Running USA’s 2011 State of the Sport – Part III: U.S. Road Race Trends
Road race participation – with more female and male finishers, more races – has more record growth
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – (July 21, 2011) – The Second Running Boom,
despite the slow U.S. economy, continued in 2010 with an estimated 13
million finishers nationwide, an all-time high, and the largest percent
increase (10%) in road race finishers that Running USA
has ever reported to-date. Fueling this growth is the increase in
half-marathon, 5K and marathon finishers, female finishers, the
increase in charity running and a growing interest in the sport from
the general population.
Put simply, more and
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more Americans are finding that running is an inexpensive, convenient,
social sport to help them stay healthy and to tackle a new challenge or
goal. As Running USA’s National Runner Survey
reported, today’s runners are motivated to stay in shape, stay healthy,
have fun and relieve stress. As new and returning runners enter the
sport and road races, we will continue to see a tremendous amount of
growth in overall finisher totals, as experienced in the last two years.
2010 U.S. Road Running Snapshot:
* 2010 had the
highest percent increase in overall finisher totals (10%) in nearly
three decades. Growth such as this hasn’t been seen since the
pre-Second Running Boom in 1992 (9.2%) and recently, 2009 (9.0%), and
based on preliminary totals, 2011 should also show above average growth
as well in this country.
* Females now account
for nearly 6.9 million finishers nationwide (a record number) and
represent 53% of event fields, compared to only 25% in 1990 which had
4.15 million overall finishers, while males in 2010 also set a new high
with more than 6.1 million finishers in U.S. road races.
* Total U.S. running events exceeded 22,800, an all-time record high.
* 2010 produced a record
annual increase (tie with 2009) in total finishers for the
Half-Marathon (24%) and nearly a 9% increase in Marathon finishers,
which is the second largest percent increase for the classic distance
in the past 25 years.
* For the first time ever, the Half-Marathon
now claims more finishers than the 10K, ranking #2 next to the 5K in
finishers. Females continue to dominate the Half-Marathon race field
with 59% representation.
* The 5K is still
handily the road race “King of the Hill” with nearly 4.7 million
finishers (yes, another record) and had 36% of all finishers in 2010;
the universal 3.1 mile distance has been #1 in the U.S. since 1994 when
it surpassed the 10K.
For the rest of Part III on U.S. Road Race Trends, CLICK here.
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