Tunnel Hill Loop Again and Marathon Runner Participation Numbers
First run after the North Fork race on Saturday. Did the Tunnel Hill loop, which is quickly turning into one of my favorites for a faster run. Legs felt good, and the sore feet I experienced during the race have pretty much gone away. Time to work on my mistakes so that hopefully Steamboat will be a good performance.
Yesterday I posted a quick note on how speed work can help endurance running. Later that night I read Ian Torrence's post on iRunFar that came to the same conclusion, but with a clearer presentation. I think working the Tunnel Hill loop into my speed work will be good; right now the loop hovers at 1 hour, so pushing on this loop to get it consistently under an hour will force me to work on speed, as well as going quick on two climbs and two descents.
On another note, a new study that looked at mortality among marathon runners from 2000-2009 has some interesting numbers on overall participation in marathons. First the overall number of people participating in marathons has increased from 299,018 in 2000 to 473,354 in 2009. That is a doubling in the sport's numbers, which if you add in the incredible explosion in ultrarunning as well, bodes good for the sport down the road. Secondly, despite the increase in participation, the average
overall marathon finishing time has remained unchanged from 2000 to 2009 (4:34:47 vs 4:35:28; P = .85). I don't think this is holding true for ultrarunning, as it seems lately lots of course records are being broken, but it does give a hint to what one must run to be "above average."