Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Austin Marathon Review and Band List

The 2011 Austin Marathon was held today, and since part of the course was close to my apartment, I decided to walk over there and watch. Instead of just standing, I wanted to get some exercise. So I walked a good portion of the course.

I planned my walk to see as much of the lead runners as possible. With the marathon being a loop, that made it much easier.

Back in the days of Motorola and Freescale sponsorship, the marathon paid high dollar prizes which attracted elite runners from around the world. That appeared to have ended a few years ago. There are still elite runners, but no super elite. For example, in the 2005 marathon, the female winner's time was 2:31:01. This year the female winner, Desiree Ficker, had a time of 2:50:35. So you can see the difference. However, it should be noted that the course was easier back then when it was mostly downhill. Also, today's temperatures didn't help the times. At 8:51am this morning the temperature was 66.9°F. The overcast skies and the wind helped make it feel a little cooler. However, the gusty winds (over 20mph) probably didn't help the runners.

One thing that I found interesting during the race was watching the lead pacers and the runners around them. The lead pacers were fast at 2:46. I first saw these pacers at about 3 miles into the race. There was a big group around them. The next time I saw the pacers was just past mile 24. The group had reduced down to one runner. Actually, the pacers had broken apart. One male runner was running along one, and I think the lead female runner was along the other. There were only 11 men who finished under 2:46. I suppose many in the group at mile 3 were half-marathon runners.

2011 Austin Marathon Course Bands

In addition to watching the runners, I enjoyed listening to the bands that were playing along the course. I wasn't able to find a course entertainment guide that listed all the bands and their locations along the course. In 2006 when the marathon was sponsered by Freescale, they had this type of entertainment guide at the marathon website.

So I thought it would be useful if I put together my own list of the bands with links to their websites. I thought this might be useful for runners and spectators who want to know more about these bands or who want to send their appreciations.

Since I walked only about half the course, I didn't see all the bands. Several bands didn't have signs, so I only have a few names and website links. If you know of a band name or a location that I missed, please leave a comment.

  • The first band I saw was at South 1st and Oltorf around mile marker 7. I past by here at 7:00, and they were still setting up. I was headed over to Congress so I didn't get the name of this band.

  • Rose & Wade was set up just south of Oltorf on Congress just before mile 4.

  • God, The Devil, And the Pimp was at mile marker 3 on Congress. I walked by them at 7:16. They were one of the few that had a sign with their name, and they mentioned the event on their website.

  • There was one guitar player outside of South Congress Athletic Club at around mile 2.5 into the race. I was on the other side of the road so I couldn't see much.

  • A band was set up in front of the Austin City Hall which was a good spot since it was on the course for both mile 2 and mile 8.5. I was on the other side of the course so I couldn't see much. I walked by there at 7:36.

  • Under the Lamar bridge at mile marker 9, a rock band was playing. I couldn't see any name or sign. I walked by here at 7:43. I was expecting the lead runners to soon be passing me.

  • I cut through Lake Austin High School and made it to Lake Austin Blvd where the runners headed up Winsted Lane. Just before Enfield (mile 11) a band was playing. I though I saw a sign Los Magos, but I can't find anything on the web regarding this band.

  • On Exposition and Windsor (mile 12) a two-person band with a female flutist and male guitarist were playing. They had a sign which I thought said Wood and Fire, but I can't find anything on the web about them.

  • At mile 13, the course took a right onto 35th Street which went past the entrance of Camp Mabry. At the entrance, the 36th Infantry Division Band was playing. As you might expect from the military. it was an old fashion type of orchestra band.

  • On 35th Street I walked along side the runners over Mopac where the course took a left onto Jackson. A three-person rock band was playing near that corner. The only sign I could see was on the drum which said "The Bubbles". I can't find anything on the web about them.

  • At Jackson I decided to take a short-cut rather than following the marathon route. I followed 35th Street which turned into 38th Street to Duval which was at mile marker 24. I got at that point a little too late to see the lead male runner, Keith Pierce, but I did see many of the others including the lead female runner, Desiree Ficker.

  • There weren't many bands in this last 2-mile stretch. One guitar player was outside of Posse East at the intersection of Duval and San Jacinto, and two Country guitar players were along side the UT stadium.

  • At mile 26, the course turned west onto 11th Street for the final leg. I reached that point at 10:12 (3:12 into the race). I watched the runners for a while hoping to see Lance Armstrong, but no luck. I was getting tired, and since I had a 5-mile walk to get back home, I decided to start heading home.

