Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Marathon Statistics and an Article you won't want to miss

I officially signed up for my second marathon last month and I have high hopes that things will go much better for me the next time around. BUT I did do 26.2 miles on awful knees, not the smartest thing to do, I know, but now that I did, I am certain I can complete anything in any situation.  I just hope that I DON'T have to be in that situation again next year!

Well anyway, I started to do a little marathon research and I came across a few statistics and sites that I became very intrigued by. If I thought they were interesting, I thought maybe you all would too. 


*If you are, or plan to become a marathoner, I'm sure you've seen
(or heard) the statistic that only one-tenth of one percent of the world's population have completed a marathon.  Is that impressive? I think so but maybe that is because I now fall into that percentage.  Well, the author of this article Is Running a Marathon Really That Impressive These Days, clearly states that it is
not. After all, in 2011, half a million people in the USA completed a marathon. He encourages runners to really do something special like run on every continent or run 4 marathons in 4 days.  I wonder how 4 marathons in 4 days is possible seeing that there are very few marathons that are run on weekdays (with the exception of Boston of course).  Perhaps this fellow is doing both morning races and night race...lol

*Did you know that the average finishing time for the Disney World Marathon is 5:08:14 and the average time for the L.A Marathon is 5:15:13.  As a whole, these two are considered races with the "slowest" averages.  The author of this article Should Slow Runner's Be able to Run Marathons too responds to this controversial article Plodders Have a Place..... You all know I don't normally share multiple links in a blog post but if you only click on one of these links today, I highly encourage you to click on THAT ONE.  Be warned: it may make your blood boil!  My sister and I have been able to complete our marathons with in the time limit they are talking about, but I know many people who haven't.  I know for sure they worked just as hard as we did to get to that finish line. Their accomplishments should be celebrated too!  oh, I could go on and on about this article. Make sure you read it so we can have a nice discussion about it!

*Because I've already rambled on long enough, I will leave you with this cool marathon statistic site. It shows which months have the most marathon finishers, how many finishers each marathon had per year. I find it interesting to see how the number of finishers for the WDW marathon has increased over the years. Also, as for marathons with the least amount of finishers, it would come as no surprise that Boston was near the bottom in 2013.  So far this year, the month of January has produced the most marathon finishers. Perhaps that is because of the popularity of the WDW Marathon? Who knows!

Hopefully you will find some interesting marathon stats!

Ok, now tell me what you thought of that article I linked to above!  M

We are linking up with TOTR.

31 comments:

  1. I run races with Mainly Marathons. There are two awesome things about these: 1) They offer up to 7 marathons in 7 days, which means you can run multiple days in a row (I've done 2 in a row) AND 2) they have no time limits. They encourage people at ANY pace, including those who will walk the entire thing. Anyone who wants to cover the distance should have the opportunity to cover the distance (but I do understand time limits on many races due to course issues.)

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  2. I do think more people are running marathons now more than ever but I don't think it makes running that distance any less special. Oh and that Plodder's have a Place article is probably the dumbest thing I've ever read!

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  3. I don't understand how the linked articles fall under marathon statistics. Was expecting numbers and instead was majorly bummed by the back of the pack haters.

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    1. Have you clicked on the link that says "Marathon Statistics". There are some interesting statistics there. Yea, I don't like the back of the pack haters either.

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  4. I'm shocked the average finish time for the Disney Marathon isn't slower, especially since its a popular race for first time marathoners and runners are tempted by the countless photo opportunities.

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  5. I love that more people are running marathons and if that means slower averages who cares. If you run a marathon your time doesn't matter, you did it!

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  6. The article badmouthing slower runners does not bother me. At least not anymore. What pushed my buttons was actually the first link you included. How can running a marathon NOT be a great accomplishment anymore? The author mentions that 500,000 finished a marathon in the U.S. Is he aware that there are roughly 300 million people living in the US? That's still .1% of the population in US alone. Hardly a common thing if you ask me. I'm glad he has gone on the bigger things but that does not minimize the feat in any way for everyone else.

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    1. I know right! Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment no matter how you look at it!

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  7. Thanks for sharing the articles! It sounds ridiculous to say that it's not an accomplishment for people to finish marathons even if they take 6+ hours to finish. It's still an incredible distance to complete whether you walk, run or skip.

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  8. One of the things I love about running is that for me, it doesn't feel competitive. Yes, you're "racing" against others, but I've always felt like I'm racing against myself, trying to improve myself. I know I'm never going to be fast enough to win races so why concern myself with that? So I think it's absolutely ridiculous that these articles are trying to say that finishing a marathon isn't impressive unless you fall under certain parameters. I don't care how many other people do it, being able to do 26.2 miles at once is an amazing accomplishment and always will be.

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  9. This article just made me feel worse. I'm the kind of guy who really cares about finish times. I love and support everyone of all speeds and I know that a marathon is a huge accomplishment no matter what the pace, but personally I really like to finish fast. My first marathon was the Disney this January. I trained for a sub 4 hour marathon and was able to kept that pace on my 20 mile run before the race. I started cramping really badly at around mile 9 on race day and it just got worse from there. I ended up with a finish time of 5:23. Now I know that I was far below the average! At least I was at Disney so an extra hour and a half on the course wasn't too bad.

