Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Badwater 2005 - Women Faster Than Men

Although the top four finishers were men this year, looking at both the mean and the median, the women were faster. There were a total of 67 finishers (54 men and 13 women) and 14 who didn't finish. The 54 men had a mean finish time of 44:43:45 and a median of 44:24:33. The 13 women had a mean finish time of 43:19:46 and a median of 41:31:15.

There has long been speculation that women may have an advantage in ultramarathons. When Pamela Reed won the Badwater (overall) in 2002 and 2003, this gave credence to this theory.

With this race being so small, it's probably not reasonable to draw any conclusions from the average finish times. But it does add one more bit of evidence that women can compete close to men in ultras.

First Timer Update

First time Badwater runner Frank McKinney (profiled by the Sun-Sentinel) finished with a very respectable time of 48:49:20 (actually any time for this race is respectable). I just hope he has an easier time of recovery than what he went through for his Badwater qualifier race.

Detailed Stats

Below are the stats for the finishers of the 2005 Badwater Ultramarathon based on the results from the Badwater Splits page. They didn't have the official results posted yet but these splits seem to have finish times or DNFs now for everyone.

In addition to observation on the average times between the genders, it's also interesting to look at the average times by age. The average age of the ultramarathoners tend to be older than for shorter races. For this Badwater race, most of the finishers (45%) were in their 40s. However, the fastest averages were runners in their 30s. So unfortunately, even in this race, older age doesn't seem to be any advantage.

Total Runners by Times

under 30h30 to 40h40 to 50hover 50h
4 (6%)14 (21%)30 (45%)19 (28%)

Male Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.

Agesunder 30h30 to 40h40 to 50hover 50h
thirties1 (7%)4 (29%)6 (43%)3 (21%)
forties3 (14%)2 (10%)10 (48%)6 (29%)
fifties0 (0%)5 (33%)4 (27%)6 (40%)
sixties0 (0%)0 (0%)2 (67%)1 (33%)
seventies0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (100%)
Total4 (7%)11 (20%)22 (41%)17 (31%)

Female Runners by Times - Move mouse over cells to see median times. Top 3 times also shown in left columns.

Agesunder 30h30 to 40h40 to 50hover 50h
twenties0 (0%)1 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
thirties0 (0%)1 (50%)1 (50%)0 (0%)
forties0 (0%)1 (11%)7 (78%)1 (11%)
sixties0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)1 (100%)
Total0 (0%)3 (23%)8 (62%)2 (15%)

Average/Best Times By Age Groups (Male and Female)

AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Male Age Groups

AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)

Average/Best Times By Female Age Groups

AgesNumberPercentMean TimeBest Time
Fastest Ages (by average)


  • Hi,

    You probably need to account for age somehow if you want to compare times between women and men. What was the average age of the women versus the men?

    By Blogger Don, at 5:35 AM  

  • Thanks for the feedback. Yes, you're right, the age factor is important. I'll get the average age and see if this makes a difference.

    By Blogger Ken, at 5:52 AM  

  • I haven't had time to go back and calculate the overal age averages, however, one thing I noted from the stats that I did yesterday is the average time of those in their 40s.

    There were 9 women in their 40s, and they averaged 43:31:57. There were 21 men in their 40s, and their average was 43:54:08.

    For the 40-year-olds at least, the women on average were faster. Since there are only 4 other women finishers, other averages probably won't be too useful.

    By Blogger Ken, at 6:22 AM  

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