Don’t Forget Your Wildcard!

17 July 2019 - By James Blackshaw

We’re just over halfway through the calendar year and the Club Champs competition is building nicely. But with only 7 out of 19 races left you may be looking at other ways to accumulate those much needed points. There are still volunteering opportunities at the BD5, Essex Way Relay, and our final track 5k of the year, and also participation points to be had at the XC events, Essex Way Relay, and the XC Champs.

A more valuable way to increase your points it to utilise the Wildcard option. There is lots of good info about the how the Wildcard works, and the points in general, to be found here. But I thought I’d give a few practical examples of how the wildcard can be used.


So here’s a few scenarios. I use half marathon in most of the examples, but the same can be said of 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile races.

  1. For a variety of reasons, you’ve not managed to get to any of the half marathons that are listed as club champs races (Bentley, Colchester & Pleshey), but you have run the Brentwood half marathon (or any other non-club champs half marathon). You can submit your Brentwood half marathon time, and that will count towards your points.
  2. You have managed to run one of the club champs half marathons (or even all of them), but you’ve run Brentwood half marathon as well, and your Brentwood time was the fastest. You can then submit your Brentwood time, and that will count instead the club champs half marathons.
  3. You’ve run a marathon, and would like it to count towards your points. However! If you do use your marathon for points, then it may override the points you gained from a 5k. You can only have a maximum of five counting distances: 5 Miles, 10K, 10 miles, Half marathon, and then either a 5k or a marathon. If you’re not sure whether your 5k or your marathon will garner the most points then just ask, and I will do the calculation.
  4. If you want to be really clever and squeeze the maximum points out of your races, then bear in mind that being older equals more points. For example, if you run the Great Bentley half marathon in February and the Pleshey half marathon in September, and your finish times are the same, but you’ve had a birthday inbetween, then Pleshey will collect you more points, as the points are calculated by using your age on race day. The point is, a wildcard race after your birthday may increase your total, even if it’s about the same finish time as a race before your birthday. Again, if you’re not sure whether to wildcard a race, then just ask and I’ll work out whether it’s worth it or not.
  5. You can’t wildcard a different 5k race (like a Parkrun, for example). The club offers seven 5k races in which to get your 5k points, and at time of writing there is still one left. But as mentioned above, if you haven’t run a 5k but have run a marathon, then we can use that instead.


Any questions about the wildcard or the club champs competition in general, just message me or put something of FB.





ps. I’ve just thought of something mildly interesting. If you was to run all 19 of the club champs races, then that would be worth an extra 575 points, simply because of the participation bonus that is applied for Club Champs and Essex Champs races. You’d probably also be skint and your family would hate you, but that’s a small price to pay, right?


  1. Karen Flowers says:

    Hi James – does the wildcard choice have to be an Essex Race? If not, can I select the Hadleigh 10 mile in November as my Wildcard Choice as I am unable to run Tiptree or Stebbing this year. Karen

  2. James Blackshaw James Blackshaw says:

    Hey Karen. Yep, that’s absolutely fine. There are no rules regarding where the race takes place, as long as it’s a ‘bonafide’ race, which the Hadleigh 10 obviously is.

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