By David Monti.
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

January 18, 2011

The USA Olympic Trials Marathon for women held in Houston last Saturday shattered several world records for the deepest-ever results in a women's marathon, according to an analysis by Marty Post, statistician for the World Marathon Majors.

The race, which saw 152 women cross the finish line, recorded 120 women under two hours and 50 minutes.  That's the most-ever in any women's marathon, overtaking the 1984 USA Olympic Trials which recorded 109 women under that standard.

Moreover, the race also broke the records for the most sub-2:49's in the same race (113), sub-2:48 (103), sub-2:47 (96), sub-2:46 (84), sub-2:45 (77), sub-2:44 (64) and sub-2:43 (61).  All of those previous marks, except the sub-2:43 total, were set at the 1984 USA Trials.  The previous sub-2:43 record of 58 was set at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

These depth records were made possible in part by the more inclusive nature of the women's Trials versus the men's.  The men's Trials had relatively more difficult qualifying standards (2:19 marathon, 1:05 half-marathon or 28:30.00 10,000m) which generated 158 qualifiers, 111 starters and 85 finishers.  The women's Trials --for which athletes could qualify at 2:46 for the marathon, 1:15 for the half-marathon or 33:00.00 for 10,000m-- had 225 qualifiers, 186 starters and 152 finishers.

"Best marks for place were set for places 56 thru 120," added Association of Road Racing Statisticians' Ken Young after analyzing Post's data.


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