Blog

Segment Ranking

March 27th, 2015  |  By Carl


On mtecresults.com you can now view your rank for each segment of a race.  For triathlons and other multisport events you can now compare rankings per individual segment (how fast was your bike time compared to others, what place did you finish the swim in your division).  For running events you can see how you compared to others between two timing locations.  For example, your gender ranking between a 5k and 10k split.

Tri ranking by segment


Passed / Passed By, what does it mean?

April 24th, 2013  |  By Carl


Q: What does the passed / passed by count I see in my results mean?

On Mtec Results we calculate the number of athletes you have passed, and the number of athletes who passed you between each timing point of a race.

 

Q: Why aren’t we tracked every step of the way on the course?

The present timing technology isn’t yet to the point where we can track every step of every athlete accurately and affordably.  GPS trackers are common now, but not cheap enough to be disposable, not small enough to be unobtrusive, and not precise enough to be used for timing purposes.  However, with the current technology we are given a huge amount of information to draw conclusions from.

 

Q: So I understand what the numbers mean, but what can they tell me?

They can tell you quite a bit.  If you notice that you are being passed by more athletes later in the race, it is a good sign you went out too fast.

If you passed a lot more athletes then you were passed by then maybe you could have started further up in the pack.  If you were passed by a lot more people then you passed then maybe the next race you should start closer to the back of the pack.

In a triathlon or other multi-sport event, this count can give you an idea of how well you performed in each leg – if you were passed by many more people on the bike leg than the run or swim, that’s a good place to look to improve.


Mtec Results statistics from last 3 years

April 11th, 2013  |  By Carl


We’ve been hosting race results on www.mtecresults.com for three years and I thought it would be fun to do some analysis on the data we’ve collected so far.  Since the website launch, we have timed 1244 races, 614,832 athletes and recorded over 2.5 million individual times.

I thought a comparison of races to see which have the most competitive fields would be a good place to start my analysis.  Comparing races based on average time alone isn’t so interesting – a 5K with an average time of 30 minutes might not seem so impressive on face value, but if most of the runners are older then 50 years old then it’s a different story. Similarly, an all female race is more impressive then an all male race with the same average time.

By comparing races using their average age-graded percent we account for time differences between differing genders, ages, and race distances.  As a short (and somewhat accurate) summary, a runner’s age graded percent is how well their time compares to the world record for that same distance age and gender.  90% and higher is considered world class, 80% and higher national class and 70% and higher regional class.  In this way we can compare a 24-year-old male’s time to a 56-year-old female’s time and get a feel for who had a better performance.  (More to come on age-grading in a future post. In the meantime, more details can be found here.)

To calculate the age-graded percent for an entire race, we take the average of all the runners age graded percentages.  This lets us compare how competitive the field of one running race is to another.  I’ve excluded any ‘elite only’ races or races requiring a qualifying time as they would skew the results for this particular report. Here are the top 10 most competitive races we’ve timed based on age graded average:

Race Distance Finishers Age Graded Percent
2010 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 117 71%
2012 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 234 70%
2011 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 165 69%
2013 Irish Run St. Paul – St. Paul, MN 8K 546 65%
2012 St Patrick’s Day Human Race – St. Paul, MN 8K 686 62%
2011 Perham Harrier Races – Perham, MN Half Marathon 58 62%
2012 Ron Erno Lake Minnewaska Warmup – Glenwood, MN Half Marathon 89 62%
2011 Langford Races – St. Paul, MN 4 Mile 77 61%
2012 Red River Run – Cold Spring, MN 10K 86 61%
2010 Hennepin-Lake Classic – Minneapolis, MN 10K 232 61%

As you can see, the Rice Street Mile has a very impressive field, considering the age-graded average is that of a regional class runner.   You’ll also notice that all of the races in the top 10 are less then 1,000 participants.  It makes sense that it is easier to draw in a core group of very fast runners, but hard to scale that event up and maintain it’s average.

When we break look at the top 3 age graded percent races by the most popular distances we have:

Race Distance Finishers Age Graded Percent
2010 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 117 72%
2012 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 234 70%
2011 Rice Street Mile – St. Paul, MN 1 Mile 165 69%
2011 Water Street Mile – Eau Claire, WI 1 mile 234 57%
2010 Water Street Mile – Eau Claire, WI 1 mile 260 57%
2012 Red River Run – Cold Spring, MN 10K 86 61%
2010 Hennepin-Lake Classic – Minneapolis, MN 10K 232 61%
2012 Crosslake Dam Run – Crosslake, MN 10K 79 60%
2012 Pillsbury Push – Kerkhoven, MN 10K 69 59%
2012 Independence Day Races – Minneapolis, MN 10K 149 58%
2012 Trail Loppet – Minneapolis, MN 5k 25 57%
2012 Frozen 5K – Spicer, MN 5k 182 57%
2011 Perham Harrier Races – Perham, MN 5K 65 57%
2011 Frozen 5K – Spicer, MN 5K 97 57%
2012 Firecracker Run – Menomonie, WI 5K 281 55%
2011 Perham Harrier Races – Perham, MN Half Marathon 58 62%
2012 Ron Erno Lake Minnewaska Warmup – Glenwood, MN Half Marathon 89 62%
2011 Rochester Half Marathon & 5K – Rochester, MN Half Marathon 409 59%
2012 New Prague Half Marathon & 5K – New Prague, MN Half Marathon 354 58%
2011 Pure Water Days – Chippewa Falls, WI Half Marathon 144 57%
2012 Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon – St. Joseph, MN Marathon 288 57%
2011 34th Annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon – Lincoln, NE Marathon 1191 56%
2012 Run for the Lakes – Nisswa, MN Marathon 105 56%
2011 Stillwater Marathon – Stillwater, MN Marathon 246 56%
2010 Columbus Marathon – Columbus, OH Marathon 4140 55%

Comparing the highest age graded average to the lowest for each distance, we see that other then the one mile distance, the difference between the fastest race we’ve timed and the slowest is about one order of magnitude – regional class vs. national class for example. The wide range between the most and least competitive one miles might be the difference between a small competitive one mile race and a charity one mile run/walk.  The marathon distance the general level of training and preparation is much higher which could explain why the spread of most to least competitive marathon is much smaller.


That’s all I’ve got for now.  Check back for more posts looking at comparing how events have changed in size, demographics, and time over the last three years, seeing how demographics affects race performance, explanations of age grading and features and improvements to come on mtecresults.com.

Got an idea for an upcoming post?  Something you think it would be interesting to research?  Feedback?  Send it our way.

Carl