The way it works is, everyone gets a handicap based on age, size, and sex. Men who are 20 - 34 years old and of a certain size ratio (weigth/height) get a big zero. Everyone else flexes off of that based on their sex, age, weight, and height loaded into a nicely honed equation that then spits out a time handicap. The idea is to level the playing field for everyone, so it's just a test of 5K running fitness, all other things (theoretically) set equal.
Oh, what fun!
Part of the fun is that, rather than have a mass start, runners start the race based on their handicap. My handicap worked out to 7 minutes, 48 seconds, so I started at 7:48 before the race clock. Old, fat women go first and so on... *ahem*
Once on the course, you try to catch the people who have gone before. First one across the finish wins, as with a typical race.
It was a lovely morning for it. Sunny with temps around mid-40s. There were 250 finishers. I took 6th place overall with a handicapped finish time of 15:34
In fact, the top three finishers were all women, all very fit looking. I had no problem losing to them!
It was a fun event hosted by the local running club. I heard about it last week some time. They included this photo of enticing trophies, of which I got a kick out of the caption:
So it was a fun way to start the weekend. I hadn't done a 5k in quite a while, missing the last turkey trot because of icy crappy conditions. This was the first time in a long time of running in shorts. I was hoping that my dog bite scar might intimidate the other runners, but I'm pretty sure it did not.