1234

Interesting race results from 1978. (Read 923 times)

    Was just looking a the race results from our July 4th local running club race and saw some pretty interesting numbers.

     

    In 1978, George W. Bush ran in the 3 mile race and Willie McCool (astronaut that died on the Challenger) ran in the same race so they still have those results posted.

     

    Here's the 1978 results - http://wtrunning.com/wp-content/themes/deluxe/fc/results/1978.txt

     

    Here's this years results - http://wtrunning.com/wp-content/themes/deluxe/fc/results/FC2012-ALL.txt

     

    I was impressed that George W. ran a 6:44 pace which I consider pretty decent, but I was more impressed with the rest of the results.  That 6:44 pace put George W. in 36th place out of 65 finishers, which had him in the back half of the finishers.  If he had run the same 6:44 pace this year that would have put him in 11th place out of 134 finishers putting him in the top 10%.

     

    In 1978, the first 20 runners out of 65 finishers ran under a 6:00 pace.  In this years race the winner ran a 6:00 pace on the dot.

     

    In 1978 a 9:00 pace would have put you at 62nd out of 65 runners, 95.4% of the field beat you.  In this years race that would have put you at 53rd out of 134 runners, only 39.5% of the field beat you, you finished ahead of the majority of the runners.

     

    This race now has a 10 miler that some of the better atheletes run that they didn't have in 1978 (the winner of the 10 mile race this year had a faster average pace than the winner of the 3 mile), but it was still surprising to me to see the dramatic difference in what the average runner was back then and what the average runner is now.

     

    Lots more people participating, which I think is a very good thing, but I was mostly surprised by the fact that there were a lot more good runners back then compared to now.  The race was a bit warm this year but not bad.  I really doubt the weather could explain away the dramatic differences in the results anyway.

     

    Just thought that was pretty interesting. 

     

    Nathan

    Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

      Impressive that future Astronaut Willie McCool ran 16:02 - great time for a 17 year old.  High achiever from the get-go apparently.

        I wish my last name was McCool.

        HF #8206

         

          A couple more thoughts.  Looking at the places where the runners were from in 1978 it looks like there were a lot more folks traveling farther to attend a race than there are now.  Several of those runners were traveling 100+ miles to run in that race.  Maybe there were fewer races available to run in so the races that they did have attracted more talent?

           

          At first I thought that there were more younger runners back in 1978 than now, but looking over the results of the top 20 only I think it is pretty comparable.  If you add in the back of the pack it slants the average age higher though.  The oldest runner in 1978 was 47 and he finished 61st.  There were more 50+ year olds running this year than there were 30+ year olds in 1978. 

           

          The race this year was the 43rd annual running of the Firecracker run which made it the longest running race in Texas I think they said.  2 years ago it almost got canceled with 8 inches of ran the night before the race, but they were able to change the route to keep it above water and kept the streak alive.

          Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27


          Feeling the growl again

            Interesting, thanks for sharing.  There have been several data sets from marathons showing this as well...the number of sub-2:22 marathoners out there in the late 70s/early 80s is mind-boggling...but it is nice to see it from a more "average" race.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              The winner's name is pretty sweet. I mean, he has a ways to go to live up to it, but at least he won.

              Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
              We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                Pretty large conclusions to draw from a pretty small sample size.

                  Hey--that race is less than two hours from me. Maybe I'll do it next year!

                  HF #8206

                   

                  DoppleBock


                    I do think back then there were only a fraction of the number of races - shorter or marathon available as we have now.  Very few marathons were around in 1978.  I am guessing the number of shorter than marathon races are similar ~ Maybe 10-20% of the total we have now.  This would have concentrated talent to races and kept untalented from driving too far.  Also back then it was common to be a hobby jogger that did not race.  Now every hobby jogger enters many events.

                     

                    Back in 1979 

                     

                    1)  More serious runners

                    2)  Many less races - Conentrated the serious runners into a race

                    3)  Hobby joggers - Hobby jogged and did not enter races

                    http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                    2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                     


                    day after day sameness

                      A while ago I was looking for results from a 1987 race and found the same things you note from 1978.  The field was faster and deeper, it appears there were fewer joggers like myself racing back then?

