Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Old, Less Fast

The Viper will shed this skin next summer. One more year at the 25-29 age group. It has been a good division. My races over the past year have resulted in four Top 10 age group finishes, one a secondplace finish. I even managed to crack the Top 100 in my age group at the Akron Marathon, a much larger race than the others.

The breakdown:
  • Tallmadge Memorial 5K - 2007: 6th place
  • Kent United Way 10K - 2007: 2nd
  • Buckeye Half Marathon - 2007: 8th
  • Akron Marathon - 2007: 60th
  • Tallmadge Memorial 5K - 2008: 10th
Running is a sport of attrition. Those who survive year to year enter increasingly competitive age groups. My times in almost all of those races would knock me back about 10 slots, according to my tenacious research.

Another trend -- by comparing those two Tallmadge Memorial 5K finishes -- is that the newly minted 25-29'ers appear to be a faster breed than the competition last year. Improving by 49 seconds knocked me back four places. Perhaps my more immediate generation fell between running booms.

Is it possible that there are fewer runners to pass who were born from 1978 to 1980? Maybe by the time I reach that next division, those faster thirtysomethings will have moved on and my slower compatriots will follow me into the chute of races to come.

Don't count on it, bucko. The faster runners of my age group are bound to survive and will manage to push me farther back in the pack. The way I see it, I have 54 more weeks to race in the division I've been most competitive. That's seven more chances to place well if I don't add any other races to my schedule. Dare I dream of an age-group win?

If nothing else, one of those cup-shaped trophies would be a nice vessel for post-race boozing.


Laura said...

I've never placed in my age group, though I keep trying to stack the odds by picking smaller races. No luck yet - I'm jealous!

So if I do Akron do you think I'll make top 100?

Marcy said...

My 29th BD is coming up around the corner, so this will be my last year in the 25-29 AG *sigh* I sooo do not look forward to the 30-35ers. They're all too serious, yo!

Nitmos said...

Don't go all End Is Near negative. I tried for 3 years to crack the top 5 in my 30-34 age group at a certain 5k and kept finishing 5th or 6th. Then, the year I decided NOT to run, I look at the results and my previous years time easily would have challenged for 1st. Go figure. Keep trying and hope for a fluky turnout. If that doesn't work, find the smallest town 5k you can get to and enter it.

C said...

Enjoy it while you can, junior. I've got less than six months on you age-wise and do you know what category I'm in in the UK...Senior Ladies. The categories go from under 15, senior ladies, to Vet Ladies in breakdowns of ten year increments starting with 35. Just be glad you're not on this side of the pond. Whippersnapper. :)

P.O.M. said...

It looks like someone needs to grab a beer - they have a little too much time to ponder such things. ha ha. kidding.

Welcome to almost being the 30s. They are really the coolest years.

Unknown said...

Oh man... I have another 6 more years till I get into 50-59 categories. I don't even want to think about it. Being in the 30s club was the best time of my life.

chia said...

I think the 1978-1980's kids were the first to get the really shitty chicken nuggets and the plastic pizza in the public school systems.

I'm not sure how I can associate that to running performance, but I'm pretty sure it's a long shot anyways. So I'll blame it on the fraggles or those bastard snorks.

Our age group rocks.

B. Kramer said...

@chia - I was trying to think of some possible environmental factors that would explain the slowness of our age group. By golly, I think you got it.