aka Medal Monday MMP
Most world class athletes are in their 20’s or even early 30’s (with the exception of the invertibrates who do gymnastics). In general, as you age you slow down & lose muscle mass. To keep the public involved, some sports have age groups. There are 5 categorys for amateur cyclists; one starts as a Cat 5 & gradually works they’re way up to a Cat 1 based upon good enough results (ie. winning) If you’re a good enough Cat 1, you may get offered a contract & turn pro, but this is a bit like baseball, where pros start in the minor leagues &, if good enough eventually get to “The Show”, but even if you’re good enough to make a MLB team, you’re not necessarily a star or a household name.
Eventually you age up & go into Master’s racing, which is based solely on age; there’s no more raking based upon how good/fast you were. This sucks for the lower level guys because they’re now racing against guys who are their age but much better then they are. This is a part of the reason I quit racing bikes; I was getting smoked.
Cycling is also interesting in that your age is based upon the year you were born. You’re racing age is the age you’ll be on Dec 31st of a given year, so whether you were born on Jan 1st or Dec 30th if you & someone else were racing in the summer you’d be the same racing age. Most sports do it on your actual birthday, but there are some that do a hybrid & it’s the month that counts.
Running, after accounting for the overall winners, is based solely upon age, from races that have an 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 19 & under category; you’re always racing against people fairly close to you in age. Most races do 5 or 10 year age groups, though some to 15 yo age groups. Every once in a while you age up; this is a good thing, because as I stated above, you get slower as you get older; therefore you’re going from old & slow to young & (hopefully) fast in the next group.
Having somewhat recently aged up, this was my first race in new age group. (Last weekend’s race I was untimed). However, still on the recovery from a wicked infection, which means I couldn’t run for a while & having a short night the night before I wasn’t expecting much. It was also a fairly tough, hilly course. All of these things said it wasn’t going to be my best performance. Yes I tried, but I wasn’t expecting much. I just went out & did my own thing. Fairly early on, one guy, who looked to be in my age group passed me; I let him go & didn’t try to keep up. Then another guy who I was sure was in my age group passed me; again, I let him go & ran my race; however, he leveled out 10-15 secs in front of me, roughly ⅓ - ½ of a football field out. I tried picking it up, but I wasn’t really gaining on him. Oh well, I’m in third, I’ll get an age group medal, not too shabby.
We get to the last hill, a steep, punchy one & I see he’s walking it. There ain’t no way I’m gonna do that; I’m gonna catch him. He reaches the top & starts running again. I’ve cut his lead in half but there’s less than ¼ mile to go; just not enough real estate to catch him so I’m resigned to my fate…but then, he starts to walk on the next hill. I dig a little deeper. He starts to run again, still in front of me. We get to the last turn, I take a good tight line (shorter distance running inside of a turn rather than the middle of the road or outside) when all of a sudden he veers right & cuts me off (I don’t think it was malicious; I don’t even think he knew I was there.) I put my hand on his shoulder to try & move him back to the left because it’s either run into the stanchion or run into the back of him; otherwise, I’d need to both slow down & then try to pass him on the outside. He looks over his shoulder at me & takes off. I dig deep into my sprint & pull even with him; he pulls a step ahead but now I pass him. That’s it, he’s done, cooked, pooped, popped. I end up beating him by 2 seconds in the last 25ish yards. I cross the finish line, walk it off & recover from a ridiculously high heart rate & eventually come back to check the results board. Ummm, that first guy who passed me early on. He wasn’t in my age group, which means…
I later find out that this race is only giving awards to the age group winners, no second or third place. IOW, if I did give up & didn’t dig it out at the finish I would have gotten squat, bumpkis, nada, zilch, zip.
Ahhh, to be ‘young’ again.
Ummm, lesse, pre-hijack question of the week. What have you won &/or why are you looking forward to ageing up? (I know some of our more elderly members will get social security &/or Medicare soon &/or maybe some other senior discounts.)
P.S. Sunny, last week wasn’t a stealth brag, & this week isn’t a stealth brag either.
I’m juuussst good enough to win or place in a small to medium sized race…sometimes. However, iffn it’s a big race…Fuggedaboutit!