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Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon. Was 2009 Tougher?

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It’s tough to say definitively whether one course is tougher than the other.  Analyzing race performance is a reasonable measure.  However, one could argue that with the mainstream appeal of the race it may attract more runners who are not regular runners but who train for and run this one big race.  That would have an impact on the mean (average) and median (midpoint) times.  But it would not impact the number that finish under a certain absolute time (such as 1:30 or 1:40).  Unless for some reason the race attracted fewer of the fastest runners.

I reviewed a few basic facts about the results of the 2009 Citizen-Times Half Marathon versus the 2008 race.  Here is a snapshot …

  Total Finishers Under 1:30 Under 1:40 Median Time
2008 770 26 82 1:59:18
2009 894 10 58 2:06:28

While the 2009 race had 16% more finishers, the number who finished under 1:30 and under 1:40 dropped dramatically and the median time was up more than 7 minutes.

One note about the winner — Michael Green.  He smoked the race this year in 1:11:07.  The last time he ran this race was 2007 and he also smoked the course then.  But he did it in 1:07:43.

Based on a fine suggestion by Ken Miller, I decided to look at runners who did the Half Marathon in 2008 and 2009.   This was an automated comparison, it wasn’t someone eyeballing all these.  They were matched by name and any differences in the way the name was written means they would not have been matched (“Dennis Duffy” and “Dennis L Duffy” would not have matched).

The process uncovered 184 runners who did the race in 2008 and 2009.  Within that group, 100 improved with an average improvement of 7:21 (keep in mind that some people may have variances of 14 seconds and other 40 minutes or more).  Only 84 experienced a decline in their 2009 time compared to 2008.  The average decline was 7:13.

Here are all the details.  Pardon me if there are any name errors or omissions.  These are in ascending order based on 2008 finish time.