It wasn't quite a marathon for me. The total miles of my walk was about 17.5 miles which included about 7 miles to and from my apartment. The temperature may have been too warm for top marathon times, but it made for a comfortable walk.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Austin Marathon 2010

The 2010 Austin Marathon course came within a couple of miles from my apartment. So I walked over to the course between mile 4 and 5 at the corner of Oltorf and 1st Street.

A few observations about the race:
  • It was perfect weather: clear, cool and calm. Temperature at 8:00am was about 44 deg F
  • Don't expect to cross the race path from the 3-hr pace and slower. It was 2 to 3 lanes of runners as far as I could see. News reported 13,000 runners.
  • There weren't enough portable toilets (i.e. Porta-John, Porta-Potty). A creek next to Oltorf was quite popular for the men. Local restaurants were popular with women. I'm surprised the official FAQ doesn't even mention where these would be located on the course.
  • Pacers who carry a pace sign are convenient for both runners and spectators.
  • Another perk for runners and spectators: free music. A local rock band played at Oltorf and 1st Street.
The Austin Marathon used to be the Motorola Marathon (and then Freescale Marathon when Freescale spun off from Motorola). Freescale dropped its sponsorship after the 2006 Marathon. AT&T served as the title sponsor in 2007 and 2008. There were no title sponsors in 2009 and 2010.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

113th Boston Marathon and Boston Qualifying Times

Last Monday the 113th Boston Marathon took place. As is common, Kenyans and Ethiopians did well with 8 of the top 10 men and 6 of the top 10 women. One thing I found interesting was that both an American man and woman took third place. The woman, Kara Goucher, took third place with a finish time of 2:32:25 (only 9 seconds behind first place). Ryan Hall finished third with a time of 2:09:40 which was less than a minute behind first place.

Runner's World has its usually comprehensive coverage of last Monday, and Marathon Guide has the full list of finish times. Some interesting stats: Finishers: 22849, Males - 13547 , Females - 9302, Average Finish Time: 3:49:34.

Earlier this month, Amby Burfoot published this very interesting article looking at the history of the Boston qualifying (BQ) times. A table of the current BQ times are listed here. Amby noted some interesting findings from Jim Fortner. One is that only 10.4% of marathon finishers achieve a BQ. The percentage varies by age group. The group with the largest percentage is men 65-69. 17% of that group finish with BQ times (4hrs 15min).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lance Armstrong Finishes Boston Marathon with a Time of 2:50:58

Lance wasn't able to match his PR from the New York Marathon in November, but he still had a very respectable Boston Marathon time of 2:50:58. According to this Runner's World article the hills took their toll. Lance also admitted he didn't put in the training he had hoped. Below are the splits from his 3 marathons:

Boston 08 NY 07 NY 06
5k 0:20:11 0:20:01 0:20:58
10k 0:41:09 0:40:08 0:41:57
15k 1:01:53 0:59:54 1:03:23
20k 1:22:42 1:19:27 1:24:27
half 1:26:52 1:23:41 1:28:58
25k 1:42:14 ? 1:45:56
30k 2:02:05 1:58:40 2:06:27
35k 2:22:06 2:18:00 2:27:37
40k 2:42:01 2:37:47 2:49:57
finish 2:50:58 2:46:43 2:59:36

One thing interesting to note is how fast Lance ran the second half of Boston. Here is how the races compared:

Boston 2008: 2:46 faster on 2nd half
New York 2007: 0:39 faster on 2nd half
New York 2006: 1:40 slower on 2nd half

I also looked at how other male runners did today at Boston. I looked at about 50 men who finished before and after Lance. Only one ran the second half faster. Cameron Hanes was 10 seconds ahead of Lance at the half-way point and finished the marathon 13 seconds before Lance. So he just barely had a faster second-half.

So it looks like Lance could have pushed it harder. Perhaps he kept it slow on the downhills. He did admit in the Runner's World interview that it's hard for him to run on the downhills. Also, perhaps he did better than others on Heartbreak Hill and the other hills on the second half. Those Boston hills are small compared to the mountain climbs he did in the Tour de France.

With 3 kids and the time he puts into his cancer foundation, I can understand him not wanting to get too serious in his training. After his sixth Tour de France win, I was wondering why he wanted to go for number seven. Number six set the record for the most wins, so why do another year of extreme sacrifice? It looks like he wants to have more balance now, and I can't blame him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lance Armstrong's 34:56 10K and What to Expect at Tomorrow's Boston Marathon

An injury may make it tough for Lance tomorrow at the Boston Marathon. According to this Boston Globe interview, Lance cut his foot while training in Hawaii. We'll see how much impact this will have. His last race appears to have been the Scotland 10K in New York City on March 30th. In a Runner's World interview, Lance mentioned he was tentatively planning to run a half-marathon at the Austin Marathon, but it looks like he decided to do this 10K instead. At this 10K, he finished with a time of 34:56.

