The Age Grader
Our brand new event: The Age Grader.
It will be on an officially measured road course of 5 miles. In it's first year it will run as a 'template' event with a limited field of runners. Overall positions (results and prizes) will be based on age-adjusted times and not actual time (for explanation see below).
However, we will also publish actual race time results, as these will be needed for use with UKA 'Power Of Ten' rankings. This event is also suitable for anyone looking to gain a PB on the flat 5 mile course.
The running population is changing. The majority of runners are 40 and over. Runners over 50 and 60 are recording some great times.
We've decided to put on an event that puts the performances of these 'experienced' athletes into context.
We will use the WMA age-graded calculator. Using empirical data (of current world records for each distance across all ages) it gives an age-adjusted time. This time is said to be the time the individual would have achieved if they performed at the same level in their 20's.
In a sense, it levels the playing field in terms of age and allows older athletes to compete with younger ones.
Remember, the calculator is not simply a roughly applied algorithm - it's based on a huge database of actual performances of world record times achieved by runners in all ages. Here is an example:
A 55-year old male runs a marathon in 2:59:00. The world class time for running a marathon at age 55 is currently 2:23:26. His age graded percentage is approx 80%. This is found by dividing 2:24:22 by 3:00:27 (it's a little more complicated than that but this is the basic principle). His age adjusted time is 2:33:26.
Compare this with a 27 year old, running the same marathon in 2:45:47. His age adjusted time is the same as his actual time - 2:45:47. Although his actual time is nearly 15 minutes quicker than the 55 year old, the age-adjusted time is 12 minutes slower. The older guy wins. His performance, taking into account age, is much better.
This is a link to the age calculator on the WMA site: http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmaroad15.html
The main event results will be ordered for age adjusted time and not actual time (based on whole number of years old on the day of the race). Prizes will be given to the top 3 men and ladies as usual.
Additionally, prizes will be given to the winner in each age category (this based on their actual time and in 5 years age cats - male and female).
We will also publish a set results reflecting actual race time for use by UKA PoT and Run Britain rankings.
Included in the age-graded results will the age graded percentage, since this levels the playing field in terms of gender as well as age. No prizes will be given to the highest percentages as the winners will be the same as the winners mentioned previously.
In order to make the competition within each category more obvious, we will start age categories off in waves. Starting first will be any seniors, then V40's, then V45's, then V50's and so on... up to the oldest entrant (yes there may be an 80+ wave). Each runner will have two bib numbers that are colour coded to each age category. One to be worn on the chest and another on the back. It is hoped this will allow runners in each category to be more aware of who they are racing against in their age category.
On-line entry only. NO entries on the day.
5 mile AUKCM measured route - approx one lap.
Fully marked and marshaled
Fully permitted event
Collect race number and chip on the day from marquee