Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Austin Bun Run 5K - Three-Peat Gainers

How many times have you run the Bun Run 5K? And how many those times did you improve your time? That's basically the idea behind what I call three-peat gainers (I guess there's probably a better name than this. Let me know if you know of one.) I started to look at Three-Peat Gainers in the Boston Marathon. Now I'll see how well it works for a short race. For the Bun Run 5K, I required the following for a three-peat gainer:

  1. Ran the Bun Run 5K the last three times (2005, 2004, and 2003)
  2. Improved each year (ran faster in 2004 than 2003, and faster in 2005 than 2004)
  3. Had a respectable pace in all races (finished top 500 male or top 500 female)

I found 5 women and 16 men who qualified for the Three-Peat Gainer. Here are some samples of their results:

This 15 year-old male from Dripping Springs is one of the fastest three-peat gainers. At age 13, he finished 21:08 in 2003. He was over a minute faster in 2004 with a time of 20:07. And this year he was again a minute faster than 2004 with a time of 18:48. At this rate, he'll be in the top 10 in the next couple of years.

An even faster three-peat gainer is this 42 year-old male from Austin. At age 40, he finished with a time of 19:06 in 2003. He was over a half-a-minute faster in 2004 with a time of 18:29. This year he finished more than a minute faster than 2004 with an excellent time of 17:26.

One of the gainers with the biggest improvement is this 33 year-old male from Austin. His times in 2003 and 2004 were close (21:31 in 2003 and 21:13 in 2004). But this year, he smashed his old times with a finish of 17:43 (3.5 minutes faster than 2004).

On the women side, there were only 5 three-peat gainers.

This one 16 year-old teenager finished with a time of 27:56 this year. It was almost 2 minutes faster than her time last year and 4.5 minutes faster than her 2003 time.

Another big gainer was this 41 year-old female from Austin. She finished this year with a time of 29:10 which was over 3 minutes faster than last year and over 6 minutes faster than 2003.

The fastest female three-peat gainer was a 17 year-old from Kingsland. She finished with the excellent time of 17:39 this year just beating her time of 17:43 last year. Her time in 2003 was 18:11. With these times at this young age, she's sure to have a long and successful running career. Hope she can keep making gains. As can be seen by the times, at this high level, it can be tough.

Overall I found 66 runners who ran the last 3 years. 44 (67%) of those ran faster this year than in 2003.

Just looking back at 2004, I found 227 runners who ran again last Sunday. Out of those 227, 124 (55%) ran faster this year. One interesting repeat runner was this 42 year-old male from Austin. In 2004 he finished with a time of 28:48. This year, he finished over 10 minutes faster with the impressive time of 18:42.

Here are the detailed breakdown of those 227 repeat runners:

2005 vs 2004 ChangeNumberPercent
over 10 min faster31.3
5 to 10 min faster31.3
1 to 5 min faster7131.3
0 to 1 min faster4720.7
0 to 1 min slower5524.2
1 to 5 min slower3515.4
5 to 10 min slower83.5
over 10 min slower52.2

Note, these stats are based on results from Run-Far. Also note, some repeat runners may have been missed if names were different between years. However, my program did ignore case in the names. There were a few runners who had the same names. I took care of this by including ages. For example, a "40 year-old John Doe" in 2004 would be considered different than a "30 year-old John Doe" in 2005. Nevertheless, there could be two people with the same name and same age. In these cases, some may have been wrongly classified as repeat runners.

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