So based on this time, what should we expect at Boston? I plugged his 10K results into this Runner's World Calculator, and it gave a marathon time of 2:40:41. Of course it doesn't factor in injuries. So hopefully, the cut won't be an issue. In that Runner's World interview, Lance mentioned he was planning to run at least a mid 2:40's for Boston. So he may be on the right track.

It looks like they'll have good weather for tomorrow's marathon. The latest forcast is for a high of 56°F, a low of 43°F and partly cloudy skies.

Thanks to the reader who pointed me to these 10K results.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kenyan Domination at Boston Marathons

The weather looks good for Monday's Boston Marathon. The forecast is for a low of 40°F, a high of 59°F and partly cloudy skies. One interesting pre-race article is from the Boston Globe. It reports on the history of Kenyan domination at the Boston Marathons. Their domination also extends to the other major marathons. Here's an example of how dominating they have been:
Last year, 68 Kenyan marathoners were ranked in the world's top 100, including 13 of the top 20. Nine of them will be here [Boston] Monday, continuing an annual parade that now is in its third decade.

Some have asked why Boston has made it so attractive for Kenyans. Here's what one of the race's recruiters had to say:
Boston's approach always has been "best athletes available." If most of them are Kenyans, so be it.

I'm glad Boston recruits the best. As the article notes, it has "spurred their rivals, including Americans, to kick things up a notch." And we're seeing improvements. Ryan Hall finished 5th in London Marathon last weekend in the fastest time ever (2:06:17) by a US-born runner. In the 2006 Boston Marathon, the US actually had the most top 10 finishers (5 out of 10).

Here are some additional Boston Marathon stats and links not mentioned in the article.

All previous Boston Marathon male winners are listed here. Over the last 20 years, there were only 4 male winners not from Kenya (2 from Ethopia, 1 from Korea and 1 from Italy).

I've tallied the number of Kenyans who finished in the top ten of the Men's Boston Marathons since 2000. You can see how dominating they've been. The US men didn't quite win in 2006, but they actually beat Kenya for the number of top ten finishers.

# Kenyans in Men Top 10 Since 2000
2007 - 7
2006 - 4 (5 from USA)
2005 - 5
2004 - 7
2003 - 8
2002 - 6
2001 - 4
2000 - 7
Stats based on results at

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lance Armstrong's Marathon Goals

In a Runner's World interview Lance Armstrong talks about his training and his marathon goals. He's planning to run his first Boston Marathon on April 21st, and he's hoping to at least match the finish time he had in last November's New York Marathon (mid-2:40s). Then he's planning to run his third New York City Marathon in November with a time in the low 2:30s.

In the interview, Lance mentioned that he has been training around Austin's Town Lake and around his house. He said that he was tentatively planning to run the Austin Half-Marathon on Feb 17th. He must have passed since I couldn't find his name in the race results and I didn't hear any mention of him in news reports.

What's motivating him to run marathons? Here's what he said:
I have to have something that essentially forces me out the door. I can sit around for a year and do a 10-K, no problem, even a half-marathon. But the marathon is scary and intimidating enough that you can't just phone that in. You have to train.

What's motivating him to focus on performance?
The answer is that it felt good to go from 2:59 to 2:46. You know, I did that by just running more and doing a few more longer runs and so I just figured that if I could, for the 3 or 4 months before New York, if I could perhaps get a little more scientific and a little more plans with the training and then obviously incorporating long runs and factoring in diet and all those things. I think running a 5:40 pace is doable. And I think, you know, I'm kind of interested in it.

It looks like that competitive spirit that drove him to win 7 Tour de France races is driving him to not just run marathons, but to run hard. If he can do a 5:40 pace, he'll finish with a time of under 2:29. How good is that? In the 2007 Boston Marathon, there were only 44 men who finished in under 2:29. If he can accomplish that in the next New York Marathon in November, will he call it quits? Or will he take it to the next level?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lance Armstrong's NYC Marathon Performances and Expectations for Boston - Part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, Lance Armstrong is planning to run the Boston Marathon in April to raise money for his foundation. In that post I looked at Lance's performances in the 2006 and 2007 New York City Marathons. Lance made a very substantial improvement to his marathon time in 2007. He took almost 13 minutes off his time to finish with a time of 2:46:43.

