Updated & Enhanced 400m duncanScores

  •  – Photo courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith –

For new followers of the duncanScore, here is some background.

To date  duncanScore “scores” have been based on the accumulation of mastersrankings.com best annual individual performances for the years 2013-2016.  (For more detail here are the nuts and bolts on how the calculator works and the results generated.)

And now the calculator for the 400m age-groups has been updated to include international performances from mastersrankings.com for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019.  As well, for additional robustness, US-only performances from 2006-2012 have also been included.

This means that all 400m duncanScores are based on results from 2006-2019. (2006-2012 US results only). This is for both Men and Women. (Note age-groups 75+ were already enhanced with these added years and performances from other additional sources. You can read the details here if curious.)

What does this mean for the “Scores” and percentiles? It gives us scores with better precision since the number of performances in each age group has pretty much doubled.

However, at the same time, because the existing 4 years included (usually) thousands of performances, changes tend to be fairly minor. Typically your percentile, if it changes, will likely be only 1 or at most, 2 percentiles. .

This is part of duncanScore 2.0, and this upgrade to other events will be announced as they are completed.

So please try the new calculators to see how you rate against your 400m peers across the world. Just click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “400m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.





The Juvenator – 100m

In a previous post I introduced the Juvenator. and we have already seen it for the 400m and the 800m.

My thoughts on producing the Juvenator are perhaps a bit of a radical bent on how others might think of us as Athletics competitors. Sometimes we don’t feel we are elite enough.  But our size (ie there really aren’t that many of us compared to our numbers in the population at large) tell it all. We are indeed an elite, and should think of ourselves as such. Most of our age peers marvel at what we continue to do on the track,  throwing field, or jumping pit. Our performances speak for themselves.

So I’m very keen on the Juvenator. It allows us to compare ourselves to the “equivalent performance” of the absolute very best in their age prime.

Let me remind you about the Juvenator.   The Juvenator is NOT intended to estimate what your youthful performance (or potential performance) was or could have been. The Juvenator uses the very best performances from World Athletics (formerly IAAF)  It is extremely unlikely that you would have ever been able to perform at the levels of the athletes included in the Juvenator bell curve.

The 100M

Let’s now get to the 100m!

The absolute fastest people on the planet, and a field deep in participants. World Athletics records performances for Men up to and including 11.00, and for Women up to and including 11.58. I have taken these lists (Alltime Electronic bests + yearly performances 2013-2019) to create a bell curve for each of Men and Women. The Men’s bell curve consists of best annual performances from 9.58-10.05 and The Women’s from 10.49-11.01. These are the performance definitions of the Super Elite for the 100m.

With that background, I invite you to give it a try for your 100m performance. Click the link below and enter your Age Group. Select 100M from the drop down menu. Enter your time, then click the green “OK … Done … Go” button. You will receive your duncanSCORE and percentile. Now click the orange “Run JUVENATOR” button to the right. Remember, it’s not designed to estimate what you “did or could have” run. Rather it shows what a Super Elite would need to run to equal your time. One elite cohort compared to another.

Have fun!

Your Open/World Elite 100M equivalent time.

Run Juvenator

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Should you be new to the duncanSCORE and confused on what’s it’s all about … the standardized alternative to age grading …, you can get more information here.

How Do You Score Against Open 400m? The Juvenator

This was a very interesting exercise.

I described in the prior post, how duncanSCORE will be providing comparisons of your performances within your age group, to Open/World Elite results as part of duncanSCORE 2.0.

However, our methodology will be different than what is used in the Age Grading “system”.

As we process each event, we will be trying to construct a perfect bell curve for Open/World Elite performances. After all, that’s how duncanSCORE works. This will then allow a “relative” comparison between your performance and the “equivalent Open/World Elite” level of performance.

How? By scoring your performance to the average of your age group and then matching it to the same World Elite score to World Elite average.

Let’s see how it works beginning with the 400m.

World Athletics (formerly IAAF) lists All Time performances. In Men’s 400 (electronic timing only), the All Time list goes from Wayde Van Niekerk’s 43.03 to all those who have run as fast as 45.50. All told 728 performances. The Women’s All Time list goes from Marita Koch’s WR of 47.60 to everyone who has run at least 52.00 (771 performances). However, these do not quite yield a “normal distribution” (i.e. perfect bell curve) so these lists needed to be supplemented.

