View Full Version : Running Times, Jan2010; marathon numbers

John B
12-11-2009, 13:31
Below is the Jan. 2010 Running Times p. 09 "Did You Know" and "Quoteworth" column in its entirity:

"Did you know as U.S. marathon participation numbers have risen from 143,000 in 1980 to 425,000 last year, average finishing times have gotten much slower. In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in US marathons was 3:32:17 (roughly 8:06 per mile), whereas last year the median finishing time was 4:16 (or a 9:45 pace) (Median times for men have fluctuated between 4:15 and 4:20 since 2002.) For women, the median marathon time in 1980 was 4:03:49 (9:17 pace), compared to 4:43:32 (10:48 pace) last year.

"It's a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours. It used to be that running a marathon was worth something -- there used to be a pride in saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it's, 'How low is the bar?'"
Adrienne Wald, Women's Cross Country Coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984."

12-11-2009, 13:41
I used to think that way also, that anything over say 4 hours wasn't really a marathon. I think I understand where she is coming from, but I think you could just as well say its a joke to run a marathon at 100 to 140 pounds body weight. The real test is in knowing your own body, and what is capable of, and how hard you are pushing, or punishing, yourself. If someone sustains a 140+ heart rate for 4 hours, at age 40+, maybe at 40 pounds overweight while on their way to getting healthy, that's big in my books. If I ever finish a marathon, walking or running, I'll might have to give it some more thought. :)

12-11-2009, 14:12
Are there any trail events in that data?

Pedaling Fool
12-11-2009, 14:47
So what? Does that mean that marathon runners are getting slower, probably not.

I think what is means is that more people are attempting a marathon and these larger numbers (of generally non-running people) are bringing the average time down, but that doesn't mean that people are getting slower. Simply means that couch potatoes are getting faster.

In the end probably doesn't matter, since road runners are not real runners. The real runners run through the mountains at distances of 50 + miles. Anything else is just a jog around the neighborhood.:eek::D;)

12-11-2009, 16:00
The Fungi Footpath is almost exactly a marathon at 42km.
I know some people have done it in under 8 hours. My PR is 70 hours. :)

12-11-2009, 16:06
To paraphrase (or para-acronym) a well-known WB term:


12-11-2009, 21:42
I think there is much to be said for the run/walk type strategies for running speeds slower than 8min/mile, which would be marathon times over 3.5 hours. I remember as kids my older brother mentioned the scouts pace once, which was 20 paces running followed by 20 paces walking. Of course in varying terrain you should adapt it to the terrain, but on long days those sort of strategies make alot of sense, especially for trail running, depending on your body weight and the duration of your run, and terrain of course.

12-11-2009, 21:42
8 min/mi—run 4 min/walk 35 seconds
9 min/mi— 4 min run-1 min walk
10 min/mi—-3:1
11 min/mi—2:30-1
12 min/mi—-2:1
13 min/mi—-1:1
14 min/mi—30 sec run/30 sec walk
15 min/mi—30 sec/45 sec
16 min/mi—30 sec/60 sec