Gender Prowess

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  GTF 12 years ago.

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  • #5612

    GTF
    Member

    Are women starting to beat all the men where you live?
    As a follow-up, does the trend seem to be increasing or decreasing or remaining the same?

  • #21718

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    At the races I've been at, either to run or spectate, it's an extremely rare exception to see a woman win a co-ed race. That said, some do come awful close and every once in a while one might break through.

    I can't say whether the trend seems to be increasing or decreasing because it's so infrequent I can't even say I've seen it at a rate of once per year. However, women do seem to be moving up in the ranks. If this continues, I wouldn't be surprised to see women winning races at least a little more frequently than now. Whether that means once a year or multiple times per year, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Interesting question.

  • #21719

    Anne
    Member

    Where I live it's the pretty much the same group of people at all the races, there is yet to be a female runner that can cross the finish line ahead of the guys.

    It's very competitive among the men, we don't seem to get that many competitive females at local races.

  • #21720

    Zeke
    Member

    Carrie Tollefson was 2nd in a 5k recently.  If Ryan Kleimenhagen hadn't shown up, she'd have won the whole thing. 

  • #21721

    Anne
    Member

    Zeke, did you get to see her run?

  • #21722

    Mark
    Member

    The only races that I have seen/heard of women winning are the ultra type races. Example: The Badwater Ultra marathon from Death Valley to Mt Whitney.

    Mark

  • #21723

    sueruns
    Member

    rare, and I'm going to say it'll become even more so.  With guys like Chuck Engle showing up at smaller locales to get a win, it's just not going to happen that often. 

  • #21724

    Zeke
    Member

    Zeke, did you get to see her run?

    Yeah, I was at the end of a long run.  They were on an out-n-back course, so I saw her twice. 

  • #21725

    jtpaten
    Member

    This isn't indicative of anything, but I'm still impressed with Tracy Stewart's third-place overall finish at the Grand Island Trail Marathon in late July. In a thunderstorm that lasted the duration of the race, the 27-year-old from Golden, CO, finished in 3:10. She wasn't too far back from the winners who finished a few seconds apart around 2:52.

    On the other hand, at Lakefront on Sunday, I noted that I finished 140th overall and 134th male. I find it very surprising that only six women beat my modest time of 3:17.

  • #21726

    sueruns
    Member

    This isn't indicative of anything, but I'm still impressed with Tracy Stewart's third-place overall finish at the Grand Island Trail Marathon in late July. In a thunderstorm that lasted the duration of the race, the 27-year-old from Golden, CO, finished in 3:10. She wasn't too far back from the winners who finished a few seconds apart around 2:52.

    On the other hand, at Lakefront on Sunday, I noted that I finished 140th overall and 134th male. I find it very surprising that only six women beat my modest time of 3:17.

    are you really that surprised?  Like the discussion we had a few weeks ago about AL's, the numbers coming out of the Milwaukee area seem gender-skewed.  I find it impressive that with the size of Lakefront and no invitees that 3:17 “only” gets you 134th!! (esp. with Chicago coming up).  If you compare it with Green Bay which invites regional runners that time would have had you in the top 100 men.  Looking at the numbers I was less so surprised by the females lack of depth (actually 2 WI females <3 hours is great news) than the number of males in that "not quite a podium spot" area.  There were a heck of lot of 2:30-2:50 men!! 

  • #21727

    jtpaten
    Member

    No, I guess I'm not surprised by the lack of depth among the top women running Lakefront. I did note that the top female finisher of the Twin Cities Marathon, held on the same day, finished her race a few seconds faster than the male overall winner of Lakefront (Marla Runyan, 2:32:15; Paul Laeseke, 2:36:26). But TCM also served as the USA Marathon Championship and offered serious prize money to the winners. So that's an apples to oranges comparison, isn't it? And I was already off the topic ….

