Women are bad marathon runners

Issue 31 - weekend newsletter

You read it right.

Women don’t stand a chance before men when it comes to 26 miles.

Eliud Kipchoge finished the Berlin Marathon 2018 at 2:01:39. His Vienna timing of running a marathon under 2 hours (1:59:40) isn’t considered as a record because standard competition rules for pacing and fluids weren’t followed. Anyway, what a human feat it was. Kenya just mints long-distance runners.

Brigid Kosgei, another Kenyan is the current marathon world record holder for women running in a mixed-sex race, with a time of 2:14:04 achieved on 13 October 2019 at the Chicago Marathon.

Kosgei, above, broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record for the women’s marathon by 81 seconds.

Brigid shattered Paula Radcliffe’s world marathon record, which no woman had come close to in the past 16 years.

“I kept saying, ‘Tomorrow is my day,’” she said. “I wanted to be the second Kipchoge — the Kipchoge for women. I focused on that.”

To beat the world record, her average mile time would need to be under 5 minutes 9 seconds. She ran an average of 5:06 per mile.

Rare achievement but nowhere close to the timing men have.

But… but...hang in there. Before you curse me, hear me out.

Women, you might be a bad marathon runner but what happens to you when it comes to Ultramarathons. You go berzerk. So can I assume that you open your wings post 26 miles?

(Sorry the title was intentional, just for fun :))

Earlier last year, Jasmin Paris a British ultramarathon runner became the first woman to win a grueling 268-mile nonstop race along England's mountaintops, crushing the course record by 12 hours despite stopping along the course to pump breast milk for her baby.

Jasmin Paris finished the Montane Spine Race along England's Pennine Way in 83 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds — almost 10 miles ahead of the second-place runner, according to race officials.

Emily Baer is ranked eighth at 2007 Hardrock 100 while stopping to breastfeed her baby. She beat 492 other competitors, stopping at every aid station to breast-feed her infant son.

Kami Semick, the badass mother likes to run mountain trails with her daughter riding along in a backpack.

Kami Semick | Ten Years Later and a Fresh Outlook on Running

She won every race she entered in 2009, including two world championship events in the 100k and 50k, and earned UltraRunning’s Ultrarunner of the Year title for the second year in a row. After calling it quits, she is once again making a comeback at 50.

“If nobody knows I’m there [at a starting line], I’m so happy about that, because then there’s no expectations,” she says. “I’m trying not to be attached to my history as a runner, and I don’t love the spotlight, but the reason I wanted to talk is because I’m curious about other women’s experiences. If I can share my story, then maybe we can join together as women in our 50s and say, ‘Yes, it’s hard.’ … I feel like we have to band together [for support].”

According to the book Born To Run, during the times of the Bushmen, men and women were equal partners in hunting tradition which still exists among the Mbuti Pygmies of the Congo. “Since they are perfectly capable of giving birth to a child while on the hunt, then rejoining the hunt the same morning.”

This was the age when there were no weapons, Bushmen would run their prey down. Imagine that. “Running was the superpower that made us humans - which means it’s a superpower all humans possess.”

Earlier this year, RunRepeat.com with the help of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) completed the largest study on the sport of ultra running. After analysing 15,451 ultra running events over the last 23 years, the study says it loud and clear:

“Female ultra runners are faster than male ultra runners at distances over 195 miles. The longer the distance the shorter the gender pace gap. In 5Ks men run 17.9% faster than women, at marathon distance, the difference is just 11.1%, 100-mile races see the difference shrink to just .25%, and above 195 miles, women are actually 0.6% faster than men.”

Damn men, we have been beaten once again when it comes to performance.

One reason that is being guessed is that women might be better at burning fat for fuel than men. During really long ultra races, men seem to burn out harder than women do, and exercise scientists suspect that estrogen is a key player in giving women that edge. Or maybe we men have bigger egos.

Now after the debate of women vs men let me ask you what is stopping you to run. Doesn’t matter who you are, age, and medical problems you have.

“If there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run,” said Dr. Lieberman in 2008.

Last time a scientist with Dr. Lieberman’s credentials used the term “magic bullet he’d just created penicillin. 

You could literally halt epidemics in their tracks with this one remedy. “Just move your legs. Because if you don’t think you were born to run, you’re not only denying history. You’re denying who you are.”

“You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running,” the Dipsea Demon always said.


This week I wrote three articles related to online fundraising. A quick recap for those who might have missed it. 

Donors want to understand more about transparency and how nonprofits are using the money. So I decided to find out by looking into the websites of five nonprofits. Here are my learnings

Read: 5 nonprofits and their transparency

I did a similar study to find out how child-related nonprofits are using storytelling on their website and blog. Here are my learnings.

Read: 5 children nonprofits and storytelling

And finally, virtual fundraising finds acceptance with the ongoing pandemic. The new tool is attracting donors, according to the Status of UK Fundraising Benchmark Report 2020. The study is a joint effort by Blackbaud Europe and the Institute of Fundraising.

Read: Virtual fundraising finds acceptance

That’s all for this week. Thank you and enjoy your weekend.

Peace be with you ♥️