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December 19, 2013

Is It Just Me, Or Are There More People Out Here?

Written by Dena Evans
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UntitledRunning as a recreationally competitive sport has grown leaps and bounds over the past several years.  According to Running USA, the year 1990 featured just about 1.2 million women and 3.5 million male running event finishers in the United States.  At the conclusion of 2012, they estimate that women’s participation has grown to 8.7 million, with men’s numbers jumping to 6.8 million.  Perhaps you are one of those who has jumped on the running bandwagon relatively recently.


Those numbers indicate that more of your friends and neighbors have laced up their running shoes and gotten out there on the sidewalk or trail, but they also indicate some interesting smaller trends within the overall growth.


Did you realize…. that in 2012, 60% of half marathon finishers were female, with 40% male, while for the full marathon, 42% were female and 58% male, almost a mirrored result.


Did you realize…the median times for a half marathon and marathon were 2:01/4:17 and 2:19/ 4:42 for men and women respectively?


Did you realize…the largest road race in America is the Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, GA, beating out the Lilac Bloomsday 12K 58,043 to 48, 229 (the ING New York City Marathon likely would have finished at least within striking distance of these if it were not canceled due to Hurricane Sandy).


Did you realize,,, the average age of a road race finisher in the US is 35.8 years old.


Did you realize…the 5K is the most popular race distance, capturing 40% of the race finishers in 2012.  The half marathon is the second most popular distance at 12%.


Did you realize…that Thanksgiving is the most popular day to enter a running event, featuring 858,000 runners in 2012 and expected to reach 1,000,000 or close to it when 2013 numbers are tallied.


Did you realize…that there were nearly 500 Turkey Trots to choose from?


Did you realize…that after Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July had 248, 000 finishers in 2011, with New Year’s Day taking third at 81,000 finishers.  Will you be one of them in 2014?


The holidays and the New Year are a perfect time to make resolutions for the 365 days to come.  In recent years, it appears many thousands of people are not only making resolutions, but getting to the start and finish lines of goal races.  If this is your first season of training, or if you have been training for years, take heart, many others have successfully taken on the challenge and succeeded.  You can, and you will too!



Last modified on December 19, 2013
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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