Study: Mile Road Races are Booming

The Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile in Minneapolis. (Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image)

Road races in general are seeing unprecedented success—particularly 5Ks and half marathons. But Running USA recently studied how 1-mile road races are doing in the United States.

The answer? Very well.

Mile road race participation in the U.S. has jumped 64 percent since 2010, and has seen more than 100,000 finishers in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The growth in participation is mirrored by a growth in total number of events. In 2010, there were 726 1-mile road races; in 2015 there were 1,350.

Participation peaked in 2014 when 117,000 runners finished a mile road race. It dipped slightly to 113,000 in 2015, but the overall trend is eye-catching.

“The growth in popularity of the mile distance is a trend all race organizers should take note of,” Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger said. “It’s the perfect introduction to those who’ve never run a race before and is a perfect time commitment in training and race day for those with busy schedules.”

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