Is Another Running Boom Under Way?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 30, 2013
  • Updated Jul. 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM UTC
There were 15.3 million finishers at U.S. races in 2013. Photo:

Half marathons and female runners are the wind in the industry’s sails.

Every year since the mid-1990s, Running USA has cataloged the relative growth of the industry. According to a new report published last weekend, the organization is stating that a second running boom is under way.

From its “State of the Sport,” Running USA claims that with the exception of 2003, every year for the past 20 years has seen a record number of race finishers in U.S. running events.

One of the highlights of the report has to do with the record number of women runners taking to the sport. Female finishers now comprise 56 percent of the event fields — an all-time high.

Additionally, there were a total of 15.3 million finishers in U.S. running events last year.

Apparently, the key driver behind this boom has to do with the half-marathon distance. In just one year, a record increase of 14.9 percent finishers was logged, with 60 percent of them being female.

You can read the whole report that substantiates this claim, complete with graphs and charts, here.

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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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