The numbers are in. I'm OK with my results and national ranking. This was the first year I purposely competed in enough USAT sanctioned triathlons & duathlons to qualify for a national ranking. It was really a feel my way process as the whole rankings system is sort of complicated. Let's revisit the ranking system.
How are USAT rankings calculated?
1) Determine which participants received an overall ranking in the prior year, and therefore received a pacesetter ranking.
The pacesetter rankings are embedded in the rankings system and once a race is loaded, the rankings system automatically pulls all of the pacesetters in the race and uses their times to calculate the par time. Although possible, it can be very difficult to manually calculate the rankings due to the large number of pacesetters in every race.
2) Convert the times into minutes so they can work in a mathematical formula.
3) Multiply each participant’s time in minutes by his or her pacesetter ranking and divide by 100. This tells us how quickly a pacesetter that is ranked at a 100 could have completed the course.
4) Drop the top 20 percent and bottom 20 percent of calculated times. This solves the problem of extraordinarily great performances (a pacesetter significantly outperforms their ’07 pacesetter ranking) and extraordinarily poor performances (ex. flat tire or dehydration).
5) Average the remaining times to come up with the “par time.” The “par time” is what all times will be compared to when calculating individual rankings. Competitors are racing against the “par time” as far as scoring is concerned. The par time is mathematically what we believe the fastest amateur athlete in the country would be able to complete the course in.
6) Divide the par time by each participant’s finish time and multiply that by 100 (same calculation as that used to determine the par time). An additional 10 percent will be added to the female participants’ scores for “gender grading.” This is done to allow women the ability to crack the 100 point score just as men do.
A minimum of three scores is needed to be ranked in the sport of on-road triathlon. However, only two are needed in the sports of duathlon, off-road triathlon, and aquathlon. Finally, the top five percent of members in each age group receive All-American honors, and the next five percent receive All-American Honorable Mention honors.
In the male 45-49 age group (I was 49 in the year ending 2010) for duathlon I ended up 48th out of 193 athletes who qualified for a ranking. So, the top 24.9%. I was sort of torked because the race results from the Nebraska duathlon were never sent in despite the best efforts of myself and USAT to contact the race director. I did really well in that race, and I'm sure it would have elevated my par score. But being 48th in the country ain't so bad I suppose.
In the male 45-49 age group for triathlon I ended up 434th out of 3012 athletes who qualified for a ranking. That equated to the top 14.4%. That surprised me to be so near a national honorable mention (top 10%). Bottom par score for a HM within this age group was 84.11098. It gives me a goal for 2011.
My 2010 USAT sanctioned race summary:
How did everyone else do? I hope you all met or exceeded your goals. Best of luck in 2011!