Why do the London Marathon organisers discriminate against middle aged runners?

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  • good for age.means in relation to other runners of your age and gender...........#

    and Rob you just ain't good enough...

    yes older runners might get in with a slower time than 3:30.( pensioners)...........but then they are good in conmparision to their peers.....

    the same with females..........they can get in with a slower time becuase they are good compared to their peer group......

    so you want that the fastest 40,000 get into the london marathon...........My guess id that you would still have to be faster than around 3:30 and it would be a complete nightmare as everyone would be the same pace and so there would be no room to move......

    and no fancy dress for the crowds to see so once the elite had gone they would just go home as their is nothing as boring as watching a club runner running......not fast.not entertaining..

    so i think you had better find a different sport to be under average in..........or maybe,,,,,,just maybe you could find another marathon

  • You mean the same age grading?  Wouldn't necessarily help you - a 49 year old woman needs to grade 69% for a GFA time of sub 3:50, which would be around 3:20 for a man of the same age.  Get to 50 and you'd still need 3:28 for the same age grade as a 50 year old woman getting sub 4.

    But then 'fairness' is arguable anyway.  Maybe fairness would be equal numbers of men and women in the same age band, which would probably push the women's time out further (or cut the mens times).

    If free entries to sponsors, volunteers (St Johns etc) didn't come with the package then they'd find it harder to get sponsors & volunteers.  It's not that many places in the scheme of things anyway - I would imagine that it's far fewer than the potential number of additional qualifiers they'd have by extending the times out to 3:30.

  • seren nos, either you don't understand or you are being abusive for the hell of it.

    I'm not under average - yesterday I came 12th out of 193 in a 10k, and won my age category. My age-adjusted rating for it was 74.4%. If you look back up the thread you'll see that a 74% score would get you into every woman's GFA category and four out of the six men's categories. You talk about being good compared to your peer group. The point is that in setting the bar for men my age at 77% but for women my age at 67%, and for others as low as 60%, I'm not getting a place when others are despite me being better compared to my peer group compared to them in theirs. That is the discrimination the thread title refers to.

    And yes, if I don't get a GFA place (which I won't this year) and I don't get through the ballot, I'll enter another marathon. I did Paris this year, and jolly nice it was too. There's no discrimination there - it's simply first come, first served and you don't have to wait six months to discover if you have a place.

  • I take it then your marathon time isn't reflective of your 10k time ......Are you saying that your marathon time is also 74%......

    you can't compare a time which is at a totally different distance....

     

    My hubby never ever comes in the top quarter of a 10k race.......but he gets a GFA for london as he trains for marathons not for 10k's............

    if you came 12th then you obviously have the natural talent........maybe putting a couple of years into spoecific marathon training would get you the GFA....

  • All this wittering on about GFA and entry criteria, while amusing enough, misses the whole point of the London Marathon - Its a CHARITY EVENT, where you raise as much money as possible, the only downside being you have to "run" 26.2 miles.

    Its not for runners, its to raise money, and if you don't like that - go and run a proper marathon, organised by runners - just look at the reviews for the Halstead Marathon and you'll see how a run for runners should be organised - but not too many of you please!

  • There are plenty of "proper runners" at London. I didn't even get into the top 1000 at London where's that same time would have got me in the top 10 in the Halstead one.

    London may not be everyone's cup of tea but is still taken very seriously by a large number of people.

    I also run loads of small races during the year so I have no bias to the large events.
  • senidM wrote (see)

    All this wittering on about GFA and entry criteria, while amusing enough, misses the whole point of the London Marathon - Its a CHARITY EVENT, where you raise as much money as possible, the only downside being you have to "run" 26.2 miles.

     

    Thankfully this is true for a good number of London Marathon participants, but also pretty much irrelevant for a good number of others, myself included.  The fact that it's so many things to so many people, including being the most competitive proper runners' marathon in the country - check the national rankings if you need any confirmation - is one of the things that makes it so special.

  • I'm not sure why lots of women on here kid themselves that they're good for age, when as mentioned earlier, they're only really good compared to their peer group, so women just don't generally push themselves as hard as men, so it's easier for the better ones to get a "good for age".

    Look at every world record from 100m up to marathon, the womens world record is around 10-12% slower than the mens, so if you take the mens 18-40 time of 3.05, then for a woman to actually be good for age, she should really be running sub 3.28...

    Average women just benefit from the vast majority not really training hard enough to set a credible time...

  • senidM wrote (see)

    All this wittering on about GFA and entry criteria, while amusing enough, misses the whole point of the London Marathon - Its a CHARITY EVENT, where you raise as much money as possible, the only downside being you have to "run" 26.2 miles.

    Its not for runners, its to raise money, and if you don't like that - go and run a proper marathon, organised by runners - just look at the reviews for the Halstead Marathon and you'll see how a run for runners should be organised - but not too many of you please!


    Wow - maybe just a little bit blinkered in your view? so I'm not a runner, and I didn't raise a bean for charity, so all in all vlm was an epic fail for me. What was I thinking of.

  • Ah bah crie - so how would you class a female GFA?!! 

  • Well, if you take the difference between the world records being 10-12%, which reflects men and women performing at their best, then the difference between men and womens GFA should be a maximum of 12%, so if 3.05 if GFA for a man, then the womens GFA should be 3.28, and so on and so forth going up the age ranges.

