2014 Battle of the Sexes

Race Navigator. February 1st, 2015
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570,000 runners. 1,200 marathons. 26.2 miles. 2 sexes. Who reigns supreme over the 2014 marathon season: men or women? Race Navigator takes a stab at answering this question by compiling the race data from over 1,200 U.S. marathons and pitting the men and women head-to-head in a face-off for racing dominance. The jury is still out as to which gender won, so help us find out by sharing this article and talking some trash with your running buddies online. Let the battle begin!

2014 Battle of the Sexes Marathon Infographic

The Percentages

Men have yet again outnumbered women at the finish lines by coming in at 56% of total race participants. However, women continue to increase their participation rate year-after-year, and in 2014, that trend continued with women gaining another full percentage point.

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men 59% 59% 58% 57% 56%
Women 41% 41% 42% 43% 44%


Boston and NYC Qualifiers

Men have clearly outnumbered women in terms of total qualifiers for Boston (30,200 vs 24,100). However, the tables have turned in NYC where women beat the men 5,400 to 4,500. Plus, if you look at the number of qualifiers as a percentage of total finishers (we label it as ‘Percent of Finishers’ in the info-graphic to the left), the women prevailed for both Boston and NYC! So if any of you are keeping score in this battle, women win 3 out of the 4 in this match-up.

World Records

This one might go to the men. Dennis Kimetto of Kenya set a new record this year coming across the Berlin Marathon finish line with a blazing fast time of 2:02:57. If you don’t have a calculator handy, that equates to an average pace of 4:42 minutes per mile. And while a record wasn’t set for women in 2014, their fastest time this year still came in at 2:20:18 which is an astounding 5:21 minutes per mile pace.

Finishing Times

Curious where you stand in the ranks? Check out the info-graphic to the left to see the 2014 Finish Time distribution. And if you want to see the averages back to 2010, take a look at the table below.

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men 4:26 4:24 4:27 4:27 4:31
Women 4:53 4:51 4:54 4:54 4:56
Overall 4:36 4:34 4:37 4:37 4:42

The Conclusion

While we’d really like to give a definitive answer to who won 2014’s Battle of the Sexes, it’s up to you to decide who took the crown of laurels. Or better yet, find out what your friends think by sharing these fun stats via social media. But before we end this report, let’s pay tribute to all the single runners out there and provide some statistics that Cupid himself would endorse. Let’s hope that the stats below will prove helpful to all of you guys and gals looking for that special running partner into the 2015 racing season.

Top Men/Women Marathons

Are you single and looking to increase the odds this year? Pay attention because these races are for you. The Winter Trail Marathon in Indiana had the highest percentage of male runners (86% of 35 participants), while the Leading Ladies Marathon in South Dakota had the highest percentage of female runners (100% of 125 participants). And if you can’t make it to either of those races, check out our Top-5 list below.  Then be sure to lace up, dress to impress, and hopefully run into your match at your next marathon race!

Highest % of Male Runners:   Highest % of Female Runners:
Marathon Percent   Marathon Percent
Winter Trail Marathon 86%   Leading Ladies Marathon 100%
XTERRA Marathon Of Trail Races 83%   Kenai River Marathon 70%
Rock/Creek Scenic City Marathon 83%   Ghost of Tacoma City Marathon 67%
Ellerbe Springs Marathon 81%   Running with the Bears 64%
The Dam Full Marathon 80%   Dog Lake Marathon 62%


* List only includes races with 25 or more finishers.