Study: Today’s Runners Are “Highly Educated”

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 21, 2011
  • Updated Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:22 AM UTC

Nearly 80% surveyed have a college diploma.

From: Running USA

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2011 National Runner Survey is a comprehensive study conducted every two years by Running USA. The National Runner Survey assesses the demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, habits and product preferences of the running population nationwide. Results from the National Runner Survey reflect “core runners”, that is, active adult participants who tend to enter running events and train year-round.

Today’s core runners are highly educated with 77.2% having earned a college diploma (national percent = 29.5%) and affluent with 72.9% reporting a household income of more than $75,000 (national average = 32.4%). Core runners are active participants who train year-round and report running / jogging an average of 213 days and logging nearly 1,269 miles per year. These runners are motivated to run in order to stay in shape (80.7%), stay healthy (77.4%), have fun (66.1%) and relieve stress (64.3%).

The National Runner Survey is distributed electronically to running event participants, running club members, specialty running shoe store visitors, subscribers to running publications and those who frequent the online running community. Running USA worked closely with more than 60 organizations to help distribute the online survey to various constituency groups between the months of January through May of 2011. A total of 11,893 runners nationwide (53.8% female, 46.2% male) responded to the survey with an 86% rate of completion. Select results from the 2011 study are presented in this summary.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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