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2022-How the World’s Fastest Male and Female Runners Compare

How the World’s Fastest Male and Female Runners Compare

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Have you ever wondered as a runner how men and women compare in their world records for everything from a 100-meter race to a marathon and beyond?

A simple way to make this kind of comparison is to take each of the popular race distances, get the world-record time for men and the world-record tiime for women for that distance, and compare those two times to get a percentage advantage for one group versus the other group for that distance.

Based on the latest statistics, mostly from IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), here is how much world-record males are faster than world-record females. Each difference is calculated as 100% times(female duration minus male duration) divided by female duration. For example, at the 100-meter distance, Usain Bolt’s world record is 9.50% faster than Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record.

Initials: The letter “m” refers to meters (“metres”). The letter “K” refers to kilometers (“kilometres”). “10,000 m” refers to track races; “10K” refers to road races.

  • 9.50% in 100 m: 9.58 (U. Bolt, 2009) vs. 10.49 (F. Griffith-Joyner, 1988)
  • 11.20% in 200 m: 19.19 (U. Bolt, 2009) vs. 21.34 (F. Griffith-Joyner, 1988)
  • 10.24% in 400 m: 43.18 (M. Johnson, 1999) vs. 47.60 (M. Koch, 1985)
  • 12.04% in 800 m: 1:41.11 (W. Kipketer, 1997) vs. 1:53.28 (J. Kratochvilova, 1983)
  • 11.87% in 1500 m: 3:26.00 (H. El Guerroujm 1998) vs. 3:50.46 (Y. Qu, 1993)
  • 13.19% in 1 mile: 3:43.13 (H. El Guerrouj, 1999) vs. 4:12.56 (S. Masterkova, 1996)
  • 10.31% in 3000 m: 7:20.67 (D. Komen, 1996) vs. 8:06.11 (J. Wang, 1993)
  • 12.39% in 5000 m: 12:37.35 (K. Bekele, 2004) vs. 14:11.15 (T. Dibaba, 2008)
  • 12.31% in 10,000 m: 26:17.53 (K. Bekele, 2005) vs. 29:31.78 (J. Wang, 1993)
  • 12.34% in 10K: 27:01 (M.K. Kogo, 2009) vs. 30:21 (P. Radcliffe, 2003)
  • 12.01% in 15K: 41:29 (F. Limo, 2001) vs. 46.28 (T. Dibaba, 2009)
  • 13.73% in 20K: 55:21 (Z. Tadese, 2010) vs. 1:02.57 (L. Kiplagat, 2007)
  • 13.76% in Half Marathon: 58:23 (Z. Tadese, 2010) vs. 1:06:25 (L. Kiplagat, 2007)
  • 11.21% in 25K: 1:11:50 (S.K. Kosgei, 2010) vs. 1:19.53 (M.J. Keitany, 2010)
  • 12.53% in 30K: 1:27:49 (H. Gebrselassie, 2009) vs. 1:38.49 (M. Noguchi, 2005)
  • 9.22% in Marathon: 2:03:59 (H. Gebrselassie, 2008) vs. 2:15:25 (P. Radcliffe, 2003)
  • 5.26% in 100K: 6:13:33 (T. Sunada, 1998) vs. 6:33:11 (T. Abe, 2000)

Two interesting patterns are worthy of note. First, most of the male records were set after most of the corresponding female records were set. Second, the smallest three differences are at the shortest distance (100 m) and the longest two distances (marathon and 100K).

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How the World’s Fastest Male and Female Runners Compare

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How the World’s Fastest Male and Female Runners Compare

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