5K For All: ‘Late starters’ still have much to gain by exercising

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Cover of the BBC Year Book 1931

The BBC did this article about the benefits of starting exercise when older  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25087047.

You get all sorts at parkruns. So, why not?

Maybe a new 60+ or 70+ runner is going to find a sub20 5k rather difficult but is that really the point?

Maybe a new runner might be nervous about coming in last or finishing very slowly, or whatever else.

Well, none of us care if you finish down the field! Trust me you will get LOTS and LOTS of respect from the more serious runners. We all want to be in THAT place when we are older. We want to be running or cycling or whatever when we are older and we realise that there may be some luck involved to allow us to do that. So good for you.

(And in triathlon/duathlon it’s even LESS the case as the competitors tend to be too into themselves to even notice those who finish anywhere else in the race!! joking of course)

I remember one of my earlier duathlons (actually I think the first one where I ever qualified for an ETU AG championship). My main memory was the guy who finished last (or about last not really sure). He won the 80+ age group. He got the biggest round of applause when finishing; not a sarcastic round of applause or ironic round of applause. A proper one. After all he was the European AG Champion…(I later found out).

So. My main memory of that event (of that achievement of my own) was, in fact, the achievement of somebody else.

One of the great things about parkrun (well any running event really if you care to look) is that you can look at your age graded time…that is really the best way to see if you are meaningfully better than your wife / husband / father / mother / daughter / son rather than just beating them on the day. And, of course, Age Group racing in triathlons/duathlons explicitly sets you up against your similarly-aged competitors whilst also providing the truly highest level of MEANINGFUL GLOBAL/EUROPEAN competition for those over 35/40 who are into that sort of thing.

Even if you come last, then AG racing or age-graded times will normally be able to tell you that really you weren’t last!!


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