I do not understand the practice of basing the number of age group awards on the "previous year's participation." Every year people move into a different age group and different people show up to race. It seems to me that there should be 1st, 2nd and 3rd places available in every age group. Why give 4 and 5 awards in one age group and only 1 or 2 in another?
This is especially bad for older runners. What's to inspire a 70 or 75 or 80 year old runner to continue to enter races when some lump everyone over the age of 65 together or only give 1 or 2 awards, even though there are more runners in that age group?
A recent example is this year's Firecracker 4 mile in Derby. Now I love this race and highly recommend it. It's affordable, friendly, nice shirts, great home-made cookies. But, I think the awards discriminated against young and old alike.
Only 2 places were given for age 3-14, even though there were 13 male and 7 female runners. In female age 60-64, 1 award for 4 runners; male 65-69, 2 awards for 6 runners; female 70+, 1 award for 3 runners even though there were 2 70+ male awards for 2 runners. Yet, they gave 4 and 5 awards in 3 younger age groups.
I would really like to hear comments from other runners of all ages and a better explanation from race directors. Thanks.
I tried going in the minimum shoe direction, but my old knee wouldn't let it work. This spring I got a pair of Hoka (Tarmac model) shoes. Unbelievable shoes. MUCH better than the most cushioned Nikes and Brooks I've tried. I'm running pain free again, and getting ready for my second marathon this spring. I'm hoping that a local shoe store will pick up this brand. I'd rather support them, than mail order. It's the best shoe I've ran in, in over 30 years, and the first time my expectation have been exceeded, when trying a new shoe. If these hit the Wichita area, I'm betting they get very popular, especially for us older runners, as well as injury recovery/prevention shoes.
I can't help but wonder if these already expensive races are either making more money, or loosing money by loosing runners, when they jack up their entry fees to an even higher insanity by using "cut-off" dates. Life happens. I can't always predict when I can and can't make a race. I'm certainly not going to plunk down the better part of $100 bill on a race I might not make. I can understand missing out on a T-shirt, big deal. When the weekend comes, and life works out, and I can make a race, and now I may or may not get a t-shirt, plus you want to jack up the entry fee another $15-$20+? I've skipped several races because of this. I can't help but wonder if this tactic really makes more money, than it looses last minute racers. It's so sad to see running all about the $$$ and not the runners these days.