Ed Whitlock, Karla Del Grande get big indoor WRs in mile, 200

Ed motors in mile at age 82.

The era of “soft records” in masters track ended years ago. Now we need a new category: “stunning records.” In that group you have to include M80 Ed Whitlock and W60 Karla Del Grande, whose latest WRs were set Sunday at the third Ontario mini-meet. (See complete results.) As Doug “Shaggy” Smith reports: “Ed Whitlock ran a 6:44.44 Mile – breaking the 6:48.02 World Record (John Keston USA ’05). There was no previous CAN record. W60 Karla Del Grande continued her onslaught on the World Records with a 28.59 in the 200m. The record of 28.94 was held by USA’s Phil Raschker in 2007.” Great photos are posted by John MacMillan. How does 82-year-old Ed’s mile rate on the Age-Graded Tables? Under the 2010 factors (which have been updated, but I don’t have them yet), a 6:44.44 is worth 3:55.6. And Karla’s 28.59 is worth 21.56. (The real women’s indoor WR is 21.87 by Merlene Ottey.) And Ed circled back to help set a Canadian M70 record in the 4×8. This marathoner has range!
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February 3, 2014

8 Responses

  1. Matt B. - February 3, 2014

    Ken .5825 factor 94.49% I don’t think that has changed.
    They (Age graded tables) certainly need to be updated though. Everyone knows the factors start to go a bit awry when one becomes a septuagenarian.
    Here is an example:
    Men’s 800 meter Outdoor records: Truncated down.
    M35: 1:43 98.45%
    M40: 1:48 98.50%
    M45: 1:54 97.67% (1:53= 98.53%)
    M50: 1:58 98.57%
    M55: 2:03 98.61%
    M60: 2:08 98.64%
    M65: 2:13 Projected 2014 98.67% (actual 2:14.33)
    M70: 2:18 (Should be no more than 98.71%) Currently- 100.37%.

    These times are truncated down, but a fairly clear pattern emerges where every 5 years the record is 5 seconds slower and very similar performance percentages in the 98% range. I took the liberty to project the equivalent for the M70 2:18. The problem is that around age 70 the calculator tends to overestimate performances. No way should a 2:18 be worth 100%. In fact I think it should stay rather consistent until at least age 75.
    The first 5 year age group record that may go should be the Age 65 record.
    One can easily project a 1:53 in a few years by Anthony Whiteman.
    Performances do tend to drop off after age 70, but I’m betting over the next few decades this will be extended to at least 75 and this pattern would then be extendable to M75 800 meter with a time of 2:23. This may be 20-30 years away, but it will happen. The point is that the age graded calculator has always been a bit fuzzy with the older age groups. I don’t mean to take anything away from the incredible performances or from those talented individuals that set them, I just think that the percentages should be more realistic. Really, there should only be one or two 99% performances found anywhere at any age or discipline in Masters Track and Field today.

  2. Ken Stone - February 3, 2014

    Agreed, Matt. I’ll bug my WMA sources for the latest age factors. Howard Grubb is waiting on them — to update his online lookup.

  3. Weia Reinboud - February 4, 2014

    At a certain age decline goes faster. It was thought that 60 or 65 was that certain age and so the age gradings show faster decline mostly from that age onwards. But in the higher age groups world records have been improved (and are being) by big steps, we are seeing athletes with later onset of that accelerated decline. I have studied the records in detail and in the runs 77 is a better estimate now for the acceleration of decline. In the jumps even later and in the throws it is negligible.
    So never trust the age graded results in the higher age groups!

  4. Matt B. - February 4, 2014

    I agree closer to 75 – of course might be wishful thinking on my part.

  5. Ed Whitlock - February 4, 2014

    I don’t agree with the concept that at a certain age performance drop off suddenly increases. This may be true for an individual but not for the average population of athletes. Rather it may have a gradually increasing rate of deterioration per year.
    In my opinion the 1994 set of tables had this gradually increasing rate of deterioration about right. The revision sort of published around 2004 increased the rate of deterioration for older athletes considerably. This made it much too easy for older athletes to achieve unreasonably high age grades. I hope the new tables revert to something more in line with the 1994 tables.
    Age grade tables are useful for comparing performances but while they are to an extent supportable by evidence there is also a large degree of subjectivity.
    There is also the subject of comparing disciplines,
    why is it that at every meet there are numerous performances in the sprints in the 90% range and hardly any in the distance events? Some of the field events compare even more unfavourably

  6. Matt B. - February 4, 2014

    Interesting article:
    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/276/1657/683.full

    “Clearly, the relationship between speed and age is curvilinear, with a more pronounced decline after age 75″.

    Sprint and endurance power and ageing: an analysis of master athletic World records.
    Jörn Rittweger, Pietro Enrico di Prampero, Nicola Maffulli and Marco V Narici
    Proc. R. Soc. B 2009 276, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1319, published 22 February 2009

    Figure 1a gives the results of these computations,
    showing the decline in running speed with age in absolute
    terms for the men’s outdoor world records. Clearly, the relationship between speed and age is curvilinear, with a more pronounced decline after age 75.

  7. Matt B. - February 5, 2014

    To Ed’s question/point regarding sprint times compared to distance performances:
    “Taken together, these observations seem to suggest that endurance performance is indeed more affected by age than sprinting.”

    There are several references to other articles that I plan on reading.
    When I think of endurance events- I tend to think the 1500 and up. The 800 is a great masters event to study on aging and performance decline because it is both speed and endurance. The pattern of 5 seconds per 5 year age group seems quite apparent and I think that should continue through at least age 75.

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