2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

Regional U.S. Differences in Elite Marathon Runners
Alaina R. Wyatt*, Melissa A. White, Rebecca A. Kudrna, and Bryan J. Jovick
Dr. James Padfield , Faculty Mentor

A review of 50 of the United States' most popular marathons' race results yielded over 5000 running performances where men ran the 26+ mile course in under 3:00 (hr:min) or women ran the course in under 3:30. One marathon was included for every state in the union except Delaware (no race results found), plus the District of Columbia. Comparing the recorded home states for the runners who delivered these elite times against the non-elderly adult (age 18 - 65) population for these states (2000 US Census) indicated some states (e.g., Utah, Vermont, Dist. of Columbia) had many more elite runners than census data would predict, while other states (e.g., Oklahoma, Kentucky, Alabama) had substantially fewer elite runners than predicted. With some notable exceptions, New England and the Western states appeared to have the strongest running traditions, while the Southern and Midwestern states appeared to have the weakest.

Keywords: Marathons, Elite Runners, U.S. Regions

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 32-4
Location: VH 1000
Time: 3:00

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