Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Athlinks & Your RPI (Race Performance Index)

Have you ever used this site? Its a great place to store all of your race results, and better yet, a new feature that they are rolling out later this month actually "grades" you according to your nation-wide peer group! They snuck this feature in a bit ago on everyone's personal results page (simply click on "results", then click on a race listed):

The RPI listed is your "Race Performance Index". As of right now, your RPI lists your performance against your peers in a specific event (Age, Gender and Overall).

The RPI will eventually be universal...across regions/climates/elevations/terrain/distance. Coming soon, your RPI can be used as a measuring point against which to size up, search for, and connect with other runners, triathletes, cyclists, and other endurance athletes in the community.

Plans for the RPI:

  • RPI will be rolled out on for a limited number of race distances in November:Running - 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon.Triathlon - Olympic, Half Iron, and Ironman.

  • During November, Athlinks will gather feedback and additional data points to further develop and massage the Index with a goal of 85% predictability for race finishes based solely on RPI.

  • When the above analysis is complete, Athlinks will calculate RPI for all distances of races....your "goal" pace or target for any other event, not just the ones you have completed!

For the math geeks out there...

  • Combined finish times, totals, and historical and geographically relevant data for each race from 2008 to the present.

  • Plotted those times on a measurable scale from 1 to 100 including one decimal point (1-1000).

  • Accounted for statistical anomalies and normalized the times to account for extreme conditions such as high altitude, heat/humidity, freezing temperatures, etc.

  • Examined each of a user's results at each distance and graphed them along the above scale.

  • Accounted for and removed any high peaks or low valleys outside the normal bounds of good/bad day performance fluctuations.

  • Assigned bonus and penalty points for various markers (to be detailed at a later date).

  • Calculated final RPI scores for each member.

So, for all of those people out there that don't know how they will do in a race...this is it. Only ever run a 5K in warm weather and want to know how you will do in a 10K in cooler weather? This is it. Only run a half marathon near the beach and want to know how you would do in a tri in high altitude? This is it. This system has a ton of potential...I for one cannot wait to see it. So, if you want to be one of the first to play with their predictions, sign up now for a free account!

Also, don't be discouraged if your race isn't readily available in their system. You just supply some basic information, and they will review the race and post the results so you have all of your race results in one place! Kinda cool, eh?

n updated post for RPI is here.


  1. It is kind of cool. I'm still trying to figure out which end of the percentage is good or bad. For each race it seems to be so different for me.

  2. The lower the number, the better (and if you ever forget, just check out the first place finishers in the race). Remember that your results on each race will differ though, as each race is unique. One may be cooler and maybe you run better when its super cold compared to others in your peer group, while one may be hilly, and you are a poorer runner on hills comapred to those in your peer group.

  3. The lower the number, the better. But, your RPI for a specific race length should be consistent. For example, my 5k RPI is 36.7 (4 5k races in athlinks to compare). My 10K is 55.


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