Today is April 16, 2018, better known as Patriots’ Day to those from Connecticut and Massachusetts. The biggest celebration of Patriots’ Day is the Boston Marathon, which has run every Patriots’ Day since 1897 to commemorate the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Even though I have never run a marathon, let alone the Boston Marathon, I wanted to see who was.
What does your gender, age, country of origin, or physical ability (or disability) say about your performance? Are you more likely to finish if this is your first time running in the Boston Marathon (i.e. mental and emotional over physical abilities?) Let’s look at some statistics from 2017:
By the Numbers: 2017 Boston Marathon Runners
The bar chart above shows that about 45% of Boston runners are female and the line-graph shows that they have an average age of about 40, some 5 years younger than their male counterparts.
What is more interesting in the below graph is we can see a greater proportion of women between the ages of 20 and 42, compared to men, but runners 42 and older are more men than women.
Did you know that the only division to finish the marathon with a perfect completion percentage was the 80+ female age group? The lone runner, an 84-year-old from Santa Cruz, California, churned out a steady official time of 6:04:07.
Next, a look at places of origin. Does where you come from factor into how you are placed?
There were 91 countries represented in the 2017 Boston Marathon. The large majority (20,000+) came from the United States and about 1,800 came from Canada. After these two countries, there were 23 countries represented below with at least 50 runners participating.
As we look at the United States, below, we see that the largest city with participants is, unsurprisingly, Boston.
Finally, I would like to take the combination of running the Boston Marathon for the first time and whether or not you have a disability. We have all seen the inspiring stories of runners with missing limbs or other physical disabilities still in the race, family members pushing their loved ones in wheelchairs across the finish line, and veterans carrying flags as they run. Does the emotional and psychological factor weigh in on getting to the finish line? After all it is Patriots’ Day!
Although my data does not answer the question of which man and woman possess the best times to finish, it shows a picture of who, what and why they run.
Everyone has a story why they run and this data shows no matter your age, origin, sex, or physical abilities, runners still put one foot in front of the other.
Bird, Hayden. “The 2017 Boston Marathon by the Numbers.” Boston.com, The Boston Globe, 18 Apr. 2017.
Boston.com Staff. “Live: The Latest News from the 2017 Boston Marathon.” Boston.com, The Boston Globe, 17 Apr. 2017.
Smyth, Barry. “The Runners of the Boston Marathon 2017 – Running with Data” Medium, Running with Data, 19 Apr. 2017.