Ginette Bedard: Lap of honor
You may have read about my efforts at running the New York City marathon (here
, and here
), and how humbling it was to be overtaken by people considerably older than yours truly. Well, I just found out that Ginette Bedard
, aged 76, completed the 2009 New York City marathon in 4:09:57, which is just over 9:33 minutes a mile. Not surprisingly, she placed first in her age group for her sex.
All this would be remarkable enough, but there's more. Running nerds have developed a program
that analyzes your age, sex, and performance against all other runners' age, sex, and performance, so you can gauge just how "good" you are against other runners in other age groups. If you are in the 50 to 60 percent range, you're pretty average. In the 60 to 70 percent range, you're locally competitive (this is where I am at the moment). If you're in the 70 to 80 percent range, you're regionally competitive; the 80 to 90 percent range makes you nationally competitive; and above 90 means that you're internationally competitive.
Ginette Bedard's age-graded performance placed her at 101 percent, which means that—given her time and age—she effectively broke a world record, and did so with time to spare. That's just a remarkable testament to senior fitness.