Upgrading – Men’s M75+ 5000m

– Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith –

“Upgrading” duncanSCORE for the older (70+) age groups has been an interesting adventure. Slow and a bit tedious (lots and lots of copy/paste) yes, but ultimately worth-while.

As I have discussed before, when we get into older age-groups and/or longer distances, the participation rate by Masters athletes declines. The 5000m is a prime example.

What Has Been Added?

Like the other events so far (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m) I have added to the performances already included for 2013-2016 from mastersrankings.com. :

1. Martin Gasselsberger’s pre 2013 World rankings (2008-2012)

2. British Masters rankings from 2008-2012 (from the powerof10.info)

3. mastersrankingscom World performances from 2017, 2018, and those from 2019 available at time of processing

4. US rankings for 2008-2012 from mastersrankings.com

In addition, for the Men’s 5000m 70+ I have added Dave Clingan’s world rankings (not on other lists 1999-2002) and for 85+ ARRS Veterans Rankings (not included in other lists).

All these additional performances (in total just under 1,000) have greatly added to the robustness in the older age-groups for the 5000m. M75 is extremely deep (over a thousand performances), M80 is solid (almost 500), M85 is not bad (124), while M90 admittedly is very low performance (25), and M95 is not usable.

Has Anything Changed?

All these performance additions have made only minor changes in the percentiles for the top performers (essentially 75th percentile plus), but lesser percentiles from the original dataset now are somewhat lower. But I think this is a much better reflection of the reality for Men 75+.

So try it out and see how your performance in the 5000m on the track rates against everyone else in the world. It’s fun to have a look.  Click below:

Track DE

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Older Age Groups 1500m

– Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith –

The duncanSCORE is a new method of evaluating Masters’ performances. And it is different than age-grading. Different how? Better then age-grading?

Age grading compares how you did against an estimate of the maximum possible performance in the event for your age-group. That’s right. Not against the World Record. It’s a bit more complicated. It’s compared to a performance beyond the WR. One never accomplished when the factors were created.  These theoretical maximums are produced/updated about every 8-10 years (2 Olympiads).

The duncanSCORE is simpler

 

The duncanSCORE is a heck of a lot simpler. It takes performances (principally from mastersrankings.com) and creates a bell curve. As you probably remember from your high school or university stats courses, 68% of results are within 2 standard deviations of the average (the mean). One standard deviation above. One below. A little over 95% of performances are bounded by 4 standard deviations (2 above, 2 below).

Using this methodology, the duncanSCORE gives you a key statistic. You get a percentile of where you stand i.e. the percentage of athletes that your performance equals or exceeds. The “what” you are compared against is consistent. Your age-group. Your event. Not a single, theoretical performance that falls on a curve.

We need performances

But to do this well, the duncanSCORE needs performances. The more the better.

However, as the age-groups get older, after about age 55 or 60, the number of participants begins to decline fairly rapidly. This is especially the case for Women.  And the longer, more technical events

To improve this situation, more results have been sought out and added. From mastersrankings.com we have added the years 2017, 2018, and the performances posted for 2019 at time of processing. Additional results from British Masters rankings 2008-2012 and Martin Gasselsberger’s world rankings 2008-2012 have also been utilized.

All these additions for age-groups 75+ have been completed now for the 1500m.

My desire in all the new input for the duncanSCORE has been to improve the depth of the data, yet minimize the impact of any changes. Mission accomplished for the 1500!

But like the other events there still aren’t enough performances for M95, and W90 and W95.

Perfection is elusive.

If you are 75 or older and race the 1500m, check out 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  “1500m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then 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 (as fast as or) faster than. Very easy!

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Test Drive 800m for M-W 75+, A Better Read on Older Age Groups (3)

Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith

This is the 3rd post detailing what’s happening to improve the quality and depth of duncanSCORE  for older age-groups (75 plus). It’s also part of duncanSCORE 2.0, a general improvement in the ways this new method of evaluating Masters’ performances can work for you.

I have now updated the data for the 800m. Prior posts highlighted the work done for the 100m and  200m, and 400m.

