Chicago Marathon 2011 Results Analysis

1. Average finish times by age group 

More than 20,000 men finished the 2011 Chicago Marathon; the average male finishing time was 4:29:27. The average finish time of the more than 15,000 women finishers was 4:55:54, and the overall average for all finishers was 4:40:53.

Which major cities had the fastest runners at the 2011 Chicago Marathon? Of these 25 major cities with 10,000 runners (7,000 from Chicago), the Top 5 Fastest cities were New York City, Portland, Minneapolis, Arlington VA and Washington DC. Notable mention goes to cities with many fewer finishers but impressive times, e.g., Annapolis (3:47), Philadelphia (4:07)and Anchorage (4:14).

Which states were fastest? Slowest? Top 5 fastest states were North Dakota, Wyoming, Oregon, Delaware and Vermont. Slowest runners were from Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas and Alabama. The average time for Illinois was the slowest overall, but that is due, of course, to a significant number of first-time marathoners whose times skew results.

Which marathon is harder: New York City, Chicago or Marine Corps? For most age groups, New York runners deliver the fastest times. Chicago is second, and Marine Corps Marathon is the hardest in most age groups, though in many age groups, average finish times aren't significantly higher than Chicago.

5. Predicting Your Marathon Finish Time After Running 13.1 Miles. We all know the feeling: reaching the 13.1 mile point in a marathon and wondering how fast we can run the rest of the marathon. Undoubtedly, most of the nearly 36,000 finishers in the 2011 Chicago Marathon at one time or another asked themselves: how fast will I run the second half of the race?

We did the analysis for all finishers, by age group, and the answer is: for the average male marathoner from age 16 to 55, your split for miles 13.1 to 26.2 will = your split for the first 13.1 miles plus 21 or so minutes. For women aged 16 to 49, double your 13.1 mile split and add about 18 minutes.

We calculated the number of finishers and average finish time for each of those 6000 cities and embedded them into eight interactive maps: North America, Chicago Area, Midwest, East Coast, South Central, West Coast, Europe, and the entire globe. The North American example is shown below. To see all maps, visit Chicago Marathon Global Finisher Interactive Maps.

North America