Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Monday, May 23, 2005

First Time Marathon Runner and Winner

Donna Palisca not only ran her first marathon yesterday but also won her first marathon. She finished with a time of 2:54:53 at yesterday's Cleveland Marathon, almost five minutes ahead of the second place woman. According to the Plain Dealer, Palisca had never run more than 15 miles on a given day. She had planned to run the half marathon, but changed her mind on Saturday. However, she's not exactly a newbie to running. She was an NCAA All-American at Penn State in the 10K.

She seemed to have run at a good pace. Her time at the half was 1:28:17. That's a slightly negative split (50.5%,49.5%).

The prize for the first place finish was $1000. So this wasn't just a fun run type of race.

Looking at the past women winners, times have slowed down over the years. Last year's winning time was 2:53:28 (2:48:46 in 2003, 2:37:43 in 2002, and 2:42:06 in 2001). In 2000 and through most of the 90's it remained under 2:40. I'm not sure why this is the case. Perhaps the prize money has gone down? Or the prize money on other marathons around this time have gone up?

Palisca is from Killeen Texas which is about 50 miles north of Austin. So I decided to see if she had run any Austin races. I didn't find her in the Capitol 10K results. However, I did find her in last month's 5K Bun Run. She finished 6th with a time of 17:44.

So if you run a 5K in 17:44, can you run a marathon in 2:54:53? Based on the Runners World Time Calculator she should have finished 2:50:04. But I think this calculator assumes that the runner is use to the long distance.

I'm currently working on stats for this race. Check back soon.

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  • Looks like the Cleveland paper didn't get all of its facts right. Her coach gave these corrections plus more information at the RunTex Forum. She has actually run over 15 miles several times before and she had planned to run the marathon 6 weeks ago.

    Nevertheless, it's still an amazing story.

    By Blogger Ken, at 8:49 AM  

  • Ken, before I had even jumped over here to take a look at your site this week, I had made some notes about marathons from this past weekend. In my blog, I made these notations of her past performances (it looks as if she's been working back east): "However, Palisca is no stranger to running well. In April, running unattached at the Texas Relays, she finished 6th in the 10K in a time of 38:21.20. (Liza Hunter-Galvan of San Antonio via New Zealand won the event in 35:13.33.) A month earlier (March 5th), Palisca was the first female finisher in the 6th Kelly's Logan House 5K in Wilmington, DE in 18:56 (14th overall). Three weeks later (March 26th), she was the second female in the Sauders 5-mile Run in Lititz, Pa. with a 30:06 time, but the week before (March 19th) that she finished 12th in an elite field of women at Virginia Beach's Shamrock Marathon 8K (29:40.6)."

    By Blogger, at 8:13 AM  

  • Thanks for the info. With all these races, it looks like she's getting serious. Wonder what's next on her race agenda.

    By Blogger Ken, at 3:43 PM  

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