Monday, March 13, 2006

Better With Age

Like a fine wine, it gets better with age, right? That's the way alot of endurance racers I've spoken with seem to think. It seems to be correct, especially when you take a look at someone like Tinker Jaurez, who seems to keep going on and on like the Energizer Bunny.

If this really is the case, for whatever reason, should there be age classes at solo endurance events? I've seen this question come up from time to time. Actually, alot of questions regarding the solo field are starting to crop up. There is the money question. You know.......should solo racers pay less and get more because they do it solo? That's a thorny question that has alot of debate going on, as well. For today, let's stick to the age issue!

My take is this: If there were to be age classes in solo endurance events, what would constitute a viable field? You know, alot of these events draw smaller amounts of solo racers, and most of them are going to be in the 25-35 year old age group. That's going to cause all sorts of weirdness in regards to competition. I mean, what if Tinker shows up? Who is likely to be in his age group? You start to see where there would have to be a pro group and an amatuer group, so you would get the sort of competition at an event that would draw interest, from a promoters standpoint. Then there is the money issue, which is going to suffer because of the amount of places a promoter would have to pay out would triple, at least. Then you open the door for a sanctioning body to oversee it all and.........well, the end would be near!

I think that you either leave it free and open to all age groups, or you lead yourself down a path of confusing rules and complicated situations all in an effort to be fair. Obviously, I would leave things as they are. What say you? Age groups, or no? It's a question that needs answering. The shape of endurance sports is still being formed, and with it's burgeoning popularity, it's getting formed faster than ever.

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