The New York Times ran an article (ha ha -- sorry) this week about the rise of women in distance running. While this is hardly new news --
- (duh, just go outside and count the number of women and men you see running -- I estimate you'll find about 2/3 women -- ok, now I totally have to try that experiment, and get people to count in different cities across the country...new project!)
And, because I am currently training for a marathon (or another), it got me interested in what the gender breakdown is of marathon runners these days.
Here are some quick stats I compiled from 2008 (based on finisher data):
- Portland: 7,862 total; 4,152 female (52.8% female)
- Walt Disney World: 12,964 total; 6,570 female (50.7% female)
- Los Angeles: 17,239 total; 8,363 female (48.5% female)
- Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll: 6,499 total; 2,977 female (45.8% female)
- Eugene: 1,741 total; 770 female (44.2% female)
- Chicago: 3,1345 toal; 13,666 women (43.6% female)
- Boston: 22,377 total; 9,113 female (40.7% female)
- London: 34,405 total; 10,725 female (31.2% female)
- Stockholm: 13,546 total; 3,030 female (22.4% female)
Also, for all those men who gripe that it's easier for women to qualify for Boston, this pretty much says, "You are complaining for no reason...Get out there and train!"
(Note: Doing this mini-analysis makes me miss working with data. I could totally get sucked into compiling age and gender statistics for races -- big and small -- all across the country! Seriously, few things are as uniformly put on the web as race results. It's a huge set of data just waiting to be analyzed.)
(Another note: Yes, that is me on the left in the photo. This is a picture that was taken at a cross-country race my freshman year that has persisted on the internet. It still pops on on the third page or so if you Google my name!)