Sunday, September 11, 2016

Last 2017 Feeders: Lehigh Valley and Erie Marathon

We're at the end of the list of marathons I have in my list of feeders for the analysis. Lehigh Valley and Erie. And they followed the trend of most of the marathons this year. Making this update somewhat anti-climactic.

Lehigh Valley has the notoriety of being the race that had no intermediate mats in 2013, allowing what is the most fascinating story of probable marathon cheating I've seen in my lifetime (not so much the cheating part but the behavior of the accused cheater). After 2013, the race management added several timing mats along the course.



Erie at Presque Isle is a super flat, double loop course on a peninsula that usually has good weather (though can be windy) and a high number of qualifiers.


Lehigh Valley


AG Group2016 Qualifiers2016 AG TotalPercentage2017 Qualifiers2017 AG TotalPercentage
F18-342914819.59%3515722.29%
F35-39117315.07%95815.52%
F40-44186726.87%106814.71%
F45-4994918.37%94420.45%
F50-54113729.73%53514.29%
F55-5951729.41%32015.00%
F60-6411010.00%1425.00%
F65-692633.33%1425.00%
F70-74000.00%010.00%
F75-79000.00%000.00%
F80+000.00%000.00%
M18-343313724.09%131717.60%
M35-39199719.59%4805.00%
M40-44178420.24%5776.49%
M45-49237829.49%139114.29%
M50-54106515.38%137417.57%
M55-59123732.43%135523.64%
M60-6442317.39%62128.57%
M65-692728.57%41723.53%
M70-74020.00%1333.33%
M75-79010.00%010.00%
M80+000.00%000.00%
Totals20693821.96%14598114.78%

Big drop: nearly 30% fewer qualifiers.

Margin2016Percentage2017Percentage
<1 minute188.74%1611.03%
1-2 minutes167.77%1913.10%
2-3 minutes167.77%106.90%
3-4 minutes178.25%128.28%
4-5 minutes2512.14%53.45%
5-10 minutes4823.30%3826.21%
10-20 minutes4220.39%3624.83%
20> minutes2411.65%96.21%
Totals206145

My goodness, the Squeaker Pack in this race is huge, both years. 44.66% vs 42.76%. Lots of folks eking in under 2 minutes this year (I'm guessing the weather might have had something to do with it).

Erie Marathon


AG Group2016 Qualifiers2016 AG TotalPercentage2017 Qualifiers2017 AG TotalPercentage
F18-345521725.35%5619528.72%
F35-394312035.83%278531.76%
F40-443413325.56%3410632.08%
F45-494410442.31%3310033.00%
F50-54246934.78%235938.98%
F55-5972825.00%52619.23%
F60-6461931.58%72133.33%
F65-694757.14%1425.00%
F70-74020.00%030.00%
F75-79000.00%000.00%
F80+000.00%000.00%
M18-344816828.57%5818132.04%
M35-393212326.02%1710017.00%
M40-442811225.00%169816.33%
M45-494511937.82%5112540.80%
M50-545111743.59%3411928.57%
M55-59368144.44%257832.05%
M60-64185632.14%124228.57%
M65-69153148.39%93129.03%
M70-7431030.00%2540.00%
M75-79000.00%010.00%
M80+000.00%000.00%
Totals493151632.52%410137929.73%

16.84% fewer qualifiers.

Margin2016Percentage2017Percentage
<1 minute448.92%317.56%
1-2 minutes5511.16%276.59%
2-3 minutes6312.78%348.29%
3-4 minutes367.30%338.05%
4-5 minutes275.48%245.85%
5-10 minutes11322.92%12931.46%
10-20 minutes10320.89%9222.44%
20> minutes5210.55%409.76%
Totals493410

Squeaker Pack: 45.64% vs 36.34%.

These races definitely have a last minute feel just looking at the under 5 minute margins. I also wonder if people decided they didn't need to try to extend their margins and DNS'd as the cut off is looking much better than last year.


Final Totals


AG Group2016 Qualifiers20156 AG TotalPercentage2017 Qualifiers2017 AG TotalPercentage
F18-3453414200112.72%45344083811.10%
F35-3924661689614.60%22091710312.92%
F40-4424341607515.14%20781577713.17%
F45-4924791172621.14%21701220617.78%
F50-541548773220.02%1462825817.70%
F55-59816388521.00%721399318.06%
F60-64362161122.47%366173021.16%
F65-6910951321.25%11955621.40%
F70-742114015.00%2116812.50%
F75-7953016.67%1224.55%
F80+1425.00%41040.00%
M18-3448113750512.83%38253569910.71%
M35-3923941984012.07%19701914910.29%
M40-4427292152012.68%22512036411.05%
M45-4932861824718.01%27691828915.14%
M50-5425751453417.72%21501456714.76%
M55-591705889419.17%1489927116.06%
M60-641023473621.60%964487519.77%
M65-69465197423.56%439211420.77%
M70-7414165521.53%11465817.33%
M75-792517314.45%3018815.96%
M80+73917.95%104323.26%
Totals3474322873015.19%2969622587813.15%

14.53% decrease in qualifiers.
13.45% decrease in the rate of qualification.

