Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A few issues regarding the 2010 Ballycotton '10'....
Just one last post to wrap up issues with this years Ballycotton '10' race....

Times over the years...
With all the talk of stats recently, I asked John Quigley of Eagle AC if he could dig out some info regarding the numbers finishing at various times in the Ballycotton '10' over the years. He duly obliged and I have compiled the chart below using the raw data that John provided.

Now the thing with any type of statistics is that you have to be careful how you interpret them. However, I think it's safe enough to say that the chart shows an obvious trend.
Note that the numbers on the left are the % of the number of finishers. The times along the bottom are the various time bands.....i.e. 60-65 minutes, 65-70 minutes and so on.
1980.......Blue....Back then, there was only 151 runners in the race but the standard was very high with well over half of the field finishing under the hour.
1990....Red......This time, there are 695 finishers but a lot of people are running sub 70 minutes.
2000....Orange....There are 1223 finishers and there is an obvious trend from a decade earlier as the times get slower.
2010....Green.....There are 2367 finishers and the times slip again.
It would be worth pointing out that data for the chart above is based on finishing times, not chip times. For some of the slower runners, it may have taken them 30 seconds to well over a minute to cross the start line and then have a congested field to deal with. This must surely result in some of the times getting slower. However, it probably doesn't explain the full extent of the slower times and the reality is that the average finish time is probably still dropping.

Chip Timing......
You may have noticed that the timing chips used this year looked a bit more flimsy than the usual variety. The reason for that is that they are disposable! The organisers are asking people not to return them by post if they still have have them.....just dispose of them. It might be worth noting that last year, people that did not run and returned their timing chips could avail of the 2 week window to get their entries in for the 2010 event. We have no idea what criteria the organisers will use for entries for the 2011 Ballycotton '10' but it's probably safe to say that anyone who had entered this year and did not run will not be able to use the 'return chip' option.

Just a reminder that I have been updating the links to all of the various photo galleries all week. If you didn't notice then scroll down to that post and have a look.


Stephen Barry said...


Just wondering about your stats there - you say the average time is slowing which is unquestionably true but are the average times of say the first 50-100 finsihers or so slowing? I think its inevitable as participation increases that the finising times will slow on average as there are less elite runners as a % of the field to keep the average low.

Your piece, whether intentionally or not, seems to lament the slowing average but I would suggest this is merely an inevitable byproduct of the race's popularity. If the average of, say, the first 50 finsihers was trending upwards over the years as well then that may well be an issue.

Denis Sheehan said...

There is another way to look at this.I compared 1990 with 2010 and found the following.

Female participants increased from 14% to 35%

Veteran runners increased from 33% to 45% of participants

Male runners under 40 made up 60% of competitors in 1990 but in 2010 amounted to 37% of the overall numbers.

I took the M>60 as an example, in 1990 there were two competitors, the first finished in 73minutes but in 2010 there were 25 and the first five were all under 73 minutes.

So while our elite times may drop our participation/and times in older age groups could be seen as improving.