Marcs Blog 3. Types of marathon runners

September 24, 2014

In any marathon, there’s seemingly a small group of elite runners who finish the race in a shade over 2 hours, and then there’s the rest of us. Whats the difference between them and the rest of us?

The Elites

These guys and girls are the professional runners, many of whom don’t have to sit at a computer all day and work. Running is their job. When we’re putting in the time at the office, these folks are out running and sleeping to recover from running. And when we’re on our way home from work, they’re probably out running again.

Elite Age-Groupers

This group tries to hang with the fast crew (see above) for as long as possible. They generally work a full- or part-time job and they’re able to pound out 6-minute miles on a consistent basis over long distances and are usually the ones who win the local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.

The Top-Thirders

For lack of a better term, the top-thirders finish in, you guessed it, the top third overall. They run faster than the average time, which at the recent New York City Marathon was 4:28. They’ll do anything to earn that pb, and are in all likelihood hooked up to gadgets like GPS watches, heart-rate monitors and the like.


This is what The Everyman calls the 4- to 5-hour crowd. They’re dressed in a mix of gear, tech shirts and sometimes no shirts at all. They’re the average people doing something great, in this case running 26.2 miles. It could be their first marathon or their 15th. They make up the largest portion of finishers and the finish line corral is overwhelmed with them as they receive a finisher’s medal, a bottle of water and a finishers t-shirt.

The Just-Finishers

This group is usually the last third of marathon finishers. They started their training plan months earlier with one goal: Get to that finish line, no matter how long it takes to get there. Some people run the entire course and finish strong, while others are forced to spend much of the race walking because of pain or an injury. In other cases, heart warming stories emerge from this group.

Where do you fall on this list?