Margin2016Percentage2017Percentage
<1 minute19555.63%16935.70%
1-2 minutes19575.63%17015.73%
2-3 minutes19715.67%16325.50%
3-4 minutes17735.10%15075.07%
4-5 minutes16674.80%13844.66%
5-10 minutes732721.09%640521.57%
10-20 minutes968527.88%822227.69%
20> minutes840824.20%715224.08%
Totals3474329696

Squeaker Pack: 26.83% vs 26.66%

Pretty much the same year over year.

Final bit of data: for the 26 races, taking all the finisher for the 2016 qualification window achieving 2:28 or better, we get a total number of 29689

29689 > 29696

The total number of 2017 qualifiers regardless of margin, is still less. This implies no cutoff, and anyone achieving their age group standard will be in.

In reality?

Really hard to say. The buffer in this calculation/model is at 173 which is a very small percentage of the whole pie. Easily gobbled up by lightly more demand.

The other interesting theory I've heard is that last year was the 120th running and, therefore, in addition to high qualification numbers, there was higher demand. So the demand of last year might be mucking up the numbers a bit.

My personal feeling is that if you have 1:00 or more, you have a pretty good chance. If you have more than last year's margin, you're almost certainly in (and, boy do I hope that's true because I have only 9 seconds more than last year's cutoff).

Now we* begin the agonizing wait 2+ week wait.

* we is really the "Squeakers" - there is near zero chance it doesn't open up for a second week of registration 


44 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the work on this. Best of luck making it to Beantown - I'm sure you will!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I sure hope so. I'm also looking forward to continuing so I have several years of data. The more years of data, the better the prediction should get (in theory).

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    2. Thanks for all your hard work on this! Best of luck ot both of us with our 2:37 squeak. In just over a week we can register! That will be an exciting day for many of us!

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    3. Thanks. I've been following along for months with my BQ -2:31. Best of luck to all BQ's this year.

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  2. Just wanted to add my thanks as well for all your work putting together this very interesting and informative analysis. I cannot believe the registration period has already arrived.

    Have a great Boston 2017!

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  3. Thanks for your amazing efforts in putting this together. I qualified last weekend at the Chicagoland Last Chance BQ.2 race with a 1:35 buffer. Best of luck to all. Lets hope everyone with a BQ time gets in :)

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  4. Yes, much appreciated for putting this together. I'm at 2:41 so we'll find out soon enough. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for all your passion and effort on doing this, it kept me entertained all these waiting months prior to registration. I qualified last January against the odds (not fully encouraged by my coach and injured), the buffer is 2:36 and what really helped me was I'm moving to another AG, so the chances on making the cut grew throughout the year, and your work is realy awesome. Good luck to everyone and let's keep in touch to find out who's and who's in too!

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  6. Thanks for your amazing efforts in putting this together. I qualified last weekend at the Chicagoland Last Chance BQ.2 race with a 1:35 buffer. Best of luck to all. Lets hope everyone with a BQ time gets in :)

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  7. Thanks so much for taking this huge task Chacha! I do hope we all get to meet you in Boston in 2017. Did y'all hear about the freight train that held up some of the runners at Via marathon yesterday? If it's not the heat of 2016 its a train! Crazy thing is the RD denied a train crossed the marathon course. http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=7677400&page=1

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  8. Thanks so much for all the great insight. I am sitting at 2:07 buffer with fingers and toes crossed.

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  9. I missed qualification this past weekend @ last chance in St Charles for for 2017, BUT I did qualify November 2015 at NYC and have a 1:08 so I am definitely a 'squeaker' 😂 I have a little hope based on your assessment! Fingers crossed for all the squeakers and so happy races are identifying ways to rid the cheaters!! 🎉

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  10. Thank you!! I've been eagerly catching up on all your analyses since qualifying with 2:28 to spare at Santa Rosa last month. Fingers crossed!

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  11. Another *thanks*!!! for doing all this work for us. Like many I've been watching your site for months, and it has made me feel a lot better about my -3:45.

    Best of luck to everyone.

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  12. Thank you for doing this amazing data analysis, Chacha! I have been checking this site regularly since I got my -1:49 last May at Goodlife in Toronto. This is my 3rd squeaker BQ. I really hope I can get in this time. Best of luck to all of us squeakers!

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  13. I want to echo what others have said with a "Thank you" for all your hard work on this project.
    I have a 2:22 margin but am trying to not get my hopes up too high. I feel that last year's cutoff has driven up demand significantly. I think more people are realizing they had better register and run it when the numbers are good (like this year) since they may not have that chance again. I also the demand may have increased with the recent announcement about Katherine Switzer running.
    Still -- fingers crossed!

