Over the past 15 years, Running USA
has reported on the Second Running Boom, particularly as it
relates to U.S. road races, and in 2011, per our data analysis,
there were a record 13.9 million road race finishers in this
country compared to approximately 5.2 million in 1991 (a 170% increase).
This was the eighth consecutive year that a new U.S. finisher
high was set. In short, the boom continues, and it is being led
by women as U.S. road race finishers, once the province of men
20-30 years ago, are now predominantly female (55% compared to
25% in 1990).
There are a myriad of
reasons for this historic growth trend in U.S. road races, but
community, family-centered, fun events; charity and non-charity
training programs and their social impact; access to running
information via the internet and the use of technology for registration,
timing, websites, email, social media, smart phone apps and
more are the main drivers of this boom, particularly for the
new runner and women.
Another area of the sport
that has been booming over the past 5 years has been the
off-road, mud, obstacle course type race series such as Warrior
Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Muddy Buddy as their
finisher numbers have grown from just a blip on the running radar 10
years ago to approximately 1 million as more and more people
seek different running experiences beyond the typical road
For the rest of the 2012 State of the Sport – Part III, CLICK here.
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