Why do the London Marathon organisers discriminate against middle aged runners?

London GFA places descriminate against middle aged runners

81 to 92 of 92 messages
13/05/2013 at 21:29
Ah bah crie! wrote (see)

To be honest, I only really want to do London once for the experience, not fussed about doing it year after year, so if I did get a GFA that wasn't sub 3, I think I would take the opportunity!

I'm not trying to knock woman runners, as there are lots that push themselves to get the best time they can, but there are some on here that get all high and mighty about getting a GFA and that it should be easy for a guy to get sub 3.05, but in reality they're not really GFA, just good compared to their peer group to qualify for London.

Based on my 12% difference thinking, then if men heading towards 50 are going for sub 3.00, then woman of a similar age should be aiming for sub 3.22 as the equivalent. Would that sound a realistic target at that age?

Well I'd have to say no because there are only 14 V50s run that time or under so far this year.   But it should be a realistic target.  I don't know if women just move on to other things and change their focus, or if there are other reasons for it. 

13/05/2013 at 21:41

I think you're probably right that women move on to other things, or don't focus on racing as hard, but the target shouldn't change just because there's less women aiming for that target.

seren nos    pirate
13/05/2013 at 21:46

because women with bouncing breast bring in more spectators and tv watchers than men with their swinging willies.simple.its all about the tv audiences

13/05/2013 at 22:14
If I wanted to watch bouncing breasts I'd be watching Baywatch not the VLM.
13/05/2013 at 22:26

Me too. Bouncing breasts on runners just look painful.

13/05/2013 at 22:34

especially on male runners


14/05/2013 at 11:34
RM3 - out of interest, what would you class Good For Age for your age bracket, so that you weren't discriminated against? I'm guessing 3:31

I don't have an opinion on what the cut-off should be. But I think the cut-off should be the same level of difficulty/achievement for everyone, if it is going to be called "good for age" rather than "the demographic we want more of".  I have no objection to it being set as 75% of age rating for everyone, in which case I miss out, or 65% of age rating for everyone, in which case I'm in. But as it is, some people are getting in who are far less good for their age (and gender) than others who are excluded, simply because they happen to be the chosen gender or age.

I would prefer them to level out the groupings, like it was suggested in an earlier post Boston do. Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".


14/05/2013 at 12:00
Robert Macmillan 3 wrote (see)
 Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".


I thought that was the whole point ?

Cheerful Dave    pirate
14/05/2013 at 12:03

Since the changes, they're pretty level to be honest.  70+ men get an advantage over 70+ women, whereas in the under 40s women have the advantage of a lower age grading GFA, and those at the upper end of the 50-59 age group (M&W) need a higher grading than most, but otherwise they're not too bad.  Around 70-71% at the upper end of the age group in most cases.  

14/05/2013 at 12:08

 Failing that, maybe they should rename it "good for TV".

But it clearly isn't good for TV as the TV focus is on Elites, with a handful of Champs runners getting in on the red button action, and then the masses.

The GFA field will get little if any screen time. While its an important part of the UKA marathon scene for many of us, its nowt to do with TV. Give me a fast Kenyan, a guy dressed as a Camel, someone with a sob story, and some Z-lister from Made in Rotherham and you have the BBC Coverage sorted.

GFA demographic seems to me to have nothing to do with TV

If they said the fastest 1000 blokes aged 40 - 49 can have a place, how would you feel about that? That is broadly what they do now based on a statistical analysis of times.  

14/05/2013 at 12:40
I could easily come down on either side of this argument. The organisers have to make a decision and they make their best judgement. They may decide to, one day, that the whole thing is a pain in the ass and do away with it altogether. The VLM doesn't need GFA runners to survive. I think that on the whole it's quite fair and I'd rather have it than not.
02/09/2013 at 22:56

I ran London in 2006 came in at  4.10.  I ran Paris 2012 3.42 having only returned to running 5 months prior to the race. I am a women so because of time qualified for a good for age at london.   I completed London last year at 3.23 and I am now 46 my times have drastically improved with age, and I also finished reall strong last year I also reallyl had more in the tank but I decided to enjoy and stop and look out for  friends and family  towards end as I knew I had reached my 3.30 target my fastest miles was the last two at 7.15 min . so for me I have improved with age! 

As a women I  feel very  lucky to have a good for age place however I often thought  it was a big  gap for the in good for age time compared to women and men 3.50 for women is far more achievable then a 3.15 and have often discussed this with others and I was told one of the reasons was because of the ratio of men to women who participate and I must admit I was surrounded more by men then women last year around the 3.30 mark.

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