Name 2009 Time 2008 Time 2009 Slower (time change) 2009 Faster (time change)
HECTOR SANCHEZ 1:25:47 1:23:13 0:02:34  
DONALD WITSELL 1:27:41 1:29:01   0:01:20
ADAM BURKE 1:32:01 1:30:12 0:01:49  
BART SMITH 1:32:25 1:32:39   0:00:14
JAMES STORK 1:36:59 1:36:13 0:00:46  
JESSE WARREN 1:36:38 1:36:43   0:00:05
DARRELL NEWBY 1:39:38 1:37:24 0:02:14  
NATASHA SHIPMAN 1:33:28 1:37:37   0:04:09
KAREN OSTERGAARD 1:39:02 1:39:15   0:00:13
MARK SEVIER 2:30:59 1:39:25 0:51:34  
JEREMY KIMMEL 1:46:29 1:39:25 0:07:04  
JOHN SLOOP 1:38:05 1:39:45   0:01:40
STACEY GRIFFITH 1:37:00 1:40:21   0:03:21
GENE SUMMEY 1:34:20 1:41:07   0:06:47
BILL BRANSON 1:35:58 1:42:15   0:06:17
ALYSSA DILLOW 1:42:33 1:42:40   0:00:07
HARDY WARD 1:46:08 1:42:41 0:03:27  
KELLY WADE-ARNEL 1:38:25 1:43:01   0:04:36
DAVID SMITH 1:42:08 1:43:02   0:00:54
GREGORY DILLS 1:46:46 1:43:40 0:03:06  
MONICA CALHOUN 1:53:19 1:44:27 0:08:52  
ANDY RUDINS 1:43:35 1:44:41   0:01:06
MATTHEW MENNE 1:53:45 1:45:22 0:08:23  
GEVONY LAUGHLIN 1:54:56 1:46:03 0:08:53  
JIM HUMBLE 1:46:32 1:46:03 0:00:29  
ANNA PIGMAN 1:46:00 1:46:12   0:00:12
REBECCA ROCKWELL 1:52:38 1:46:14 0:06:24  
PAUL CLARK 1:38:57 1:46:46   0:07:49
LINNY MOORE 1:47:11 1:48:06   0:00:55
MICHAEL MURPHY 1:39:38 1:48:21   0:08:43
JAY WILLIAMS 1:57:44 1:48:37 0:09:07  
CLAYTON DE LOSIER 1:43:18 1:48:56   0:05:38
KRISTOFER THOMPSON 1:44:30 1:49:00   0:04:30
PATRICIA PINNER 1:50:07 1:49:15 0:00:52  
EVE MARIE SMITH 1:51:38 1:49:35 0:02:03  
BILL MCCARTER 1:50:43 1:50:53   0:00:10
CHERRY KENT 1:46:01 1:51:00   0:04:59
NEIL NEWBERRY 1:47:41 1:51:20   0:03:39
JOEL STORROW 1:51:43 1:51:41 0:00:02  
BRIAN CARLINNIA 1:47:36 1:52:21   0:04:45
HAROLD KESSLER 1:58:32 1:52:42 0:05:50  
JOHN JOHNSON 1:51:25 1:53:37   0:02:12
LAWRENCE BURKE 1:48:45 1:53:45   0:05:00
LISA HART 1:54:17 1:53:54 0:00:23  
TODD MORSE 1:58:44 1:54:00 0:04:44  
JEFF HAMMAKER 1:52:32 1:54:01   0:01:29
LYNN CANFIELD 1:56:08 1:54:32 0:01:36  
BRIAN MOORE 1:43:40 1:54:33   0:10:53
TRACI MALONE 1:59:31 1:54:44 0:04:47  
JEANNIE RAMSEY 2:02:24 1:54:47 0:07:37  
GREN CLARK 1:45:36 1:54:58   0:09:22
BECKY STRAHLER 1:54:04 1:55:02   0:00:58
KEN MILLER 1:47:28 1:55:07   0:07:39
JEFFREY HARDIN 2:16:34 1:55:10 0:21:24  
KENNETH MCKEE 1:54:35 1:55:14   0:00:39
DICK REAVES 1:59:46 1:55:37 0:04:09  
LINDA BALL 2:03:47 1:56:28 0:07:19  
NICKI INGLE 1:53:14 1:56:28   0:03:14
LAUREN WOOD 1:53:14 1:56:28   0:03:14
JIM BISHOP 1:54:16 1:56:46   0:02:30
PETER RIPMASTER 2:04:04 1:56:52 0:07:12  
