Watchless Handicap Races
The winner of the Watchless 5 each year receives an award at the Annual Awards Night. Any one can win this event, it's rarely the fastest runner that wins!
The objective of the Watchless 5 handicap races is to guess how long you would take to run 5 miles and, after submitting your time in advance, you race it without a watch. Each runner sets off at a different time according to their predicted completion time, aiming to finish at 11:00am. In theory, all runners should finish at more or less the same time. The winner is not the first runner to complete the course, rather the runner who completes the course closest to their predicted time, i.e. closest to 11:00am.
Consistency and pacing is the name of the game here. Our 2021 route will be a little trickier than normal due a more undulating route than the normal tow path route, there are also a couple of kissing gates to factor into your time too!
Watchless 5 Routes
This route starts in Peace Meadow just back from the canal near the start of the green bridge.
The route does not go on any roads.
The route follows the path that goes parallel to Grovebury road and then continues parallel to the bypass, it drops down to take you underneath the bypass by the river where you have to pass through two unmarshalled kissing gates (this needs to be factored into your time). The path continues the other side of the bypass with a climb back up where you will eventually reach another unmarshalled kissing gate that you need to navigate through, a narrow sheltered path takes you to a private road crossing where there will be a marshal waving you through. Continue on the path with the bypass to your left and the quarry to the right, this path continues for a mile looping half way around the quarry where the path stops, here a marshal will wave you to left as you enter the farmers field where you stick to the headland, it's a bit of climb up as you go around to corners of the field. Not far from here is your turn around point by the 'hanging tree', there will be a marshal here so you know where to turn! Then back you go, and it's more downhill on the way back!
2.5 miles out, 2.5 miles back = The Watchless 5
STRAVA link to the route (ignore the time, this was done as a social recce with some walking on mile 2-3 so should not be used as a comparative when estimating time)
Starting approximately 320 meters back along the canal from the Globe Pub, proceed along the canal, past the Globe, up to ivy lane which is at the bridge by the 3 Locks pub. At point (A)Turn right on Ivy Lane and towards a junction in the road where you will turn right. On the map, point (B). This will bring you back onto the canal at point (C). Continue all the way to the Globe Pub where you will finish.
Please note that the finish time is now 11:30. This is to avoid the "Sunday Rush" at the every popular Globe Pub. But don't worry, they still sell beer at this time in the morning.