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.
We’re so proud of Joan Benoit Samuelson—Congrats on a great 40th anniversary run. You are an inspiration to us all. pic.twitter.com/P7V6htxAuA
— Boston Marathon JH (@jhboston26) April 16, 2019
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.