At this year’s Annual General Meeting, discussion centred on improvements to the Sussex Grand Prix. Specifically: making it more inclusive, fair, and engaging. Consequently, the following changes have been made. Some work remains in refining these changes for the 2018 series and further details will be published soon.

Race calendar

The current series, comprising 17 races was considered too extensive. Points attained at different races varies wildly, resulting in tactical race selection, with certain runners effectively penalised if they are not able to run particular races. The large number of races on the calendar also allows runners to run a completely different set of races to those with whom they compete against, i.e they effectively run in a different competition.

The decision was taken to cut the number of races in any given year from 17 to 10.

Qualifying races

Comparatively few runners from competing clubs manage to complete the required 8 races. This is due to many factors: cost, increasing numbers of new races, lack of interest/motivation. This not only affects individual participation, but transfers through to the team competition: the vast majority of clubs fail to field a full team.

The decision was taken to cut the number of scoring races in any given year from 8 to 6.

The present requirement to run at least 2 long runs will almost certainly change, this will be decided later.

Team scoring

At present, scoring teams comprise the top ten men and the top ten women from each club. As mentioned, nearly all clubs fail to produce a full team of runners. The top-ten format also excludes many club members from contributing to the team.

It was decided to score on a race-by-race basis, with points allocated to clubs according to their performance at each race.

The team league will then be easier to follow as the series progresses. Runners who are unable to fulfil their own individual quota of races can still play an active role for their club at any race they run. The details of scoring method will be decided soon, with emphasis on fairness and simplicity.

In summary, the changes will be:

  • individuals – best 6 from 10 to score
  • teams – each race scored as a team race

Runners should not assume that any specific race from this year’s competition will be part of the Sussex Grand Prix in 2018.

More details to follow, the priority is on publishing the diary for 2018 as soon as possible.

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