One of my favorite websites, www.marathonguide.com, released its summary of statistics for the 2005 year in marathons. It's got a lot of detail - naturally, I checked the stats to see where I fit in the big picture.
I finished (6:33) the biggest marathon in the USA in 2005, the ING New York City Marathon, with 36,872 finishers. It seemed that Staten Island would float away from all that pre-race pee.
Baltimore Marathon, where I (5:59) was one of 2410 finishers, didn't make the list of the biggest 25 marathons in the country (3249 finishers and up). The closest big race to us, Marine Corps Marathon (19,110 finishers), moved up one place to 5th largest marathon.
Overall, men's finishing times averaged 4:32, while women marathon finishers averaged 5:06. I'm still much slower at the marathon distance than the average finish in my age group (women 45-49), which was 5:11, but as I age up in another year I hope to get much closer to the average time (overall and in my age group). In the 50-54 age group, average women's finish time was 5:31. There's still hope for me to catch up with the middle of the pack - just give me time!