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Additional race information can be found at http://www.covid-cup.net.
Season 7 of the COVID-CUP will include a variety of race distances. The season will begin Monday April 5 and run through Sunday May 2. Final team selections will occur the day before the season begins (Sunday, April 4). During the season, each runner will be required to complete the specified race distance and submit verification of their time. The week begins each Monday and "race" results must be submitted by 8pm PT on the following Sunday. Team results will then be tallied and averaged, with handicapping, time bonuses, and gender-equaling being applied each week to help ensure a competitive season. At the end of season, the team with the lowest average time will be declared the winner.
Week One - 5k
Week Two - 2 mile
Week Three - 1 mile
Week Four - 4 mile
At the beginning of each COVID-Cup season, captains are selected and runners are assigned to teams of ~6 if they have not created their own teams during registration. The teams will compete for four weeks. Each week, runners must submit a time for that week's race distance. The "race" needs to be recorded with a GPS device or App and a screen shot of the results submitted for verification. Times are calculated and handicapped to create an average team time for the week. At the end of the season, the team with the lowest cumulative average time is the winner.
Each team will consist of ~6 runners, depending on total number of participants. Runners can create their own teams during registration, or be assigned to teams the day before the season begins. Each team will have a captain who is responsible for coordinating communication and ensuring the timely submission of weekly race results.
The handicapping calculation is really quite simple. Week 1 will have no handicapping applied, as it needs to be the baseline for the next few weeks. For the 2nd week, a handicapping percentage is created based on your 5k time as compared to the fastest 5k time in the group. So, if you are 20% slower than the fastest, next week your handicapped time will be reduced by 20%. Female times will be adjusted an additional 12% to create gender parity. From week 1 to week 2, each team will also be handicapped with the difference in time between them and the fastest team. So, if everyone were to run the same exact time and distance from week 1 to week 2, the cumulative results would all be equal. Of course, in reality, it doesn’t work that way.
For further incentive, there is a time adjustment for performance relative to predicted time. Week 1 times are used for weeks 2 and 3, and Week 3’s time is used for week 4. We use the formula developed by Pete Riegel to calculate each runner’s predicted time for that week’s distance and then calculate the team’s predicted time. Then, based on the actual performance against prediction, the team is either rewarded or penalized. For example, if the overall team time for the week was 98% of the predicted time, their team time will be lowered an additional 2% or increased 2% if it was 102% of the predicted time. Finally, there is a slight time bonus for the top three teams with the fastest gender adjusted times.
To enhance engagement and team interaction, we are implementing the use of the Group messaging app, GroupMe. GroupMe is free to use, is available on every device, and can even be used over SMS, which means you don't need the app in order to participate (although it is encouraged that you use the app). We will primarily communicate with all participants via GroupMe, and will set up groups for each team, so everyone can easily communicate, encourage, and banter amongst each other. While we have no choice but to run alone, hopefully a little group chat can make us feel more together.
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