In Case You Missed Them

  • – photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith –

Time passes quite quickly, and we all have so much on the go. It’s easy to forget some of the many things we have read.

As well, there are new readers/viewers of the duncanScore and the blog, so I thought I’d list below some of the more popular blog posts. They also highlight some of the differences in the duncanScore vs age grading.

A WC Medal or Final Maybe? What It Takes – the Sprints

The Aging Athlete (8) – Which Leaves First … Speed or Endurance?

The Karla Konundrum

This final entry reminds me the followup work on this post is unfinished. The analysis is not done. It’s something I want to do, and will do. I promise.

The Sprinter’s Dilemma (1)

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and you will be notified immediately about the next post. Just go here

Should you be new to the duncanSCORE … the standardized alternative to age grading … and wonder what all the fuss is about, you can get more information here.

Hurdles, Steeplechase – Older Age Groups

  • – Photo Courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith –

I have always admired the courage/foolishness of those runners who feel the need to have obstacles inserted into their path. I love watching them thunder down the stretch to the finish line, with one more hurdle to go. The fire in their eyes, the determination to summon the strength to lift tired legs … to hold their form … just one more time.

In the continuation to make improvements to duncanSCORE, I have beefed up the number of performances included in the calculator for Sprint Hurdles, Long Hurdles, and the Steeplechase for older age groups.

Previously for other events, performances were added for M75, W75 and older. These extra race results came from Mastersrankings for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019, as well as its US rankings from 2008-2012 and available British rankings (the Power of 10) from 2008-2012. Added also were Martin Gasselsberger’s pre 2013 World rankings 2008-2012, and Dave Clingan’s World listings (1999-2002).

But for the Hurdles and Steeple, given their specialized nature and relatively fewer number of competitors, I have searched out more sources of valid performances not included in the above lists. These include the European Championships from 2004, and WMA Championships from 2003 and 2005. I also referenced several older European alltime “Top Lists”.

I have also added all these performance lists to W65 and W70 Hurdles and Steeplechase.

Whew!

What does this mean? Changes?

What it means is that data sets have usually more than doubled (sometimes tripled). For Women 65+ and Men 75+ that means higher quality evaluations. The better performances (duncanSCORE scores of approximately 825+) could change by 1-3 percentiles, while slower performances will likely decline by somewhat more.

So all you Hurdlers and Chasers need to take a look!

Just click on the link and enter your age group, the event, and your performance time.

Track DE

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and you will be notified immediately about the next post. Just go here

Should you be new to the duncanSCORE … the standardized alternative to age grading … and wonder what all the fuss is about, you can get more information here.

Use Your Phone or Tablet for Our Calculators


For those who were using a phone (particularly with Android) who wanted to use the duncanSCORE calculators, there was a problem. The drop down menus did not fit on the screen, so you were unable to enter your particulars.

This has  now (hopefully) been fixed. You should now be able to access all parts of the duncanSCORE website using your Android or Apple phone (or tablet). Get your duncanSCORE and percentile from anywhere!

One agenda item off the list.

Find out how you score against your age group in your event. You versus the World.

To get your duncanSCORE on your phone or tablet (or computer) for a TRACK event, click HERE.

To get your duncanSCORE on your phone or tablet (or computer) for these FIELD events (SHOT PUT, WEIGHT, LONG JUMP, HIGH JUMP), click HERE.

If you become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook you will be notified immediately about the next post. Just go here

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.

The Juvenator – 800m

In my last post I introduced the Juvenator and explained the narrow range of performances that define the very best of the World’s track athletes. Previously I outlined the methodology of creating this range (i.e. creating a perfect bell curve from World Athletics lists).

Let’s quickly review the Juvenator.

The Juvenator is NOT intended to estimate what your youthful performance (or potential performance) was or could have been. 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.  For example in the 400m, the slowest point on the bell curve is 46.25. For women, the slowest performance is 53.50.

No, the concept is to say, for example, if you are a W60 400m runner, then you are one of the World’s elites in the 400m. Granted W60 400m sprinting is not as competitive as Open Women’s 400. That is a given.  But that is beside the point! You should think of yourself as an elite. Be proud of yourself and what you do. Think of all the training you put in. Certainly compared to all those “couch potatoes” you see in your daily life.

So when thinking of yourself as an elite, here is how your performance in your age group equates to the ultimate World Elite grouping. Relatively speaking, that’s how good you are!

Now for the 800m.

As with the 400m, the goal was to create a perfect bell curve with the 800m performances from World Athletics. The All Time list for Men goes as deep as 1:46.00, and for the Women to 2:02.00. To create a perfect curve we needed to add further performances. Best individual year performances from 2016-2019 from World Athletics were added up to 1:48.00 for Men and 2:08.00 for Women.

All the Masters Men’s WRs equivalize to 1:43.xx (except Johnny Gray’s astonishing M35 1:43.36 which registers a 1:42.82 equivalent). For the Women, Masters WRs are generally equal to 1:56-1:57 except for Yekatarina Podkopayeva’s W40 and W45 records which come in at 1:54 high and 1:55 low.

