Attaining a Good For Age time

How hard is it?

21 to 40 of 45 messages
13/09/2012 at 20:16

Does a championship start get you in the same pen as the true elites?

A woman round my way runs 2:42 for a marathon, and I think was a bit put out at not starting with the elites a couple of years ago. But I'm not sure if that changed last year/will change next year?!

13/09/2012 at 21:10

KK: champs, if I enter (am toying with being good for a year or 2 and not racing anything over HM to try and improve my speed; I need to be less scared of sub 6m/m!).

SG: no, there's a difference between Champs, which for ladies means the 9.45am start behind the elite men and Elite, which is the 9am race which gets shown on the telly.  Although I'll never be anywhere near 2.42 standard, I can't see it would be very enjoyable to spend most of the race running alone.  Any woman of that standard would have a better chance of a good result with a pack of champs men (sub 2.45s) to chase!

13/09/2012 at 21:35
JP, I did GFA as a complete newbie, having taken the training seriously. This was off 5 months from 0 miles, to an average of 45 - 55 pw over the last couple of months. I did a 1:28 hm along the way, no 5k or 10ks were raced. Picked a hilly marathon to make things difficult for myself

I wouldn't have called it easy, and it did come off 25 years of inactivity other than hiking. I'm pretty bloody minded when I set about something - nothing to do with talent.
Since running that in June sub 40min 10k and sub 1:25 hm have been run, so training for the GFA time has given me some progression in other distances.

GFA as a target is a great motivator - not hitting it has real meaning. Its not just a phychological barrier like a sub 3
Edited: 13/09/2012 at 21:41
13/09/2012 at 21:48

You never know's all about finding your nic he.

The local lady's 5k and 10k pbs are something like 17:30s and 35:40s, when off a 2:42 you'd probably expect a minute off each.

However, an ability to run 120miles a week uninjured, and not lose as much pace as most of us would over distance are her major abilities.

ps Also ran, the only motivation you need is blowing that most epic looking forum pic of yours up, and just looking at it before the race sayin "who's the man"


Edited: 13/09/2012 at 21:49
13/09/2012 at 23:08

The VLM men's GFA time is a true "good for age time", especially if you are a Vet; it requires a 70% age graded time which takes into account training, etc and is a challenge. The ladies gfa is generous at about 60% or less for some age categories. 

VLM don't want the marathon to be full of middle aged men!!

JPenno    pirate
14/09/2012 at 09:34
Piers wrote (see)

The VLM men's GFA time is a true "good for age time", especially if you are a Vet; it requires a 70% age graded time which takes into account training, etc and is a challenge. The ladies gfa is generous at about 60% or less for some age categories. 

VLM don't want the marathon to be full of middle aged men!!

True but they are quite happy to have it full of middle aged men and women in fancy dress who have gone down the Charity entry route

14/09/2012 at 10:49
JPenno wrote (see)

True but they are quite happy to have it full of middle aged men and women in fancy dress who have gone down the Charity entry route

Not that anyone can tell how old you are when you're dressed as Great Uncle Bulgaria.

14/09/2012 at 11:59
Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
Not excellent for age, not brilliant for age not even very good for age. Just good. Average runner + good training = good for age.

I'm must be below average, 39 min 10K, 1:27 HM but only managed a 3:16 and 3:17 at marathon,  But if they opened the times out any more they would have too many runners qualifying and even less chance for getting in via the ballot.

Great Uncle Bulgaria must be over 40 surely.

14/09/2012 at 12:14

Random fact alert.  When I were nobbut a kit I had a Wombles LP which included the  track Minuetto Allegretto- the lyrics of which reveal that in 1780 Great Uncle Bulgaria was a lad.  So considerably over 40.

14/09/2012 at 15:04

I was overtaken by a womble in the last mile on Bird Cage Walk one year - I think it was Orinoco though, who I believe is some years younger than Great Uncle Bulgaria.

And I failed to get GFA that year too

14/09/2012 at 18:47

FF, excellent useless pub fact that.

14/09/2012 at 20:09
Barry B wrote (see)

I'm must be below average, 39 min 10K, 1:27 HM but only managed a 3:16 and 3:17 at marathon,  

What level you are at what pace must be one of the most oft debated things on this forum.

The truth is it's all relative and depends who you compare to.

If you compare to your average office slacker, the times you mention are terrific.

If you compare to your 18-40 male who puts 50/60miles a week in they're probably distinctly average.

compare to the best in the world and it's as good as a different sport...

14/09/2012 at 21:26

There have been movers & shakers at work amongst veteran's groups & individuals who are trying to make the GFA system fairer.  I have copied a few extracts from another forum and the important points are below in italics..

