Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Friday, July 08, 2005

Silicon Labs Marathon Relay

The first Silicon Labs Marathon Relay was held on the 4th last Monday here in Austin Texas. Silicon Labs is a somewhat new high tech company based in Austin. It seems they were wanting to be a sponsor of some race. With so many races already in place in Austin, it's not easy to start something new on a day that won't conflict with another race.

I think Silicon Labs made a good choice with the relay. The Austin Motorola Marathon (now Freescale) use to have relays. But in the last several years, they just have the full and half marathons. So a marathon relay in Austin has been lacking.

The next issue is the fact that the race is on July 4th in Austin where the heat of summer is in full gear (we've already had 7 days 100° or over). The best weather for Austin races is before May. Even though it's not ideal running weather in July, for short races done in the mornings it's not too brutal. The Atlanta Peachtree 10K has survived quite well on July 4th.

A Dedicated Marathon Relay

A dedicated marathon relay race doesn't seem too common. In fact, Silicon Labs was able to get the domain I've found a few relays at The biggest marathon relay is The Beach to Bay Relay Marathon in Corpus Christi Texas.

There are several advantages of having a dedicated marathon relay. I remember when I ran the Motorola Marathon relay with 4 others back in the 90's. There were a lot of logistical issues. Each leg started and ended at a different location. This created confusion and lots of transportation hassles.

But with the Silicon Labs relay, each leg starts and ends at the same place. In a full marathon it's more appealing to avoid loops. But in a relay, multiple loops shouldn't be an issue.

Interesting Race Observations

Both the Austin Mayor (Will Wynn) and the Texas Governor (Rick Perry) ran in the Silicon Labs Marathon Relay. Both of their teams did better than the average time of 3:55:02. The Mayor's team finished with 3:52:55. The Governor's team did really well with a time of 3:10:04.

One thing I like about relays is the creative relay names. Some of my favorites include: The Glaciers, Road Rash, It Runs in the Family, Mother's Against Big Butt, The Pain Chain, 4 Chicks and a Chad, and The Five-Toed Sloths.

The Stats

The legs of the Si Labs Relay had lengths of 12K, 10K, 5K, 10K, and 5K. By looking at the stats I can see some of strategy runners used. You want your fastest runners on the longest leg. However, you also want a fast runner at the end especially since the runner will have to endure the most heat at this time.

I first looked at the average times for the total and all of the five laps. There were a total of 313 teams with 5 runners that completed all 5 laps. The total average was 3:55:02 (8:58 min/M). It's clear that most teams put their best runners at the start. The first leg had the fastest pace of 8:21 min/M. Probably most teams put their weakest runners in the 5Ks. However, the 5K average paces were very close to the 10K paces. The first 5K had an average pace of 9:20 min/M. The last 5K had 9:07 min/M. You might expect that the warmer temperatures would have caused the last 5K to be the slowest. However, it was faster than all other legs except for the first 12K leg. The weakest runners were probably more likely to be placed in the first 5K.

Below are the average stats in table format, and below this are the top 5 teams for overall and for each leg. Not all of the overall top teams had all the top laps. For example, the team of Austin Energy finished 29th overall but it's 4th runner finished lap 4 (10K) in fifth place with an impressive time of 35:28 (5:43 pace).

I also included the temperatures at the approximate start of each leg. As you can see, it was a hot day.

Finally, note that the some or all of the legs were slightly more than 12K, 10K, or 5K. The total marathon distance is about 42.17km and the race claimed to have ensured that the total distance did equal a full marathon. However, I wasn't able to find the exact length of each leg. Thus, some of the paces listed below may be off a little from the paces listed on the official results page at the Silicon Labs Marathon Relay results page.

Relay Total and Lap Averages

Distance# teams/
at start
in F

Top Relay Teams by Total and by Each Lap

LapPlaceTimesPacesTeam NamesOverall
-12:21:385:24Jack & Adams Bicycles1
22:25:335:33Gilberts Gazelles2
32:26:115:35CP Alumni3
42:30:555:46Conroe Elite & Mugget Wa4
1139:435:20Gilberts Gazelles2
240:155:24Jack & Adams Bicycles1
340:265:25M3 PG8
441:155:32CP Alumni3
2134:315:33Jack & Adams Bicycles1
236:115:49CP Alumni3
337:276:02old blue6
437:346:03Mixed Ship7
538:006:07Gilberts Gazelles2
3116:015:09Jack & Adams Bicycles1
317:025:29Conroe Elite & Mugget Wa4
417:145:33The Hip Hops10
517:185:34CP Alumni3
4134:175:31Conroe Elite & Mugget Wa4
234:195:32CP Alumni3
334:485:36Jack & Adams Bicycles1
434:565:37Gilberts Gazelles2
535:285:43Austin Energy29
5115:144:54Gilberts Gazelles2
216:045:10Jack & Adams Bicycles1
317:085:31CP Alumni3
417:175:34Conroe Elite & Mugget Wa4

The above stats are based on the run-far race results. The temperature data is from


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