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  • #16
    Re: Kingdom at 13.98

    IAAF report of meeting included this

    <<Council agreed that the starting age for Men Master athletes could be changed to 35 instead of 40 years of age at the next Congress. This is a way of encouraging more older athletes to stay in the sport and to reinforce the idea that athletics can be a “sport for life”.>>

    I don't think it's such a bad idea, and those in the Masters movement shouldn't either (unless they're afraid of real competition). As it is, I suspect that significant numbers of people give the sport up in their mid-30s because they no longer have an outlet, and after you've been off 5 years, tough to come back. This should only make the transition more seamless.

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    • #17
      Re: Kingdom at 13.98

      >So this 3:44.89 Luiz Jose Gonsalves (4.12.58) SPAIN Rio de Janeiro 14 June 1999
      >"World Record" may be challenged if Sorensen can stay healthy another two
      >years and 11 months. Sorensen has hovered between 3.41-3.44 the past several
      >years, with last year (3.42 and provisional OT qualifier at 36) and so far this
      >year (3.43) no exception.


      Eamonn Coghlan ran 3:58.15 in 1994, aged 41. I think the en route was around 3:41. Indoors, yes, but I think that adds value rather than the reverse.

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      • #18
        Re: Kingdom at 13.98

        >IAAF report of meeting included this

        <<Council agreed that the starting age
        >for Men Master athletes could be changed to 35 instead of 40 years of age at
        >the next Congress. This is a way of encouraging more older athletes to stay in
        >the sport and to reinforce the idea that athletics can be a “sport for
        >life”.>>

        I don't think it's such a bad idea, and those in the Masters
        >movement shouldn't either (unless they're afraid of real competition). As it
        >is, I suspect that significant numbers of people give the sport up in their
        >mid-30s because they no longer have an outlet, and after you've been off 5
        >years, tough to come back. This should only make the transition more seamless.

        Agreed. In my first Master's race (at 400), a guy passed me in the homstraight, and after he crossed the line promptly turned and apologised for being under 40. I was very happy he was there to pull me to a better time.

        I don't think it matters a lot whether they are termed Masters or not, but I think it's important to have a 35-40 category, even though there are a few world class over-35 athletes.

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        • #19
          Re: Kingdom at 13.98

          It is also important to keep in mind that the records are kept not just for a single category. Competitors square off in five-year age groups, each with its own set of records. Real hard-core masters fans also keep track of records for single ages, as well.

          There is nothing to be frightened of. In fact, many masters competitions have hosted "sub-masters" events to cover the bridge years of the thirties, as well.

          As for the rapid decline in performance once 40 has been reached, my own experience was that an errant long jump landing resulted in my knee bending from left to right,instead of the normal front to back, just two months short of 41.

          Glad to see so much discussion devoted to this subject. Track and field SHOULD be a lifelong pursuit. It is wonderful to see people continue to celebrate the joy of simply participating with gusto, long after their best days have passed.

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