Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My Grandma Runs Faster Than You?

Well, that may actually be a complement. Old runners seem to do very well in marathons such as the Austin Freescale Marathon. By applying my stats programs to the 2005 and 2004 Austin Marathons, I was able to get the average finish times (chip) by major age groups. These breakdowns make for more readable stats than in my previous post.

Interesting, the average finish times for each age group are all very close. The teens, twenties, thirties, and forties all have mean and median times right around 4.5 hours. The fifties are a little higher, and sixties+ (which lumps 70 and 80 year olds with the 60 year olds) are also a little higher.

But for sixty year olds to run a marathon in low five hours is an impressive accomplishment.

Another thing I wanted to look into was how the times changed from last year. Were the average finish times slower? As previous data shows, times this year were slower. All age groups had slower average times. The fifty year olds had the least slowdown with less than a minute slower race than last year. The largest slowdown was with those above sixty. The heat and the humidity this year hit hard, especially for those who finished after 5 hours. So those who ran slower were more prone to worse times. That's my guess anyway.

The numbers of runners in the age group is also interesting. Not many teens seem to run marathons. In fact, there were more runners over 60 than under 20. Most of the runners are in their thirties or forties. Running marathons seem to gain popularity as you age until you hit your late forties. I suppose at that time, old age starts to take its toll. But for those who can tough it out (and have some good luck), you should be able to run well into your 70's.

Year: 2005

Mean Median Mean Chg
Age Group # in Group Chip Time Chip Time From 2004
--------- ---------- --------- -------- ---------
teens 44 4:29:58 4:26:59 10:10
twenties 970 4:34:03 4:29:24 07:23
thirties 1674 4:28:44 4:23:51 10:09
forties 1317 4:26:25 4:19:40 04:37
fifties 567 4:41:14 4:32:11 00:16
sixties+ 110 5:17:46 5:13:27 17:38

Year: 2004

Mean Median
Age Group # in Group Chip Time Chip Time
--------- ---------- --------- --------
teens 59 4:19:48 4:17:14
twenties 1062 4:26:40 4:22:05
thirties 1711 4:18:35 4:10:48
forties 1400 4:21:48 4:13:00
fifties 543 4:40:58 4:29:09
sixties+ 117 5:00:08 4:55:38

Note, several runners without age data were excluded.
Times are chip times and not total times.


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