3.pecentages are very misleading, as you said they are based on registrants not finishers.
Granted you can interpret #s anyway you choose. I’m assuming that the percentage of finishers compared to # registered probably doesn’t vary much from year to year.
B. or so many more people are using the marathon as a health goal instead of just the elite participating.
I’ll agree with this, though I don’t consider sub-3 ‘elite’. I also think that more and more people think of the marathon as something on their “things to do before I die” list.
C. after 1986 the fast people, got old & slow and their replacements decided to make money playing basketball, football and baseball
I think their replacements found other alternatives, but I highly doubt they decided to earn money playing some other sport.
I’m part of this horrible trend, I run slow even though I’m working hard at improving… I doubt I’ll ever even be sub-4, sorry to skew your stats
Horrible is a pretty strong word. I doubt Runner’s World would call it horrible. As long as you are working hard to improve – that’s all we can ask.
my kid(16) runs, but has yet to train through a summer…I’ll blame part of it on the general trend towards instant gratification, some on video games & tv…
Don’t give up hope on him yet. I never really trained consistently in high school and I loved (still do) video games.