An interesting piece of news on the "good for age" entries.
Our own Jeff Aston (LM ever present) is currently submitting his "stats" to David Bedford, to hopefully change the London Marathon "good for age" entries.
At the moment you will see that the 41 to 59 year olds have the same qualifying times. Jeff thought that this was unfair to the late 50s and decided to do some stats to divide the groups into smaller age groups.  His idea went through Welsh Masters, then British masters. I then as secretary obtained the backing of Martin Duff and Steve Smythe from Athletics Weekly and approached Dave Bedford alongside Jeff. Dave has now asked Jeff to compile the stats and it looks hopeful that they will be adopted for 2013 or 2014.

When the GFA proposal from Jeff was submitted to the London Marathon, being the BMAF Road Race Secretary at that time, I also had a massive interest in Jeffs proposal. Nothing has happened since, to be exact David Bedford had only agreed to look at them.  As there had not been any noticable movement on the proposal, I personally spoke to Dave Bedford on this in London last week and he seemed to think that Jeff's info was mislaid. Jeff has now submitted his updated proposal with this year's (2012) stats included, to Dave and the new Director Hugh Brasher and they have both been received by them. All I can say is watch this space!

Jeff's stats took into consideration the number of masters finishing within each age band over the last few years and when his suggested GFA entry totals were applied it still did not exceed the current range of competing masters in the VLM. Therefore the VLM would not have a problem with final totals. Should the totals increase, it would be relatively easy to tweek the age band times to reduce the final total masters entries. In recent years though, the overall average race finishing times seem to have become slower than the average times produced 20 year ago, which makes Jeff's GFA proposition in age bands a much fairer entry system to the o/50 applicants.

So there we are, I will only believe it when I see it but these proposals are simply common sense.  Doesn't stop me wishing I was 25 again though!

15/09/2012 at 05:00
Wardi - hope that doesn't backfire and result in New York GFA times for VLM!
40 - 44: 2:50
55 - 59: 3:15

What are peoples views in using half marathon times as GFA. E.g, for NYC, for 40 - 44 male, 1:23 HM time is needed. I've not achieved this, nor a 2:50 mara. If I was in the US and wanted in to NYC using GFA, I would go for the HM time. Plenty more oppotunities to train, race and recover.
Edited: 15/09/2012 at 05:05
15/09/2012 at 10:13

Interesting to see the half vs marathon comparisons for people. I only started running at 49 and did my first marathon just over a year later (London aged 50). I achieved GFA in this - 03:12:xx - off of a pb half time of 01:33;xx. I have got a little faster ever since and this year at 57 I did my second sub 3hrs (02:57:xx) and my half pb is only 01:27:xx.

According to the expert predictors this shouldn't be possible. I have concluded that I just have one gear in the gearbox hence my forum name!

15/09/2012 at 14:52

I think progression has much more to do with numbers of continuous years running, most of us peak around 7-10years into it although there exceptions I'm sure.

15/09/2012 at 15:00

Also Ran, are they seriously equating a 1hr 23 half marathon with a 2:50 marathon?

ie, losing a mere 4mins over the same distance again?

Pure bonkers.I've done a fair bit quicker than 1hr 23, yet wouldn't be at all confident of breaking 2:50 for a marathon if i trained for the distance.

15/09/2012 at 17:43

Hi SG, yes I was really surprised - I had a look recently to see the times as I fancy doing it some time in the future without buying a International Tour Company place.

The times look like this for 2013 onwards;


Age Marathon 1/2 Marathon

18-39 2:45:00 1:19:00
40-44 2:50:00 1:23:00
45-49 2:58:00 1:25:00
50-54 3:06:00 1:29:00
55-59 3:14:00 1:33:00
60-64 3:24:00 1:39:00
65-69 3:35:00 1:42:00
70+ 3:46:00 1:48:00



Age Marathon 1/2 Marathon
18-39 3:10:00 1:30:00
40-44 3:25:00 1:37:00
45-49 3:35:00 1:42:00
50-54 3:49:00 1:48:30
55-59 3:52:00 1:50:00
60-64 4:10:00 1:58:00
65-69 4:26:00 2:06:00
70+ 4:50:00 2:17:00

Pretty tough Marathon times comapred to VLM. "In recent years we’ve experienced a significant increase in applicants for guaranteed entry (entry that is accepted automatically) to the ING New York City Marathon. This has reduced the number of non-guaranteed entries (entry that must go through our random drawing on Marathon Opening Day). If this trend continues, within five years we will no longer be able to offer non-guaranteed entry. "

Edited: 15/09/2012 at 17:49
15/09/2012 at 17:47

ahh i'd qualify on the half time then

Having said that, the London marathon championship qualifying times are harder for men , you need a sub 1hr 15 or sub 2hr 45.

that's a more reaslistic like for like comparison.

15/09/2012 at 18:00

Do you offer a Pacing service SG  - need to find 2 minutes from somewhere

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