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    Replies
    1. That would be interesting if people cared about Katherine Switzer running. I mean, she's crazy inspiring but that certainly would not be my deciding factor (since it involves 3 plane tickets, hotel, car rental to visit relatives, etc). My feeling is that it may be a draw for locals but anyone living further away may not care.

      I think you are in good shape with 2:22. I mean, certainly, I would feel much more comfortable if I had 5 minutes, but it doesn't feel as bad as last year when the predictions where 2:15. Honestly, I would be surprised if it were much over 1 minute.

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  14. Well, you have given me hope. Best of luck to you!

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  15. Thanks for doing this. Hopefully, this will free you up to join us in the Boston forum again :)

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    Replies
    1. I've been lurking recently! hahahaha, maybe I'll join in soon again.

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    2. @Katie it's the RW forums - they have sections for different races like Boston, Chicago, etc.

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  16. Although I was in the group who registered Monday, I was a squeaker for the 2012 race (BQ-1:54) and if an analysis like this was around back then it would have given me much more peace of mind (as it was, after the 2011 registration fiasco I spent months wondering if my BQ would be "DQed"!) You've done such a great job with this-its fun looking at numbers and telling a story from them. Here's hoping this story has a happy ending for you and all 2017 qualifiers!

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  17. Thanks for the feedback! I plan on doing it for 2018 too. I think with several years of data, the variables like demand and geography will make the prediction a little more accurate.

    I was a "Squeaker" last year too - though with 2:47 and seeing predictions of 2:15 I was agonizing (my first qualification too). This year I'm still not feeling 100% settled but not as bad as last year!

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  18. I want to add my thanks for doing this. Very fun to follow! Any chance you can analyze the number of entrants posted in the entry list each day and give us daily predictions?

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    1. Sorry, I have a full time job, a 2 year old, and training for CIM so I don't have the bandwidth to do that!

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    2. Wait. What?! You are a human?! This is shocking.
      Seriously, I've been a lurker for several months and as a squeaker with 2:23 cushion, your analysis has provided me with some relief and amazement. As many others have stated, thank you for ALL of your hard work.

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    3. The Boston Marathon forum at RW has some good info on the number of entrants to date, etc. Check it out at https://goo.gl/SBg3Fl

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  19. Thank you so much for your analysis! I ran my first marathon last winter with a 2:41 cushion and have been anxiously waiting to see if I make the cut. Have been periodically checking this site. Excited to put in my bid tomorrow!

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    Replies
    1. You have -2:41? You will have to wait until Monday (just like me). Tomorrow is the folks who have 5-9:59 of margin! You can try but the system will probably not let you register with less than 5:00 :)

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  20. Thank you, chacha, for crunching the numbers and reassuring all of us on the bubble. Based on your analysis, that of bqrun, and the RW forum, I was able to relax with my 2:00 margin. I doubt it will be higher than 1:00, so this is the year to get in for anyone who has been dreaming about it for years. It will still be agonizing to wait for the acceptance. I hope we all get in and it is a zero cutoff. And further, I am hoping it remains open until the first week in October, so my friend can get in for 2017 too! Good luck to all of us, but especially you.

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  21. Came across this as I am hoping so badly to gain entry into the 2017 race! i am a squeker as well with 2:20 under the qualifying time. I just qualified this spring at my first marathon and it has always been a dream to run in Boston. This post definitely gives me hope!!

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  22. Did you see what happened a Lehigh?! A fracking train!! Unreal. I would be so pissed. Some people got royally screwed.

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  24. Well done with your analysis. I remember how nerve wracking this was for me last year. I hope there's no cutoff this year. I was a squeeker on the bubble last year, and it was the worst emotional roller coaster. I only ran one marathon this year, and the good part was I was over BQ by 60 seconds, so that was that, and I didn't have to worry all year long!

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  25. Any predictions of the cutoff ?

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  26. I have a mere 1:08 to spare. Very bubbly. Guess we'll see how it goes next week. Let's just say I'm not feeling confident.

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  27. So what is everyone thinking now that the BAA says not all qualifiers will get in? It makes me nervous but I can't believe the numers would be that off. Thoughts?

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    1. So, in the last paragraph I kind of mention that the 0 cutoff is kind tenuous. The gap there is really small - just a little bit more expected demand and it's gone and you have a cut. I am not overly surprised. I will be fairly surprised if it goes much over 30 seconds but I only have one year to data to compare. The more years I can accumulate, the hopefully better it will be.

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  28. http://www.baa.org/news-and-press/news-listing/2016/september/2017-boston-marathon-qualifier-acceptances.aspx

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  29. Thank you for all your hard work, Chacha. As I said, you give us hope and that really matters. I will follow your posts for next year's marathon. Good luck

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