SHANNON WILDES 1:54:32 1:57:13   0:02:41
JENNIFER MARKS 1:48:07 1:57:19   0:09:12
PAUL ALONGI 1:58:25 1:57:20 0:01:05  
SHIRLEY SMITH 1:49:41 1:57:24   0:07:43
JOSEPH EMISON 2:00:56 1:57:47 0:03:09  
RUSS BORDEAU 1:59:08 1:57:49 0:01:19  
GARRY SHERMAN 1:47:41 1:57:52   0:10:11
HELEN BLALOCK 1:54:31 1:58:06   0:03:35
AMANDA JACOBS 1:58:24 1:58:14 0:00:10  
WILLIAM SUTTLES 2:34:59 1:58:16 0:36:43  
LESLIE CARREIRO 1:59:43 1:58:37 0:01:06  
BRIAN GREENE 1:57:36 1:58:51   0:01:15
HOLLIE GREENE 1:57:36 1:58:51   0:01:15
FERNANDO SALAZAR 1:54:48 1:58:58   0:04:10
JOHN OLESIUK 2:06:10 1:59:01 0:07:09  
KAREN CHAVEZ 1:56:57 1:59:04   0:02:07
JASON MARKS 2:08:01 1:59:08 0:08:53  
BRENT WILLIAMSON 1:59:04 1:59:29   0:00:25
MARIAN SIMPSON-DEJONG 2:02:13 1:59:29 0:02:44  
LISA LANEY-KENDRICK 1:41:41 1:59:33   0:17:52
KATRINA FRONT 2:20:04 2:00:01 0:20:03  
BEN FISHBACK 1:55:39 2:00:01   0:04:22
DAVID WIGGINS 1:53:22 2:00:24   0:07:02
THOMAS JOHNSON 1:58:26 2:00:38   0:02:12
PETER CHU 2:00:36 2:00:49   0:00:13
RICHARD BETZ 2:01:45 2:01:17 0:00:28  
JOHN PAYNE 1:58:25 2:01:17   0:02:52
KIMBERLY KIRSTEIN 2:06:17 2:01:24 0:04:53  
JERRY PETERSON 1:49:56 2:01:28   0:11:32
BETH GRUMBLES 2:14:54 2:01:35 0:13:19  
BILL FINLEY 1:55:13 2:01:36   0:06:23
ROBERT GOODWIN 2:03:04 2:02:20 0:00:44  
BRIANA PLAUTZ 2:06:24 2:02:27 0:03:57  
FRANCES TACY 1:58:26 2:02:46   0:04:20
KATHY MENDEZ 2:08:11 2:02:57 0:05:14  
MARK WILLIAMS 2:17:52 2:03:15 0:14:37  
SANDRA HOGAN 2:06:14 2:03:41 0:02:33  
CAROL ZUCCA 1:59:49 2:04:21   0:04:32
AUDRA HAUSSER 2:15:33 2:05:00 0:10:33  
ESTEVE COLL 2:02:11 2:05:24   0:03:13
TODD GOTHBERG 1:28:45 2:06:15   0:37:30
WENDALL TAYLOR 2:20:27 2:06:22 0:14:05  
KIM WILLIAMS 1:57:11 2:06:43   0:09:32
KIM SCHWARTZ 2:01:35 2:07:26   0:05:51
CAROL BYRD 2:09:29 2:08:34 0:00:55  
JAY HILOW 1:59:28 2:08:42   0:09:14
FRANCIE BLACK 2:04:12 2:08:43   0:04:31
GARY SHEETZ 2:05:23 2:09:00   0:03:37
BARRY ZIMMERMAN 2:05:22 2:09:02   0:03:40
TAMMIE ZIMMERMAN 2:06:09 2:09:03   0:02:54
TIM KRIEGEL 1:59:16 2:09:10   0:09:54
MARK GALYEAN 2:21:49 2:09:15 0:12:34  
DICK GRAY 2:08:11 2:09:29   0:01:18
GAIL BEILEY 2:17:50 2:09:30 0:08:20  
ISRAEL RODRIGUEZ 1:53:09 2:09:32   0:16:23
CATHLEEN HIGGINS-PISTOR 2:08:22 2:09:44   0:01:22
KARISSA FENWICK 2:15:12 2:09:44 0:05:28  
JOE NETTLES 2:19:01 2:10:53 0:08:08  
SALLY BENNETT 2:43:28 2:10:56 0:32:32  
SABRINA RAMSEY 2:05:02 2:11:06   0:06:04
ELIZABETH MORGAN 2:18:43 2:11:31 0:07:12  
ANNE CALLIHAN 2:04:12 2:11:32   0:07:20