A Brief Recap

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 top ranking performances from 2008-2012. The British Masters also keep rankings and I have used those available from 2008-2012.

What You Get

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 800m this really impacts M85 and M90 and W80 and W85, making the duncanSCOREs for these age-groups much more solid. Even for these age-groups though, results versus the previous release differ by no more than 1 or 2 percentiles for the vast majority of race results. 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 800m, 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  “800m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then 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 (as fast as or) faster than.

Test it out!

 

 

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Race Walkers, This One’s For You

Photo courtesy Dan Slovitt

Race Walkers, you’ve been waiting! You have all been very patient with me. You now have an age-grading alternative.

Now you can get a duncanSCORE on RW5000m (track). Let me review how it is put together.

How it is done

From mastersrankings.com, we have taken the the best annual results for each walker recorded from 2013-2016 inclusive. In total, this database contains over 12,500 performances for all age groups.

The results for each age group have been turned into a bell curve, with an average, and a standard deviation calculated. With this data we can calculate a score (from 1-999) and a “percentile”. The percentile rates you against all others in your age group. For example a 70 percentile means you are as fast or faster than 70% of all other 5000m Race Walkers in your age group in the world.

For the first time you can compare yourself to all others in your age-group … not to some mythical Walker created in the age-grading system.

See a more thorough explanation here.

You can get your own evaluation by first entering your age-group from the drop down list. Next input the event from the drop down (RW5000M) and then add your race performance time in minutes and seconds, including tenths. Then click on the green button and you will see your results.

Here is the link:

Track DE

Data is available for all age-groups up to and including M85 for men, and W80 for women. Past those age-groups there aren’t enough performances available.

I am hopeful that I can do to RW what I have been doing for older age-groups, finding and adding performances from before 2013, and adding 2017 and 2018. Hopefully that let’s us add the older ages. This might give us results, too, for RW1500m, and RW3000m.

Something to add to my list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For The Milers

You middle distance runners have been quite patient. I know many of you non-metric types are, really at heart, Milers, and the duncanSCORE has not provided calculations for your favourite event.

Your wait is over!

You can now see how your times relate to all others in your age-group in the outdoor Mile.

Your Miles raced may not have been at Iffey Road or Oslo’s Bislett Stadium, but I’m certain they have been highly memorable. The Mile seems to have that special magic that imprints the experience in your brain. So relive that experience by seeing just how well it relates to all other Milers in your age-group.

And while you’re at it, compare your Mile calculations with your 1500M score and percentile. How close are they?

Also added are calculations for the Outdoor 3000m. So be sure and check your performances in that event, too.

Just click here, choose your age-group, select the event, then add your time  …

Track DE

Enjoy!

 

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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!

 

To be notified immediately for the next post, click on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen OR become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook here 

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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Imminent Improvements

This road to create and produce an enhanced yet simpler alternative method of evaluating performances in Masters Athletics has been quite long. Already about 4 1/2 years for me so far!

It took quite a while to settle on the methodology, acquire all the data, program the data systems, create the databases and calculators, and then get it all converted into a format that was web enabled.

Once that was all done, I tried to apply myself to looking at all that data and make some sense of it. To my knowledge, there never has been an accumulation of Masters track and field information in one place like John Seto has gathered. To me this was a treasure trove that needed to be mined. I tried to do a bit of that with several posts during the past 18 months.,

But now it’s time to move on. Time for some improvements to the initial concept. I have some ideas.

Here is an outline of what is coming up first.

One of the shortcomings for duncanScore is weakness in the much older age groups, beginning with ages 85 plus.

As you can well imagine, the number of performances tends to decline with 3 factors. Women participate less than Men. Then, after about age-group M and W 50 general participation goes down. Over age 80, very dramatically. And the longer and/or more technical the event, the fewer the competitors.  Think 100m vs Steeplechase. So as these factors compound and we get beyond age-group M/W 80, the number of entries from mastersrankings.com and, hence, the utility of duncanScore, declines.

To remedy as much of this problem as possible, I have added a bunch of performances for older age-groups. Those who have been on this journey with me for awhile will probably recall that the primary data source for duncanSCORE is from mastersrankings.com. The base dataset is the performances from the years 2013-2016.