How Many Sub-3 Runners Can Take 13 Minutes Off Their Times?

I thought it would be interesting to see how other runners who finished in under 3 hours in the 2006 New York City Marathon did in 2007. Do most improve their times? And by how much do they improve? As I mentioned in my previous post, the temperatures at both marathons were close. So this should be a good comparison. The main factor influencing times should be the runners themselves.

I gathered the finish times of the sub-3 runners from both years using the data at at I then developed a program to look for repeat runners. The program recorded the repeat runners, computed the differences in times, and categorized the times into groups. The results are shown in the following table.

Repeat Sub-3 Runners in the 2006 and 2007 New York City Marathons

Minutes Slower# of Runners% of RunnersLance's Improvement
20 to 1521%.
15 to 10128%.
10 to 52416%.
5 to 05033%.
Minutes Faster# of Runners% of RunnersLance's Improvement
0 to 54429%.
5 to 10138%.
10 to 1564%12:53 improvement
15 to 2011%.
20 to 2511%.

As you can see from the table, my program identified 153 sub-3 repeat runners in the 2007 and 2006 NYC marathons. Out of these 153 runners, about 58% finished with slower times in 2007. Only about 6% of the runners finished in 2007 with times that were faster by 10 minutes or more. As you can see, Lance's time reduction of almost 13 minutes is part of this 6%. Below is the list of runners in this group:

Minutes Faster : Name : 2006 Time 2007 Time
in 07 vs 06

10:30 : PIOTR KARASIEWICZ : 2:48:53, 2:38:23
12:28 : OSCAR HERNANDEZ : 2:56:56, 2:44:28
12:48 : ALFONSO POLANIA : 2:59:28, 2:46:40
12:53 : LANCE ARMSTRONG : 2:59:36, 2:46:43
14:21 : SAM HILL : 2:43:49, 2:29:28
14:28 : MARCELLO CRETTI : 2:55:37, 2:41:09
15:16 : ERIC BOUCHER : 2:57:02, 2:41:46
20:33 : STUART BURTON : 2:52:08, 2:31:35

Lance had the fifth best time improvement for runners who ran under 3 hours in 2006. As mentioned in this Marathon You Can Do It blog post, it took Lance 4 or 5 months to recover from shin problems after the 2006 marathon. Lance said he was better prepared in 2007 so that must have been a major factor.

With Lance's physical capabilities I would expect him to continue to improve as long as he is able to train and stay healthy. As this Running Advice and News blog post describes, a prediction for his Boston race isn't easy. But I'll guess he'll finish in under 2:40.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lance Armstrong's New York City Marathon Performances and Expectations for Boston?

Two weeks ago it was announced that Lance Armstrong is planning to run the Boston Marathon in April to raise money for his foundation. I thought this would be a good time for another post looking at Armstrong's marathon history.

It has been a while since my last post which looked at the results of the 2006 New York Marathon. That was the first marathon that Armstrong ran since his Tour de France victories. He finished the 2006 New York Marathon with a time of 2:59:36. He ran again last November (2007), and he made considerable improvement in his time with a finish of 2:46:43. It'll be interesting to see if he can continue this improvement in Boston.

Below are Armstrong's marathon race stats based on data from for the 2007 NYC Marathon and the 2006 NYC Marathon. I also included temperature stats from Weather Underground.

Date Time OverAll Men Men 35-39 Temp @ Sky
Place Place Place 9:00am
Nov 5, 2006 2:59:36 869 824 381 43°F clear
Nov 4, 2007 2:46:43 233 214 108 48°F scattered

Armstrong reduced almost 13 minutes off his 2006 time. A 2:46:43 time in 2006 would have put him in 261 place over all. The 2:59:36 time gave him 869 place in 2006. So you can see how much harder it is to take time off a sub-3 marathon. One thing I want to look into is how many other sub-3 runners were able to take 10 or more minutes off their times from the 2006 to 2007 marthon. In a previous post I looked at how much top runners were able to improve from the 2004 to the 2005 Boston Marathon. These 2006 and 2007 NYC Marathons should make for a better comparison since the temperatures in the two races were fairly close.

I'll also look into top marathon runners who have run both the New York and Boston Marathons. Have runners been able to improve their times at Boston? Perhaps this will give some insights into what we can expect from Armstrong.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

2006 New York City Marathon Stats - Lance Breaks 3 Hours

Those who have run a marathon in under three hours should consider what the 7-time Tour de France Champion, Lance Armstrong, said about his experience in today's New York City Marathon:
For the level of conditioning I have now, that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I've ever done. Even the worst days on the Tours, nothing was as hard as that and nothing left me feeling the way that I feel now in terms of just sheer fatigue and soreness.