                       

                       

                      The depth of speed through 1987's field is pretty impressive -- we don't see that level pace throughout the field these days

                       

                                               1987                2011

                                              ====               ====

                      Winner           24:34               24:20

                      #10                 26:03               29:29

                      #50                 29:45               34:27

                      #100               32:02               38:31

                      #200               35:07               43:21

                      #300               38:17               47:19

                      #400               41:35               1:02:50

                       

                      Finished at #381 in 1987 in 40:46, same time in 2011 would have finished #143.

                       

                      Finished at #81 in 2011 in 36:55, same time in 1987 would have finished #262, mid-pack at best.

                      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


                      You'll ruin your knees!

                        Back in 1979 

                         

                        1)  More serious runners

                        2)  Many less races - Conentrated the serious runners into a race

                        3)  Hobby joggers - Hobby jogged and did not enter races Hobby Jogging had not been invented yet...

                        fify

                        ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                          fify

                           

                          Oh, yeah? Where's that Farrah Fawcett/Lee Majors magazine cover again?

                          HF #8206

                           


                          Interval Junkie --Nobby

                            Too bad you can't filter for people who run 3 days a week or more on average.   My hunch is that would eliminate over half of the 2012 field, but less than 20% of the 1978 field.

                            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                            Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                              Too bad you can't filter for people who run 3 days a week or more on average.   My hunch is that would eliminate over half of the 2012 field, but less than 20% of the 1978 field.

                               

                              A filter for obesity would also be enlightening, methinks.

                               

                              Americans, on average, are 20 lbs heavier than they were 20 years ago. Twenty pounds is estimated to add ~40s per mile to your 5k time, so that would account for 2 minutes of difference right there.

                                Was just looking a the race results from our July 4th local running club race and saw some pretty interesting numbers.

                                 

                                In 1978, George W. Bush ran in the 3 mile race and Willie McCool (astronaut that died on the Challenger) ran in the same race so they still have those results posted.

                                 

                                Here's the 1978 results - http://wtrunning.com/wp-content/themes/deluxe/fc/results/1978.txt

                                 

                                Here's this years results - http://wtrunning.com/wp-content/themes/deluxe/fc/results/FC2012-ALL.txt

                                 

                                I was impressed that George W. ran a 6:44 pace which I consider pretty decent, but I was more impressed with the rest of the results.  That 6:44 pace put George W. in 36th place out of 65 finishers, which had him in the back half of the finishers.  If he had run the same 6:44 pace this year that would have put him in 11th place out of 134 finishers putting him in the top 10%.

                                 

                                In 1978, the first 20 runners out of 65 finishers ran under a 6:00 pace.  In this years race the winner ran a 6:00 pace on the dot.

                                 

                                In 1978 a 9:00 pace would have put you at 62nd out of 65 runners, 95.4% of the field beat you.  In this years race that would have put you at 53rd out of 134 runners, only 39.5% of the field beat you, you finished ahead of the majority of the runners.

                                 

                                This race now has a 10 miler that some of the better atheletes run that they didn't have in 1978 (the winner of the 10 mile race this year had a faster average pace than the winner of the 3 mile), but it was still surprising to me to see the dramatic difference in what the average runner was back then and what the average runner is now.

                                 

                                Lots more people participating, which I think is a very good thing, but I was mostly surprised by the fact that there were a lot more good runners back then compared to now.  The race was a bit warm this year but not bad.  I really doubt the weather could explain away the dramatic differences in the results anyway.

                                 

                                Just thought that was pretty interesting. 

                                 

                                Nathan

                                 

                                 

                                Hey, Nathan, where did you find those old results?

                                 

                                I finished first in the 3 mile in 1988 (actually a little farther than 3 miles because the first two or three of us at the front had to double back after turning down the wrong road).  I have written down that my time was 17:16, but it would be nice to see the full results if they are available somewhere.

                                 

                                 

                                MTA:  Ah, after further review, it looks like you probably got the results from the West Texas Running Club site, but the results seem to be missing from 1979-2003.

                                1234