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  10. Interesting, I personally have wrestled with some of the things discussed in these articles. I have read a few of those articles before and I do wonder how I would feel doing the Galloway method for the marathon distance. When I started training this past winter my A goal was to run it, and yes based on my training runs i was looking at a realistic 4:45ish, then I tried a 16 miler using the Galloway method and was amazed at how much easier it felt using the Galloway method. I was wrestling with what to do when I got injured...the question hangs out there- overall if I could run a 4:45 with walk breaks I would have felt really proud, mostly because it's around the pace I should be able to normally maintain. In the end pace is such a diverse for everyone, i think if you try the very best you can it's all that matters.
    I feel a cut off is reasonable as long as it's clear. You have to know if you can maintain a 14 minute mile even if you need to walk before you sign up. Sorry so chatty today!!

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    1. According to my training runs, I should have been able to finish my marathon in 4:45 as well but add in that stupid leg injury and well, you know what happened!

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    2. We can never factor in all the "what could happen" - Finishing is awesome,especially with such challenging circumstances :)

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  11. I am very proud of my 5:11 marathon finish time. I worked very hard to be able to run the whole thing at the pace I was able. Does that make me a fast marathoner? No. Does it make me a marathoner. You bet! What I love about running is that unless you are super-speedy, races are not a competition against others but rather against yourself.

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  12. As the only marathons I have run have been the slow ones (WDW and then the LA marathon twice) I understand how the "low" average could make people mad but for me it is the opposite. the WDW marathon is SO MUCH FUN and I stopped for a ton of pics and had a great time. I also completed it at the end of running 22.4 miles over the past 3 days so I was not going for time. For the LA Marathon, there is a large number of first timers and also SRLA (Students Run LA) which is where middle school and high school students complete the marathon. Some train more than others and get more advice (some of the things I saw these students wear during the 90+ degree heat was crazy-long pants and shirts!) than others but it is all about the finish. LAM is very supportive to "slow" runners and first timers and even walkers!

    and whoever says that a marathon is not impressive, they need to go run one. Doing a marathon, running or walking, is always a huge accomplishment.

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  13. Half a million isnt really that much if you think about it...
    I'm off to read the article & anxious to see how fired up I'll get.

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  14. Wow. I'm not so much fired up over that article as I am sad. I guess I always thought that there is a place for all runners in every race. I'm surprised so many people feel differently. It also makes me less eager to try my first marathon.

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  15. The back of the pack haters are so frustrating! I say give people credit for just getting out there!!

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  16. Very interesting. Altho I'm not surprised about Disney. It's all about the spectacle--the costumes, the characters, the bling. I ran the half 4 years ago, and I was seeded into Corral B ( a first) and so I knew that it was going to be a slow one! I liked being up front like that!

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  17. Regarding the first article: I don't know if it's stated anywhere, but does that 500,000 total include unique finishers? I think that data would be extremely hard to verify, so I'm willing to bet some of those participants run multiple marathons a year, thus bringing the true number of marathoners down further!

    Loved the find my marathon data. Really interesting to see all of those stats in one place! Thanks for sharing.

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  18. I'm not a marathoner, but I'm still interested in those statistics!

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  19. As a first timer this year, thanks for the wonderful information. Haters just have to hate, don't they? I do understand there is a huge cost involved in putting on a marathon and they just can't leave the course open all day. However, I feel there should be sufficient time for runners of all abilities to finish. It's a tricky balance.

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  20. 4 marathons in 4 days, are you kidding me?! lol. I'm totally going to check out that site now. ;)

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  21. Thanks for sharing the articles. I'm proud to fall in the 5:00+ group - can't believe people think BOP have "tainted" the 26.2 distance.

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  22. Interesting stats!
    4 marathons in 4 days is quite possible, although none of my online friends know of me anymore as a hardcore runner, I was once in shape to do this. It took me a while to work up to being able to do stuff like that, (even though I should mention I have not done 4 in 4. Most I did was 3 in 15, but I have always wanted to do a back to back, 2 days in a row) but ya, if you train right, it's possible. But you can kiss PR's and great times away, because they don't really happen when you can't recover before your next race:)
    My dad and I were talking, back in his marathon days the average runner came in around 3:40, big difference. I remember when i first started running marathons in 2001 the average time was closer to 4:20. But since the boom the last few years and marathons allowing walkers, the times have just gone up and up. Times change, and I guess if more people are up and off the couch then all power to them, even if they are walking the races!
    I will be honest, when I started running more frequent marathons, I started looking for ones that had finish times between 5-6 hours. Sometimes I liked the 6 hours because i knew if I had a bad race I had some extra time to finish. So especially for those who enjoy back to back races, having these longer cut off times is a definite plus:)

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  23. That is really interesting about the average time for a marathon. I thought it would be faster for that for some reason. I guess I don't need to worry if I ever do a marathon.

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  24. I refuse to click either of those links because as a slow marathoner they will just make me mad haha

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  25. I'm surprised that Disney has a 5:08 average time. I'd think it would be more like 6:08!

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  26. I'm surprised that Disney has a 5:08 average time. I'd think it would be more like 6:08!

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  27. Having completed 2 marathons (one of which being part of Goofy), I think you come out of a marathon a different person than when you went in. I understand some people's frustration over slower runners, but honestly, the fact that racing has become an "in" thing to do, we are seeing more and more people finish half and full marathons that otherwise would never have gotten off the couch.

    I think there's a possibity that some of the very speedy runners think that the super slow, over weight people finishing a long distance race somehow takes away from their accomplishment in a sport that used to be only for the extremely athletic.

    What they don't realize, is that for someone that doesn't fit that stereotype to actually finish a marathon, it changes their whole outlook on themselves and their lives- for the better!

    Personally, I don't understand why anyone cares at what speed you finish a race. It's really no one's business. if someone wants to be an elitist, they should focus on Boston- not what someone else is doing!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.