Age Group Awards

Before I begin lets start with a disclaimer: This post is in no way written to belittle anyone’s accomplishments, including my own.

As you know, at the end of races they give out awards to the top 3 finishers in each age group for both males and females.

Cool, right?!

I have always thought so!  In fact, I am happy to have received a couple over the years. And I fully admit I mention them in my blog posts.

So, what’s my problem?

Well, my very speedy fiancé and I ran the Mt. Harmon 5k together and he was the 3rd overall finisher!!!! The 3rd person! Incredible right?!

Which brings me to my point.

They announced 1st male and 1st female and proceeded to hand out AG awards.  For the first time ever, I was irked by this.  I think they should have at least announced the top 3 finishers. Yes, I realize I may only be saying this because Bill was 3rd but still. Sidebar: He also finished 2nd in his age group (31-39).

Age group awards are fun but let’s be honest the people who receive them (myself included) aren’t always putting up the greatest times.  I know this sounds harsh but it’s the truth.  For instance, at the last 5k I ran I was 2nd in my age group.  The 1st person ran the race in 20:51 (she was 1st female) and I ran the ran in 25:09 (6th female).  That is a huge time and place gap.  I don’t feel like we are even in the same league so why should I go stand up on the podium next to her?

Simply put, the reason I run races is to beat my PR.  Am I upset that I don’t win races?  Of course not, because I don’t expect to.  I also don’t expect to be rewarded ie. awarded for being mediocre.  A shiny new PR is the only medal I need.

The bottom line is whether I receive an age group award or not,  I still don’t feel like I won- because I didn’t!

I will say there are some exceptions.  Tough courses warrant slower times so I will happily get up there and get my award in those cases.

I love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know what you think-agree or disagree?