I am sure lots of you have heard of the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. If not you should read it because it’s a great book. Anyways I was looking at the results of the state cross country race for Illinois. I then looked at other states results and found that Illinois kicked butt compared to other states. The runners were just so much faster so I decided to look into it. I started to look at the results of multiple states to find that Illinois was considerably faster than others. (Freakonomics will enter later if you are wondering). This perplexed me because you would think that the places like California and Florida would have faster runners, but they do not!
Here are some links to the different state results: Illinois, California, Florida. Now keep in mind that Illinois is a 3-mile race while California and Florida are both 5K’s. So their races are .1 miles longer. But if you look at the pace, Illinois has 157 runners going at a sub 5:20 mile pace and 24 runners sub 5:00. Florida has only 40 sub 5:20 and 3 runners sub 5:00. I found it very odd that there was such a huge difference in time. Now I know that the Illinois course is flat and fast (I have run it). These other courses might be hilly. I have not been able to find out what their courses were like.
I emailed the editor of Freakonomics and told him about this. He said that it was very interesting and they might do a blog post. I felt very smart when he said something I found out could make it into the blog post of Freakonomics. I will remind you guys if it happens. In the meantime leave your explanations for this in the comment section!