(picture credit: Tata Group)
Most Indian Marathons including Mumbai marathon don’t publish the entire timing data, like the world marathon majors. We have to use hacky methods to get timing data. Please note, for this event we could only get hold of 19,963 finishers (7,713 marathon and 12,250 half-marathon finishers) data out of 20,467 finishers. If you have not already, please read our analysis of Mumbai Marathon participation numbers.
Marathon is like good wine
Analysis across age categories show that middle age categories are quite competitive in marathon distance.
- Women in the 60-64 category are the second fastest to the women in the 18-24 category. They averaged 5h:13m:55s.
- Men in the 40-44 category are not only the biggest in terms of participation, but also are faster. They averaged 4h:59m:22s beating all the younger categories except the 18-24 category, which averaged 4h:59m:19s.
- Women in the age categories of 18-24 and 60-64 are 3 minutes faster on average compared to the men.
Half-marathon data is not very different when it comes to age categories.
- 18-24 category is the fastest across men and women.
- 40-44 age category came next in men and 35-39 category came next in women
Four hours is the target
We have grouped runners based on their finish times in 10 minute time intervals. Interesting pattern is, round figure of 4 hours or 5 hours seems the target for most marathoners.
- 357 runners finished with finish times under four hours (between 3h:50m to 4h:00m), which is a sudden surge in the number of finishers, making it a dream target for marathoners. In adjacent time intervals, 190 runners finished in 3h:40m-3h:50m, while 280 runners finished in 4h:00-4h:10m.
- In a similar pattern 638 runners finished under five hours (between 4h:50m to 5h:00m), making it the highest time interval range, compared to any others. In adjacent time intervals, 557 runners finished in 4h:40m-4h:50m, while 486 runners finished in 5h:00m-5h:10m.
Similar pattern observed in half-marathon distance but not as pronounced.
- 982 runners finished just below 2h:30m (between 2h:25m and 2h:30m) making it the most popular target time.
Mumbai marathon 2020 got faster than before
When compared to 2019, finish times of the 2020 Mumbai marathon are much faster. What could be the reason for better finish times?
One hypothesis is weather. Temperature this year is 5-7 degrees lower compared to the previous year. Consistency of runners, and probably access to better training methods could also have contributed.
- Average finish time of Top 10 runners is bettered by 4 minutes. If we look at Top 1000 runners, on average they finished 9 minutes faster than the previous year.
- Number of sub 3 hour runners increased by astonishing 51% from 27 runners in 2019 to 41 runners in 2020.
Stronger Come back
A whopping 46.5% of all marathon finishers from 2020 have also finished in 2019 and came back. How did they finish their marathon this year?
- 60% of those who have come back to run have improved their finish times.
- 33% of the runners that have come back have bettered their finish time up to 30 minutes. 23% of the runners have bettered their finish time by more than 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
Negative Splits Indeed are Rare
Majority of the runners have finished with a positive split (first half faster than the second half). A similar trend that we have seen in the 2019 Bengaluru Marathon.
- Only about 3.3% of the runners have finished with a negative split
- Negative splits are evenly distributed between 3 to 5 hours finish times.
Check out our earlier posts on Mumbai Marathon data
Aravind is a techie, running geek, and a marathoner. He is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. He loves all things technology and technology in running, with special interest in running form analysis.
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