Lance Armstrong finished with a time of 2:59:36 which was just under his goal of 3:00. There were 844 male runners and 45 female runners who finished in under 3 hours. I thought Lance would have the potential to get a sub-2:30. Of course he wasn't training for this like he did for the Tours. Also, he was having shin problems in training and during the race. But still, he's Lance. This puts a sub-three-hour marathon in perspective.

Marilson Gomes dos Santos became the first Brazilian to win the New York Marathon with a time of 2:09:58. Jelena Prokopcuka won the women's race for a second year in a row with a time of 2:25:05. (more, at USA Today). Also, more NYC Marathon news is available at Runner's World.

Below are the stats from the top 10,000 runners. These are based on unofficial results at the New York Marathon website. These results just include the official times which I assume is gun time and not chip time.

Based on a recommendation, I've included runners who qualified for the USA Olympic Trials. This requires male runners to finish under 2:22 (B Standard) or under 2:20 (A standard) and female runners to finish under 2:47 (B Standard) or under 2:39 (A standard). Refer to this website for more info. Runner's World has a good article on next year's Marathon Trials.

2006 New York City Marathon Top 10,000 Runners

Total Runners by Times
under 2:302:30 to 3:003:00 to 3:30over 3:30
56 (1%)833 (8%)3322 (33%)5788 (58%)

Male Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 2:302:30 to 3:003:00 to 3:30over 3:30
-under 201 (5%)1 (5%)4 (20%)14 (70%)
20s20 (2%)134 (12%)387 (35%)556 (51%)
30s22 (1%)366 (12%)1041 (35%)1567 (52%)
40s7 (0%)253 (8%)1104 (37%)1617 (54%)
50s0 (0%)38 (4%)339 (32%)683 (64%)
60s0 (0%)2 (2%)30 (25%)88 (73%)
70s0 (0%)0 (0%)2 (40%)3 (60%)
Total50 (1%)794 (10%)2907 (35%)4528 (55%)

Female Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 2:302:30 to 3:003:00 to 3:30over 3:30
20s1 (0%)17 (4%)138 (31%)291 (65%)
30s5 (1%)19 (3%)151 (23%)481 (73%)
40s0 (0%)3 (1%)109 (21%)404 (78%)
50s0 (0%)0 (0%)16 (17%)77 (83%)
60s0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (14%)6 (86%)
70s0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (100%)
Total6 (0%)39 (2%)415 (24%)1260 (73%)

Average/Best Times By Age Groups (Male and Female)
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
-under 20200%3:30:152:26:13
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Male Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
-under 20200%3:30:152:26:13
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Female Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Nations (cutoff=10)
NationNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Below Cutoff1622%3:29:332:12:12
Fastest Nation (by average)

Average/Best Times By State (cutoff=20)
StateNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Below Cutoff2783%3:29:262:27:23
Fastest State (by average)

USA Male Olympic Trial Qualifiers - A Standard
Andrew Letherby2:19:53
Dathan Ritzenhein2:14:01
Joe Driscoll2:18:40
Kassahun Kabiso2:19:04
Matt Gabrielson2:19:53
Peter Gilmore2:13:13

USA Male Olympic Trial Qualifiers - B Standard

No qualifiers

USA Female Olympic Trial Qualifiers - A Standard
Claudia Camargo2:35:04
Deena Kastor2:27:54
Katie McGregor2:32:36
Samia Akbar2:34:14

USA Female Olympic Trial Qualifiers - B Standard
Leteyesus Berhe2:45:05
Magdalena Lewy Boulet2:42:38
Michelle LaFleur2:44:09
Nikole Johns2:45:58

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fastest State In Chicago Marathon - New Jersey

I'm glad Robert Cheruiyot fell forward yesterday as he went past the finish line of yesterday's Chicago Marathon. His momentum carried him forward enough so he won the marathon in one of the most bizarre marathon endings that I've seen. If he had fallen a second earlier, he may not have even finished. Running 26.2 miles and collapsing feet from the finish line has to be an incredibly unlucky event. But Cheruiyot had enough luck to cross it and win. Read more about the Chicago Marathon at Runner's World.

I've compiled the stats from yesterday's Chicago Marathon. There were a total of 33618 male finishers and 14714 female finishers. Since there were so many runners, I limited these stats to the top 1,000 male finishers based on the data from I used this database rather than the one at the official Chicago Marathon website since the format was easier for my program.

