Our Handicapping System


The handicapper uses discretion combined with a formula to take account of varying conditions and changes in runners’ performances.


  • All new runners to the PCCCT must complete a ‘Registration Form’ and pay the PCCCT’s Annual Registration Fee prior to their first run.
  • New runners to the PCCCT will then be assigned a base handicap, which is determined for each race by The Handicapper.
  • The base time and distance used for calculating handicaps is 5km. This base time handicap is loaded (increased) for longer and harder races.  The base time is derived from runner’s times over club races, and any PBs in out of club events.
  • New members’ handicaps marks are set after consultation with the runner about recent PBs, fitness and other potential considerations.
  • The onus is on new runners to be honest and accurate in providing information about their running history


  • It’s important to note that a runner’s mark is solely at the handicapper’s discretion. It is his/her exclusive role to award a handicap to each and every member.
  • The handicaps of all PCCCT runners will be reviewed on a regular basis by The Handicapper, and adjustments may be made either forward (lift) or backwards (drag) or no change, based on these regular reviews.  Reasons for review may include form, regular high placing, long term injury/illness.
  • Lack of training and short term illness/injury are not reasons for a lift.
  • Members may discuss their handicaps with the Handicapper at the conclusion of the race, after results have been finalised.

Considerations of a handicapper include:

  • a runner cannot run his/her fastest rate every week for 27 weeks
  • a runner will vary year to year – age, fitness, disruptions (jobs, kids…..), motivation
  • distance of race 5km – marathon
  • difficulty of race – hills/flat
  • number of people in the race
  • how long since last win
  • consistency of the runner
  • number of races run per season
  • race prestige (“Blue Ribbon” races)
  • total number of club races
  • age of runner
  • potential to improve
  • winning margins