Featured and other Images courtesy of Beverly Perez – binthemomentphoto.com
Obsessed aging runners, like myself, who realize that the odds of ever running a Personal Record Race ever again are REALLY slim…… have found something cool to shoot for when tracking their races… Age Grading….
Age grading is a way of comparing runners of different ages, or in this case, comparing one runner with himself when he was a different age. There are some online calculators where you can put in your time from a race and it will give you an age grade percentage score. The calculator compares your time with the world record for a man or woman of the same age and give you a percentage of that record. If you score in the 90 percent range you are a world class, olympic potential athlete. If you score in the 80 percent range you would be nationally ranked… like Steve Brumwell. If you score in the 70 percent range you are classified as a regional class runner…. pretty good for your region, potential age group winner, unless someone like Brumwell shows up…
Here are two age grade calculating sites:
Side note, ALL High Desert Runners races of standard distances are put through an age grading calculation I have built into my spreadsheets. The HDR website lists the age graded scores of our runners…. CLICK HERE
The first race, of late that really got my attention was the Lexus Lace Up Riverside 10K race back in December. I ran the 10K in 44 minutes 11 seconds. This has an age graded score of 72.77. That means I ran 72.77% as fast as the world record for a 10K at my age. This just missed being the fastest (age graded) 10K for me ever…. Here are my top 10 all time age graded races:
|3/5/2011||49.00||Mardi Gras 5K||5K||0:19:53||73.57|
|12/9/2012||50.77||Santa to Sea Half||Half||1:31:39||73.32|
|10/23/2010||48.64||Distance Derby 10 Mile||10||1:08:14||73.03|
|12/11/2010||48.77||Santa Monica 10K||10K||0:41:28||72.93|
|12/3/2017||55.75||Lexus Lace Up Riverside 10K||10K||0:44:11||72.77|
|11/13/2010||48.69||Two Halves Make a Whole||Half||1:31:27||72.50|
|11/20/2010||48.71||Toys for Tots 5K||5K||0:20:19||71.97|
|1/26/2013||50.90||Bakersfield Half Marathon||Half||1:33:59||71.79|
|1/26/2014||51.90||Bakersfield Half Marathon||Half||1:34:33||71.76|
|4/16/2018||56.11||Boston Marathon Goal||M||3:27:18||71.74|
|6/3/2012||50.25||Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon||M||3:15:20||71.74|
You can see that the Riverside 10K was only .12% below my Santa Monica 10K PR from back in 2010. You can also see that these two 10K races are #4 and #5 on my all time list of 228 races! Looking at the list you see my 5K PR, and at least one representative from the other most common race distances as well (5k, 10K, Half and Full) My Marathon Pr happens to be #10 on the list…. As a side note, my ultimate Boston Marathon goal would be to beat my age graded Marathon score of 71.74, thus this is on the list as well…
Some of my other recent races have been in the 69 to 70 percent range as well, so I have been pretty enthused with what has been happening…. Last week, I set a PR, but that was an 18 miler… first time running that distance and I don’t believe age graded records are available for that distance….
So, today I changed things up. I went to Quartz Hill High School to run in the All Comers Track Meet. I knew a lot of my former Hillview runners would be there. It is always fun to go see the runners running in High School who got started running with me at the middle School. Only a few of us High Desert Runners were there- Tim Buse, Nestor Ponce De Leon and myself. We all entered the mile…
They ran 3 heats. The girls first, than guys who expected to be slower than 5:30, than guys who expected to be faster than 5:30. Nestor and I ran in the middle heat. The gun went off, all the kids took off and then myself and Nestor trailing behind. I felt really good though, light on my feet, quick turn over, smooth…. The first lap was 90s… I have not run a 90s lap in years so I though, uh oh… too fast back off. I did just a bit finishing lap 2 at 3:09. On lap 3 I caught and passed one of the kids. I caught another but he sped up to stay ahead. Lap 3 finished at 4:50. About 300m to go I really tried to get by the young man. He surged and I stayed on his heels, at 150m I pushed again and this time edged ahead of him.
Coming into the final 100, I was in lane 2 and he in lane 1. Shoulder to shoulder with me mostly a few inches ahead. Somehow I found a way to increase my cadence and match every surge he had. My GPS data says I was running at 208 steps per minute and sub 5:30 pace into the finish. Sadly he had one last push 5 meters out that I could not answer… but still. I was thrilled to have hung with him and run so fast! It was fun to put on a show for so many of my former Hillview runners… In the finish line photo (Thank You Beverly Perez) I count 9 teen age boys who once ran for me at Hillview!
My unofficial time was 6:23 for 1600 meters. Nestor finished about a minute back… Tim Buse ran with all of those high school boys in the next heat. Tim finished 3rd and was sub 5 minutes…. WOW!
I tried to find an age graded time for my race and could not find one… They have age graded calculations for the 1500 and the mile, but not 1600. So I used an online calculator to find the equivalent mile time. (A mile is 1609 meters so the 1600 is slightly faster than the mile.) The calculator said 6:25. Putting the 6:25 into the calculator yields and age graded score of 69.09.
My mile PR is 6:12. I have only raced the mile twice. I ran a downhill mile in Ventura 6:12 – age graded 68.49 in 2012 and mile in Lancaster in 2010 in 6:13 – age graded 67.63. So, today’s mile is an Official Age Graded Personal Record!!! Woo Hoo!!!
Nestor and I also entered the 800 m. I have not raced an 800 before. QHHS coach Matt Bierowicz called out a 3 minute goal for me as we were getting started and I went for it. The first lap was 1:29, but the second was not quite fast enough. I finished in 3:01 (age graded 67.22)