The Chicago marathon statistics are below. There were 117 male runners with times under 2:30. I counted 814 of the top male finishers to be from the USA. Canada had 40 and France had 31. As you would expect, the country with the fastest runners was Kenya which had 10 runners with an average time of 2:11:20.

For the fastest state, I compared only those states with at least 10 male runners in the top 1000. New Jersey had 11 runners with the fastest mean time of 2:40:11. The fastest New Jersey runner was a 32-year-old who finished in 2:21:56.

Total Runners by Times
under 2:302:30 to 2:452:45 to 3:00over 3:00
117 (12%)221 (22%)535 (54%)126 (13%)

Male Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 2:302:30 to 2:452:45 to 3:00over 3:00
13-190 (0%)0 (0%)1 (100%)0 (0%)
20-2980 (22%)103 (29%)147 (41%)29 (8%)
30-3937 (9%)95 (23%)224 (54%)59 (14%)
40-490 (0%)22 (11%)149 (73%)33 (16%)
50-590 (0%)1 (6%)13 (76%)3 (18%)
60-690 (0%)0 (0%)1 (33%)2 (67%)
Total117 (12%)221 (22%)535 (54%)126 (13%)

Average/Best Times By Male Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By State (cutoff=10)
StateNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
New Jersey111%2:40:112:21:56
New York313%2:49:132:20:35
North Carolina182%2:42:532:17:32
outside US20320%2:46:102:07:35
Below Cutoff768%2:47:362:20:26
Fastest State (by average)
New Jersey111%2:40:112:21:56

Average/Best Times By Country (cutoff=2)
CountryNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Below Cutoff141%2:45:352:12:27
Fastest Country (by average)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Five American Men in Top 10 at Boston Marathon 2006

Two Kenyans won first and second place at today's Boston Marathon, but Americans took the next 3 spots and 5 American men finished in the top 10. In last year's race, only two American men made it to the top 10. According to the, no American man has won since Greg Meyer in 1983, and 12 times since then, there have been no Americans in the top 10.

Alan Culpepper came in fourth last year with a time of 2:13:39. This year he came in fifth, but his time improved to 2:11:02. According to his bio at, Culpepper's PR is 2:09:41 set in 2002 at the Chicago Marathon

The top American man, Meb Keflezighi, finished today with 2:09:56. This was just 3 seconds from his PR (see bio).

Brian Sell was the second American man to finish with a time of 2:10:55. This blew away his PR of 2:13:18 (see bio).

Quick Stats

The average times for the top 10 male and female were much faster than the previous two years when the temperatures were much warmer. The averages seemed to improve more from last year than from 2005 compared to 2004. Going from 78°F in 2004 to 63°F in 2005, one would think the times would improve the most between these years. But there was more time difference going from 63°F in 2005 to 48°F today. Below is the full comparison:

2006 Top 10 Averages:
female : 2:27:19
male : 2:11:19
Temperature at 11:54am: 48°F

2005 Top 10 Averages:
female : 2:32:34
male : 2:14:39
Temperature at 11:54am: 63°F

2004 Top 10 Averages:
female : 2:30:20
male : 2:16:47
Temperature at 11:54am: 78°F

Boston Marathon 2006

The world's most famous marathon is today at Boston. The current temperature there is 48°F and partly cloudy. The high is expected to be in the mid 50s. Looks like perfect weather. Live race day coverage is available at the Boston Marathon's home page. Runner's World has a whole section of their site dedicated to the race.

Today's weather looks better than the last two years. From my post last year, the temperature during the 2005 race was around 63°F. The year before it was a very warm 78°F. In that post I looked at the top-ten averages for those two years. As expected, 2005 was faster by about 2 minutes for both genders. It'll be interesting to see how much faster the average will be today.

For all of my Boston Marathon posts from last year, refer to this post. In the sidebar of that post, links to the previous 10 posts were all on the 2005 Boston Marathon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cap10K 2006 Stats

If the last Sunday's Capitol 10K were to be run tomorrow, we would have had much better race conditions. A cold front moved in this morning and brought the temperatures down into the 50's. You can see from the tables below that the weather for the Cap10K often is either cool or warm. We've had two warm races and two cool races in the last 4 years. For both times it has been warm, you can see how the times have suffered. Both 2006 and 2004 were very similar in times and both had similar warm temperatures.

