The Whistler 50 ultra-marathon is a grueling event in which 25% of this year's runners didn't even make it to the finish line, the definition of success is a matter of personal perspective, and individual experience easily eclipses competition. Comparing runners by traditional ordinal ranking isn't a very meaningful exercise.

A post on visualizing Olympic rankings in the New York Times got me interested in the topic, though, so for the sake of exploration and as an excuse to familiarize myself with d3.js, I've taken a stab at plotting the rankings from the 2012 results:

Multiple lines can be highlighted for easier following, and the mouse hover text provides exact finish times.

The chart employs a custom interpolator to imitate the appearance of parallel pipes, and calculates adjacent colors to be equidistant in the perceptually uniform hue-chroma-lightness (hcl) color space.