The 26.2-mile race has become more competitive for both the men’s and women’s divisions.
According to a report from statisticians Mirko Jalava and A. Lennart Julin posted on the IAAF Web site, the marathon has become even more competitive this year.
Despite the fact that no world record was set for the 26.2-mile race, the depth has increased substantially.
Take for example a comparison between the 20th-best marathon time this year (2:05:42) and the top time in 2004 (Felix Limo’s 2:06:14).
Additionally, there were many close attempts at Patrick Makau’s world record this past year. The year opened up with a promise when 21-year-old Ayele Abshero clocked 2:04:23 at the Dubai Marathon. Fellow Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede prevailed at the Chicago Marathon in October with a 2:04:38.
Performances in the women’s marathon were equally as good.
Four years ago, there was just runner who had broken the 2:20 barrier. But this year, there were six women who had run under the mark.
In terms of depth, there were nine sub-2:24 in 2008, while this year there were 33.
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