Running USA Annual Marathon Report

02/27/2012 - 05:22

Modest marathon growth in the U.S. last year, but plenty of record highs including total finishers for the classic 26.2 mile distance

Running USA wire
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Over the past decade, marathons in the U.S. and worldwide have been part of the Second Running Boom's unprecedented upward trend line, and 2011 was another year of growth in U.S. marathons with an estimated record 518,000 finishers or a 2.2% increase from 2010, a modest increase compared to recent years (9.9% in 2009 and 8.6% in 2010). See U.S. marathon finisher table further below.

Part of the slowing growth for the 26.2 mile distance may be attributed to the explosive growth of the half-marathon over the past 5 years in the U.S. as runners either have moved down from their first or second marathon to the half-marathon or see the half-marathon as a more manageable, but as challenging distance for their time and aspirations. In addition, a majority of large marathons have entrant caps which - due to the Rule of Large Numbers - will impact the overall percent growth, particularly if non-capped and debut marathons don't attract a larger number of entrants compared to past years.

The following tables and lists provide a summary of the demographics and interesting statistics and trends for U.S. marathons. Per the tables below, U.S. marathon demographics - gender, age group, median age and median time - have remained static in recent years.

For the rest of the Running USA Annual Marathon Report, CLICK here.