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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