PLEASE NOTE : Road race performances for members of Cheshire clubs are collected for all known events in which they take part.  The analysis is only carried out on this data and not for other runners in the events.  In addition, data is not collected for Cheshire athletes running on other surfaces, eg. Cross country, multi-terrain and fell.  A complete picture for endurance running in Cheshire clubs is therefore not available and consequently some of the observations and conclusions  might be different for those clubs who participate more on non-road surfaces.

In 2013 it became rapidly clear that the increase in participation by Cheshire club members in Park Runs was increasing dramatically and potentially distorting the picture.  Park Run performances were therefore designated separately in the main data base.  In addition, a significant number of Park Run performances were not collected when the times recorded were noticeably slower than the capability of that athlete.  Some of the summary tables attached are somewhat different in detail from previous years as Park Runs are summarized separately from 5K races.  The significance of Park Runs is discussed in a separate document attached, which was available at the Cheshire AA AGM.  This document contains detailed comments on some aspects of the data and is not repeated here.

The Park Run Effect

Description and Comments on tables attached :

Tables 1 to 3 provide details of participation by Cheshire club members on a progressively detailed basis with some allowing comparison over a 6 year period.  In general more athletes in most clubs and more performances, but note the effect of Park Runs where this information is available separately (currently for 2008 and 2013 only) in Table 1. 

Table 1

Table 2

Table 2a

Table 3

Table 4 provides a means to compare performance levels using the BDS handicap code system invented in 2004 by George Bunner.  Data for 2013 is on a slightly different basis as the method of altering handicaps with performances from each new race was changed to follow the procedure used in golf more closely, that is, it is not dependent on the fastest code from the previous 3 to 5 races as used previously.

Table 4


Table 5 presents the age group profile for athletes running at different distances and for the whole data base.  In 2014 I hope to improve this information by using 5 year age groups throughout.  What is clear is the significant number of young athletes in Park Runs compared to 5K races.  The peak age groups are M40 & 45 for men and senior for ladies (but that is 15 years wide).

Table 5


Table 6 indicates turn-over (and other information) at different distances and as in previous years significant numbers of athletes do not appear to run the same distance in consecutive years.  Table 2 also indicates the large scale of turnover as 228 males and 197 females were removed from the data base at the end of 2013 as they had not run a road race (or Park Run) for 2 years – an observation made in previous years.

Table 6

Table 7 gives the first 3 in each age group at different distances.  Park Runs are not included and significantly 29 males and 27 females who ran both 5K races and Park Runs had a faster time in a Park Run.  In addition 143 males and 103 females only ran Park Runs at the 5K distance and a few would have made the top 10 at that distance!

Table 7


Table 8 lists the most well supported races at different distances and indicates in which athlete’s set their season’s fastest time.

Table 8


Tables 9/9A are an attempt to indicate the best “all-rounder” individual and club using ranking lists produced at different distances which contain all known performances. (Copies of these are available from the compiler – but some are very large!).  Matthew Smith (South Cheshire) emerged as the male all-rounder although he only topped the 5 mile and marathon points tables.  Diane McVey (Wilmslow) was a very clear winner for the ladies, being at the top at 5 different distances, but not the marathon which she did not contest. South Cheshire Harriers men retained number 1 spot but in a very tight “finish” while Vale Royal were top of the women’s points table for the first time.

Table 9

Table 9a


Table 10 gives the 30 most popular races for Cheshire athletes in 2013 – the full table has 710 events but there are a large number which only saw 1 or 2 Cheshire runners take part.  The popularity of the Cheshire GP races is again evident; one notable absentee – the 4 Villages HM due to snow and ice but it was with a record number in 2014.

Table 10


Comments if you wish to the compiler    :     John Driscoll  (E-mail )   20 Feb 2014