As runners get older it is reasonable to expect that they won't be able to run at the same speeds that they could when they were younger. This can become very demotivating, especially for those who are 'past their peak' but still running well in younger company. However, with the use of age-grading tables, age and gender can be factored out, making it possible for all runners to compare their performances, and thus compete with each other on even terms.
The Club Grand Prix
As a fun but competitive way to encourage fitness, the club holds an annual intra-club competition. Those taking part can submit their best result each month from any certified accurate event, of any distance. They can also include their year's best 1.5 mile Time Trial result and their Xmas Handicap Run result. Each participant's best six results in the year are scored. Bonus points are awarded for: every race completed above the minimum six scoring events, and all PBs.
The scoring method seeks to reward not only the fastest runners in age-graded terms, but also those that compete regularly throughout the year. It also aims to encourage improvement.
Points are awarded according to the best age-graded placings for each month, 1 point for 1st, 2 points for 2nd and so on. Each Bonus scores minus 1 point. The athlete with the lowest overall score at the end of the year wins. NB. in the event of a tie, the runner with the greatest overall PB improvement time, wins. Any runner that achieves a score below zero is doing well.
We use an age-grading calculator.
Using age-grading tables also enables athletes to predict and track race performance over time; set goals for current and future years; identify best events, and best ever performances.
As a general guide, 90% or above is World Class, over 80% is typically National Class, over 70% is Regional Class, and over 60% is local Class.
A key aim of the club is to encourage and help members progress to the 60% level.