Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Monday, May 23, 2005

More on the Cleveland Marathon Winner

I have some more information regarding Donna Palisca, the women's winner of yesterday's Cleveland Marathon. Her coach provided lots of details at this RunTex forum thread. He also corrected several things which the Cleveland paper got wrong. For example, she had run over 15 miles several times. Also, her decision to run the full marathon was made about 6 weeks ago, not last Saturday. Nevertheless, it was still an amazing victory that surprised both her and her coach. The coach mentioned in the post that she only realized she was the leader at about the last mile. That's definitely a race that neither she nor her coach will ever forget.

One more note regarding Palisca: I learned from her coach that she had also run the 3M Half-Marathon in Austin back in 1-30-05. From the results from that race, she finished 13th with a time of 1:24:35. Plugging this number into Runners World Time Calculator gives a marathon time of 2:56:21. Her actual Cleveland marathon time was 2:54:53.

I also have more information about how this marathon has changed over the years. As I mentioned in my previous post, the winning times have slowed in recent years. The 10K race that's run along side the marathon seems to be the premier event. For the open division, it has about double the total prize money ($8.8K vs. $4.2K). But I suppose it take more prize money for the marathons to attract the elite runners since marathons require so much more recovery time.

I found this site with the prize money history of the Cleveland Marathon. As the winning times suggest, there was a big drop-off of prize money in 2003. Total prize money in 2002 was over $34K. It dropped to $2.5K in 2003. This effect could be seen in the winning times. The women's winning time went from 2:37:43 in 2002 to 2:48:46 in 2003. The men's winning time went from 2:19:06 in 2002 to 02:28:59 in 2003. There was another big drop-off in prize money in 2001. In 2000 the total prize money was over $102K. It fell to about $33K in 2001. The times did slow down in 2002, but not by as much as you might suspect.

In terms of competition with other marathons, the Cleveland Marathon had to contend with the Green Bay Marathon which took place on the same day (5/22/05). The Green Bay Marathon gave away $16.4K in overall marathon prizes. So it seems like many elites chose this one instead. The men's winning time was 2:17:32 (vs. Cleveland's 2:22:00). The women's winning time was 2:41:01 (vs. Cleveland's 2:54:53).

Tomorrow I'll start posting the stats for Cleveland and Green Bay Marathons.

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