Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Big Kahuna: 2016 Boston Marathon Analysis

Boston. The raison d'etre of this blog.


This is the only time in my life that (a) I have purchased all my photos (though I must note that I waited a couple weeks and they sent out a 50% off coupon), and (b) I threw my hands up and felt pure joy crossing that finish line. I loved it so much I told myself I have to run it as many times as I can qualify (though I'm sure nothing is like your first Boston).

The bummer for many of us was the heat that day. I was a 8 minutes off my goal. Thus why I am running Mountains 2 Beach in less than a week's time.

The silver lining to the heat is what you'll see below.

Let's start by saying that the number of Boston qualifiers in the 2015 race was 12770.

In 2016 it was only 8994.

AG Group2015 Qualifiers2015 AG TotalPercentage2016 Qualifiers2016 AG TotalPercentage
F18-341850414444.64%1320406832.45%
F35-39902186048.49%669187835.62%
F40-44912198445.97%670193834.57%
F45-49958183252.29%744190139.14%
F50-54609120650.50%495125439.47%
F55-5930660750.41%22765034.92%
F60-6414527053.70%14134540.87%
F65-69429146.15%4410143.56%
F70-74112055.00%62722.22%
F75-7922100.00%010.00%
F80+010.00%1250.00%
M18-341673321552.04%1032304133.94%
M35-39895174951.17%523176429.65%
M40-441005210947.65%640199432.10%
M45-491251248550.34%840250433.55%
M50-54907205544.14%635203231.25%
M55-59667149844.53%471156330.13%
M60-6439289843.65%32899333.03%
M65-6917540343.42%15642137.05%
M70-745012340.65%3311827.97%
M75-79153641.67%153345.45%
M80+31030.00%4580.00%
Totals127702659848.01%89942663333.77%

I had to do a double take at the percentage of qualifiers (since most races we've analyzed are around the 10% mark) then realized, I was looking at Boston where the majority of the runners have qualified to get there. But that drop in qualification rate is very significant.

Margin2016Percentage2017Percentage
<1 minute5464.28%4695.21%
1-2 minutes6104.78%4975.53%
2-3 minutes6485.07%4875.41%
3-4 minutes6264.90%4625.14%
4-5 minutes5894.61%4645.16%
5-10 minutes281022.00%206122.92%
10-20 minutes402631.53%274730.54%
20> minutes291522.83%180720.09%
Totals127708994

2015 Squeaker Pack: 23.64%
2016 Squeaker Pack: 26.45%

On to the totals...

AG Group2016 Qualifiers20156 AG TotalPercentage2017 Qualifiers2017 AG TotalPercentage
F18-3446773821812.24%39603677010.77%
F35-3921171514713.98%19141509612.68%
F40-4421201450014.62%18161401112.96%
F45-4921481051120.44%19071084717.58%
F50-541331687819.35%1280722617.71%
F55-59695347120.02%607347417.47%
F60-64313143821.77%322154220.88%
F65-699145020.22%10349120.98%
F70-742112916.28%1915012.67%
F75-7932611.54%1214.76%
F80+1425.00%41040.00%
M18-3441773410812.25%33823220510.50%
M35-3921031797811.70%17471730510.10%
M40-4423741955912.14%20051842810.88%
M45-4929011657317.50%24041648214.59%
M50-5422221300317.09%18551295014.32%
M55-591460788018.53%1302819615.89%
M60-64876420520.83%861432619.90%
M65-69388174322.26%370184220.09%
M70-7411758919.86%9358615.87%
M75-792515815.82%3016917.75%
M80+53613.89%94022.50%
Totals3016520660414.60%2599120216712.86%

Boston 2016 hacked down the overall percentage. We have an 11.95% decrease in rate of qualification.

Margin2016Percentage2017Percentage
<1 minute16525.48%14725.66%
1-2 minutes16335.41%14745.67%
2-3 minutes16395.43%13655.25%
3-4 minutes14894.94%12844.94%
4-5 minutes14114.68%11874.57%
5-10 minutes633220.99%551321.21%
10-20 minutes856828.40%730628.11%
20> minutes744124.67%639024.59%
Totals3016525991

2016 Squeaker Pack: 25.94%
2017 Squeaker Pack: 26.09%

Check it out, even the Squeaker Pack got bigger.

So, what does this mean for the cutoff.

Honestly, I had to check and recheck my query because I didn't believe it.

For the 2016 qualification year, the number of runners in the races we've analyzed that achieved 2:28 or better is 26083.

That alone should tell you what you're about to read.

If you look at the table above, the total number of qualifiers thus far or 2017 is 25991.

That means we are back to square one. Even Steven!

0:00 or 0 seconds

21 comments:

  1. How many more marathons will you analyze? Or is this it? This is amazing!

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    Replies
    1. There are 8 more feeders!

      Because Berlin's data is not complete and also, it doesn't seem to be a great indicator of participation, I am thinking of doing one or two more in place of it. At some point I'll ask for suggestions. I'm thinking Eugene is a good one.

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  2. Interesting insight, as always. I'm in the same boat as you- it was my first Boston and I fell in love, but I am not BQ'ed for 2017 because I was expecting to re-BQ. Have a great race at M2B!

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  3. Great data, it was my first Boston and I stupidly assumed I'd get a big BQ at Boston. Not so much with just 32 seconds.

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  5. Runners who did not re-qualify at Boston 2016 will have another opportunity to do so until at least mid-September. How many of them that actually do so will impact the cut-off, but this is a variable that cannot be captured in any analysis. If there are enough successful re-attempts, there likely will be a cut-off, but much less stringent than last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. We have 8 more feeders to analyze. A good chunk of the re-attempters will be in those feeders. Myself included. So we will be able to capture that in the future analysis. If there are large chunks of runners re-attempting at small races, that we won't be able to see however I am doubtful lots of folks are running marathons to BQ in mid-summer. The only ones I can see as having impact are the smaller last-chance races.

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  6. Hi! My friends and I love your work and I have bookmarked you blog already because it inspires us and gives us hope especially now with your latest post. Keep up the good work and good luck in your next race :)

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  7. A big Midwest feeder (Bayshore) is going to be hot this year and I'm pretty sure blow my chance too, I'll be doing a smaller BQ again in June. This does bolster my hope though!!

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  8. Bay shore, Buffalo, Ottawa, and Vermont is going to be hot and humid this weekend. Most Boston runners who miss BQ at Boston will try again this weekend due to memorial day and last chance before "it gets hot". Seem like you have chosen the correct race to run at M2B. Good luck.

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    Replies
    1. I have been hearing that it's going to be hot in the midwest and back east. I chose this M2B only because of geography! I'll be in the 60s at the finish, is my guess. Not ideal but will still be better than even Boston. Hoping this time I have a chance.

      And also, I think this means that reattempts are not going to go that well for these other races which will likely keep the cutoff down.

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  10. Congratulations on your BQ!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!!! It wasn't easy - I suppose it never is! But only 6 weeks between marathons I think made it a little rougher than it should have been!

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  13. Watching closely. My wife is doing a last chance race in September and my good friend has a BQ at 2:22 below the QT. Fingers crossed.

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    Replies
    1. I only have 2:37, myself, so I'm again in the Squeaker Pack, though that would still have gotten me in for 2016 so I'm hoping I'm good. So far, all signs point to 2 minutes of margin being plenty.

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