Monday, October 22, 2007

Marathon finishing times

I'm looking ahead and tapering hard for Marine Corps Marathon next Sunday. (Forecast continues to look slightly on the hot side, sunny and dry, low 47*F, high 68*F).

The median time for US marathon finishes is, as of 2005:
Men: 4:32
Women: 5:06
According to:
So fully half of all 382,000 US marathon finishes are slower than those times.

Sometimes I get the impression that faster runners have a very distorted idea of the pace and finishing times of the typical runner. (See many discussions rebuking slower runners for "poor pacing" or "lack of fitness" or "disrespecting the distance" in this year's Chicago Marathon, for example.)

I looked up the median time for finishers in my age group (50-54) on this course last year (2006) and it was 5:19.

So I have a huge set of tiered finishing goals for the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon, my 10th marathon:

  1. Dream Goal: Any chip time beginning with a "4" (under 11:27 min/mile pace)
  2. Under 5:06:00 (faster than the average USA female marathon) (under 11:40 min/mile pace)
  3. Under 5:19:00 (faster than the average finisher in my age group on the MCM course last year) (under 12:10 min/mile pace)
  4. Under 5:51:34 (PR - faster than my fastest previous marathon, Richmond in 2004) (under 13:25 min/mile pace)
  5. Beat my previous 2001 Marine Corps Marathon time (~6:17)
  6. Upright and smiling

If you would like to track my race position online next Sunday, the race goes off at 8:00 AM EDT and runner tracking is available here.

My MCM mantra: The race starts on the 14th Street Bridge. And oh yeah, BELIEVE!


Brent Buckner said...

Thanks for the numbers - I wouldn't have guessed those median times!

21stCenturyMom said...

You GO Nancy. Remember to go out slow so you can pick it up and hit your pace. I predict success!

Rainmaker said...

Nice link on the numbers. I too am hoping for a bit cooler weather - but doesn't seem to be cooperating on the 'make it cooler' front.

I'm thinking of writing my hydration/pacing plan on my arm with a pen - to make sure I actually stick with it.

Brigitte said...

Good luck. Don't force it in the beginning.

ShirleyPerly said...

Good luck on your race, Nancy!

jeanne said...

fascinating stuff. Good LUCK tomorrow! I hope to be there for some of it!

and damn straight about where the race starts. good luck on that bridge. it only feels like 10 miles long. :)