Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun with Ultra Numbers!

After submitting my Laural Highlands report last week, I noticed that it was my 300th post on this blog. Being someone who loves to comb over statistics (my love for baseball is to blame for this), I thought I'd take a few minutes to go over some other random ultra stats of mine now that I've been running these things for 4+ years:

Even though I don't race as much as a lot of other runners, I've already run ultras in 13 different states and 2 (soon to be 3) foreign countries. These numbers actually surprised me since it doesn't seem like I've been running these things that long. I mean, I've raced 377 miles (4 races) in PA alone in the past 20 did that happen?!

I started keeping track of my miles for the first time while training for my first 100 miler (July 2007). Since that point I've run 12,712.1 miles. Not nearly as many as lots of better runners than me, but still enough to cross the country 4 times!

I mentioned it in my last post, but for some reason 3rd place and I get along really well. I've run 16 "real" ultra races (not counting my solo adventure runs or club Fat Ass events), and I've finished 3rd in seven of them...that's 43% of my races! Proving my mediocrity knows no limits, I've grabbed the good ol' Yellow Ribbon (how many of you even knew that was the color for 3rd?!) in two 50Ks, one 71 miler, one 77 miler, two 100 milers, and one 24 hour race (139.22m)!

After destroying myself over 150 miles (in 60 hours) of Vermont Long Trail mud last summer, I figure I took 2.3 years off my life expectancy. That run was by far the hardest ultra I've ever done. The good news, between that effort, and a couple others, you all have helped me raise over $20,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the past 4 years. How sweet is that?!

I ran my fastest single mile in 4:31 when I was 18. My fastest overall pace in any ultra was 7:48/mile (Andiamo 45 miler, 2008). I think I made the right decision to move up in race distances seeing as how I clearly recall how I felt at the end of Andiamo (tired, but happy), compared to after that high school mile (collapsed on the track begging the runners in the next race to trample me and put me out of my misery). Also, I didn't even win that mile...if only I knew about ultras then!!

Even though I don't run in any of their current models, I've racked up the most miles in Brooks shoes (4,380.4) since 2007. Second place goes to Saucony with 2,723.5 miles, and the Dan Rose place goes to Nike with 1,611 miles.  Probably my favorite individual shoe stat comes from the pair of Salomon SpeedCross 2s I have. I wore them right out of the box for the 71 mile Reverse Ring this past February (having never run a step in this or any other Salomon shoe before). I have since worn them for all 261 race miles this year, but not for one single training mile. So much for people saying you need to break in a shoe before racing in it!

With gas prices being as high as they are, I should point out that I average about 20 cents per mile in my training shoes. The best economy in the past few years was reached by one of my just-retired pairs of Nike Pegasus 26+ shoes. Pair #5 (I've had 6 pairs in total) cost $49.99 and has racked up 421 miles, that's good for 11.8 cents per mile!  I usually retire my shoes after 400 miles, so the extra miles and the low sale price helped Pair #5 go down in history as not just another number!

I'm now realizing very little of this is probably of any interest to you guys, so I'll wrap it up now. Feel free to share any favorite or freaky running stats of your own in the comment section. I love analyzing this stuff!


Agent Em said...

Don't sell yourself short, I found this post really interesting! How do you track these stats?

Dan Rose said...


The bonus from using an online running log (Running Ahead) for the past few years is I can now go back and dig up all sorts of fun facts like these. I enter in all my miles run every day, listing what shoes I wore (the price I paid for each shoe is also entered when I first add it to the system), and categorizing those miles as races, hill workouts, etc.. After entering in all that data every day, the software allows you to run all sorts of reports and data searches. Fascinating for a stat geek like me!

There are also a couple sites that attempt to capture all official race results for ultra runners ( and Even though they always miss a few races here and there, it's a good way to see most of your results in one (or two) convenient places!

Amelia said...

Your post inspired me to go outside and measure the height of the stairs in my apartment building stairwell. Each stair is 7 inches tall, and it's 86 steps up to my apartment, so that makes 50 feet, 2 inches per ascent. I've gone up and down three times today already, so means today I've climbed 150' 6". And if I average 3 times a day per 30-day month, that means my stairwell has me climbing an extra 4,515 ft. per month. Hooray!

Dan Rose said...

...or, if you're in more of a hurry to rack up your monthly 4,500ft, you can just hop on my insane 30 degree incline treadmill and reach that amount of vertical climb in about 50 mins at a brisk hiking pace. although, pro-rated for your current 8 month pregnant state, maybe it would take a month on the 'mill to rack up that vert as well!

Amelia said...

Joel thinks you should come here and see how fast you can do the 90 trips up and down our stairs. Then we can post your record on our wall or something for inspiration.

Ric Munoz said...

Sorry for the delay in contributing to the "research" Dan. Now that I have Western States behind me, I can share these meager offerings.

155 total finishes between 12/3/83 and 4/18/11 -- 4,061 total miles.

Lifetime average finishing time is 3:17:44 for an overall 7:33 per-mile-pace.

Breakdown -- fastest to slowest:
By 10-minute blocks --- Number

2:44:13 to 2:48:46 --- 4
2:51:10 to 2:59:49 --- 29
3:01:18 to 3:09:58 --- 32
3:10:42 to 3:19:38 --- 28
3:20:01 to 3:29:37 --- 23
3:30:09 to 3:39:09 --- 21
3:41:00 to 3:49:34 --- 11
3:51:29 to 3:53:04 --- 3
4:06:36 to 4:07:45 --- 2
4:17:07 to 4:17:07 --- 1
4:45:04 to 4:45:04 --- 1

24 total races between 11/14/98 and 5/21/11 -- 1,586 total miles.

Total time for all 24 races totaled 376 hours and 2 minutes for an overall 14:14 per-mile-pace.

I think this is all sufficiently geeky, don't you?

Dan Rose said...

Excellent stuff, Ric!! Here's the stat I want to know though: with all 155 of those marathons, what would your total airfare/hotel costs be?!! That must have been a fortune!!!

Ric Munoz said...

Yup, I try not to think about that -- just the cost alone of the 17 trips to Boston for the marathon there exceeds 10-k (in dollars, not distance!).

But I look at it this way: I've never bought shaving supplies (razors, cream, etc.) because an electric razor handles what little facial hair I grow. So, let's say I had to start shaving at age 18 (35 years ago), imagine all the dough I would've spent on supplies!

And because I've never imbibed alcohol, I've never had to buy beer, wine or hard liquor. Those are "savings galore" right there (as compared with the average person who routinely purchases booze). I know it sounds nutty, but I take comfort in knowing I've never spent a penny on stuff like this!

Dan Rose said...

I like the way you think, Ric! Makes me fell less bad about the $$ I spend on shoes when I haven't had to pay for a haircut in about 10 years!