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Who's faster? The Ultimate State Comparison for Marathons

Links has analysed 6 million marathon results and found Massachusetts to have the fastest runners. In their newly published report, they compare 51 states on a large number of factors based on results from 2000 to 2016. The study was conducted by Ivanka Nikolova, Ph.D. in Mathematical Analysis, and Jens Jakob Andersen, former competitive runner and statistician.

Comparison by average finish time
The Top 3 fastest states in the US for 2016 are:

  1. Massachusetts (4:20:41);
  2. D.C. (4:22:39);
  3. Vermont (4:22:57)

The fastest women are from Massachusetts (4:33) and the fastest men are from Vermont (4:08).

The slowest women are from Hawaii (5:25) and the slowest men are from Mississippi (4:57).

The fastest women from Massachusetts are faster than the men from 12 other states. The slowest men – from Mississippi, are slower than the women from 32 other states.

Comparison by Participation Stats
California has the biggest number of participants – 55,191 for 2016. The state with the least participation is Wyoming with just 148 participants.

If we take the participation index as participants per state capita the picture changes. In this case the state with the biggest participation is Hawaii with 1.46% of its citizens being marathon runners. The least enthusiastic about marathon running state is South Dakota with just 0.02% participation rate.

Change in the last 17 years
There are 4 states which have improved their finish time from the year 2000 until now. They are: Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii and D.C. All other 47 states have worsened. The state with the biggest slowdown is Wyoming.

Read the full study at

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For more information please contact:
Jens Jakob Andersen
Phone: +45 29 29 29 58