Because of its extremely competitive nature and narrowing of Elite performances into a bell curve, it takes a lot to move the needle at the Open/World Elite level.  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 800m performance. Click the link below and enter your Age Group. Select 800m 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 an Elite would need to run to equal your time. One elite cohort compared to another. I looked at my 800s for the past few years. I can be happy with that!

Your Open/World Elite equivalent time.

Run Juvenator

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

Track DE

 

If you become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook you will be notified immediately about the next post. Just go here

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

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here

 

 

Comparing to Open Results

– Photo from Wikipedia –

How fast are you? Well, you know your absolute performance, from your race time. The clock doesn’t lie.

But as Masters, while we need to know the absolute time of our performance, given Father Time’s unflagging ability to make us slower,  we tend to also prioritize our relative performance.

In other words, it’s how we ask the question … and how we frame the answer.

In the duncanSCORE how fast you are is expressed as a percentile of your age cohort. The percentage of your age-group that you equal or outperform.

In age-grading it is a percentage of the theoretical best possible performance for your age group and gender.

The Age-Grading process  (I’m using the “Howard Grubb” web site calculator here http://howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup15.html  using 2015 factors) also will give you another relative look at your performance, an “Open” result (see point 2 below). Didn’t we all enjoy seeing what Ed Whitlock’s road race times “converted” to the times for Open runners?

So, could you compare your performance to an “Open” time?

The Age Grading process works like this:

  1. Your time is divided by the “Age Standard” to arrive at your age-graded percentage. The age-standard is an estimate of what the ultimate possible performance is. The “ultimate possible” is usually better than the WR at the time the tables were created.
  2. An “Open” result is created by dividing the “Open Standard” (the Open WR at the time the tables were created) by the age-graded percentage.

duncanSCORE “Open” Calculations will be different

The duncanSCORE is also going to provide equivalent “Elite/Open” times in the upcoming weeks.

But the process will be different. (It’s taking a lot longer than I expected to pull this together, but then everything on this project has been taking more time than I expected.)

Our “Open” calculations will be based upon the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) All-Time lists, supplemented by WA performance lists from 2016-2019.

What does this mean? How will it work?

These World Athletics lists will be pared down to construct a perfect (or near-perfect) bell curve.  After all, that’s the way duncanSCORE works … putting Athletics performances on a bell curve. This WA bell curve will be matched with the bell curve from your age-group/event. Your bell curve result (ie the number of standard deviations away from the average) will be matched with the same bell curve result for the Elite/Open results.

The point is not to say this is what you should have run back in the day.Rather, it is to say

the duncanScore tells you how you rate against everyone in the world in your age-group over time. Here is what that equivalent rating is to the actual best in the world all-time.

We are calling this facility the Juvenator, and next post I will show you how this works, beginning with the 400m.

In the meantime, don’t forget to see how your track performances measure up against your age peers. Try it out here …

Track DE

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here

 

 

 

 

Things Are Fixed … Well Mostly*

Ah, technology! Don’t you love it?

The duncanScore calculators were unavailable for more than a month. The result of a collision between the website platform making changes and the backup software not backing up the specialized key files. And then the web database techie being unavailable.

Hopefully that’s all in the past.

We’re up and running again*, and new back up facilities are in place.

  • * well, it turns out the calculator is not working for 3000M. We’re on it and hope to have it fixed shortly. THE 3000M CALCULATOR IS NOW WORKING

And coming next week we will be previewing a new feature for the duncanScore, part of duncanScore 2.0. So stay tuned!

Many of you across the globe have been doing virtual races and Time Trials. So check out how you measure up against your peers. While your virtual TT may have been on the road, the track calculators in the duncanscore will still give you an excellent read on your fitness versus your age-group. Find out how your performance compares with your age peers.

You can do that here:

Track DE

So keep on running, jumping, and throwing. Nothing will stop us!

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here

 

Upgrading W75+ 5000m

– Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith

Here is where we really begin to encounter difficulty with enough performances to ensure high quality output for older (75+) age-groups. The 5000m.

As I have pointed out, the number of Masters performances decline as the age-groups get older (beyond M/W55 or M/W60), the events get longer (or more technical). And Women participate less than Men.

But we have made progress with the older age-groups in the Women’s 5000m. We have way more than doubled the number of performances used for W75 and W80, and we now have a usable bell curve for W85. Sadly, there still is not enough data for W90 and W95.

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 Women’s 5000m 75+ I have added Dave Clingan’s world rankings (not on other lists 1999-2002) and for 75+ ARRS Veterans Rankings (not included in other lists).

These additional performances have improved the data quality in the older age-groups for the 5000m. W75 and W80 are solid. But beyond W80, unfortunately the number of performances just does not allow for reliable calculations.

Any Changes?

All these performance additions have made some modest changes in the percentiles for W75 performances. Most percentiles have dropped slightly from the initial release. W80 and W85 have only minor changes.

Overall,  I think this is a much better reflection on reality. Definitely progress.

Give it a try to 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

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here   

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!

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