Motivation for running a marathon is varied and sometimes elusive. Each runner has a goal – to place, hit a PR or just finish standing up. The NYC Marathon is the ultimate collection of motivations – every level of athlete doing whatever it takes to hit that goal.
We wanted to capture those stories through the lens of running data. The NYC course is a great equalizer and full of challenges (bridge!). We captured each footstep of our runners so we could share their stories. Our 34 participants who completed the race took a total of 1,354,082 steps covering a distance of 891 miles. Culminating in 20,380,919 Gs of shock. Ouch.
What We Learned
- Shock & Steps: It takes 32,000 steps to run a marathon in 3 hours. If you’re shooting for 3:30, your Fitbit may be thrilled with your step count, but we can show you exactly how much it is gonna hurt.
- Stride Rate: 180 steps/min is not a magic number
- Flight Ratio: How much you fly is more correlated to finish times than stride rate or contact time
We also profiled runners throughout the marathon with stories we could relate and aspire to. The data tells the story of how training and adaptability saw them through the mental and physical obstacles of the race, what adjustments were made to power through and where mechanics broke down. The stories are told at key milestones:
Huge thanks to TCS for supporting our research, all of our pioneers who participated and a shout out to Harry Neuhaus for connecting us with such awesome and willing participants!
Photo credit: The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority