DPR is a friendly club, but we also like races! And there are lots of different events in which you can take part throughout the year. Membership of DPR will motivate you to take part in competitions that you might not otherwise consider…and you receive a discounted entry fee for many events!
There are different types of races and competitions which DPR members take part in throughout the year:
• Competitions organised by DPR
• Regional club competitions
• Individual races open to the public, often organised annually
Throughout the year we have several competitions between DPR members. For some, we keep it just between ourselves and organise the whole event, for others we compete as part of public races, and for some we just have a bit of fun during parkrun!
Virtual 5k Challenge
Beginning on Saturday 18 April 2020, this is a challenge we can undertake during lockdown. Each new week runs from Monday to Sunday. Run a 5k route of your choosing, upload it to Strava having named it DPR Virtual 5k and make sure that you’ve joined the Dulwich Park Runners Strava Club. Results are published every Monday on our Facebook group and on our Club Championship Results page (not that it’s a Club Championship). 5k routes should not have a significantly negative elevation and results are taken as elapsed time rather than moving time. Please respect social distancing guidelines.
The first Tuesday of each month features the long-standing HANDICAP, an opportunity to really challenge yourself and develop your stamina and speed in a lung-busting 2-mile race around the streets of Dulwich. The interesting part? Everyone starts at different times, with quicker runners starting last so everyone is in with the chance of winning that month’s race, whether you are a beginner or one of the faster runners in the club.
The following month all start times are adjusted to bring all the finishing times closer together, ensuring an action-packed final sprint to the finish line.
Points are awarded each month based on your finishing position and your best 9 scores count towards the annual trophy. Over the course of the year seemingly insurmountable leads can disappear as early winners start further and further back. The only solution is to run as fast as you can in every race! And there are sometimes a few surprise prizes too! Once you’ve recovered your breath we decamp to a nearby hostelry in Dulwich Village for some well-earned refuelling.
Each year DPR selects races at different distances for our ‘Club Championships’ in which DPR members compete against each other for club medals. These races are great club outings which also allow our competitive streaks to shine through!
For example, each year a parkrun is chosen for our 5k championship; one of the summer league races is chosen as our 10k championship and so on. The different club championship distances are:
- 1 mile
- 5 kilometres
- 5 miles
- 10 kilometres
- 10 miles
- Half marathon
- Cross country-men
- Cross country-women
Each championship attracts medals for the best age-graded performances and results are recorded on the website and posted in the clubhouse for posterity.
Results can also be found here.
Just because there’s competition, doesn’t mean there can’t be a bit of fun too.
Taking place over 12 weeks in summer and winter, the idea is simple: run a parkrun every week, earn your basic points and also try to get as many bonus points as you can.
Bonus points are given for doing new parkruns, good age-graded times and obtaining ‘Personal Bests’ (PBs), and in some weeks a series of novelty bonus points are on offer for various achievements such as pacing a fellow DPR member to a PB, sporting a stylish moustache or posting a Christmas tinsel selfie! While some of the scoring is a little more serious than others, this light-hearted competition between members is a firm favourite and results in some surprising ingenuity to try and maximise the bonus points. And the winner receives a splendid shield!
Regional Club Competitions
As well as competing amongst ourselves, we also take part in regional inter-club competitions in the summer and winter months.
The Summer League has been going for several years and involves nine well-known and like-minded London running clubs. Competition takes place at 5 separate running fixtures from June to August for runners of all abilities on Sunday mornings, hosted by different clubs in the league. Each fixture includes a 5 mile or 10K road race for adults, a 1-mile junior’s race and a 400m fun run for under 7s, followed by 4x400m relay races for men’s, women’s and mixed teams with adults and children competing together. The host club also provides a picnic for all runners and volunteers. Club and individual prizes are offered and DPR members can also win a medal for exception al attendance.
DPR hosts one of the events and our hospitality and quality (and quantity!) of our picnic spread are legendary. The other fixtures in the series are usually in Battersea Park, Regent’s Park, Ealing and Harrow.
DPR’s Cross Country races take place from autumn to early spring and include four fixtures for men and women.
DPR’s women take part in the Surrey League, an interclub cross country league of races which take place within the M25. Consisting of four fixtures, each 6-8km long, runners compete both for their own position as well as for DPR in teams of 4. Last year DPR’s women finished 25 and 41 in Division 2.
DPR’s men currently take part in four open entry races throughout the winter as we build our number of competitors back up. This means we get to enjoy some fantastic trail races in and around London. Last season we took part in the Oxted 10k, Beckenham 10k, Dash for the Splash and the Medway Megalith Half.
DPR also chooses a number of public events or races which then attract a sizeable group of runners form the club.
These differ from year to year but examples include:
- The 10-mile Cabbage Patch run in Twickenham
- The Paddock Wood half marathon in Kent
- The Eridge trial run near Tunbridge Wells
- The Chislehurst half marathon
- The Vitality Big Half marathon in London (50 £10 places acquired for DPR runners in 2020!)
- The ‘Women Can’ marathon in Devon
- ‘Man v Horse’ in the Brecon Beacons
- The London Marathon
- And other special events such as triathlons for example Iron man, the London triathlon and the Crystal palace triathlon and swimming events such as The Swimmer, Mill2Mill swim and swimming in the River Cam
Your club subscription includes membership of England Athletics and this entitles you to a discounted entry fee at most public events.
Being involved in events like these means that there is always an event for which to train and this helps with your motivation to keep fit around the year.
If you like the sound of our races and want to get involved, why not pop along and come for a run with us on a Tuesday and see what you think of the club. Just let us know you’re coming and we’ll see you on Tuesday!