  • #21728

    GTF
    Member

    Well, it seems to be a (slowly) growing trend in the area where I live.  In the local fall marathon a couple of years ago an elite foreign female runner – based here for training – ran the race as a training run prior to racing at LaSalle Banks Chicago and was gaining ground on the lead male but, for whatever reason (warmdown before the finish line, told to back off by uber respectful coach), ended up around two minutes behind in second.  This year, however, another locally-based elite foreign female dominated the same race, finishing about six minutes up on the second runner, a male, and ostensibly in the context of a training run (with a payday).  I am unsure if the prize money had been reduced for this year and the fact that there is now (finally) a viable race in a few weeks in a nearby city to compete for entrants might also be an issue.  It still seems more than a little strange that no local males who could be closer to – if not ahead of – the first woman would show up but then it might just simply be a symptom of the cultural shift away from competition and towards mere participation.  The gap between elite and mid-pack may have grown so great that the best local non-pro men are now creeping back towards the pro women as they simultaneously advance.  As if to confirm the trend, this past weekend there was a local 5K with 200-odd entrants where a female with a foreign-appearing name won the overall while reeling off deadly 6:00 miles. 

    I have no idea who Chuck Engle would be, but I do believe that Tracy Stewart used to post to this forum, years ago.  I believe she was also tantalizingly close to being an OT marathon qualifier for 2004 and should be able to get it for 2008; a talented, tough runner indeed.

  • #21729

    Wilson
    Member

    Pretty rarely here–in fact, the top women are generally far behind the relative level of the men. The general rule of thumb when comparing relative times is that men are about 10-12% faster, here it's more like 20 to 25% for road races. If Christine Clark got back into it, she could probably place very well in most open races and even maybe win some.

    Did I see that a woman won overall at Boulder Backroads marathon?

    An exception in these parts has been high school girls. One of the local girls teams is ranked top 10 or 15 in the nation. Thier top 5 (who can run 18s or low 19s for xc 5k, 30 sec faster on the track) could probably make top 7 of just about any of the schools in the state.

  • #21730

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Wilson, I recently got an e-mail from a friend who has a kid in middle school c-c and shared a similar story. Her son's team has a 6th grade girl who's the fastest kid on the team. She said it's incredible to see her run so relaxed and look back like she's wondering where everyone is.

  • #21731

    Layne
    Member

    If you go here, scroll down, and type in Chuck Engle you'll understand the previous statement immediately.
    The list is worth a thousand …..
    http://www.marathonguide.com/

  • #21732

    GTF
    Member

    Well, that guy would have likely been beaten by the top woman at the recent marathon I mentioned above, too.  8)

  • #21733

    Wilson
    Member

    Wilson, I recently got an e-mail from a friend who has a kid in middle school c-c and shared a similar story. Her son's team has a 6th grade girl who's the fastest kid on the team. She said it's incredible to see her run so relaxed and look back like she's wondering where everyone is.

    We see much the same here. At 6th grade girls are as fast or faster than boys, and many girls peak at 9th or 10th grade whereas boys often don't peak until 19 – 26. Often the best women don't peak until later. This must drive college recruiters somewhat crazy.

    Back in the old homestead Libbie Hickman was pretty dominant at local races a several years ago, where she won a few and placed very very high in some big races like the Colorado Run when it was still professional. For a while she was running faster than Jon Sinclair when he was still a nationally competitive masters.

    What's interesting is that we've seen this resurgence in high school and college-level distance running over the past 7 – 10 years, but unless they are at the very top, many (men and women) don't keep it going at a high level. 

  • #21734

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    What's interesting is that we've seen this resurgence in high school and college-level distance running over the past 7 – 10 years, but unless they are at the very top, many (men and women) don't keep it going at a high level. 

    Probably a whole other topic but that is an interesting thing to note. I think some of it has to do with the fact that expectations have changed over the decades. I've heard people telling me that, in the 70s and early 80s, people were encouraged to live their dreams, no matter what they were. Now, once you get out of school, you're encouraged to get a job and do “the responsible thing”. I heard from someone who, believe it or not, had a less impressive resume than me when graduating college in the 70s. His parents and all his friends encouraged him to get a part time job and focus on his running for nearly a decade after that before starting his career. When I graduated, that wasn't even an option. The only option was to get a good job, start my career, and put running behind me. Of course, I've done all I could to keep running as near the forefront of my life as appropriate given the rest of my life but I sometimes wonder, if I graduated college 20-25 years earlier, would I have been encouraged to see where I could take my running?

    I should point out that I'm not bitter about the decisions I have made. I did in the end make the decisions myself and I'm more than willing to live with the decisions I made for myself. However, to deny that atmosphere influences our decisions would be pretty naive.

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