DISTANCES AND EVENTS RUN AT OUR CARNIVALS
Each meeting, often termed a ‘carnival,’ comprises a selection of events: Sprint races (most commonly 70m, 120m and 300m) and Middle Distance races (800m and 1600m). For these there are heats and finals. For the 70m and 120m events there are semi-finals as well. Placegetters in every final receive prize money and all winners are awarded sashes.
The 120m event is our blue-riband event and carries the most prize money. This is known as the ‘Gift’ distance. Typically there are separate Gift events for Men and Women, and for Veterans and Novices. Veterans are over 35 years of age and Novice runners are those who have not won a open race.
ALL RACES ARE HANDICAPPED TO MAKE OUR SPORT INCLUSIVE AND COMPETITIVE FOR ALL
In handicap running there is a scratch ‘mark’ for every event. Any athlete starting from the scratch mark runs the full distance. Most athletes start on a mark or handicap ahead of scratch in relation to their ability. The backmarker, who always wears a red colour, is generally the fastest athlete and starts from behind everyone else. The handicaps are designed to even up the competition and give everyone who trains to their ability an opportunity to win. Winners tend to be re-handicapped according to the quality and value of their performance. Runners who are judged to need an advance in their handicap are given a ‘lift’ by the Handicapper. A handicap or mark will be allocated to give each competitor a fair and equal opportunity to win events based on known and declared form. In the absence of enough information to give a more equitable handicap, the athlete will need to compete in NSW pro races to progress their mark forward. Handicaps will be declared as early as possible or at least 7 days prior to an event.