Joan Samuelson Wins Age-Graded Boston Marathon

The Age Graded Calculator ranks Samuelson's performance the as the most impressive Boston finish on Monday. The actual men's and women's winners rank fourth and fifth.

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The Boston Marathon has always been a must-do race for fast runners—not just the open-division competitors, but top age-groupers as well. So we wondered: What would happen if we “scored” Boston according to the highly-respected age-graded calculator?

Answer: Sixty-one-year-old Joan Samuelson would win and 71-year-old Gene Dykes would finish sixth with some youngsters in between.

Samuelson achieved a 97.02 percent score for her 3:04 at age 61 on Monday. A 100.00 is roughly equivalent to a world-record performance. Dykes scored a 93.17. For Samuelson, the race marked the 40th anniversary of her open-division win in 1979.

The World Masters Association age-graded calculator uses millions of running performances to place everyone on a single scale. This scale takes into account both the runner’s age and gender.

Below, we rank 22 top age-graded performances from Monday’s marathon. We included the winners of all age-groups, plus several of the open division runners who ran particularly fast for their age. Note especially Edna Kiplagat’s impressive performance, which earned her second in the women’s open division, and, when age-graded, was second only to Samuelson’s race.

The Boston Marathon winners, with $150,000 winner’s checks in their pockets, Lawrence Cherono and Worknesh Degefa, finished fourth and fifth in our age-graded scoring.

We used the specific, current ages of a handful of elite performers whose ages are known. In the case of age-group winners whose precise ages we don’t know, we used the lowest age for their age group. That is, we used 60 for the winner of the 60-64 age-group. If that individual is a year or several older than 60, his or her age-graded score would be slightly higher than shown.

Name Age Graded % Age / Age Group Actual Time
Joan Samuelson 97.02 W 61 3:04:00
Edna Kiplagat 96.23 W 39 2:24:13
Ken Kipkemoi 96.23 M 34 2:08:07
Lawrence Cherono 96.09 M 30 2:07:57
Worknesh Degefa 94.36 W 28 2:23:31
Gene Dykes 93.17 M 71 2:58:50
Abdi Abdirahman 92.33 M 42 2:18:56
Margaret Nijuguna 91.94 W 45-49 2:38:04
Kate Landau 91.19 W 40-44 2:31:56
Mohammed El Yamani 90.15 M 50-54 2:32:11
Vitor Queranza 89.02 M 65-69 2:57:12
Morales Pineda 88.43 M 45-49 2:28:42
Roslyn Smith 87.88 W 70-74 3:53:37
Locky Trachsel 87.77 W 50-54 2:55:24
Jean Marmoreo 86.63 W 75-79 4:18:44
Paul Crochiere 86.52 M 60-64 2:53:40
Keijo Taivassalo 86.22 M 80-84 3:47:10
Martin Rindahl 86.14 M 55-59 2:46:31
Heather Knight Pech 85.75 W 55-59 3:11:31
Gail Wasielewski 85.05 W 65-69 3:43:49
Eliz Barrett 84.09 W 80-84 5:00:53
John Ouweleen* 73.57 M 75-79 4:01:12

*Given the 73.57 percent age-grade, we suspect the BAA may have missed some faster guys in this division.