The “Best Frequent Marathoners” lists for 2015 have been posted. These are the work of Dave Trautman, a professor at The Citadel. Dr. Trautman has been publishing these lists every year since 2009. In his own words, they’re an attempt “to identify what I call the best frequent marathoners; those runners who a) run a lot of marathons, and b) do so reasonably well.”
Each runner is assigned a score that’s essentially a summation of the difference between their times and the median times for runners of the same gender in the same marathons. If a runner has a race where they’re slower than average, it doesn’t help their score, but they aren’t penalized for it.
Here are the lists of the top women and men in 2015:
For more detail, Dr. Trautman’s full post can be found here.
My name is on the list of men for the fifth straight year. I was surprised to make the list this year. Since May, my times have been much slower than they used to be, so I didn’t expect to have many races in which my time was faster than the median time for men. I think I made this list largely on the strength of races I ran earlier in the year. I also scored well in races that were part of a series, such as the Day of the Dead Series. Since most of the runners there were racing for several consecutive days, times were slow. I wasn’t at as much of a disadvantage running with injuries.
I know about half the runners on these lists. When you race frequently, you get to know some of the other runners who race frequently. Many of them are members of the 50sub4 Marathon Club. We occupy a niche at the intersection of runners who race frequently and runners who are at least moderately fast. It’s nice to have some recognition for that. I’m pleased to see Vincent Ma’s name at the top of the men’s list. I saw Vincent at several races this year. He’s been strong this year.