I received in the mail today the 200+ page listing of the Chicago Marathon results from last October. While most of the pages were ads or small-font listing of results (I was deep in the mud on page 103, finisher # 30,127!), one set of facts was quite fascinating to me:
• 45,000 people officially registered for the race
• 38,132 people crossed the starting line (84.7% of registrants)
• 36,088 people crossed the finish line (94.6% of the starters)
Given that registration for this race sold out 7-8 months before race day, these numbers says to me that merely signing up for a race does not mean you will run it. Too many things can happen and get in the way.
But, if you can get yourself to the starting line, you have a very good chance of finishing...even in very warm conditions like this race.
Perhaps good encouragement for folks wanting to know how to finish a marathon...get yourself to the start, uninjured, first and foremost.