Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Age Group Rankings Grand Prix-Style

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No, not like that – an age group Grand Prix for runners.

If you’re the least bit competitive, the least bit nerdy and the least bit old, you’ll want to take a look at this: an Age Group Grand Prix.

Last week, the folks that bring us the Rock ‘n Roll race series along with many other events put out a press release announcing a Grand Prix of half-marathons this year.

Grand Prix events will include 30 half marathons during 2013, including events held earlier this year.  Though there is some nice structuring of prize money and incentives for the really fast folk out there, what really caught my eye is that the age group competition will include age group athletes up through Age 80.images

The press release says “The age group rankings offer a simple two-pronged scoring system that every athlete can easily understand.”  I’m not sure that it is simple, but here is what I gleaned:  Age group rankings will be earned and tracked based on finish time and place, with updating as each event takes place.  In each race, runners will be tracked by age-grade – nothing you need to apply for or fill out.  Place points are awarded in each 5-year age group for each event, with some events earning double place points.  images-7And, if you are one of those talented, disciplined, hard-working athletes, look for the time bonus awarded if you score 85% or higher on the World Masters Athletics (WMA) and USA Track & Field (USATF) age-graded scoring tables.

I don’t currently have any of the Rock ‘n’ Roll events on my race calendar, but I will be watching the standings.  As the competitors in my age group have dwindled, it is all the more important to get a sense of what other runners in my age-group are doing.  It’s great to look at the list and see the number of women in my age group already on the Leaderboard.  It reaffirms what can be done by my gender at my age.  Updated standings will continue to be posted at the Competitor website.  Don’t let Mo Farah’s

English: Mo Farah during EC Cross 2008name at the top of the list scare you off.  Scroll down to the age group categories and you will find folks like us.

The age-group series is pretty smart marketing for the Rock ‘n’ Roll series and a pretty good way for we age-group runners to be inspired and keep an eye on our competition.  With the final snow melting, let’s get out there and train. images-1 If a half marathon is on your race plan this year, you may want to consider running a series event and adding your name to the leaderboard.

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