For Men, World Athletics keeps track of all performances up to 50.00 seconds, and for women up to 59.00 seconds. We have taken all the best individual yearly performances from 2016-2019 and added them to the All Time lists. From these many, many thousands of performances (24,700 for Men and 22,500 for Women!), we have whittled down the numbers until we created 2 perfect bell curves (1 Men’s, 1 Women’s). For Men to make the bell curve “cut”, the time has to be 46.25 or better. For the Women, 53.50 or better. This then becomes the duncanSCORE definition of 400m Open/World Elite – Men sub 46.26, Women sub 53.51.

A few points to note:

  1. These Open/World Elite equivalent times will be different (and in some cases substantially different), from the performances projected from the Age Grading system. I’m quite comfortable with that. I’ve done a comparison of “OPEN” estimates of all the WRs, duncanSCORE vs Age Grading methodologies. Here is probably not the place to go through that comparison. Perhaps in another full blog post. I like the duncanSCORE logic.
  2. I was a bit surprised (and frankly initially disappointed) when I ran various Masters top times and WRs through the Juvenator. For example, not one Men’s WR “equivalized” to sub 44 seconds! All the Masters Men’s WR translate to 44.xx seconds. I’ve thought a lot about that. But then, we must remember, only 14 Men in history have run sub 44. Further, all of the projected Open/World Elite WR times up to M90 would have finished in the top 6 at the Rio Olympics. Even though we know Masters competitions are highly competitive, I think we all understand they in no way compare to the competitive levels experienced at the Olympic and WC level. So projecting Masters’ WR times to today’s World Elites’ times of 44 seconds does, in fact, make a lot of sense.
  3. Somewhat similarly, the Women’s 400m World records all project to Open/World Elite performances of 49 high to 50 low seconds. The WR is 47.60. But again referencing back to the Rio Olympics, the gold medal time was 49.44. All of the projected duncanSCORE WR times up to and including W85 would place in the top 5 at Rio. So these WR projections have real world credibility, I believe.
  4. Because of its extremely competitive nature and the narrowing of Elite performances into a bell curve, it takes a lot to move the needle at the Open/World Elite level. So a 1/2 second, maybe even a second or more improvement, depending on the age group, may not make a significant change in your Open/World Elite comparison.

With that background, I invite you to give it a try for your 400m performance. Click the link below and enter your Age Group. Select 400m from the drop down menu. Enter your time, then click the green OK … Done … Go button. You will receive your duncanSCORE score and percentile. Now click the orange Run JUVENATOR button to the right. Voila! Your Open/World Elite equivalent time.

Run Juvenator

As always, I’ll be interested in your reaction.

And if you would like to view your duncanSCORE for a different track event, just go here.

Track DE

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A Better Read on Older Age Groups (2) – 400m

Photo courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith

This is the 2nd post on my work to improve the quality and depth of duncanSCORE readings for the older age-groups (75 plus) and another installment on duncanSCORE 2.0. I have now updated the data for the 400m. The previous post highlighted the work done for the 100m and 200m.

Let’s Review

Here is a quick review. To date all duncanSCORE calculations are based on an accumulation of mastersrankings.com best individual performances for the years 2013-2016 inclusive. In case you are interested or would like a refresher, here are the nuts and bolts of how the calculator works and the results generated.

For most age-groups and events there are many hundreds and often, thousands, of performances. But as the age-groups get older, after about age 55, the number of participants begins to decline rapidly. This is especially the case for Women, and the longer, more technical events.

To add performances to these older age-groups I am including from mastersrankings.com the years 2017, 2018, and for 2019 the performances posted at processing time. Further, to boost the number of performances, I have included the US rankings John Seto had produced for the years 2008-2012. Before John did the World rankings, they were maintained by Martin Gasselsberger and I have used Martin’s data from 2008-2012. The British Masters also keep rankings and I have used those available from 2008-2012.

