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.