is the general trend in non ultra as well, eg NYC marathon, eg:
47 guys under 2:20 in 1982. Only 13 guys under 2:20 in 2015.
93 guys under 2:25 in 1982. Only 19 guys under 2:25 in 2015.
I wonder if that's because there are so many more marathons now that the best runners aren't concentrated on the same races. I wonder if the Olympic marathon times show that trend too. I'd be surprised but if they do, that would be hard to explain.
My accountant ran 2:25 at NYC in 1983 and mentioned that his ranking in that race would be much better if he were running today.
The ultrarunning report linked in my log states that the average pace is slowing down, which they attribute to the increase in participation as the sport becomes more mainstream. People like me are the culprits, slowing down the average pace of the sport.
Is it also possible that the average ultra trail course is more technical and hillier now too?
Oh and the planet is warmer and smokier and more humid so there's that too. ;-)
;( Yes, the average ultra might be more technical/hilly now with the explosion of mountain races and the increasing importance of ITRA points to qualify for UTMB and other races.
The most interesting graph to me was the one showing the convergence of average paces for all age groups, which surprised the authors too.