Age/sex grading results

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Age/sex grading results

Post by efahl » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:06 pm

Have anyone ever heard of a race where the results were age graded (with or without separating men and women)? I've been using the WMA age grading tables for my own benefit, to gauge my results against what I did long ago and to measure current progress against an objective yardstick.

Just out of curiosity I was looking for other versions of the calculator to see if anyone has a better interface (didn't find one), but found this article instead.

The basic argument is that the magical 40-years age masters borderline is very arbitrary, pitting 90-year-olds against 40-year-olds, which is obviously unfair and then goes on to describe how this can be overcome by use of the age grading tables.

I then took the results from my race yesterday and wrote a little python script to apply the age grading to the whole field, mixing all ages and sex groups into one big pie. Here are the first 20 places. The "real time" column is the actual race result, "age adjusted" computes the person's equivalent results as if they were running in their prime years (25 or so), and the "age+sex adjusted" does the same but turns females into males.

Code: Select all

                                                 Age  Age+Sex
                                       Real Adjusted Adjusted
    Name               AG  % Rank      Time     Time     Time
  1 Donna Olson        F57  85.42     21:42    17:19    15:06
  2 Courtney Calka     F16  82.58     18:32    17:55    15:37
  3 Matthew Yacoub     M33  82.51     15:49    15:38    15:38
  4 Derek Hoerman      M17  80.97     16:41    15:55    15:55
  5 Timothy Harris     M16  80.72     16:58    15:58    15:58
  6 Jay Owens          M45  80.55     17:36    16:00    16:00
  7 Mike Wilusz        M28  79.97     16:08    16:07    16:07
  8 Jerry Hand         M11  78.77     19:25    16:22    16:22
  9 Alex Noble         M17  78.61     17:11    16:24    16:24
 10 Bryan Noble        M50  78.59     18:46    16:24    16:24
 11 Angela Matthews    F23  77.96     18:59    18:59    16:32
 12 Monte Piliawsky    M63  77.75     21:11    16:35    16:35
 13 Warren Buzzard     M15  77.13     18:03    16:43    16:43
 14 Michael Suski      M46  76.62     18:39    16:50    16:50
 15 Eric Fahlgren      M50  76.28     19:20    16:54    16:54
 16 Matt Neumann       M15  76.21     18:16    16:55    16:55
 17 Danny Milantoni    M17  75.96     17:47    16:58    16:58
 18 Greg First         M44  75.71     18:35    17:02    17:02
 19 Brian Tarabula     M16  75.46     18:09    17:05    17:05
 20 Jordan Papp        M14  74.95     18:56    17:12    17:12
I find this a very interesting way to look at the results of the race, and think that it offers a way to provide a more level playing field for people who are piling on the years and have no hopes of ever getting an outright masters win again... Thoughts?



Age/sex grading results

Post by efahl » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:03 am

Oops, upon looking at my table again I realize that I've mislabeled a column. The "Factor" title should really be "Percentile Rank"...

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Age/sex grading results

Post by Tinman » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:30 pm

efahl -

I just edited the chart for you. Hope that helps!

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Age/sex grading results

Post by ksrunr » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:57 pm

While on a trip home for a reunion this summer I drove up to my 2 year college in Hutchinson, KS. They had just put in a new track, football field, and stadium upgrades. Also were holding their first regional track meet in about 30 years. As luck would have it a local 4 mile race was being held in the park in which we used to run in while training. I signed up and ran 2nd at 52 y.o and was beaten by a young 40 something. As it turns out this race was age graded and I won it handily over the 40 something and all the younger runners as well. It was my first and only race that was age and gender graded. My age graded time was very favorable to my college times as I recall.



Age/sex grading results

Post by efahl » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:36 am

Upon reflecting about how current awards are given, I actually think I'm happy with the whole thing, with the exception of the overall masters awards. There is a huge contingent of masters runners turning in stellar performances who it seems to me should get a little more recognition.

Take the above results for example. Second in the list is a young lady who holds the her school XC record entering her junior year in high school. I completely expected her to be way up in the list both in the grading table and overall, but when grading is done, she was second to a 57-year-old women who "only" ran a 21:42. People probably think "21:42, so what?" when in fact it was a truly phenomenal run!

What I think I'd like to see is the use of the age/sex graded results like I've calculated to augment the current system, with or without awards, that part doesn't much matter to me; a simple mention at the awards would be good enough. I really would like to see those kids and geezers alike popping out 85%ile and better getting a little more glory for all their hard work.

Here's the top 10 again, but I've included their absolute finishing position in the second column for reference. It's interesting to note that the top six absolute finishers stay in the top 10, but some "mid-pack" (ha ha!) runners jumped well forward in the graded rankings.

Code: Select all

                                                   Age  Age+Sex
                                         Real Adjusted Adjusted
        Name            AG   % Rank      Time     Time     Time
  1  48 Donna Olson     F57  85.42%     21:42    17:19    15:06
  2  12 Courtney Calka  F16  82.58%     18:32    17:55    15:37
  3   1 Matthew Yacoub  M33  82.51%     15:49    15:38    15:38
  4   3 Derek Hoerman   M17  80.97%     16:41    15:55    15:55
  5   4 Timothy Harris  M16  80.72%     16:58    15:58    15:58
  6   6 Jay Owens       M45  80.55%     17:36    16:00    16:00
  7   2 Mike Wilusz     M28  79.97%     16:08    16:07    16:07
  8  27 Jerry Hand      M11  78.77%     19:25    16:22    16:22
  9   5 Alex Noble      M17  78.61%     17:11    16:24    16:24
 10  15 Bryan Noble     M50  78.59%     18:46    16:24    16:24


Age/sex grading results

Post by Twocat » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:06 am

Most races around where I run (CT) break the AG awards into 5 or 10 year brackets. I actually think 10 years is too large a bracket for 60+ year olds but there are so few that they are almost guaranteed an AG award! Heck if you are 70+ and cross the finish you deserve one. I only hope to be one such finisher some day. If you are asking if there should be age adjusted overall trophies, I think that would be very neat idea. It would level the playing field and give everybody a more even shot of claiming to have been first overall! I would still split by sex since two number ones make two people happy as opposed to just one person. :)


Age/sex grading results

Post by retread » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:49 pm


This link that you gave

contains a link to the 1994 factors, which has a simpler interface. It's the one I use because all of my 450 races are graded with it so it gives me a better comparison. The 2006 factors usually give me a full point more, though, which I don't understand. You would think that the newer factors would give you a lower score rather than vice versa.

This race:, the National 10k Masters Championship, posted it's results in order of age grade last year, and awards were also given by age grade. However, all results reported by various web sites and other publications were in order of time like most other races.

I believe that the top awards should be given to top actual times, but I think it would be a very good idea to also give age-graded awards. Award ceremonies can be long enough as it is, but I think that recognizing the top 5 or so would be reasonable without dragging things out to any noticeable degree. One thing for sure is that they don't make it any easier to get a higher age grade just because we are getting older. From my experience, at least, an age graded PR is just as hard to come by as an actual one ever was. It takes a long period of solid, uninterrupted training, and with that comes a certain amount of luck.
Last edited by retread on Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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