Currently, the rule for the overall age grade competition is

“For the entire series, each runner’s age grades for all courses completed are averaged”

That is, you sum the age grades for all courses and divide by ten.

My contention is that this down weights (i.e., reduces the importance of) the tougher courses.

For example:

For Lick Brook (I think the toughest course), a good age grade is 50%. If the runner takes one tenth off their time (just for the sake of illustration), their age grade goes to 55%. So the sum of age grades goes up by 5

For the sweet sixteen, a good age grade is 75%. Now, if the runner takes one tenth off their time, the age grade goes up to 82.5%. So the sum of age grades goes up by 7.5

As you see, you are rewarded more for a one tenth improvement for an easy race than for a hard race, which doesn’t seem right.

The solution would be to take the best age grade as the standard. That age grade would be worth 100 points. For anybody with a lower age grade, divide their age grade by the standard and multiply by 100. So if I had a 1% worse age grade than the best, I would get 99 points. Now sum up these standardized age grades across the ten races.

Just a thought. I’m sure it would make very little difference overall, unless someone is really consistently better at the tough ones and worse at the easy ones. But it just rubs me the wrong way that the tough ones should matter less than the easy ones for the overall competition.