Running Times

Tables and References

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Below are tables of record run-times for the marathon (26.2 miles --- about 42 kilometers) --- for various ages (in years) --- for men and for women.

Tables may be added for other distances. Some potential sources of data follow.


USA records for many different distances and ages can be found here, at runningUSA.org.

World records for many different distances, but NOT different ages, can be found here, at iaaf.org (International Assoc. of Athletic Federations).

World records for many different distances, AND for different ages, can be found here, at atleticamaster.it (Italian).

World and USA records for many different distances, AND for different ages, can be found here, at usatf.org (USA).

World records for many different distances, in different Master's age groups, can be found here, at mastersathletics.net (Austria).

National records for many different countries can be found via links here, at masterstrack.com.


The tables below are meant to give one an idea of how one's run times compare to elite runners --- and to help set realistic goals.

Generally, for recreational runners who are not pushing themselves to the limit week after week, it would be realistic to aim for a race time of a little less than twice the race times of the elite runners.

If one has not run a particular distance, there are web sites that have calculators to estimate run-times for one run-distance given a run-time for another distance. Here are a few calculators.

Of course, if you plan to run a distance significantly longer than you have ever run before, you had better train for it. Otherwise, the calculators will yield highly optimistic results.

For inspiration, a Who's Who of Running is available here at runtheplanet.com --- in alphabetical order by last name.

Table of MARATHON Record-Times :

(Source: Runner's World magazine, Feb 2009, pp. 66-71)

NOTE that these are times of elite runners ---
like Kenyans and Ethiopians.

1. Age (years) 2. MALE world-record marathon time 3. FEMALE world-record marathon time
9 years-old 2:56:57 ---
10 years-old --- 2:58:01
15 years-old --- 2:29:41
16 years-old 2:15:07 ---
18 years-old --- 2:22:38
20 years-old 2:06:33 ---
24 years-old --- 2:19:39
25 years-old 2:05:50 ---
29 years-old --- 2:15:24
30 years-old 2:05:37 ---
35 years-old 2:03:39 2:21:30
40 years-old 2:08:46 ---
42 years-old --- 2:26:51
45 years-old 2:14:16 ---
50 years-old 2:19:29 2:31:05
55 years-old 2:25:56 2:52:14
58 years-old --- 3:03:43
60 years-old 2:38:15 ---
63 years-old --- 3:14:56
65 years-old 2:41:57 ---
69 years-old --- 3:35:54
72 years-old --- 3:46:03
73 years-old 2:54:48 ---
80 years-old 3:43:27 4:36:52
85 years-old --- 5:40:52
86 years-old 4:47:50 ---
90 years-old --- 8:53:08
92 years-old 5:40:04 ---

NOTE that fastest marathon record-times, for men and for women,
occur around 25 to 35 years old --- about 30 years old on average.

For men, sub-2:10 times have been posted by 20 to 40 year olds.

For women, sub-2:20 times have been posted by 20 to 40 year olds.

It seems that over-40 is past prime years for the marathon.
But note that men have posted sub-3-hour times into their 70's.


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Page was created 2009 Jan 11. Changed 2009 Jan 12.