Virtual Totley AC Champs 2025

In late 2019 Covid-19 began circulating and restrictions on gatherings were introduced in 2020 and again in 2021. This meant that our usual annual running calendar had to be modified. In 2020, instead of our usual Club Championship, our training coordinator at the time, Colin Osbourne, created our first Virtual Club Championship. In 2021 we again had a second Virtual Club Championship created by Jamie Rutherford.

It was a strange time for us club runners as all events and races were off. Even the weekly running groups were restricted at times being limited to groups of 6, or another time to groups of 2. When we weren’t allowed to leave our homes, some runners who were lucky enough to have gardens made creative use of the space and ran there instead. If I remember correctly, one club member even did a vertical kilometre in their house on the stairs!

Virtual Champs 2025

For 2025 I wondered if the club might enjoy having another go at a Virtual Club Champs. I’ve taken challenges, elements, and inspiration from the 2 years of Virtual Champs to create a new set of challenges. The basic principle is the same; attempt them whenever you want and have as many goes at them as you like. All can be done individually, with friends in a group. Log your own time and submit it when you’re ready.

There are two categories of challenges – off-road and on-road, and within those categories there are 4 different distances – mini, short, medium and long – making 8 challenges in total

On-road running challenges (A challenges)

  1. Mini on-road (1m) – Flying Mile (from 2020)
    • Run a mile as fast as you can wherever you decide
  2. Short on-road (5k) – Ross Barkley 5km (from 2020)
    • Run a 5k, stopping and starting your running watch as you see fit to rest, for example, 8 x 0.5km sprints with a rest between them – the point you stop your watch has to be the same point you start it again
  3. Medium on-road (10k) – 6 laps of the cricket field (a variation of the Lap of the Cricket Pitch from 2021)
  4. Long on-road (15k) – Escape from Meadowhall (from 2021)

Off-road running challenges (B challenges)

  1. Mini off-road – Higger Hill Climb Challenge (from 2020)
  2. Short off-road (5k) – Touch the Totley Trig (a variation of Touch the Totley Trig from 2021)
  3. Medium off-road (14.5k) – Dronfield Way Relay route from Holmesfield (Dronfield 2000 Rotary Walk)
  4. Long off-road (20mi) – Hope Valley Round (starting at the Outside shop, Hathersage)

2025 Totley AC Virtual Champs rules

  1. Some of the challenges have a set route and some allow you to find your own route
  2. Record your own time and distance, and submit your results to enter
  3. Runs should be recorded using a GPS enabled device such as smartphone or running watch to provide evidence of the route, elapsed time, distance and climb
  4. You can run solo, or with friends (obviously following current guidelines on social distancing!)
  5. Have as many attempts at each challenge as you want
  6. Enter as many or as few challenges as you want
  7. There will be individual winners for each challenge
  8. To enter the overall Virtual Champs you must submit times for at least 4 of the 8 challenges.
  9. Scoring will be done using the 2024 Club Champs method

Totley AC Virtual Club Championship 2020

Our race season didn’t last long this year, which means that most races in our club champs have been cancelled. Never fear! The champs is back in virtual form and here’s how it will work.

Instead of entering organised events, you either set your own route for each event or run our set route. Record your own time and distance, and submit your results to enter. You can run solo, or with friends if you observe the current government guidelines about social distancing.

To keep this interesting, we’ve added in some unconventional categories to test your speed, strength and dedication.

The fun part is that you can send in as many attempts as you like for each category, so you can keep trying to improve your time. We will post and update results online so you can see how you’re doing.

As usual, you can choose from six different categories of event, and enter as many of these as you like. Your highest scoring runs from three different categories will be considered.

  1. Ross Barkley 5km open
  2. 10km open
  3. 10 miles open
  4. Totley Moor Fell Race
  5. Higger Hill Challenge
  6. The Flying Mile
    Special bonus event (not included in the champs) – Totley Trig Challenge

Your runs should be recorded using a GPS device to provide evidence of the route, elapsed time, distance and climb (as a screenshot or gpx download). With the exception of the Ross Barkley 5km, it will be the elapsed time that counts.

Runs may be completed on any date from 1st August 2020, and your entries must be submitted before the closing date of 1st December 2020.

