I'll begin by admitting that, as i mentioned emphatically in my post on arbitrariness, these criteria are going to be largely (entirely?), well, arbitrary. As i also mentioned before however, not only is everything else essentially arbitrary too, but arbitrary is simply good enough for me. and since it's my blog, well, i guess no more justification is required - so here goes.
Doing something 'well' (as an age group, non professional athlete) implies - at least when concerning athletic endeavors that are measured by 'time to completion' - finishing within a time no more than 50% greater than that of the world's top athletes in the given discipline. In other words, you are 'Off by 50' or less.If you think that this sounds too easy - that 50% is too generous a cushion - consider the following examples:
- The fastest marathon time is just over 2 hours. So by my criteria, an age grouper who runs a 3 hour marathon is doing dandy. In fact, they'll qualify for Boston with time to spare - evidence clearly in support of my thesis!
- The fastest IM traithlon is somewhere right around (slightly under) 8 hours - so breaking that 12 hour barrier puts you in pretty good company. The other thing to notice is that if you look at the results of most general registration (no qualifying is necessary) IM distance races on reasonably flat courses (the silverman is excluded from this category) - a sub 12 hour performance would put you in approximately the top 35% of the field. Considering that there are no 'average' athletes running such a race and you get an idea of the achievement.
- This seems to roughly apply to shorter distance efforts too - a sub 4 minute mile puts you squarely among elite runners at this distance (WR 3:43). This translates to a good goal for an age grouper like myself being a sub 6 minute mile, or even at the extreme expression of the criteria (50% increase over the WR) a time of 5:35.
Athlete A: So how'd you do in your race saturday?Can't you just hear it? (:
Athlete B: Excellent! I was only 'off by 50!'
Athlete A: Man - you're really doing well!