Running USA is set to release its annual statistical analysis of running races in the U.S., and as expected, all signs are pointing up.
The report states that, in 2014, there were 550,637 finishers of a marathon in the U.S., an all-time high and an increase of more than 11,000 from 2013. Of course, the previous two years of data was skewed—the 2012 total of 487,000 was a slight dip due to the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, and the 2013 total was a little low due to the Boston Marathon being stopped after the terrorist bombings.
A closer look at those 550,637 finishers reveals:
- The gender split is about the same as it’s been for nearly a decade: 57 percent male and 43 percent female.
- The median age of a marathon finisher is 38 (split up, it’s 36 for females and 40 for males). In total, 49 percent of finishers are between 20-39 years of age, and 48 percent are 40 and up.
- The most finishers in one race? The New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world, with 50,386 finishers in 2014.
- As participation increases, not surprisingly, finishing times have slowed. The median finish time for women was 4:44:19. For men, it was 4:19:27. They are the slowest finishing times since 2005.
Running USA also took a look at individual marathons in the U.S. to glean some interesting data on finishers:
- The fastest median time for a particular race, not surprisingly, is the Boston Marathon at 3:52:09. It is a field made up largely of qualifiers. Second on the list is the Baystate Marathon (3:53:05) in Massachusetts followed by the Via Marathon in Pennsylvania (3:54:42).
- No race had more junior finishers (under 20) than the LA Marathon, with 3,795 in 2014.
- No race had more 60-and-older finishers than the Honolulu Marathon (3,326).
- The Chicago Marathon had the most 20-29 finishers with 9,738.
- For the 30-39, 40-49 and 50-59 age groups, the New York City Marathon had the most.
- The marathon with the highest percentage of female finishers? The Wineglass Marathon in New York (60 percent female)
- On the men’s side, the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico was 70 percent male.