The ADR club is currently trying to determine the best and most appropriate way to incorporate Age Grading into our race results. But many runners raise the question; What is Age Grading?
Age grading is a method used to adjust an athlete’s performance based on age and gender. This allows for a direct comparison between performances at different ages or between genders. Age Grading Tables were originally developed by the World Association of Veteran Athletes, which is the world governing body for track and field, long distance running and race walking for veteran athletes.
The tables were first published in 1989 and they work by recording the world record performance for each age at each distance, for men and women. An individual’s age-graded “score” for a race is represented as a percentage of the World Record for that age and gender at that distance.
The performance levels are:
100% = World – Record Level over
90% = World Class over
80% = National Class over
70% = Regional Class over
60% = Local Class
As an example, the world record for a 53 year old woman running a 10k is 35:01 (wow is that fast). So if a 53 year old woman finishes a 10km in 45:18, she has an age-graded performance of 77.3% (which is 35:01 divided by 45:18).
The wide availability of age-grading tables has allowed older runners to compete on even terms with younger generations. In many running clubs today, the age-graded champion earns as much, if not more, recognition as the outright (non-age adjusted) winner of the event.