Scoring will be carried out after the closing date. Scores will be calculated in relation to the other Totley runners in each category. i.e. 100 for first, 99 for second, and so on. Age categories will be applied as usual.

Your times from the Dronfield 10k will be automatically entered into the virtual champs 10km event. Sadly the Retford half and Mickleden Straddle don’t fit with the revised categories, so can’t be included. Sorry, but if you did those you’ll need to run again.

Specific rules for each category are as follows:

5km, 10km and 10 miles open
Run the correct distance on any route across any terrain. You can use pavement, grass, trail or fell (e.g. Monsal Trail, Rother Valley or Howden would be acceptable). Flat routes with a good surface would be a good idea if you want to go fast, but there are no restrictions except that athletics tracks are not permitted. If you do include hills, try to balance up and downhill. Routes with a massive net downhill will be considered unsporting and are not allowed.

The Ross Barkley 5km has an extra twist. Here, we will count the moving time, and not the elapsed time. So, you can stop and start your watch and take as long as you’d like to run the 5km distance. e.g. 10 x 500m or 25 x 200m with 5 min rest between efforts would be acceptable. See:

  1. Totley Moor Fell Race
    Run the current route without lapping the cricket field at the start or finish. The run starts and finishes at the junction of Moss Road and Lane Head Road.
  2. Higger Hill Challenge
    Run from the packhorse bridge at Burbage Brook (grid reference 263 814) to the gate leading onto the road at Fiddler’s Elbow (grid reference 256 822), which is about 1km as the crow flies. Route choice your own, and there are a number of options. i.e. there is no requirement to summit Higger Tor, if you think it’s quicker to skirt around it!
  3. The Flying Mile
    Run one mile as fast as you can. No restrictions on terrain or slope. i.e. downhill miles and flying starts are encouraged. You do need to start and stop your watch at the beginning and end of your mile however (i.e. Strava’s estimated fastest mile is not acceptable).

Totley Trig Challenge
This category will not be included in the champs, but is awarded as a special prize. Run from the Totley AC clubhouse to the Totley trig as many times as you can in the four months from 1st August and 1st December. Keep your own tally and submit the total by 1st December.

Colin Osbourne

Totley AC Virtual Club Championship 2021

Group A

1.Escape from Meadowhall

As per the route, escape from Meadowhall and run to the Norfolk arms pub in Ringinglow. A drink at the end is optional.

2.Lap of the cricket pitch

As per the route, you can run clockwise or anticlockwise around the loop. The start and finish are at the gap in the hedge, closest to Moss Road, on the edge of the Cricket pitch.

3. Tiger’s trail race

Run the route as specified at the links, but start and finish at the bottom of Long Line (at the bottom of Moorside Farm track), instead of at the Rugby club.

4. 10k time trial

Run 10k as fast as possible. You can choose any route on any terrain. You must start and finish at the same place. One loop, multiple loops, or an out and back route are all allowed.

Group B – these events have a bit more strategy to them, and the route choice is down to you.

  1. Jake Lane vertical Km

Run a route with 1000m/1km of total height climbed. Points will be awarded based on fastest moving times. Start your watch when you are going up and pause it when you stop for a rest, or when you are going down. Only start your watch again when you are running uphill. Will it be quicker to find a 500m hill and run up it twice, or a 50m hill and run up it 20 times? Perhaps a 10m slope 100 times? The choice is yours! Remember, this is height climbed not distance run up the hill! If you don’t have a watch which measures height, you can measure the height using a map, or route measuring software first, and then calculate your run based on this. We will accept a small margin of error for overall height. Multiple attempts are allowed.

2. Ten post boxes

Run a loop which takes in 10 different postboxes. Fastest time wins.

3. Touch the Totley trig

Start at Grid reference SK291794 and run to Totley moor trig; you can choose whichever route you like. To get to the start, follow the track off to the left after you come through the gate at the top of Moss Road, and keep going along until the path straightens out ahead of you. The fence should be on your left hand side, and the start point is adjacent to a big stone slab which will be just off the path to your right (as you come from Moss Road), and a large tree down past the fence to your left. Please look at the attached map to see where the start point is, and review the video which is pinned to the top of this group, for extra help in finding the start!

4. How far can you run in 10 mins?

Run as far as you can in 10 minutes. You can choose any terrain, any gradient, any location. Try not to get injured!

Jamie Rutherford