Friday, August 21, 2009

St. George Marathon Stats

When I'm not at home being a mommy, I'm at work being a statistician. While my work stats might not be that interesting to most of you, I thought some stats on the 2007 St. George marathon would be. (Data for 2008 were not available in my limited search.) I hope this isn't too boring, too technical, or even too dumbed down. I only analyzed the female stats because, well, this site is called "Marathon Mommies". And for any of the graphs, you should be able to click on them to see them larger.

Here are the summary stats on the age of the runners, the finishing time (in minutes), and pace. We can see that there were 2,229 female runners in 2007. Their average age was 36.6 and median age was 36.0. The youngest runner was 10 (10!) and oldest was 99 (99!!). The average finishing time was 4:24 (264 minutes) and median finish time was 4:16 (256 minutes). Remember, the median finish time is the time such that half the runners finished before that time and half the runners finished after that time. These times give an average pace of 10:06 and a median pace of 9:47. And then, for fun, I added a histogram of the runners' ages. I'm always surprised at how "old" the field is. For some reason, I think runners are always in their 20s. But really, there are about as many twenty-somethings as fifty-somethings!



This is a histogram of all runners' times. For this graph, I grouped all average paces into 30-second intervals (so 7:00-7:29 or 9:30-9:59 minute miles, for example). You can see that most of the runners had average paces between 8:30 to 9:30 (the two tallest bars). The fastest woman finisher had an average pace between 5:30 - 6:00 (far left bar). And 52 women finished with average paces slower than 15-minute-miles (far right bar).


And finally, this scatterplot shows the average ages of those women running in their respective pace groups. It is what you'd expect: the older we get, the slower we get!


Again, I hope this wasn't too boring. If you're interested in seeing additional analysis, let me know. I know it's sick, but I really do enjoy this!

10 comments:

emily said...

very interesting! i loved looking at it and reading your "analysis." it's fun to see things and look at things in a totally different way - thanks for doing this!

Janice {Run Far} said...

I loved it. Not to boring for me. I ran St George that year too, so I was interested.

Nikkei said...

According to a study, the optimal running pace for women (most physiologically efficient) is just over 9 minutes per mile -- the middle mark between 8:30 and 9:30. The histogram shows that many women settle in around that time.

Feener said...

i LOVE stats and i love doing stats for races.....you just might be my hero

Cal said...

I thought that was interesting too!!! I'm training for St. George this year and I'm training for a 9:00 pace so it made me feel good to know that is a normal-good-average pace for St. George. Thanks!

Mrs JP Chaos said...

My inner-geek just fell in love with you. :) (The accountant in me just exploded with excitement. LOL)

On longer runs, I've done math in my head. I'm such a geek!

This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

Shelly! said...

ooooh- ooooh- ooooh! I love numbers and graphs. thanks for the analysis. What a great perspective - and even though I'm not a marathoner (yet!) it's nice to see the stats.

Hey Hey! said...

lol...Love it! This tells me that I'm slow and will continue to get slower...but I will keep running for the love of it!! Awesome post!

Ruthie said...

thanks for the post .. :) its great! I thought i was really really slow.. but now seeing that 9ish is optimal makes it feel like i am not as slow as i thought .. and could be why I struggled and didnt make it through my 18 mile run try last night.. i def started out too fast and was in too much of a hurry .. :)

now mind you.. am an an artist.. NOT a math person at all!.. and after I made my brain translate this .. I thought it was cool too! :) ...

thanks for doing it! :)

Joann said...

Love your site and your math! Running St George first time next month and looking forward to it! My husband, the running researcher (self taught) says no woman 99 years old has finished a marathon, ever. Men's record is 97 or 98, and took 9.5 hours! Might change your stats?