|Amby Burfoot: Manchester Road Race Times|
Amby Burfoot has run the Manchester Road Race, 4.748 miles, 55 times in a row! The table below shows his actual times and his predicted minimum times using the 2007 age factors on this site. The age factors are based on world-record data from age 35 up. The assumption that is used in estimating these age factors is that decline has begun at least by age 35. The methodology does not require that decline begins exactly at age 35; it could begin sooner. It looks like Amby's decline began at about age 33. The minimum times in the table use only Amby's results from age 35 up.
The best age corrected time for Amby is his time at age 39. This age and time determine his ``age line,'' from which minimum times can be computed for any other age. Remarkably, his age 63 time is only 2 seconds off of the line. His best times are following the line almost exactly. His seven best age corrected times are at ages 37, 38, 39, 40, 61, 62, and 63. (Some of the actual times are way off the line, but these are undoubtedly races in which he did not run seriously.) His times in his late 40's and 50's are not as good, age corrected, but he came roaring back in his 60's. He also did fairly well at age 69, off by 3:57.
Amby has the following comments about his Manchester runs:
"Manchester was my first road race, in the fall of my senior year in high school. Four years later, I won it for the first time in the same year as my Boston Marathon victory. Since then I have run Manchester while training 120 miles a week; on an emergency home visit while serving in the Peace Corps in El Salvador; with `walking pneumonia;' with severe achilles tendinitis; while carrying an umbrella to keep the rain off my wife; while focusing for three decades on my professional career at Runner's World magazine; while getting more serious about training/racing again in my 60s; and after meniscus knee surgery at age 64. I hope to run a few more, some no doubt slower than others. And then much slower. At this point, finish time seems less important than simply keeping the streak alive."