How Do You Compare?
Have you ever wondered how your race times compare to other runners in your state, hometown or age division? Running USA along with the Active Network have designed a comprehensive Runner Rankings tool that allows you to score points, track your results and rank yourself against runners all across the country. For statistic hungry runners this tool is a dream come true.
Posted Wednesday, 23 May, 2007
According to Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director, “The system combines an algorithm for standardizing performances of different distances and course difficulty with age-graded factors, thus allowing comparisons across gender, age groups and year.” Therefore points are awarded based on time and the difficulty of the course (must be USATF or IAAF certified). Also taken into consideration are factors such as altitude, gender and age.”
The tool currently contains over 2.5 million runner’s times and is expanding as more and more people become aware of it. Times are submitted by various timing companies across the country for qualified courses. After a race time is submitted it is the responsibility of individual runners to “claim” their times. Once this verification process is completed you can begin seeing how you stack up against the competition. It’s that simple!
How does it work?
The tool uses the World Masters Athletics (WMA) age graded factors to standardize across age groups. Age grading is done through a formula the WMA developed for comparing performances between different age groups. Through age grading you can calculate what your time would be if you were in the 20-29 age division. For example, a 51 year old male who recently ran a 20:00 minute 5K would have an age graded time of 17:21.(see http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup06.html).
Point Rankings for all runners are displayed for the entire U.S. or by any combination of state, city, gender, age group, and single age. According to Active.com you can score points for completing a race, finishing faster than the median time in an event, finishing in the first 10 places in an age division or if you are a top runner, you can garner bonus points for achieving equivalent 10K of 29 minutes for men or 33:15 for women.
The system will automatically select your best 12 performances for the year based on point total. Note that each athlete can have 3 different point totals per year one for each age, if different, and one overall regardless of age. Performances are displayed for each distance and each year for the whole country (national rankings) or by state, by city, by gender, age group and/or by single age. Both certified and uncertified courses are displayed in the Rankings-Times by distance lists; however points are awarded for only certified courses.
What can you do with the tool?
Just a few short years ago a national ranking of so many runners would have seem to be an impossible task. However with today’s advances in technology it is now possible to take a national, regional or local look at how runners compare to each other. The Runner Rankings tool is a terrific resource offering a balanced glimpse at who are the top runners nationally, regionally and locally. If you organization or club is looking for a way to select the top local or regional runner the Rankings tool takes out all of the guess work.
Searches are divided into two selections: top performance by distance and highest point totals. From within these two categories searches can be narrowed by city, state, country, gender, age grouping or single age, gender and year. Once you have selected your criteria, information is presented in a nicely organized listing that contains links back to all your listed race results. The tool also allow you to easily check your own personal times and stats and find other runners so you can check up on your competition. The Runner Rankings is an effective tool that promises to get better as more times are added. Check it out to see if you are in their database at: http://www.active.com/rankings/.