Age-Graded Performance

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  sueruns 9 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
  • #11751

    Andrew A.
  • #28553


    Age groups are fins but tweaking one's times based on their age is crap.

  • #28554


    As far as using age-graded performances to determine place, bad idea. The same as using chip (net) times or some other formula. It takes away from the true essence of racing, the head to head competition. First across the finish line wins, first 10 across the finish line are the top 10, what's so hard to understand about this concept?

    Age-graded performances can be fun to look at but they are also not an exact science. It's been shown repeatedly that they are biased in favor of those who are older for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that they don't take into account the fact that the gradings for younger runners are based on times posted by professionals while the gradings for older runners are based on times posted by amateurs.

  • #28555


    age grade your own results using either the tables or 'decades' to keep yourself from beating yourself up because at 50 you're not as fast as your were at 25, 35, whatever.

    certainly not for race results as “RACE”  seems to mean something different than 'performance'…

    on the other hand if a club did an 'age graded' 'race' then all those who entered would be buyng into the idea for that race… kind of like running a 'race for a predicted time, without a watch'… sometimes gimic races are fun.

  • #28556

    Andrew A.

    Good thoughts.  I am not even a fan of age group awards, so it follows that I would not give a flip about age grading (certainly for the reasons Ryan gives) and I certainly do not care for age-graded awards.  (No problem at all with age group or age-graded results, though, if given in addition to overall results.)  The basis for each is pretty much the same reason: individual variation.  Just like there are kids who are early bloomers, late bloomers, and everything between, adults also mature at varying rates.  Someone who is 28 might actually have a more mature body (based on several factors) than, say, someone who is 33.  Someone who is 49 might have a more mature (or broken-down) body than someone who is 61.  Like with age groups, it forces everyone in a given chronologically-defined increment into the same slot/pigeonhole.  And like I saw mentioned, how do you 'race a ghost' as age-grading implies?  As I see it there is more than enough stimulation and satisfaction to be gained by keying off of everyone who is right around your raw (not mathematically adjusted) ability level in a race, regardless of age or gender.  Chasing, catching, passing, and holding off real, live, breathing people in real time is the essence of competing, at least as I understand it.

  • #28557


    technology is good, but things like these freak you out hehe, its as simple as competing with alive people, is 100 or 20 years old, overall results, real results, reality fitness is what really counts, in that case edward whitlock would have the world record in the marathon. what a big rambling.

  • #28558


    ..the problem with age grading is kinda like comparing some of the recent women's events (egs hammer throw, pole vault, etc..)…the weaker the event the more points one gets…..if anything i find that age grading gets weaker andf weaker the older u get…..egs a guy i know who ran around 28:20-30 in his prime and ran the equivalent of like 27:30 for 10km….and he would be the first to say that these aren't even close

  • #28559


    Andrew, certainly true that listing age-graded performances in addition to the actual performances wouldn't be an issue. It's kind of like listing some of the other auxiliary data you often see in results. Along with pace and intermediate splits, go ahead and list your PLP. Big deal. However, as you mentioned, basing rewards or official placings based on this creates a lot of problems. I'm not a fan of anything that takes away from that raw, head to head competition. I always think of my Chicago Marathon finish. Someone who crossed the line something like 5 seconds behind me “beat” me in the official results because his chip time was a second or two faster than my chip time. To use the terminology already used, I was racing a ghost. I had no idea someone was a second or two ahead of me for one simple reason. There was nobody there. If someone was actually there, maybe I could have beaten him.

    Rita, I think it's an interesting way to compare yourself to earlier years but, as my PRs have become less frequent (and in the past few years non-existant) I've found other ways to keep the motivation up. Trying to maintain as much as possible, competing with the people around me, etc. If age graded performances do that for someone, great. However, there are also other ways.

    I have no problem with age graded performances until some 50 year old comes up tells me he's a better runner than me because he ran an 82% PLP while my run was a 79% PLP. My performance is based upon a professional athlete making hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to run. His performance is based on an amateur athlete out there just like most of the rest of us. Seem like an equal comparison?

  • #28560


    I like seeing age-grading for the fun of it, but as any type of way to affect the results…nope.
    the winner is the first person to cross the line (unless they took an early start–not a fan of early starts for people that need a day and half to do something they aren't ready for) first.  Not a fan of chip timing to scue that either.  If you arrive at the race 15 minutes late, you shouldn't be 1st in your age group to someone that got themselves there on time, dealt with the crowd, just because your chip says it took you less time…you ran a time trial, not a race.

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