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WAVA (now WMA) age grading is a method of comparing your running (and maybe other athletic?) performance across ages and genders. Most places describe it as being relative to the world record performance for a certain distance in your age/gender category (although not all).

However, I would like to know what it means to be further down the WAVA grading. Where is 0%? Is it the slowest performance ever recorded?

Is the range based on some sort of normal distribution? Is 50% WAVA some sort of average time for that age/gender category?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

As far as I understand the WAVA (and WMA) age grading is calculated as


where the record-time is the best recorded time for the specified distance, gender and age.

So as an example assume you are a 48 years old male running half-marathon at 1:42:12 (me). Then you need to know the record time for the WAVA 2006 tables: 1:06:23. And you age grade is then

1:06:23/1:42:12 = 3983 seconds/6132 seconds = 64.96%

You can check with one of the many age grade calculators around.

With other words, the age grade tells you how well you are doing compared with the best for the distance at you age. 50% means you're running at half the speed of the best, 66% means you're running at 2/3 of the speed of the best.

So to get a 0% WAVA age grade, your finish time must be infinite... And 50% does not mean you are middle of the road, but just that somebody else runs twice as fast as you.

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This makes total sense. And I guess in other words, it's an indication of your speed relative to the world record. 50% means you ran at half the speed the world record holder did? – Rikki Jul 14 '13 at 21:20
yep, that is correct – Tonny Madsen Jul 15 '13 at 10:32

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