Course Change Starting in 2017
Beginning in January of 2017, the course will change for the Nielson Challenge. The first mile will be the loop portion, run in a counter clock-wise direction. The second mile will be the out-n-back section, going south for a 1/2 mile, and then north for a 1/2 mile. This is being done to alleviate the congestion that has been experienced along the narrow section of trail near the southern turnaround. As the numbers have grown for the Nielson, some runners have been getting squeezed along the narrow section after they make the turn and run upstream against the flow of oncoming runners.
Please arrive at least 20 minutes early so that we can get everybody registered smoothly and start the race on time. It will also allow you to park closer to the staging area.
The first time you run this event, you'll establish a base time for yourself. This base time is used to generate a handicap time. The handicap time is calculated using an algorithm developed by Bob Royse, and it's geared to favor a beginning runner and the slower runners. Click here for an explanation of the handicap algorithm.
Once you have an established handicap, you are racing against your handicap time. The person who improves the most from their handicap time is the winner. Each month the results are sent off to Bob Royse and he fires up his Nielson algorithm and regenerates all of the handicap times based on the latest result data.
As mentioned before, the handicap does favor a beginning runner or a slower runner who is putting in a lot of quality training time, as it's these types of runners who tend to have significant time improvements running the same course. But the race is also good for established runners and the swift of feet because it gives those runners a good indication of their fitness level. It's the same 2 mile course each month. Thus given similar weather conditions, you have a very good basis to check out your running fitness from month to month.
At each monthly race, the person who improves the most over their handicap earns a Nielson shirt. Their name also goes on the Nielson plaque for that month. At the PPRR membership dinner and meeting in November, the person with the most Nielson wins during the past 12 months is recognized as the year's winner and gets to keep the Nielson plaque. (A new plaque is then started for the next 12 months.) If multiple people have won the Nielson an equal amount of times, then the yearly award is determined by the person who improved over their handicap by the greatest amount.
The shirts are generously donated by Michael Schenk of EON Studios, located at 836 N Institute in Colorado Springs (633-7986). Visit EON Studios for all of your screen printing needs. Michael gets his exercise on a bicycle, while his wife Susan does the running in the family.