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American women are better runners than men

picture via Runrepeat

Men are faster than women, but the largest gender marathon analysis has shown that women are better at pacing. They burnout less in the second half of the marathon. 

This is the result of analysis which covered 2,348,505 results from 6 marathons (Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London, New York, Paris) achieved from 2009 to 2019. 

By looking at the burnout %, we see that in the US women are 17.65% better at keeping an even pace throughout the marathon than men

Gender Participants 5k pace 10k pace 15k pace 20k pace Half pace
Female 334,366 0:06:02 0:06:08 0:06:10 0:06:25 0:06:12
Male 365,518 0:05:33 0:05:35 0:05:37 0:05:50 0:05:39
25k pace 30k pace 35k pace 40k pace Full pace Burnout %
0:06:43 0:06:52 0:07:12 0:07:18 0:07:01 -13.24
0:06:07 0:06:21 0:06:47 0:06:59 0:06:34 -16.08

On the global level, it’s a slightly different situation: women are 18.33% better at pacing than men.

Average pace during the 1st and 2nd half of the marathon
Gender 1st half 2nd half difference
Men 0:05:43 0:06:40 14.07%
Women 0:06:26 0:07:16 11.49%

In detail, it looks like this:    

Average pace by race split
Distance 5k 10k 15k 20k 25k 30k 35k 40k
Avg. pace men 05:26 05:27 05:31 05:38 05:56 06:08 06:29 06:41
Avg. pace women 06:02 06:08 06:14 06:26 06:44 06:52 07:09 07:13
% change men   0.31 1.21 2.07 5.06 3.26 5.40 2.99
% change women   1.63 1.60 3.11 4.46 1.94 3.96 0.92

On a global level, the top 3 countries with the smallest differences in burnout between women and men are: Belgium, Austria, Switzerland. When looking at burnout % among women running population only, the best pacers come from Finland, Belgium and Switzerland. 

About Matt Rasmussen (1532 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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