Men Time Comparisons for the Last 4 Cap10K Races

Yearunder 40m40 to 50m50 to 60mover 60mTemp/Hum
200661 (2%)562 (19%)1085 (37%)1213 (42%)72/84%
2005111 (4%)792 (27%)1215 (41%)848 (29%)55/69%
200492 (3%)631 (20%)1330 (43%)1052 (34%)71/83%
2003134 (4%)875 (28%)1165 (38%)906 (29%)50/43%

Women Time Comparisons for the Last 4 Cap10K Races

Yearunder 40m40 to 50m50 to 60mover 60mTemp/Hum
20069 (0%)139 (6%)559 (26%)1472 (68%)72/84%
200511 (1%)202 (9%)732 (34%)1225 (56%)55/69%
20043 (0%)139 (6%)701 (31%)1424 (63%)71/83%
200314 (1%)226 (10%)735 (33%)1255 (56%)50/43%

The full stats for last Sunday's Cap10K race are below. These are similar to the stats I posted last year. I've added averages by state. About 95% of the runners were from Texas and about 59% were from Austin.

These stats are based on 2006 results from the Statesman.

Total Runners by Times
under 40m40 to 50m50 to 60mover 60m
70 (1%)701 (14%)1644 (32%)2685 (53%)

Male Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 40m40 to 50m50 to 60mover 60m
under 130 (0%)2 (4%)17 (37%)27 (59%)
13-198 (5%)44 (27%)63 (38%)50 (30%)
20-2919 (4%)124 (25%)189 (38%)170 (34%)
30-3923 (3%)184 (21%)319 (37%)334 (39%)
40-4911 (2%)138 (19%)285 (39%)298 (41%)
50-590 (0%)52 (12%)161 (38%)213 (50%)
60-690 (0%)13 (12%)34 (32%)60 (56%)
70-790 (0%)0 (0%)7 (17%)35 (83%)
80+0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)6 (100%)
unknown0 (0%)5 (14%)10 (29%)20 (57%)
Total61 (2%)562 (19%)1085 (37%)1213 (42%)

Female Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 40m40 to 50m50 to 60mover 60m
under 130 (0%)1 (7%)3 (20%)11 (73%)
13-190 (0%)11 (9%)27 (22%)85 (69%)
20-293 (1%)47 (8%)177 (30%)363 (62%)
30-395 (1%)45 (6%)206 (27%)504 (66%)
40-491 (0%)30 (6%)108 (23%)333 (71%)
50-590 (0%)5 (3%)30 (17%)137 (80%)
60-690 (0%)0 (0%)7 (18%)31 (82%)
70-790 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)5 (100%)
80+0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)2 (100%)
unknown0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (50%)1 (50%)
Total9 (0%)139 (6%)559 (26%)1472 (68%)

Average/Best Times By Age Groups (Male and Female)
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
under 13611%1:11:3741:06
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Male Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
under 13462%1:07:5741:06
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Female Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
under 13151%1:22:5448:11
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Cities (cutoff=10)
CityNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Austin Texas140%1:02:1745:16
Cedar Park1272%1:02:3935:18
College Station220%1:01:4840:34
Corpus Christi140%1:04:0646:31
Dripping Springs301%1:03:5637:36
Fort Worth140%1:08:0854:08
Liberty Hill120%1:01:4849:03
Marble Falls110%1:06:1341:02
New Braunfels130%57:5545:36
Round Rock2214%1:03:1039:48
San Angelo150%1:06:3455:09
San Antonio1403%1:01:1634:14
San Marcos521%1:07:0337:02
Below Cutoff64113%1:03:3032:33
Fastest City (by average)

Average/Best Times By State (cutoff=5)
StateNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
New Mexico90%1:16:1836:16
outside US1533%1:03:2037:33
Below Cutoff541%1:04:3041:31
Fastest State (by average)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Heat Takes its Toll at 2006 Capitol 10K

Last year's men's winner, Bernard Manirakiza, was on pace to beat his last year's time (30:06) and the course record (29:49) when he collapsed from heat exhaustion at mile 6. After an hour in the medical tent, Manirakiza recovered. The men's winner yesterday was Jacob Rotich with a time of 32:03. The women's winner was a 41-year-old Russian, Albina Gallyamova, who finished with a time of 34:24. This was over a minute faster than last year's winning time of 35:27 by Cassandra Henkiel. (more at Statesman).

It was much warmer and humid this year compared to last year. Here's a detailed comparison:
April 2, 2006 at 8:51am: 72°F, 84% humidity (data)
April 3, 2005 at 8:51am: 56°F, 57% humidity (data)

Later this week, I'll post the stats. It'll be interesting to see how much effect the weather had.

