Series scoring and awards

See a basic overview on video:


There are two team competitions for the Vancouver Island Race Series the VIRA Cup and the Island Series Cup. There is also an age-group competition for all individuals for all ages and abilities.


Team/club points are awarded in all of the five-year age groups as well as 16-19 and 13-15 youth age groups. The top 20 in each age group earn points as follows:

1st place: 20 points
2nd place: 19 points
3rd place: 18 points

20th place and beyond all earn 1 point for their club; everyone counts!

Points are earned equally for individual standings within the age groups as well as toward club points in the VIRA Cup. If a runner has registered with a club, then that club earns those same points. All age groups are equal. See “individual competition” below.

By the end of the season, all total points accumulated will be attributed to the respective club and the team with the highest score wins the VIRA Cup. The 2023 winning team was the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club.

See the results page for points that are attributed by finishing position in respective age groups.

Must participate in five races with one event being over 10K.
Youth just four races, no distance requirement.

Island Series Cup

The top three male and top three female runners on each team score points for their team or club. The points scoring in the Island Series Cup is similar to the reverse scoring system used in cross-country running. Where the VIRA Cup is about getting the most points, the Island Series Cup is about having the lowest score.

For example, the first overall male and female finishers in a race earn 1 point each. The second place finishers 2, third 3 points and so on. Example: If your team has finishers in the following (very unlikely) order, add the total and that is the team score for that race:

1st male: 1 point
1st female: 1 point
10th male: 10 points
10th female: 10 points
20th male: 20 points
20th female: 20 points
Total: 64 points <—nice, low score.

The lowest team score wins that race. Teams MUST have three male and three female minimum to field a team.

The top three males and top three females on your team score points. Anyone who is not a top-three finisher on a team and not scoring may still play an important role in the competition because they may displace the competing team’s runners by finishing ahead of them, forcing them to earn a higher point score.

This is not an age-group competition but an overall placing competition.

The goal is a low team score.

The total score of the five best team performances during the series by a team made up of a minimum three male and three female runners will be the final result.

Must participate in five races with one event being over 10K.

Below is an example of a scenario of two fictitious teams with made-up names (any similarity to real people is a coincidence):

Island Series Cup sample scenario
Note: the Wellington Harriers won this particular race earning the fewest points.

Wellington Harriers

Billington Track and Field Club

Overall race finish position Name Island Series Cup points Overall race finish position Name Island Series Cup points
Points earned Points earned
3rd male Bob Smith 3 1st male Bob Jones 1
10th male Bill Jones 10 15th male Dave Smith 15
2nd female Mary Chew 2 1st female Jane McKenzie 1
15th female Jane Doe 15 20th female Sandy Jones 20
30th male Fred McDonald 30 31st male Dave Wang 31
35th female Sandra Basi 35 36th female Karen Low 36
Total team points 95 Total team points 104

Individual series competition

Individual: each runner’s time will be recorded and points will be awarded according to the performance in respective age groups.
To qualify for individual series awards, runners over age 19 must run a minimum of five races with one being over 10K in distance. Runners in the 16-19 age group will have the three best scores for all races counted. Runners 15 and under will have their two best scores counted. Full points standings are posted on the results page.

Age group competition is based on chip time, and overall wins, and records are based on gun time.

Points performance rating (informational only, not a competition)

Points are awarded based on a runner’s performance relative to a benchmark that takes into account the world’s best times at 5km, 10km, 15km, 20km, and Marathon distances. The formula was developed by Peter S. Riegel, past chairman of the TAC/USA Road Running Technical Council. 1000 points equate to a world-best time. Running at half the speed of the world best would give a score of around 500. The formulas, roughly speaking, estimate that a person’s speed declines by about 6% for men, and 4% for women, as distance doubles.

One of Peter Siegels original papers on this is available online

See the points rating system at the link showing the 2023 Harriers Pioneer 8K and note the column “points performance.” This is informational only and for runners to enjoy seeing their performance improve across different distances.

Age grade percentage

Similar in idea to the points performance rating system, there is a measure of performance by age grade percentage to how you would run at your lifetime peak. For example, a 34:44 8K by a 65-year-old Gary Duncan. His result is 78% age-graded, which theoretically indicates an approximate peak lifetime performance of 26:56. It is fun to theorize how fast we would be at peak age.

Most Inspirational

This is a simple award with a smaller, but similar trophy as the VIRA and Island Series Cups. The recipient will receive a keepsake mug with their name, year and “Most Inspirational” honour included.

The rules are simple. If you see something happen that is inspirational — doesn’t have to be a victory — email and tell us about it. The board meets before the final race, the Bazan Bay 5K and decides on who the honour should go to.

Send in those suggestions!

The 2022 honouree was Bruce Hawkes of the STARR team of Sooke. He is entering his 80s and has run 231 races entering the 2023 series. in 2023, Christine Thate won the honour, well deserved for her perserverance.


Medals are presented to the top ten in each age category. Trophies are presented to the overall top male and female in the series, and the top male and female masters (40-plus years old)

Overall awards are presented based on gun time. Age-group awards are presented based on chip time. It is the responsibility of the runner to seed themselves accordingly at the start line.

Runners who complete all eight races in the series, or seven races and volunteer at their own race, will receive a special rate the following year. An additional processing charge will be added when you register online.

Draw prizes will be presented at each race that are provided by our sponsors.  Runners must be present at the drawing of all prizes.


We strongly recommend that you do not race with headphones of any sort. If you impede a participant, emergency response vehicle, or race officials and are wearing headphones at the time, you are subject to disqualification.