As part of what I am calling duncanSCORE 2.0, we are adding more years for our calculations. But let’s stay with the older age-groups right now, and let me tell you what I have done to boost the “robustness” of the data.

For the age-groups M-W75 and older, we will now be adding worldwide performances from 2017, 2018, and the available data from 2019 from mastersrankings.com. As well, John Seto, before he took on worldwide rankings from Martin Gasselberger in 2014, tabulated in his high quality, thorough style, US rankings from at least 2008. So, I have included those exclusive US performances from 2008-2012, along with Martin Gasselberger’s international available data from 2008-2012. Additionally, available British best performances from 2008-2012 from www.thepowerof10.info have also been added. So that means age-groups 75 plus have significant numbers of performances from 2008-2019.

All told this more than doubles the performances included to create calculations for age-groups 75 plus. For example in the 100m, W85 performances used for calculations go from 70 to 175. In the 200m,  M90 entries increase from 60 to 175.

I am in the process of redoing the statistics necessary for the calculators to use the additional performances. Over the next few days, these will become available, beginning with the Sprints. So if you are a Sprinter and aged 75 plus, check-in in a couple of days and see if there are any differences.

It should be a better evaluation! Stay tuned.

 

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… And We’re Back!

Yes, it’s been quite a while.

I’ve been busy these past few months on different aspects of the duncanSCORE, which I hope you will be seeing over the next 1-2 months. There are several improvements coming, and some new features. But given the way I tend to work (if I get bored with one thing, I’ll switch over to something else) and my tendency to get a new idea to work on (i.e. a new shiny object to distract me), sometimes there are delays. But right now several improvements and additions all are approaching completion very much together.

The duncanSCORE is now fully open again, so feel free to try it out and see how well you score against everyone else in the world in your event and age category.

For evaluation of TRACK performances, go here:

Track DE

and for FIELD Performances (Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, and Weight Throw) go here:

Field DE

(And if you are new here and are not clear what the duncanSCORE is about as an alternative to age-grading for Masters Track and Field athletes, here is an outline of how it works)

Worldwide, unfortunately,  this is a very unique time. Across the globe due to Covid-19, we are “social distancing” and have to come up with exercise routines at home as our gyms, health clubs, and tracks close. National championships, WMA Regionals, and now WMAToronto2020 Championships have been cancelled. Yet regular exercise is a key to staying healthy and we want to be prepared for that next competitive meet, whenever it will be. Probably you are doing some exercise daily outside. Recently while jogging through my neighbourhood and letting my mind wander, I imagined myself running along the (now likely) deserted streets of one of France’s most picturesque historical villages (see the picture above) that I visited while in Lyon 5 years ago.

It’s fun, too, to note that many of us feed on competition even if there are no track meets. Virtual competitions are all the rage right now. How about some statistical-virtual competition? If you have kept your results from competitions over several years (and if you haven’t, go to mastersrankings.com to get your results), why not use the duncanScore to “compete” with yourself? Here’s how.

Let’s say you are a W60 sprinter, and your best time last year in the 200 was a spectacular 29.11. An amazing time. And as you can see if you use the duncanSCORE calculator

Track DE

that gives you a duncanSCORE of 934 and a percentile of 93  … meaning you are as fast or faster than 93% of the W60s ever in the 200. But you are hard on yourself. After all, you are slowing down. 5 years ago as a W55, you raced the 200 a full 8/10 of a second faster in 28.31. Gosh, that’s nearly a second slower! But are you slowing down at the same rate as your age peers? Lets see. Run that calculator again, this time using the W55 age-group and your faster time from 5 years ago? OMG! Your duncanSCORE is 907 and your percentile 91 … You were (as fast or) faster than 91% of all W55 200m racers. So in fact, relative to your peers you are actually much faster than you were 5 years ago. The best virtual competition. Not only are you beating your peers, you’re also bettering yourself. Congratulations!

So play with the calculators. See how your performances have held up over time. Compare results from different events.

Enjoy!

 

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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.

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