number of races) * 100
Score = PerfScore * 40% + PartScore * 60%
Category factors are calculated using WMA age factors and male/female 5 mile road race records (similar to the data used for parkrun age grading).
Factors for 5y Chingford League categories:
SM 1.0676 SW 0.9404
M40 1.0076 W40 0.9017
M45 0.9690 W45 0.8630
M50 0.9304 W50 0.8156
M55 0.8917 W55 0.7674
M60 0.8531 W60 0.7192
Factors for 10y Sunday League categories:
SM 1.0676 SW 0.9404
M40 0.9883 W35 0.9144
M50 0.9110 W45 0.8393
M60 0.8338 W55 0.7433
Example (for one runner, one race):
Time = 20:50
AdjTime = 20:50 * 1.0076 (M40) = 20:59
MedianTime = 24:15
RacePerfScore = 24:15 / 20:59 * 100 = 115.52
Score = 115.52 * 0.4 + 100 * 0.6 = 106.21
Sunday 20th October 2019
Event 1 Cheshunt Park, Cheshunt - Hosted jointly by Broxbourne Runners and Garden City Runners. 11am start.
Sunday 1st December 2019
Event 2 Trent Park, Cockfosters - Hosted by Trent Park RC. 10.30am start.
Sunday 22nd December 2019
Event 3 Fairland Valley Park - Hosted by Fairlands Valley Spartans. 10.30am start.
Sunday 12th January 2020
Event 4 Cassiobury Park, Watford - Hosted by Watford Joggers and supported by Ealing Eagles. 10.30am start.
Sunday 9th February 2020
Event 5 Royston - Hosted by Royston Runners. 10.30am start.
Sunday League website: http://www.runherts.com/xc.htm
Mike Wilson and Jacob Stevens
Winter Leagues Captains
East London Runners supports the running of equal distance for Men and Women in all Cross Country Races. While some races/leagues/counties/nations/vets have equalised distances, some have not, as yet, done so.
East London Runners also respects the right of each individual Club Member to decide for themselves what races they wish to run in and we will NOT obstruct in any way a member running in a race or League that does not have equal distances.
It remains the Club policy that all members will run for FREE in Cross Country Leagues that the Club are members of (e.g Chingford League and the Run Herts Sunday XC League) and the County/Regional/National races whether of equal distance or not. The Club does pay League fees on members behalf in addition to any fees for entering our County, Regional and National Championships.
The views of members expressed on Facebook and other types of Social Media are considered to be of a personal nature and may differ from those of the Club expressed above.
Sunday 1st December 2019 - Sunday League Race 2 - Trent Park, Cockfosters, EN4 0PS - 10.30am start.
Meet at Wanstead Leisure Centre at 8.45am for car share to Trent Park. The race is free to members of East London Runners. Turn up on the day to run - no pre-race entry required. If you need a lift or have any queries, please advise Mike Wilson or Jacob Stevens.
Start Time: 10.30am
Venue: Trent Park, Cockfosters Road, Barnet, EN4 0PS.
Hosted by Trent Park AC.
The start (and finish) will be at the opposite end of the Central Footpath to the cafe and toilets (at the end where the Wildlife Sanctuary is).
Approx 5 Miles cross Country.
Suitable for good trail shoes, cross country studs, or spikes.
Cockfosters Station on the Piccadilly Line is a 5 minute walk from the venue.
Parking is available at Trent Park - arrive early.
The course map is on
Cross Country Captain Mike Wilson reports.
With the Cross Country season drawing to a close, I would like to congratulate Thomas Grimes who was crowned overall winner of the Sunday League title. He achieved this with a top five finish at the final fixture at Royston. This is a great achievement with record attendances of over 500 runners at some of the races. I am pleased with the turnout from the club in both Leagues, with numbers increasing from last year. We had 10 enjoyable races in total on on a variation of surfaces and conditions, appealing to novices and experienced athletes alike.
In the Chingford League we had a record 54 runners compete on a cold autumn evening at Hog Hill in October. The ladies and men's 'A' teams finished 4th and 5th in this League respectively.
I would like to thank everyone who took part in 2017/18 and look forward to welcoming new and old members again, when the season starts again in October.
East London Runners
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