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.