Tortoise and Hare 5K Age/Gender Handicap


Apr 09, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Tortoise and Hare 5K Age/Gender Handicap

West View Place & Boulder Crescent Street

Colorado Springs CO, 80903


Entry Fee $5
(Lowest or Early Registration)

Entry Fee 2 $25
(Highest or Late Registration)

Prize Money: no


  • 5K

Type: Trail

Percent of the course on un-paved trails: 95%

First Year of the Event: 2000


This race is a true handicap event in that it measures your fitness level based on your age, sex, height and weight! Following a victory at the Boston Marathon, Bill Rodgers said that his effort to run a 2:10 was not nearly as difficult as the effort of those who were “out there for 4 1/2 hours!” How would you stack up against those speedsters, the Hares, if you were able to factor out some reasons for running a 4 1/2 hour marathon? How good is your training?

Over the last several years, Woody Noleen and Bob Mutu have worked on handicap charts for our local running scene. Given that we run high altitude, we wanted to somehow factor in training at 6500 feet. We worked with charts from the National WAVA standards that are used by most races of this type, using local 5K race results to massage the data. We came with charts and a formula to measure performance and fitness levels based on four key body factors: age, sex, height and weight.

WAVA data indicated that runners aged 20-34 are in their prime. We therefore gave them no age handicap. All other runners get handicap seconds subtracted from their actual running time.

Women are generally not as fast as men at the 5K distance. Local race analysis showed us that for the prime age group 20-34, this differential was 2 minutes. As runners get older, this differential widened and topped out around 4 minutes. For children, it was less than 2 minutes until they get to be about age 19.

We used a height to weight ratio based upon local race times to develop additional handicaps. Men and women are not built the same and the race results clearly showed the handicap pattern was not the same for men and women.

The formulas we ended up with seemed refined enough and very workable. The Tortoise and Hare race became a true measurement of performance weighted for age, sex, height, and weight!

How does it work? At registration you will give us your age, sex, height and weight. We will then compute your handicap according to the charts and use these seconds to determine your starting time.

The runner with the largest predicted handicap starts first. For the start, the clock is set at this number of seconds and begins counting down. Other runners start when their handicap time (written on their bib number at registration) comes up on the clock.

When the clock reaches zero, all runners have started and the clock then starts counting elapsed time for the race. Since handicaps were awarded at the start, the order of finish is therefore the actual standing in the race. (In addition to handicap times, we will also compute actual running times for all runners.)

The race is like a normal 5k in reverse. The Hares start well behind the Tortoises and have to catch them. The tortoises experience the fun of being in front. This can lead to pretty fast times for everybody, not to mention a very closely contested finish! It is not a predict event, so you do not have to try and hold onto a certain pace—just race!

How fast can you run a 5K if we factor out your age, sex, height, and weight?

Please, no dogs or baby strollers allowed on the course. Please do not trespass onto private property. Per PPRR race rules, headphones, i-pods, or MP3 players may not be used during the race. Those not in compliance will be disqualified.


No photos available.


Past Event Dates

Held on Apr 09, 2022

Held on Apr 10, 2021

Held on Apr 11, 2020

Held on Apr 13, 2019

Held on Apr 07, 2018

Held on Apr 08, 2017

Held on Apr 09, 2016

Held on Apr 11, 2015

Held on Apr 12, 2014

Held on Apr 13, 2013

Held on Apr 14, 2012

Held on Apr 09, 2011

Held on Apr 10, 2010

Held on Apr 11, 2009

Held on Apr 12, 2008

Held on Apr 14, 2007

Held on Apr 08, 2006

Held on Sep 10, 2005

Held on Aug 11, 2001

Held on Aug 12, 2000

Event Results