2012 State of the Sport - Part III: U.S. Road Race Trends
Women, men finish in record numbers in U.S. road races, nearly 14 million finishers with a record 55% female and also a new high number of races in 2011; off-road, mud events thriving too
Posted Thursday, 26 July, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - (July 25, 2012) - 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 race.
For the rest of the 2012 State of the Sport - Part III, CLICK here.