Carolina Godiva Track Club Summer Series in R (100 meter dash)

While I am on vacation, I made a personal commitment to complete a blog post about the Carolina Godiva Track Club Summer Series by the time of today’s meet.

A personal goal is to contribute to the improvement of public health by encouraging more Americans to exercise. The Carolina Godiva Track Club, of which I am a happily supporting member, encourages anyone who participates. This is less about competition than some might think.

At the same time, as a realist and a competitive person, some of us do feel motivated by trying to outrun our brothers and sisters of the track. The visualizations in future posts will hopefully be broadly motivating. Future posts will delve into the data more thoughtfully and be more specifically motivating.

I will say: Unlike the massively popular 5k races, one can complete a track events in less than about 20 seconds (the 100 meter race). Let your legs unravel from sitting all day, activate your glutes, and join us.

These visualizations will use the colorblind-respecting viridis colors that are now available native to the R package ggplot2.

We will look today at the 100 meter races that have been run in 2018 during the Carolina Godiva Summer Track Series track meets, which are kindly hand-timed by volunteers and often started by gunner (he shoots commendable blanks), Ethan Caldwell.


I captured only the top 3 runners per age group, which does not speak to the beautifully diverse representation of abilities and current skill levels that we enjoy at these track meets. Nevertheless, Leon Bullard stands out as a mature man outrunning many of us younger folks. We see more mature runners like Mike Valle and Louise Guardino inspiring us all. Then there are the cheetahs among women, Cindy Peters-Freeman and Becky Bowman, who represent the most praiseworthy kind of anomaly.

I believe it is acceptable in this context to say Becky is 60-years-old, which makes her someone deserving of academic grant funds. Someone please compensate this woman for divulging what has enabled her to be so friggin’ fast.

There are some hints of what I am planning in the code, as well as errors…


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