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B-22: Free Communication/Poster – Exercise Testing: Older Adults, General Testing, Acute Exercise Responses: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2005 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ROOM: Ryman C1

A 5k Run Handicap Model For Age And Body Weight: 552 Board #143 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Vanderburgh, Paul M.; Laubach, Lloyd L. FACSM

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2005 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p S105
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The adverse effect of increasing age and/or body weight on distance run performance has been well documented. Accordingly, nearly all 5K distance road races employ age categories and, sometimes, a two-category body weight classification. Problems include small numbers of runners within elderly categories and the lack of precision with only two weight classes.


To develop a 5K Run Handicap Model (5KRHM) for men and women based on the known independent contributions of age and body weight to distance run performance.


By combining the findings of several studies with large sample sizes, we developed a 5KRHM with a correction factor based only on the independent contributions of age and weight.


The table below shows examples of 5KRHM adjusted times for two men and two women.



As age increases, the 5KRHM adjusted times are progressively slower than those using WAVA age-only adjusted standards. This is due to the WAVA model's handicap being a percentage of actual run time and the 5KRHM model's handicap being a percentage of a set world class time subtracted from actual time. The 5KRHM model could be advantageous for several reasons: 1) Age or body weight categories would not be needed, 2) Heavier and older runners might feel more incentive to participate and/or compete and 3) This model could be used to augment already existing award structures for races. We recommend that interested race directors consider the field testing of such a model to assess its efficacy and usefulness.

©2005The American College of Sports Medicine