In preparation for 2010 london marathon I read the post race commentary of 2009 London marathon and in a bbc article I discovered a sad statistic that shows the london marathon finishing times have gotten slower since the marathon begun in 1981.
The top of the pack (the elite runners) they have gotten faster and faster but the rest of the field has gotten slower and slower.
In 1982, a time of two hours 40 minutes would have placed you 457th. Last year, it would have been good enough for 184th – this despite the huge increase in competitors.
Interesting Case of Mathew Parris
Matthew Parris, the Times columnist and former MP, finished in 1985 in the best time ever by an MP – an impressive two hours, 32mins, 57 seconds, for 385th out of about 20,000. In 2008 london marathon, this would have placed him 83rd out of 34,000. In 2007 London marathon (a hot day, admittedly), his time would have been good for 46th.
What this illustrates is the decline in the number of good runners who are clocking times between 2 hours 20 minutes up to 2 hours 50 minutes.
To read the full article visit the BBC Running site