Thursday, February 2, 2012

Humbling numbers

An early warning to you faithful readers: I enjoy statistics, useless numerical facts, and lists and rankings of all kinds. Recently compiled a list of the best marathon times of 2011. Jackpot! They ranked all the times worldwide for men who ran under 3:30 (150,000) and women under 4:00 (65,000). People can double-dip (i.e. be listed for multiple times from multiple races.) In terms of American performances on the world stage, they are quite humbling.

On the men's side, Ryan Hall seems to be right up there with the Africans, with the 7th best time (his 2:04 from Boston.) He also holds the second spot for American men, with his Chicago time, but it drops to 69th behind a whole mess of East Africans. The next American after him is Meb at 120. Youch. Those Kenyas and Ethiopians are incredible. (Remember, these are 2011 times and don't include the Olympic Trials. That said, the 2:09s run by the top three men would have put them near Meb's 120th place.)

On the women's side, Desi tops the American list in 12th. Kara is 46th and Amy Hastings is next at 103. I think the American women are in better shape than the men in terms of being able to make the podium and place high in big races, but this number crunching certainly doesn't help my argument. (The women's times for the trials would have put them in the 50s.) Liliya Shobukova (from Russia) earned both the first and fourth spot. Look out for her in London, she is certainly a favorite.  

Celebrating being number 2.... thousand. 
Enough with the celebrities! Yours truly came in twice, at 2111 and 2705. Yikes, that sounds terrible! But, I'll kindly remind you there were 65,000 times listed and my first marathon time wouldn't have even made the list. So I've come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Finally, the last stat to keep with the theme of this blog: making the American 2012 Olympic trials standard (<2:46) would have put you in the top 1133 women. 

For you fellow number lovers out there: The rankings.

Dream big, 

1 comment :

  1. That is a very interesting list! I was in the 12,000s I believe for my best and towards the end for my first marathon last year. You are so inspirational! Look how far you've come! You have sparked a new motivation in me:) Thank you for sharing!