2015 AJC Peachtree Road Race

Every 4th of July in Atlanta Georgia the Atlanta Journal Constitution holds the Peachtree Road Race (AJCPRR, or just PRR). The PRR is a 10K run down one of the many Peachtree streets, from Lenox Mall to Piedmont Park. It’s been going on for quite a while, find out more about the cool history and tradition here.

One of the things that makes the race a pretty spectacular event is the number of people! Up to 60 thousand participants run each year, making it pretty massive (the largest in the world). There are 26+ waves, with professional (really fast) runners at the start, people who walk it, and everyone in between. People dress up in fun costumes, too, and it’s a great atmosphere.

It’s also a great chance to plot some medium(ish)-sized data and see some pretty pictures!

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Running the Numbers: Analyzing Pace Structure for a 15K

Races (the running kind) are a great resource for anyone looking to play with a moderately sized data set. It’s not hard to make some descriptive and pretty charts, and you can do some simple “who ran fastest?” breakdowns by various factors.

In this post, I’ll look at a race that took place recently here in Atlanta: The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K. The best┬áparts of the results they posted is that they include split times for each third of the 15K. That means that we can do some analyses on runner pace consistency and time trends!

We’ll start with some quick visualization of the participants and the results to orient ourselves to the data, and then get into analyzing (spoiler: with clustering) runner pacing structures.

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