I guess it pays to be old when it comes to racing long distance triathlons.
Ironman published racers rankings today. I am ranked 90th of 500 in the USA in my 65-69 age group. Yessss! Top 100!! And 221 of 964 in the world. My friend Keith Escue who races WAY WAY faster didn't crack the top 200 in his (much younger) age group.
Now that doesn't mean I was the 90th fastest man in my age group. Points are given for speed and number of races. So with two races this year I out pointed those that only finished one. The more interesting story is the participation and completion rate by age group.
The number of racers entering and finishing races falls off by age group much faster than I expected. 500 racers in the US and 964 world-wide racers in my age group started a race but of the 500, only 364 finished at least one race and of the 964 only 729 finished a race.
Just focusing on the number racers in the US, there were 165 racers entered in the 70-74 with 109 finishing. In the 60-64 there were 996 finishers of 1,284 racers. And in the 55-60 there were 2,843 racers. The largest group was the 40-44 with 8,448 in the US and 27,867 racers worldwide!
So all you have to do to be top 100 in the world as a long-distance triathlete is live to be 70+ and finish a couple of races in the same year.
See, it does pay to be old when racing.