Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Knoxville Marathon Split Comparisons

Having a consistent pace throughout a marathon is the ideal strategy. However, it's not easy. Looking at the splits in Knoxville's March 20th Marathon, only about 20% of the runners were able to keep their first and second half times within 5 minutes of each other. About 76% ran the second half over 5 minutes slower. Only 9% of the runners ran the second half faster.

This is similar to other marathons that I've looked into. For example, in the Virgina Beach Marathon there were also only 9% who finished faster. Like Knoxville, Virginia Beach also had cool weather throughout the race.

As was mentioned only about 20% of the runners were able keep their first and second half times within 5 minutes of each other. The faster runners were more likely to achieve this. Here's a summary by chip finish time and the percentages of those who had about equal splits (+/- 5 minutes).

under 3hr: 47%
3 to 3.5hr: 47%
3.5 to 4hr: 28%
4 to 4.5hr: 19%
4.5 to 5hr: 9%
5 to 5.5hr: 8%
5.5 to 6hr: 5%
over 6hr: 11%
Overall: 20%

Below are the stats in table formats derived from the Knoxville Marathon results page. The halfway times are assumed to be chip times.

Mouse Over Cells
If you move your mouse over the cells, you can see the best time along with the split times for that category.

Half Split Changes for Under-4hr Runners

Split ChangeMarathon Chip Times
Under 3hr3 to 3.5hr3.5 to 4hr
More than 5m faster2 (10.5%)4 (4.8%)9 (4.4%)
Less than 5m faster 14 (16.7%)13 (6.4%)
Less than 5m slower9 (47.4%)25 (29.8%)44 (21.7%)
More than 5m slower7 (36.8%)41 (48.8%)135 (66.5%)
Unknown1 (5.3%) 2 (1%)

Half Split Changes for 4hr-to-5.5hr Runners

Split ChangeMarathon Chip Times
4 to 4.5hr4.5 to 5hr5 to 5.5hr
More than 5m faster7 (2.7%)7 (4%)1 (0.9%)
Less than 5m faster15 (5.7%)7 (4%)2 (1.7%)
Less than 5m slower34 (12.9%)9 (5.1%)7 (6%)
More than 5m slower205 (77.9%)153 (86.9%)103 (88%)
Unknown2 (0.8%) 4 (3.4%)

Half Split Changes for Over-5.5hr Runners and Overall

Split ChangeMarathon Chip Times
5.5 to 6hrOver 6hrTotal
More than 5m faster1 (1.8%) 31 (3.3%)
Less than 5m faster3 (5.3%)1 (5.3%)55 (5.9%)
Less than 5m slower 1 (5.3%)129 (13.8%)
More than 5m slower53 (93%)16 (84.2%)713 (76%)
Unknown 1 (5.3%)10 (1.1%)


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