CHELE WHALEN 1:52:00 2:11:51   0:19:51
MELISSA ORR 2:14:34 2:11:57 0:02:37  
MOLLY GRAY 2:08:54 2:12:16   0:03:22
CAROL HERMANN 2:17:59 2:12:55 0:05:04  
JOHN BURCHFIELD 2:13:02 2:13:11   0:00:09
LEAH MATHEWS 2:22:51 2:14:12 0:08:39  
KATIE WILES 2:22:48 2:14:53 0:07:55  
MIKE MCDANIEL 2:19:05 2:14:58 0:04:07  
TERESA COWAN 2:16:19 2:15:13 0:01:06  
STEVEN ZVENGROWSKI 2:17:39 2:15:25 0:02:14  
MELINDA BRADFORD 2:19:25 2:15:54 0:03:31  
SUSAN HINCHEY 2:10:10 2:15:55   0:05:45
BYRON ALDAY 2:15:24 2:16:15   0:00:51
EVA SAXON 2:18:05 2:16:15 0:01:50  
TIM FRANK 1:57:32 2:16:28   0:18:56
RACHELLE SORENSEN-COX 1:55:38 2:16:45   0:21:07
HENRY CAPLAN 2:19:47 2:16:55 0:02:52  
JEFFREY JAPP 2:27:37 2:17:21 0:10:16  
JOHN KIVINIEMI 2:31:14 2:18:54 0:12:20  
MICHELE KIVINIEMI 2:31:15 2:18:54 0:12:21  
BETH HAMPTON 2:20:09 2:19:00 0:01:09  
LAUREN WARD 2:10:20 2:20:01   0:09:41
CHARLOTTE KUNTZ 2:22:49 2:20:18 0:02:31  
ROBERT DRURY 2:16:09 2:20:23   0:04:14
JOSH CALLOWAY 2:28:48 2:21:25 0:07:23  
JESSICA SHIRLEY 2:03:48 2:22:26   0:18:38
ROBERT ERRICO 2:27:46 2:22:44 0:05:02  
DAWN ROBERTS 2:23:45 2:22:47 0:00:58  
ROBIN JOHNSON 2:36:20 2:23:18 0:13:02  
ZEB BROWN 2:46:54 2:23:50 0:23:04  
ADAIR CATES 2:23:26 2:23:51   0:00:25
MICHAEL LEPAGE 2:45:21 2:23:57 0:21:24  
MELISSA WILLIAMS 2:19:40 2:24:09   0:04:29
DONNA MORGAN 2:13:36 2:24:11   0:10:35
JESSICA TAYLOR 2:06:48 2:25:16   0:18:28
MERCEDES VOLK 2:32:42 2:25:46 0:06:56  
DONNA COPE 2:17:00 2:25:51   0:08:51
JAMIE ANDERSON 2:39:31 2:26:00 0:13:31  
BRENDA COOTER 2:19:18 2:26:53   0:07:35
SUZANNE KLONIS 2:28:02 2:29:00   0:00:58
PETER CIACCIO 2:16:01 2:29:29   0:13:28
MARTHA MARSHALL 2:39:19 2:31:39 0:07:40  
MELINDA BLOSSER 2:38:29 2:31:57 0:06:32  
JOHN PAYNE 1:58:25 2:32:41   0:34:16
MARY LOU 2:37:57 2:32:57 0:05:00  
SARAH TARPEY 2:36:07 2:33:30 0:02:37  
TERRI LECHNER 2:36:18 2:33:30 0:02:48  
MARIANNE PESTOFF 2:32:30 2:34:00   0:01:30
JOHN PESTOFF 2:32:29 2:34:00   0:01:31
BURKE JONES 1:53:54 2:35:03   0:41:09
JAIME MCKEE 2:36:43 2:35:33 0:01:10  
ROBIN HINSHAW 2:15:35 2:43:56   0:28:21
KELLY LARSON 2:43:02 2:47:10   0:04:08
CHARLES CAMPBELL 2:48:57 2:48:24 0:00:33  
ANDREE HAXBY 2:38:38 2:49:30   0:10:52
NICHOLE ALEXANDYRE 2:43:18 2:52:06   0:08:48
LAUREN CARLISLE 2:46:54 2:54:02   0:07:08
BILL REDMOND 2:24:44 2:55:24   0:30:40
SID BUSCH 2:47:00 2:55:44   0:08:44
ANGELEIGH DORSEY 2:53:06 3:00:42   0:07:36
TERESA CLARK 2:27:00 3:03:35   0:36:35

 

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