How fast are Texas marathon runners? RunRepeat ranks every state

Runners participate in the Austin Marathon and Half-marathon presented by NXP in 2017. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

How does Texas compare to other states when it comes to running marathons?

Middle to back of the pack, according to a detailed survey by the company RunRepeat, which collates reviews of running shoes.

The company this week released its “Ultimate State Comparison for Marathons,” which analyzed 5.7 million results from 3,828 marathons, each with at least 2,000 participants. To see all the data, go here.

The study includes all kinds of fun data, starting with a basic list of the fastest states in the country. The top three finishers were Massachusetts (Boston Marathon, anyone?), where the average marathon finish time in 2016 was 4 hours, 20 minutes and 41 seconds; Washington, D.C.; and Vermont. The three slowest states were Louisiana, Hawaii and Mississippi, where the average finish time was 5 hours, 8 minutes and 51 seconds.

Texas comes in at Number 39, with an average finish time of 4 hours, 47 minutes and 34 seconds.

Jaret Thornton powers up by slapping a sign along the Austin Marathon route in 2017. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Of course, since people travel out of state to run marathons, the data doesn’t necessarily reflect the speed of the runners who actually live in the state. And the list doesn’t factor in course difficulty, hills or weather conditions.

But the study website does include a handy calculator, where you can plug in a race distance, your finish time and age, and determine how you stack up against other Americans.

There’s enough data here to make your eyes roll back in your head, or at least give you something to think about on your next long run.

Separate lists look at finish times for male and female marathon runners. Texas women ranked 36th, with an average marathon finish time of 4 hours and 59 minutes; Texas men ranked 47th, with an average finish time of 4 hours and 38 minutes. (Texas men are, on average, also slower than women from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., according to the study.)

Runners participate in the Austin Marathon and Half-marathon presented by NXP in 2017. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The study also looked at the proportion of male and female participants in each state, the difference between female and male finish times, the change in percentage of female participants, the average age of marathon runners (42.7 years in Texas), and the average finish time by age group. It even identified seven states where runners performed better than their immediate neighbors – Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C.

California had the most number of marathon participants. Texas ranked third in raw numbers, but 21st when you look at that number as a percent of total state population.

Want more? The company also did a study looking at how marathon finish times have gotten slower since 1996.

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