I’m not a fan of marathons as part of the build up to an Ironman, but I still had a few of my athletes racing at the Virgin London Marathon. Yesterday evening I checked their results to see how they’d got on and once again found myself frustrated with a results system that offered limited access to the results data – I want to be able to examine the full set of data and place my athletes in context. Unable to get what I wanted I put together a new script to fetch all the finisher results from the London Marathon results pages and compile it into a database.
Last year I briefly compared the pacing of stand-alone marathons with Ironman marathons to see how they differed. One observation at the time, which can be seen again in the chart above, is that on average there really isn’t much difference in pacing strategy regardless of finishing time: most go out fast and finish slower than they started, this is most marked among the slower runners. The classic negative split is not the average. Interestingly, assuming timing mat placement is precise, the halfway point provides a psychological boost with many running the kilometre that leads to the half marathon split faster than the previous 5K.
I haven’t had time to examine the results further, with 35,000 finishers this is a much larger dataset than I usually work with. Too large for Google Drive, so instead of the usual spreadsheet I’ve uploaded an unwieldy (12MB) zip file containing the full data in Excel format. You can download the amateur splits from the Virgin London Marathon here (click File and select Download to save a copy). I’ll take a closer look at the results later this week.