NYC marathon-fun with numbers

Somehow my email is now in the possession of the NYC marathon, which is odd since I’ve never registered to run the race. And naturally, they spam me with miscellaneous emails from time to time. But the other day, the spam they mailed turned out to be  pretty darn cool.

Check out the incredible analytics page they created partner, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

TCS delved deeply into historical New York City Marathon data to create an interactive web-based data visualization experience. What does that mean, exactly? It means that you, the runner, can look at cool, colorful graphics that make it easy to understand how this world-famous event has grown and evolved over the years.

For instance, you can see the average number of finishers per minute in your age group for all five decades the race has been run. Curious how that 4:30 you ran in 2014 stacks up against average finish times in the ’70s? Now you can find out.

You’ll also find data on positive and negative splits; participation by age, gender, and country; and the effects of temperature and humidity on finish times. And that’s just the beginning!

I used to work with “big data” on the health care front, and it usually bored me. But this ‘data’ and the visualization tool is really great and super interesting. Enjoy!

Also, on the marathon front, I’ve selected my next race. Heading back to Eugene in early May 2015. Ran this twice before but only finished it once. First time, 2010, ran a solid race and lowered my PR by 4 minutes down to 3:38 but it hurt. The wife said I looked as white as death crossing the finish line. And spent a few minutes in the ‘recovery’ tent. Shaking off the memory of the soreness, returned in 2011 for a DNF. Regardless, Eugene is a GREAT college town. Heaps of inexpensive restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores and of course the ghost of Steve Prefontaine is everywhere.


(what a fantastic picture. Not another runner in sight)

Since this race will be my next BQ attempt, I was willing to travel a ways to find the right course. Fortunately, Eugene met my criteria with a location (relatively) close to home in the Pacific Northwest.

Few reasons I selected this race:

  • Within a days drive of home (Seattle) or short flight
  • flat, fast course
  • solid race organization. This is ‘track town USA, they know how to set up a race.
  • Likely cool weather
  • 7am start
  • Pacer groups
  • Large enough field that I will not be running solo.
  • Finishing on Hayward field is a thrill.

The training plan starts the first of December so soon I’ll have plenty of running to discuss.

About Scott

Training to qualify for the Boston Marathon and simplify our life, as a stay at home dad.
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