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Where's the Berlin Wall?

by Press Release
Wednesday 16th September 2015

Strava reveals hardest part of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON using runner GPS data

Strava reveals hardest part of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON using runner GPS data

Photos © Strava / Antton Miettinen

Strava uploads from 2014 reveal that runners’ efforts start to show in the final few kilometres of the race. Uploads highlight that the 39-kilometre split is the slowest point in the race with an average moving time of 6:01 min/km.

Strava 2014 Berlin marathon GPS uploads reveal where athletes hit their wall

Runners hit their wall with the slowest average moving time of 6:01 min/km recorded at kilometre 39, just after the official course crosses the old Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz at kilometre 38.6.

This is 46 seconds slower than the overall average pace per kilometre. Insights reveal the shift in pace happens after runners get pumped up by music, entertainment and spectators between kilometres 35 and 36. They then pay the price soon after and drop their pace by 19.5% between kilometres 37 and 38. 

The change in average moving pace between runners’ fastest kilometre, kilometre 16 at 4:38 min/km and kilometre 39 represents a 29.8% slow-down. Similar to Strava uploads analysed for the 2014 marathon in London, where runners hit their slowest average recorded pace at mile 25 or kilometre 40, as expected this shows that the race is hardest in the final stages.

Running smart comes with age 

Further investigation reveals that Strava members in the 30-39 and 40-49 age group show their experience and run a faster race than their younger contemporaries. They finish with an average time of 3:41:48 and 3:43:38 respectively, in contrast to the younger 20-29 age group, who clock 3:48:16. In terms of pacing, this equates to a pace of 5:09 min/km for 30-39’ers and 5:12 min/km for 40-49’ers, compared to slower pacing of the 20-29’ers at 5:19 min/km. 

Strava reveals hardest part of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON using runner GPS data

Photos © Strava / Antton Miettinen

The fastest nations

Known as one of the fastest and most popular marathons in the world, a global community of runners gather in the city of Berlin every year. Out of the 59 nationalities who uploaded their race on Strava, Swiss runners clock the fastest average finish time of 3:24:00, followed 8 minutes later by Norway and Spain crossing the line at 3:32:00. The French follow closely in third place at 3:34:00, whilst German runners clock a sub-four hour average at 3:58:00 on their home ground. The vast majority of the nationalities represented also achieved the average finish times goals they set themselves on Strava pre-race. 

Keep up the pace

The average pace for a runner on Strava during the 2014 Berlin Marathon was 5:15 min/km, with a 0:45 seconds per kilometre difference between men and women. 

Crossing the line

Based on the uploads, the average marathon finish time of a runner on Strava is 3:45:48. There is a 32 minute gap between men’s and women’s average overall times, with men crossing the line at an average time of 3:41:40 and women at 4:13:27.

Strava has millions of members with over 100,000 new members signing up per week. The data uploaded gives unique insights into marathon running.

Paul Niemeyer, German Country Manager for Strava, commented: “We made use of the Strava Running Races functionality to gain these unique insights from our global running community and hope that it helps Berlin marathon runners to prepare themselves ahead of the race. Strava’s community continues to expand globally, so we are able to share unique insights into the trends and behaviours of marathon runners.”

For more information, please visit the Strava Running Races page for the 2015 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON: www.strava.com/running-races/2015-berlin-marathon 


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