Monday, March 20, 2006

2006 LA Marathon Results

The weather was ideal for yesterday's LA Marathon. Temperature in Downtown LA was 53°F at 8:47am yesterday with clear skies and calm winds. This must have helped the runners. Both the men and women's course records were broken. A woman won the Battle-of-the-Sexes Challenge. Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia broke the women's course record with a time of 2:25:10. She finished 16 seconds before the men's winner, Benson Cherono of Kenya. The race officials gave the elite women a lead of 16:46. This was based on the exact time difference between the men's and women's course records. Last year's differential was 15:50 which wasn't enough for last year's women's winner, Lyubov Denisov, to win the challenge (more, LA Times).

Later this week, I'll put together the stats for yesterday's marathon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The 2006 L.A. Marathon

The 21st LA Marathon will be held this Sunday, March 19th. I did several posts last year on the race and included a bunch of stats. According to, the LA Marathon was the 4th largest marathon in the US in 2004 with a total of 19452 finishers. As expected, the New York City Marathon and the Chicago Marathon were one and two. I didn't know the Honolulu Marathon was number three with 22407 finishers.

One interesting aspect about the LA Marathon is the Battle-of-the-Sexes challenge in which the elite women compete with the elite men. The first man or woman who crosses the finish line wins. The men start between 15 and 20 minutes after the women. Last year's challenge bonus was $75K. This year it's $100K. (more prize info here).

The main problem with this challenge is determining the time of the head start for the women. The head start last year was 15 minutes and 50 seconds which was almost 5 minutes less than the year before. This greatly upset the women's winner, Lyubov Denisova, who broke the women's course record but lost to the male winner, Mark Saina.

According to this article, both Denisova and Saina will return to defend their titles and to compete for the $100K Challenge prize. Tomorrow the head start time should be announced.

One more interesting note about last year's marathon was the runner Tatiana Pozdnyakova. Last year she finished fifth in the overall women's division with a time of 2:31:05. The amazing thing was her age of 50. She just recently ran the Austin Marathon and finished with a time of 2:34:23.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

2006 Freescale Austin Marathon - Women's Stats

Earlier this week I put together the stats for the men's marathon (see post). Now I'll post the stats for the women.

Marathon Race Issues

Before going into the women stats, I should mention that there were a few problems in the race that may have skewed the times. One significant issue is that not all start times were captured. This caused many runners to have chip times that equaled the gun times. Since my stats are based on chip times, this will skew the times to be longer than they should be. Refer to this RunTex thread for information on this issue. A quick analysis shows the following number of runners with equal chip and gun times:

Same % Different Total
Men 1549 55% 1285 2834
Women 1032 54% 879 1911

So for both men and women, over half of the runners had equal chip and gun times.

The other issue was the automobile traffic problems that runners experienced getting to the start at the Freescale plant in North Austin (see RunTex thread). This may have delayed many and caused the gun times to be longer by more than what is typical.

Women's Statistics

As I mentioned in my previous post, the most extraordinary performance in the marathon was from the women's winner, Tatyana Pozdnyakova of the Ukraine. She was 50 years old and finished with a time of 2:34:23. From the stats you can appreciate how good this is. The best time for the men in this age group is over 16 minutes slower at 2:51:43. Tatyana's nearest women competitor in that age group finished over an hour behind her (3:35:29).

Looking at the overall stats, the trend of higher percentages of young women continues. Women in the 20's and 30's made up 67% of all women. This was up from 66% last year. For men this age group only made up 49%.

The state with the fastest mean time by the women was Georgia. The 18 women runners had a mean time of 3:58:19. This was faster than the 13 Georgia men who had a mean time of 4:03:49.

The stats below are based on the results for the 2006 Freescale Austin Marathon provided by MarathonGuide.

Female Runners - 2006 Freescale Austin Marathon

Total Runners by Times
under 3:003:00 to 4:004:00 to 5:00over 5:00
29 (2%)412 (22%)840 (44%)630 (33%)

Female Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.
Agesunder 3:003:00 to 4:004:00 to 5:00over 5:00
13-190 (0%)3 (23%)9 (69%)1 (8%)
20-2910 (2%)127 (23%)245 (45%)166 (30%)
30-3914 (2%)154 (21%)322 (45%)227 (32%)
40-494 (1%)114 (24%)205 (43%)157 (33%)
50-591 (1%)13 (10%)50 (38%)69 (52%)
60-690 (0%)1 (6%)9 (53%)7 (41%)
70-790 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)2 (100%)
80+0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (100%)
Total29 (2%)412 (22%)840 (44%)630 (33%)

Average/Best Times By Female Age Groups
AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By State (cutoff=10)
StateNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
New York121%4:09:182:55:49
Below Cutoff1116%4:25:302:44:18
Fastest State (by average)