Ever since I started running marathons, it seemed as if everyone I know has started running. My co-workers, my friends, my cousins, and even my husband started running. Maybe they were thinking, “If she can do it, I can do it too!”
Yes, there have been a growing number of runners over the years. In 2008, there were 9.4 million finishers of U.S. road races. That is a 9.9% increase in runners from the previous year.
In 2009, 467,000 people ran marathons in the United States, which is a 9.9% increase from the previous year, according to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in distance running. However, the half-marathon is the fastest growing road race distance in the U.S. About 1.1 million people ran half-marathons last year. That’s a 24% increase from 2008 to 2009.
Running USA stated that, “inaugural half-marathons added to the popularity of the distance as a number of relatively large half-marathons (>1,000 finishers) debuted in 2007.”
See www.runningusa.org for more fascinating statistics on running.
Yes, it looks like everyone is running! I bet you know a few people who run. I think that the growing number of runners may be attributed to the popularity of organizations that offer marathon training to participants who help raise funds for a cause such as cancer, aids, and education, to name a few.
Everyone has their own reasons for running. But I think that the determination, passion, and camaraderie of runners draw many people to the sport of running. When I see a group of runners run with purpose and a smile on their faces, enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company, it makes me want to be a part of it and run.
Two wonderful things about running are: 1) you don’t have to be the greatest athlete to run, and 2) Running is one of the most inexpensive sport. All you need are a good pair of running shoes to start. So if you are looking for a cheap and easy way to get in shape and enjoy the outdoors, all you need to do is run.
So get running!