Wild Rumpus Sports


It’s been a years since I have posted – so it seems fitting to write about this year’s Dam tot Damloop. I have raced plenty in the last year (including one ski race I would rather not talk about) but mostly I have done pretty well for a 41-year old. With instant access to the World Masters Assocation tables (e.g. here) an obsessive like me can start ranking every race they have ever run. And according to the tables, I had a great run this year. My time of 52:24 gets me (give or take a 5km on course I don’t think is certified) my best ever percentage ranking of 89.45 (100 would be an age-group record, or at least what the algorithm thinks should be the record). Alternately, this equates to a runner in their prime running 49:37, which puts me (in a very virtual sense) ahead of my Leiden Atletiek teammate who was in fact 2:30 ahead of me on the road. The time I ran 7 years ago, 52:18, scores 85.54%, and is equivalent to 51:53. Two years ago, I ran 51:57, for 88.85%; despite being 27 seconds slower in real life this year, the algorithm figures I ran the equivalent of 20 seconds faster.

Obviously I have obsessed about this a fair amount (this is the version of this post with way fewer numbers…) but what it really comes down to is another stage of realization in my careers as a master athlete: my days of true PR’s may be behind me. My marathon and (certified course) half-marathon times might yet drop a bit, but I will likely never break 15:00 again for 5 km, nor ever manage to get under 31:00 for 10 km; probably I will never better 31:30 again.

On the other hand, so far I am doing a pretty good job of slowing down less than the tables think I should. So who knows; if I can just maintain the all speed I have right now, in a short 13 years I will be an age-group record holder 🙂