    I accept London uses these qualifying times to to try and diversify the field, but don't think they should call the "good" for age, as the current female limit of 3.45 really isn't good compared to what the men for the same age range do...

    My PB is only just sub 3.15, so I still have a lot of hard work to do, and personally I would only class myself as good for my age if I can get a sub 3!

     

  • It's VLM who cares ? 

  • That's a good way of thinking. I wonder how many less women that would mean. 

    If you ran a GFA that wasn't sub 3 would you accept it?! image

    I think it's a bit unfair to say women don't push themselves as hard as men - there are lots of women that push themselves harder and many men who don't.   But I'm always amazed at how many more men there are in races than women and how few 'older' women there are at the faster end.   

    I know lots of men who are heading for 50 and achieving sub 3 for the first time but very few women think they can achieve similar times. 

  • To be honest, I only really want to do London once for the experience, not fussed about doing it year after year, so if I did get a GFA that wasn't sub 3, I think I would take the opportunity! image

    I'm not trying to knock woman runners, as there are lots that push themselves to get the best time they can, but there are some on here that get all high and mighty about getting a GFA and that it should be easy for a guy to get sub 3.05, but in reality they're not really GFA, just good compared to their peer group to qualify for London.

    Based on my 12% difference thinking, then if men heading towards 50 are going for sub 3.00, then woman of a similar age should be aiming for sub 3.22 as the equivalent. Would that sound a realistic target at that age?

  • I bet some of your best friends are women aren't they?

  • Surprisingly, yes!

    But they're not runners, so they haven't heard my opinions on this... image

  • a 50 yr old man only has to get 3:20        not the 3:00 you state.......image

  • Read back, I was replying to Minni, who was talking about men heading towards 50 going for sub 3, and very few women thinking they could achieve a similar time, so I suggested sub 3.22 would be the equivalent target for a woman of a similar age... image

  • If you wanted to find equivalent goals for men and women you might as well just use the WAVA age grading system as suggested by Robert above and pick a %; it's based on an 'ideal' target time for each age category and gender.

  • Robert Macmillan 3 wrote (see)

    If you look back up the thread you'll see that a 74% score would get you into every woman's GFA category and four out of the six men's categories.

    You mean the list on page 1 posted last year?  The GFA times have changed since then.

  • Ah bah crie! wrote (see)

    To be honest, I only really want to do London once for the experience, not fussed about doing it year after year, so if I did get a GFA that wasn't sub 3, I think I would take the opportunity! image

    I'm not trying to knock woman runners, as there are lots that push themselves to get the best time they can, but there are some on here that get all high and mighty about getting a GFA and that it should be easy for a guy to get sub 3.05, but in reality they're not really GFA, just good compared to their peer group to qualify for London. Based on my 12% difference thinking, then if men heading towards 50 are going for sub 3.00, then woman of a similar age should be aiming for sub 3.22 as the equivalent. Would that sound a realistic target at that age?

    Well I'd have to say no because there are only 14 V50s run that time or under so far this year.   But it should be a realistic target.  I don't know if women just move on to other things and change their focus, or if there are other reasons for it. 

  • I think you're probably right that women move on to other things, or don't focus on racing as hard, but the target shouldn't change just because there's less women aiming for that target.

  • because women with bouncing breast bring in more spectators and tv watchers than men with their swinging willies.simple.its all about the tv audiences

  • If I wanted to watch bouncing breasts I'd be watching Baywatch not the VLM.
  • Me too. Bouncing breasts on runners just look painful.

  • especially on male runners

     

  • RM3 - out of interest, what would you class Good For Age for your age bracket, so that you weren't discriminated against? I'm guessing 3:31 image

    I don't have an opinion on what the cut-off should be. But I think the cut-off should be the same level of difficulty/achievement for everyone, if it is going to be called "good for age" rather than "the demographic we want more of".  I have no objection to it being set as 75% of age rating for everyone, in which case I miss out, or 65% of age rating for everyone, in which case I'm in. But as it is, some people are getting in who are far less good for their age (and gender) than others who are excluded, simply because they happen to be the chosen gender or age.

    I would prefer them to level out the groupings, like it was suggested in an earlier post Boston do. Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".

     

  • Robert Macmillan 3 wrote (see)
     Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".

     

    I thought that was the whole point ?

  • Since the changes, they're pretty level to be honest.  70+ men get an advantage over 70+ women, whereas in the under 40s women have the advantage of a lower age grading GFA, and those at the upper end of the 50-59 age group (M&W) need a higher grading than most, but otherwise they're not too bad.  Around 70-71% at the upper end of the age group in most cases.  

  •  Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".

    But it clearly isn't good for TV as the TV focus is on Elites, with a handful of Champs runners getting in on the red button action, and then the masses.

    The GFA field will get little if any screen time. While its an important part of the UKA marathon scene for many of us, its nowt to do with TV. Give me a fast Kenyan, a guy dressed as a Camel, someone with a sob story, and some Z-lister from Made in Rotherham and you have the BBC Coverage sorted.

    GFA demographic seems to me to have nothing to do with TV

    If they said the fastest 1000 blokes aged 40 - 49 can have a place, how would you feel about that? That is broadly what they do now based on a statistical analysis of times.  

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