Age groupings in races

I know this doesn't apply to all races but a lot of the smaller and more clubby races split the age groups differently for men and women. For instance, V40 and V50 for men but V45 and V55 for women. Given that most women hit menopause around 50-52, this does seem illogical as you have post-menopausal women in their early 50s, who are dealing with poor sleep, hot flushes/night sweats and other symptoms, competing with pre-menopausal women in their mid-40s. Surely it would be more fair if both genders had the same age group categories.


    Cal - I agree it's annoying and would prefer that they had age categories every 5 years, which lots of races do but not all.  For a vet in their 50's/60's or older that's 10 years in the same age category at a time of life when getting older really does impact on times.

    I don't think you can swing the pre-menopausal reason, for a lot of women there is no effect on their running performance at all.

    I think it originally goes back to when they decided that women became vets at 35, but men at 40.   So you could say that women are advantaged by having prizes at 35.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    whats the logic in women achieving vet status earlier than men? Ultimately a womens life expectancy is longer than a man's so logically it should be other way around? 
    DT19 - absolutely no idea why women become vets at 35, some daft UKA rule.  I think they tried to bring the 2 sexes into line by encouraging men to also become vets at 35 to but it didn't seem to happen when it comes to race prizes.

    In the RunBritain rankings both sexes start for veterans at 35.  
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    It's disconcerting enough counting as a vet for track and the masters relays going off 35 - let's not bring men's road stuff down from 40 please o:)

    I suppose there must be a "numbers" reason for the original 35 v 40 thing.

    Our XC league scores men to women 50-50, but it's 6 in a team versus 4. So in effect women score higher. But because of numbers, they can't go 6 for women as that'd massively affect a lot of the teams without the numbers.

  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Veterans (now Masters of course) athletics didn't really start until the late 60s and if memory serves me right the Germans were prime movers. The women's age was set at 35 to encourage more female participation. We have to remember that the running community was very different then and in the UK I recall opposition to there being veterans athletics at all: once a runner got into their thirties they would often be expected to become coaches or officials and there was a worry that the sport would die if people didn't turn their hands to the more administrative side of athletics. 

    It wasn't until much, much later that the men's age was reduced to 35 to align with the female age group. 

    Things changed vastly with the mass participation events starting in the 80s and it is no doubt due to this that any of us who have so far posted on here are running at all rather than being officials, or not involved in the sport at all!

    And I'm sorry Cal but that doesn't answer your question! 

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    it gets confusing here as Worcestershire AA takes v40, v50 etc. A few miles away in Warwickshire where most decent races are in this area, which includes Birmingham, the cats go from v35 for both sexes. 
  • Basically the woman's start age should have moved up to V40 too, but somehow they made the illogical decision to lower the men's to V35.

    Still not met any runner who has considered this a good idea. Money talks eh.

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Spot on Simon.

    Do women and men still run different distances in XC champs? That never seemed right to me.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I think so HA77, although there is a campaign to get it changed.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    The Veterans track and field league has age groups v35, v50 and v60. So in the younger group you can be on the start line of the 1500 at 49 3/4 with guys who were 35 a month or so earlier...
    I think most County XC are V40, v50 , v60 for men, with V35,V45, v55 for women. 
    Frankly, as long as the rules and or prizes are defined, I don't see it as an issue.

    Re different distances at championships, at the Nationals in 2018 at Parliament Hill, a survey was handed out to both Men and Women. Men voted in favour of equalizing distances more than the women did.
    One argument is to shorten the Men's race from 12k to 10k, (or from 15k to 10k in the case of regional championships) and increase the women's from 8k to 10k. 
    To increase from 8k to 12 or 15k for women could impact the numbers taking part. Women's participation at the Nationals has grown by about 100% over the past 10 years (over 1000 finishers at Leeds this year, less than 550 at Parliament Hill in 2009). 

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭
    It's not the whole of UKA - in Scotland women's veteran categories start at 40 and the distances for xc championships have been equalised too.
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