Parkrun age bands

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27/02/2012 at 13:47

I did my first Parkrun on Saturday and had a look at the results on Saturday evening and something really annoyed me.

I'm female and 36. I was classed as a VW (veteran woman). The age band for VW starts at 35.

If, however, I were male and 36, I'd still be in the SM (senior male) category, which starts at 40.

Does anybody know why this is?

27/02/2012 at 13:53
it's archaic reasoning due to - historically - more men competing so they needed more bands to break the age groups down

do triathlon instead - everyone is in a 5 year age group so you really are competing against those of similar age and none of this senior or vet crap.
27/02/2012 at 13:56
Triathlon involves swimming and I hate swimming! I'm really tempted not to go back to a Parkrun. It's a really good idea and I think they're fab, but it's just hit a nerve with me.
27/02/2012 at 14:03

Its not a parkrun thing, its because the WMA used to be 35+ for women and 40+ for men.

I think that only changed recently to 35+ for both, but I expect for parkrun to change down the mens would cause a huge programming issue with previous results. 

Anyone under 14 just gets JW14 or JM14 

Loads of races (one off events) still use the 35/40 bandings for vets, but because parkrun operates like a series of runs its much harder to make changes like that. 

If it bugs you that much then email them and let them know. Its probably already on a to do list somewhere.

27/02/2012 at 14:11

makes sense to me......... Let's face it - any woman over 35 is officially old and past it, whereas we men age much better and frankly are in our prime even after 40!

<YP scurries rapidly out of the forum>

cougie    pirate
27/02/2012 at 14:26
Sounds like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Just run faster and be first woman overall - I cant say age categories mean much to me.
27/02/2012 at 14:36
I dunno cougs - it's always a pleasure beating those younger - it's the older buggers beating me that hacks me off!!
27/02/2012 at 14:41
fat buddha wrote (see)
 do triathlon instead - everyone is in a 5 year age group so you really are competing against those of similar age and none of this senior or vet crap.

Yeah and in Triathlon they make you race in the age group of your age at the end of the year, So although it's not my birthday til the end of December, I have already gone up a group !!
cougie    pirate
27/02/2012 at 16:26
FB - I always assume they've swapped numbers cos CLEARLY anyone older than me cant have beaten me.
27/02/2012 at 20:08

If I run a race, or a parkrun, I don't care what category they put me in, I just care about my performance. In the Nick Beer 10k a couple of weeks ago I came 6th in category. Unfortunately they had me down as F35!

Personally I don't see the problem. If you're so bothered about sex equality amongst runners then why not campaign Cancer Research to let men run in their R4L?This to me is a much bigger issue than whether or not they make me a vet at 35 or 40. Really couldn't care about either though!

Edited: 27/02/2012 at 20:09
27/02/2012 at 20:34
I'm more interested in why anyone would be really annoyed at such a thing. If you want to be annoyed at a veteran issue imagine being 2nd V50 in a race where you beat all the V40's and don't get a prize because there's only one for your age band but 3(three) for the V40's.
27/02/2012 at 20:54

It does seem a bit odd to get wound up about being in an age group that begins at 35....when you're 36!

In running terms you are a veteran....most people find it quite amusing when they become a veteran.

chubby bloke wrote (see)

If I run a race, or a parkrun, I don't care what category they put me in, I just care about my performance. In the Nick Beer 10k a couple of weeks ago I came 6th in category. Unfortunately they had me down as F35!


 Is it those moobs again, Chubby?

Edited: 27/02/2012 at 20:58
27/02/2012 at 21:15

Four years til I'm a veteran

I'd like to think I'll be winning my  category as I'll be at the bottom end of the age band, but I don't think that'll be happening!

28/02/2012 at 08:54

I'm not so annoyed now that I wouldn't go back.

The reason I was so annoyed is that I don't feel 36, I don't feel as though I should be going to the opticians for them to tell me that 'it's the age' and I certainly don't feel old enough to be a veteran.

And it's not the equality as such, it's that if I were a man, I wouldn't even be mentioning 'veteran' for another three and a bit years.

But I've not actually thought about the fact that I'm one of the youngest in my band and in theory should be one of the fastest (I'm very slow so it's something to aim for anyway). That's definitely a much better way to think.

02/03/2012 at 12:02
I don't think it makes a jot of difference to your speed whether you are 36 or 39. I'm 40 next week and run faster than some 25 year olds and slower than some 60 year olds. We have an ex-elite runner at our local parkrun - she's in the V55 category and wins the ladies race on a regular basis.

It depends on how long you've been running, your physiology, natural talent and I guess just how much work you're prepared to put in.

I don't have a problem with the age bands but I do wonder why some races offer more prizes for men than for women - eg Bramley 10/20? I'm assuming it's because more men take part.

As for the Race for Life, I can see why guys get a bit miffed but there are so many other events, and so many other cancer charities. The RFL events aren't timed or competitive, but it is nice for ladies to have ladies-only events that they can actually win because there are always loads of men in before the ladies unless you have a very elite lady taking part - I did see a lady come second overall at our parkrun once. For example, I've been 4th lady in an event but 34th overall.
Edited: 02/03/2012 at 12:03
02/03/2012 at 12:57

I've not taken part in enough events to properly comment but I do see your points. Aren't there prostate cancer events that are just for men?

I wouldn't say I'm faster than any women at the moment, I'm super slow, so it's not as though I'm going to be coming top of my age group or bottom. It doesn't matter to me currently as I'm so slow

02/03/2012 at 14:33

How can you have one of those there yellow & black crosses if you don't swim or am I missing something?

Are you really that hung up on your age that you're bothered if random strangers know you're  over 35? Age is just a number after all...  I was really pleased when I turned 40 and got to change age brackets...not that I even get close to winning my age category...unless there's only one FV40 in the race and then I might stand a chance.

02/03/2012 at 14:45
CazSoul wrote (see)

How can you have one of those there yellow & black crosses if you don't swim or am I missing something?

Lots of plastic pirates around these days......

02/03/2012 at 15:10
 Aaaah a bit like this...
http://waltdisneyanimation.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/lego-pirates-of-the-caribbean-minifigures-jack-sparrow.jpg

04/03/2012 at 08:34
I use Parkrun to run against myself. It's my PB's and increase on last week that count, not what age bracket I'm in or who in that age bracket I beat. Since starting (about a year ago), I've knocked 6 minutes off my time. Also, I love the community spirit at Parkrun. Hope you carry on Nykie. I am a VW45-49.
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