Did Cooler Weather Lead to Faster Times at London?

VM London Marathon 2018

As the leg stiffness starts to fade into a distant memory for the 42,000+ runners that took part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, Mike Clyne has taken a quick look at the stats and updated our pre-race article.

Cool conditions seem to have given the record number of London Marathon competitors an opportunity to run faster (on average) than their predecessors in the 2018 event. For those that tackled the 26.2 miles a year ago in the hottest conditions that have ever faced the event it will have been an unforgettable experience and the finish times (see table below) across the board were slower than previous years.

Last Sunday’s ‘official’ temperatures have not been confirmed but by my basic research seem to have been similar to those experienced in 2017 (ranging from about 10 – 14 degrees C) and you will see that the finish times for the various data points are also similar to 2017.

You will also note that the percentage of runners who started and then finished was just under 99.2% – astoundingly great odds for those on the start line but as you will see from the table it is not the highest percentage (2015 race – 99.4%).

I’m continuously curious about what happened to the 315 people who registered at the London Running Show but didn’t start the race (43,221 registered but only 42,906 started) – what happened in the days and hours between to prevent them running?

Take a look at the stats and see what trends interest you. And don’t forget the ballot closes at 1700hrs on Friday 3rd May.

London Marathon Applicants, Successful applicants, Starters and Finishers 1981 to 2019

YearTotal applicantsSuccessful applicantsStartersFinishersWheelchair finishersIPC World Cup finishersTotal finishers incl WC & IPC% finishers
29 March 198120,0007,7477,0556,255006,25588.66%
9 May 198290,00018,05916,35015,1160015,11692.45%
17 April 198360,00019,73516,50015,77617015,79395.72%
13 May 198470,00021,14216,99215,64926015,67592.25%
21 April 198583,00022,27417,50015,84132015,87390.70%
20 April 198680,00025,56619,26118,03037018,06793.80%
10 May 198780,00028,36421,48519,54541019,58691.16%
17 May 198873,00029,97922,46920,88943020,93293.16%
23 April 198972,00031,77224,45222,65249022,70192.84%
22 April 199073,00034,88226,50024,95360025,01394.39%
21 April 199179,00033,48524,50023,39342023,43595.65%
12 April 199283,00034,25024,50023,78350023,83397.28%
18 April 199368,00035,82025,00024,44847024,49597.98%
17 April 199472,00037,37926,00025,19448025,24297.08%
2 April 199579,00039,09727,00025,32651025,37793.99%
21 April 199668,00039,17327,13426,76145026,80698.79%
13 April 199778,00039,81329,50029,13554029,18998.95%
26 April 199896,00042,22830,66329,92448029,97297.75%
18 April 199987,00043,77431,58230,80940030,84997.68%
16 April 200093,00042,59632,62031,65840031,69897.17%
22 April 200192,00043,51731,15630,28632030,31897.31%
14 April 200299,00046,08333,29732,90644032,95098.96%
13 April 2003111,00045,62932,74632,28143032,32498.71%
18 April 2004108,00045,21932,74631,98329032,01297.76%
17 April 2005132,00047,96935,55735,26040035,30099.28%
23 April 2006119,00047,02033,57833,22426033,25099.02%
22 April 2007128,00050,03936,39635,69831035,72998.17%
13 April 2008120,00048,63035,03734,60235034,63798.86%
26 April 2009155,00049,99535,88435,36638035,40498.66%
25 April 2010163,00051,37836,95636,63234036,66699.22%
17 April 2011163,92650,53235,30334,83636034,87298.78%
22 April 2012170,15050,20037,22736,77438036,81298.89%
21 April 2013167,44948,32334,63134,311462434,38199.28%
13 April 2014169,68249,87236,33735,911412535,97799.01%
26 April 2015172,88851,69638,02037,641539937,79399.40%
24 April 2016247,06953,15239,52339,091613239,14099.03%
23 April 2017253,93053,22940,04839,487633239,48798.60%
22 April 2018386,05054,68541,00340,273573540,27398.22%
28 April 2019414,16856,398429064246652314254999.17%

London Marathon Finishers Percentile 2009 to 2019

 10th percentile25th percentile50th percentile75th percentile90th percentile
26 April 200903:26:0903:54:2004:28:2805:04:5305:43:45
25 April 201003:25:4303:53:5404:27:5405:05:4805:46:21
17 April 201103:26:4203:57:2404:34:0205:14:0005:54:31
22 April 201203:24:2003:53:3904:28:5305:09:0005:49:56
21 April 201303:20:5303:50:3804:27:2905:07:2105:49:54
13 April 201403:20:3403:49:5004:25:4405:06:5805:48:42
26 April 201503:15:3003:44:4804:19:0704:57:3305:39:31
24 April 201603:14:4203:45:0704:20:5505:01:4105:46:06
23 April 201703:15:4703:47:2104:26:5705:09:2505:54:16
22 April 201803:28:0504:02:0604:47:5605:34:2006:17:03
28 April 201903.16.3503.46.3704.25.0005.08.4405.53.06

London Marathon Temperatures 1981 to 2018

YearTemp degC 0900Temp degC 1000Temp degC 1100Temp degC 1200
22 April 201819.820.921.923.0
22 April 200716.318.620.521.7
21 April 199617.620.320.121
17 April 201114.115.918.319.9
20 April 19868.110.215.617
13 April 20039.511.51516.4
17 May 198810.613.214.616.4
26 April 200914.114.916.116.2
25 April 201011.813.814.415.6
2 April 19958.39.61214.1
9 May 198210.511.113.414
23 April 201711.712.613.613.9
18 April 199311.812.213.113.8
12 April 199211.312.113.213.8
13 April 201410.511.312.713.7
22 April 20128.810.412.513.4
13 April 19979.911.21213.3
13 May 19848.610.412.213
21 April 201378.910.412.8
23 April 200611.111.312.112.7
26 April 199811.111.21312.7
10 May 19871010.61212.4
17 April 20057.79.410.912.3
16 April 20006.68.79.911.3
18 April 20049.610.210.311.2
14 April 20027.69.210.611.2
29 March 198110.110.210.210.9
22 April 19909.41010.210.9
22 April 20017.68.48.610.4
23 April 19898.48.58.710.1
17 April 198310.11010.410
13 April 200810.412.18.99.5
21 April 19915.87.19.49.1
26 April 20158889
24 April 20166.87.489
21 April 198566.988.6
18 April 19995.96.87.68.4
17 April 19945.96.67.57.6