Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Battle of the Marathons

Two of the top five marathons in the world will be taking place this weekend: the London Marathon this Sunday (4/17/05) and the Boston Marathon this Monday (4/18/05). These two are the big ones for the spring season. The other big three (New York, Chicago, and Berlin) take place in the fall.

This article describes some of the competition that exists between these top marathons as they vie for the top runners. The London Marathon in particular has put the squeeze on Boston over the last several years as mentioned in the article:

London race director Dave Bedford has built up a reputation over the past decade for assembling the best fields thanks to enjoying the biggest budget of the major marathons - an estimated $1m per race, with Radcliffe alone reputedly receiving $250,000 in appearance money.

This financial muscle has not enamoured Bedford to some of his rival race directors, especially those involved with the classic Boston event. Often staged on the same weekend as London, the quality of the American elite fields has suffered in recent years.

Even though the big fall marathons are separated by several weeks, top runners still have to decide on only one of them since they usually don't run more than 2 race marathons in one year. So there's competition among these big three.

The article describes how these big 5 marathons are looking into the possibility of a Grand Slam of marathons similar to tennis or golf except that it would be over multiple years.

So for this week, I'll be posting stats looking at both the Boston and London Marathons. I'll compare their history and their numbers.


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