What this means

What this means is that I have been able to more than double the number of performances accessed by the calculator, which improves the quality of the output. For the 400m this really impacts M85 and M90 and W80 and W85, making the duncanSCOREs for these age-groups much more solid. For M75 and M80, and W75, the added performances don’t materially change the results.

Sadly, however, there still are not enough performances to have reliable scores for M95 and W90 and W95 age-groups.

Take a test drive

If you are 75 or older and race the 400m, take a quick peek at how you rate against your peers from around the world. And if you’ve just turned 75 or moved into an older age-group, put in last year’s time and see how it would fare in your new age-group.  It’s very easy, click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “400m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds, or just in seconds), click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

You will be given a “score” and a “percentile”. The percentile tells you what percentage of your age-group peers across the globe you are faster than.

Have fun!


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More Results-A Better Read on Older Age Groups

Photo courtesy of Dan Slovitt

Let’s get down to it!

The previous post introduced some of what’s coming in the next few months (duncanScore 2.0), and here is some more detail on the first improvement now released.

Rates of Participation Decline With Age and Distance

As a general rule, the number of performances in any particular age group gets fewer as the groups get older beyond M-W 50.  Also, Women tend to participate less than Men. The participation further declines fairly dramatically the longer the event. Think 10000m vs 100m) and with increases in difficulty/danger (hurdles/steeplechase vs the “flat” events).

But here’s the thing. There is an inherent weakness. Where there aren’t a lot of performances, the projected resulting output can be misleading. As you can imagine, it will be many more years before there will be enough performances for an accurate read of Women’s 95 Pole Vault in duncanScore. It’s not an issue for the vast majority of the results produced by duncanScore, but when we go beyond M85 and W80, sometimes the output can be a little “shakey”.

As I wrote in the previous post, in order to boost the “robustness” of these older age-groups I have added legitimate outdoor performances to bolster the duncanScore wherever I could find them. Currently all results are based upon 2013-2016 input from mastersrankings.com. But now for age-groups M75 and W75 and older I have added performances from:

  1. mastersrankings.com World rankings from 2017, 2018, and available 2019 rankings
  2. mastersrankings.com U.S. rankings from 2008-2012
  3. British rankings from Power of 10 2008-2012
  4. Martin Gasselsberger’s (the keeper of World rankings before John Seto) World rankings from 2008-2012.

More Than Double the Performances

By adding these other years and data sources,  we have more than doubled the number of performances for these older age-groups, enhancing the quality of the Scores and percentiles.What’s also interesting (and good!), looking at results so far, this has usually meant only small changes. Most performances register a difference of perhaps 1 or at most 2 points in the percentile from before.

This is the first part of duncanScore 2.0 … a plan to enhance quality, usability and add useful features for you the Athletics competitor. Ultimately all events for these older age-groups will have the results from these additional data sources.

I have now completed Men’s and Women’s 100m and 200m and they are “live”.

By all means, if you are a Sprinter and 75 or older, have a look and see how your times stack up in version 2.0 with everyone else in the world in the 100m and 200m.


Track DE


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The Sprinter’s Dilemma (1)

Traditionally at championship outdoor track meets, there are 3 sprint events … the 100m, the 200m, and the 400m. I’ve titled this post “The Sprinter’s Dilemma” because, while there are a lot of sprinters, but very few compete well in all 3 events. Not that many 100m participants are prepared to take on the 400. You can understand why … the 400m is a painful event to race. And even to train for. To train and race for all three sprints? The sprinter’s dilemma.

In this next series of posts I’d like to go into some depth with comparisons and contrasts among the 3 major Outdoor Sprint events. There are some incredible athletes who compete at the highest level in all 3. Previous posts have touched on Karla Del Grande and Charles Allie.  Other elite 3-eventers come to mind such as Australia’s Peter Crombie, the UK’s Caroline Powell, Germany’s Guido Mueller, South Africa’s Magdalena Tomlinson, and America’s Roger Pierce. There are, of course, many others, but compared with the legions who race the 100m and 200m, those who race all 3 exceptionally well are a somewhat rarer commodity. We know it takes a lot of additional endurance to race that extra 200m.

How many take it on successfully? And how does their performance(s) compare vs  200m and 100m?

Let’s do a bit of 3-event Sprint exploration.