Using Excel (.xls) files containing World Masters Athletics age-graded track tables on Howard Grubb’s website (http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/data/wavacalc06.xls), I have an R data frame that stores age-graded track performances for this year’s Carolina Godiva Track Club Summer Track Series track meets. These are all-ages, all-abilities races hand-timed by volunteers and often begun by our fearless, ear-protecting, honorable gun-carrying starter, Ethan Caldwell.
At least one future post will analyze these results, with at least an attempt at a statistical regression (dependent on the necessary assumptions). My plotting functions `plotfunc’ and ‘plotfunc_grade’ (the latter for age-graded performance) can be used to plot all of the available distances (in meters): 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 1609 [1 mile].
A quick examination of a plot:
I wish I could repeat whatever enabled me to run my first ever sub-12 second 100m on July 18th. I (Rick Pack), Rayvon Moore, and former Olympian Dante Freeman all ran the same hand-timed 11.7 seconds. Now, I ran in Rayvon’s heat and believe I edged him out. This is admittedly petty, particularly because Dante is within weeks of training from easily defeating all of us.
The age-graded graph on the right highlights Gerald Mitchell (age 55) and Becky Bowman (age 60). I have read that as we age, we tend to lose the more powerful type II muscle fibers that generate the explosive power largely composing a short sprint like one of 100 meters. Enough have been sustained by Becky and Gerald the make them remarkably fast.
Both have run world-class times, with Becky’s 13.9 seconds (age-graded 10.76) scoring a 97.45% age-performance according to this Howard Grubb calculator. That mean she ran just off the recorded world record! Her sizzling sprint also took place on July 18th, which is interesting. I remember Bryan Hassin (age 40) pushed her as he darted out of the starting blocks. It was a warm but not hot day, as I recall. One future idea is to explore the impact of temperature on running times. Someone, perhaps Patrick Gale, tracks temperatures at the track meets on this website.
I just discovered that my friend, Becky Bowman, won the national U.S. title in the 100 meters at the USA Track & Field Championships in Spokane, WA today (July 28, 2018)! Another friend and fellow Piedmont Pacers Track Club runner, Louise Guardino, placed second in the 100 meters!
I sincerely admire anyone who keeps running as they age, even myself, but let’s honor those who do well and inspire all of us to take better care of ourselves and each other.