The finishing time for marathons, which are most commonly of 26.2 miles varies depending on the participant. World class elites take a bit more than two hours to finish a marathon while other individuals take up to more than eight hours. According to Running USA, the average finishing time for a marathon in the USA back in 2014 was four hours, nineteen minutes, and twenty-seven seconds. On the other hand, the average finishing time for a marathon for women was four hours, forty-four minutes, and nineteen seconds. Calculating an estimate Before you take part in a marathon, you should get an estimate of the time that you'll require to reach the finish line. Getting an estimate is quite helpful since it provides you with an idea of how you have to pace yourself during a marathon. However, predicting the time it takes to complete a race, particularly a marathon, is a tough job because of the numerous variables involved including the conditions of the course and the weather forecast. One quick formula which is quite famous among runners is to take any recent half time for a marathon, multiply it by two, and add in ten to twenty minutes more depending on how difficult the course is. What are good marathon times?When talking about average marathon times or marathon times which are good, everything becomes relative. When it comes to elite runners, a men’s race in any major marathon can be won in two minutes and five seconds on average while the same race for women can be won in two minutes and twenty-two seconds. However, ninety-nine percent of runners do not run near this time at all. On the other hands, amateur athletes make use of the qualifying times for the Boston Marathon as a measure of good marathon times. Qualification requirements for both genders and different age groups vary. For example, if men in the age group of 18-34 years want to qualify for this marathon, they should complete the marathon at a maximum of three minutes and five seconds while the women in the same age group should finish the marathon within three minutes and thirty-five seconds to qualify. Similarly, people aged thirty-four and over, are provided with more time. What should your goal be?A majority of people that are taking part in a marathon for the first time aim to finish it instead of worrying about the time that it should take with regards to their fitness level. Meanwhile, runners who have participated in numerous marathons see an improvement in their results because they gain more confidence and experience. So, if you are running a marathon for the first time, then you shouldn’t pressurize yourself to finish the marathon in the smallest time possible. Instead, you should focus more on setting your pace. Once you finish a marathon and you know the time that it would take you, you should work on beating your record the next time you run instead of competing with other runners. How to judge marathon finishing time fairly?Obviously, you should not make a comparison between men and women, and between people that are twenty years old and people that are fifty years old. The truth is that your performance is dependent on some factors including your gender, your age, and how experienced you are. All the participants of a marathon can be kept on one level field with the help of age grading regardless of what their gender and age is. With age-graded results, you can compare the time it took you to finish the race with others.