Now for the women. As with the men, East African women populate the top ranks of the year-end distance running lists. However, in the marathon, the Kenyan women were not nearly as dominant as their men.

Ethiopian women have consistently  outdone their southern neighbors over the last eight years, notching 77 (35%) of the 220 sub-2:30 women’s performances in 2017, compared with 72 (32.7%) for Kenyan women.

But while only 14 nations produced a sub-2:10 men’s performance in 2017, 82.75% from Kenya and Ethiopia (actually a somewhat down year from more traditional 90%) 20 nations were on the sub-2:30 women’s list last year, with Japan at 16 (7.27%), and America 12 (5.45%).

The differences between men and women world-wide speak to the gaps in societal acceptance for, and/or promotion of women’s sporting opportunities. Continue reading