Marathons: Athletes vs. Para’s!

In the 2015 London marathon, times to complete the 26.2 mile (42.16 km) course varied depending on whether the runners were elite or non-elite:

  • Elite Men:
    • 2:04:29 by Wilson Kipsang in 2014.
    • 2:03:05 by Eliud Kipchoge in 2016
  • Elite Women:
    • 2:15:25 by Paula Radcliffe in 2003.
  • Non-Elite:
    • Finishing with a time of between two and three hours in 2015 would have put you in the:
      • Top 8% of men; and
      • Top 1% of women.
    • If you made it to the end by four hours, you were in the:
      • Top 47% of men; and
      • Top 22% of women.
    • 3 hours 48 mins is the average time for male finishers.
    • 4 hours 23 mins is the average time for female finishers.
    • For men (on average):
      • 47% finish in less than 3 hours.
      • 83.8% finish in less than 4 hours.
      • 96.7% finish in less than 6 hours.

For military personnel attending the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection (AAPPS) course, commonly known as P Company, or Para recruits on the Combat Infantryman Course (Parachute), the qualification standard for the 20 mile (32.18 km) endurance march was set at:

  • 4 hours and 30 minutes or less for all.

Now, you might think that is not very fast, but you have to consider that military personnel on P Company are:

  • Carrying webbing weighing approximately 35 lbs (plus food and water);
  • Carrying a personal weapon weighing approximately 9 lbs; and
  • Traversing over severe terrain.

Trainee Para’s who complete the distance in:

  • 4 hours and 30 minutes travel at approximately 4.44 mph;
  • 4 hours travel at approximately 5.00 mph.

Run Hive has a tool which combines both an age-graded calculator and a equivalent performances calculator into one if you wish to know how your marathon time (or any other time/distance) compares with other runners.


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