Grand Prix: Rules

The Grand Prix is an annual competition established in 1989. It is open to all adult members of Valley Striders Athletics Club and is made up of a selection races predominantly in the Yorkshire area and of internal club handicap races.

The competition aims to encourage participation of club members in selected events throughout the year and provide internal competition for all. The Grand Prix includes different types of races categorised below.

Races to be incorporated in the Grand Prix

The internal competition committee agree upon the races to be included at the start of each 12 month season based on popular events and a spread across the categories. Occasionally it may be decided to change or exclude an event owing to a clash of dates. Suggestions are welcomed from club members for consideration.

The number of events to be incorporated is currently approx 35-40 each year, from the following  7 categories:

  • Short road races –  1 mile, 5k, 5 mile and 10k
  • Medium road races – 10 mile and half marathon
  • Long on and off road races – 15 mile, 20 mile, marathon, long trail and Ultra races
  • Fell & Trail
  • Cross Country
  • V S Handicap races
  • parkruns

The season runs from early December to the end of the following November.

Awarding of Points

100 points are awarded to the fastest runner in an event followed by 99 for the second and so on. So in a race with 31 Striders, the last runner scores 70.

As good notice will always be given of forthcoming qualifying events there will be no minimum restriction on the number of Striders participating for points to be awarded.  Thus in a turnout of one that runner would score maximum points.

However, in a race where 20 or fewer Striders compete, points are scaled down as follows:

  • In a race with 20 or fewer Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 80 and the others are equally spaced. For example, in a race with 5 Striders, the scores would be 100, 95, 90, 85 with 80 for last.

In a race where 51 or more Striders compete, points are scaled up as follows:

  • In a race with more than 51 Striders, the first Strider in the race scores 100, the last scores 50 and the others are equally spaced. For example, in a race with 76 Striders, the scores would be 100, 99, 99, 98, 97, 97, down to final places of 52, 51, 51 and 50.


There are 7 groups A-G. All club members will be entered into the Grand Prix automatically and will be placed in a group based on their best performance from the Performance Database over the previous year.

The placing will be based on their pace per mile in 10k races with groups being based on bandings of 30 second intervals with Group A being sub-6 minute mile, B being 6:00 – 6:30 mile pace , C being 6:30 – 7:00 mile pace, D being 7:00 – 7:30 mile pace, E being 7:30 – 8:00 mile pace, F being 8:00 – 9.00 mile pace, G being slower than 9.00 mile pace.

Groups will be set and published at the start of the Season.

New-comers (and other Striders with no recent form) will be placed into group “U” (unclassified) until they have run 3 races and then their grouping assessed on this performance.  This way new club members have the opportunity to complete a qualifying number of events if they join the club mid way through the year.


Runners must run a minimum of 8 events to qualify for any award. For each runner we will calculate a total based on their best 8 points scores with the following conditions:

  • The 8 scores must come from at least 5 different categories. So if for example, a runner’s 5th category is their 9th best score, the calculation will exclude the 8th best and include the 9th best
  • If a runner races in fewer than 5 categories their total will be reduced by 5 points per category less than 5 (e.g. by 10 points if only 3 categories run)
  • Points awarded for the club handicap race will be based on time run, not position finished.

Awards are made as follows:

  • Overall Grand Prix Male Champion (highest points scored)
  • Overall Grand Prix Female Champion (highest points scored)
  • First Male and Female in each of the age groups – Senior, 35-44, 45-54, and 55 and over
  • First in each of the 7 groups.

In the event of a runner winning more than one of the above categories only one award will be made with their age group win taking precedence. For example, a runner achieves first 35-44 category male and first in Group B – no award will be made for Group B winner. Notwithstanding this each Group winner, other than of group A, will automatically be promoted to the group above for the following year.

Publicising the Grand Prix

The events section of this website will list all Grand Prix events under the category ‘Grand Prix’ (click here). The Newsletter will be used to publicise forthcoming events and invite suggestions. Information will also be sent out on Facebook. The Grand Prix section of the website will include a table showing points awarded for each event and total scores to date, and updates to this table will be announced in the News section of this website.

Runners taking part in runs falling within the Any Other Marathon/Half Marathon/Ultra run should send their results to to ensure their performance is included in the competition.

Information about the Grand Prix is included in the information sent to new members after joining.

Grand Prix Co-ordinators

The Grand Prix co-ordinator is responsible in consultation with the Internal Competition committee for compiling a schedule of events each year, collecting results and resolving queries.

Alan Hutchinson – click here to email.

Questions and Answers

Why aren’t handicaps scored on finishing position rather than time? Points are determined throughout the competition based on running times, handicap positions would not provide a fair or consistent basis for awarding points.
Why are 5 points deducted per category of run where a runner has achieved points from fewer than 5 categories from 7 over the season? This is considered a preferable approach to avoid excluding the runner from eligibility for a prize where they have competed in at least 8 Grand Prix events. It also provides incentive to take part in a wider spread of events.
Why aren’t women scored separately e.g 100 for 1st woman, 99 for 2nd etc Because we’d then have to do the same for all the other groups, i.e. the age groups (MV40), and the “pace” groups (A-G). Runners would get 4 different scores for each event! There are opportunities for all runners to aim to achieve a prize, based on age groups and 7 groups A-G.
How are points allocated for cross-country when the men and women run different races and different distances? On pace. This is easy where the men and women run a different number of laps of the same course – the women’s time is just scaled up. Otherwise we estimate the distances and calculate accordingly.
Why are there so many races? To ensure a wide spread of events, e.g. road and off-road providing opportunity for all members to identify a selection of races spread across the season. New members joining in the first half year often have sufficient Grand Prix events still available to select.
Is it possible to win a prize by only running 8 races? Quite possible, although competing in more events will improve chances of achieving better scores than in the first 8 events.
Do second claim members qualify for Grand prix points? Second claim members score points in club handicaps and in races where they run in a Striders vest. Other than this, they do not score points.
Do new members joining from another club score points for races with their previous club? No.