Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

2004 U.S. Road Running Stats

Since it's mid summer without many road races taking place, I thought it would be a good time to look at Running USA's 2004 road race stats. Running USA has published a series of articles on 2004 road race stats. It also has added 2004 races to its database of the largest US races by distance.

Part 1 looks at the numbers and percentages of runners in 2004 based on a sports participation study. It estimates there were about 37.3 million runners in the US in 2004 and the total has been increasing 4 years in a row. The article confirmed a stat that I've noticed in many races. It said the popularity of running among younger women continued in 2004. The largest group for female runners was '18 to 24 years'. The other thing I found interesting was the list of the top running cities and states. It's based on the largest per capita running populations over the last 3 years. Denver/Boulder was tied with San Diego as the top metro with 18.9 runners per 100. San Antonio was third with 18.3. The top 3 states were California with 17.5, Texas with 15.8, and New York with 13.1.

Part 2 provided some stats on road race growth and demographics. Overall it said US raod races grew by an average of 4% in 2004. The largest increase has been in half-marathons with an increase of 7%. For gender ratio it showed a slight decline in the female/male ratio from 2003 to 2004 (from 47.5/52.5 in 2003 to 46.1/53.9 in 2004. This was for timed events. For untimed events women made up 52% in both 2004 and 2003. It also gives some gender ratio details by race distance. In 2004 Marathons, 40% of the participants were female. In half marathons, it goes way up to 49%. From my race coverage this year, I'll be willing to bet this goes up in 2005. In this year's largest US half marathon (Indy Mini-Marathon), there were 50.4% timed female runners.

Part 3 goes into more detail on the stats for the different road races. There were 1.79 million finishers in the largest 100 US races in 2004. One interesting stat is that almost 59% of the 2004 finishers were timed compared to about 44% in 2003. I guess the ChampionChip devices are gaining popularity. This is good news for folks like me who enjoy collecting road race stats. As mentioned in part 2, the race distance with the largest growth was the half marathon. It increased by 7% in 2004. The largest race distance in 2004 was the 5K with over 3 million.


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