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RUNNER DEMOGRAPHICS - Statistics and Research

 
  

Nationwide Audience

 

5Kevents covers a variety of events all over the country. From running, kayaking, biking to triathlons, our customer engagement model connects your brand to the audience that is most interested.


Highly-qualified Customers


College-educated: Today’s core athletes are highly educated with 79% having earned a college diploma, compared with only 27% of the United States population.


Affluent: These athletes are affluent with 73% of those surveyed reporting a Household Income of more than $75,000, well above the U.S. median household income of $52,175.


Active Participants: Core athletes are active participants who train year round, reporting running/jogging/biking an average of 224 days and logging 1,357 miles per year, a significant difference compared with the typical fitness enthusiast who trains approximately 85 days per year.

 


The National Runner Survey is distributed electronically to event participants, club members, specialty shoe store visitors, members of USA Track & Field, subscribers to running publications, and those who frequent the online running community. Running USA worked closely with more than 35 organizations to help distribute the online survey to various constituency groups between the months of August through December of 2009. A total of 11,264 runners nationwide (53% female, 47% male) responded to the survey with an 86% rate of completion. Select results from the 2009 study are presented below.

The following female and male runner snapshots represent “core runners”, that is, active adult participants who tend to enter running events, train year-round, and purchase 2-4 running shoes each year.


Typical U.S. Female Runner
Typical U.S. Male Runner
Demographics
  • Average Age: 38.6
  • 61.9% Married
  • 78.7% College educated
  • 69.0% Earn a household income of $75,000+
  • Average Age: 44.8
  • 73.5% Married
  • 78.8% College educated
  • 76.4% Earn a household income of $75,000+
Running History
  • Average number of years running: 11 years
  • Average number of running events participated in during the last 12 months: 7 events
  • 53.9% have completed 1 marathon or more in their lifetime
  • Average number of years running: 16 years
  • Average number of running events participated in during the last 12 months: 9 events
  • 67.9% have completed 1 marathon or more in their lifetime
Running Routine
  • 74.7% Run/Jog 4+ hours each week
  • 80.1% run 12 months a year
  • Average number of days run per week: 4.1
  • Average number of miles run per week: 23
  • 64.8% describe themselves as Frequent/Fitness Runners
  • 79.2% Run/Jog 4+ hours each week 8
  • 2.5% run 12 months a year
  • Average number of days run per week: 4.5
  • Average number of miles run per week: 29.5
  • 55.8% describe themselves as Frequent/Fitness Runners’ and 32.7% as "Serious Competitive Runners’
Running Preferences
  • Favorite race distance is the Half-Marathon (38.1%)
  • Interested in entering next year: Half-Marathon (76.6%), 10K (57.9%), 5K (56.6%), Marathon (48.0%)
  • Favorite race distance is the Half-Marathon (31.7%)
  • Interested in entering next year: Half-Marathon (69.7%), 5K (58.5%), 10K (58.0%), Marathon (56.9%)
Motivation
  • Primary motivation to start running: For Exercise (25.3%)
  • Weight Concerns (13.8%)
  • Motivation to continue to run: Staying in Shape (75.5%)
  • Staying Healthy (74.8%)
  • Relieving Stress (62.4%)
  • Primary motivation to start running: For Exercise (22.0%),
  • Competed in School and Never Stopped (15.2%)
  • Motivation to continue to run: Staying in Shape (75.2%), 
  • Staying Healthy (70.8%)
  • Having Fun (58.9%)
Product Preferences
  • Average number of running shoes purchased in last 12 months: 3.0 pairs
  • Last running shoes purchased: ASICS (29.9%), Brooks (14.9%), Nike (13.6%)
  • 64.4% spent $90+ on their running shoes and 50.1% purchased their running shoes at a specialty running store
  • Favorite brands of running apparel: Nike (64.3%), Under Armour (42.2%), Champion (36.9%)
  • 80.2% spent $100+ on running apparel in the last 12 months and 61.5% purchased running apparel at a specialty running store
  • Average number of running shoes purchased in last 12 months: 3.4 pairs
  • Last running shoes purchased: ASICS (29.1%), Nike (15.9%), Brooks (14.1%)
  • 56.4% spent $90+ on their running shoes and 42.9% purchased their running shoes at a specialty running store
  • Favorite brands of running apparel: Nike (56.1%), ASICS (33.8%), Under Armour (32.0%)
  • 76.2% spent $100+ on running apparel in the last 12 months and 66.6% purchased running apparel at a specialty running store
Health
  • Average Weight: 136.2
  • Average Body Mass Index (BMI): 22.6
  • 43.0% are content with their weight
  • 44.7% are content with their fitness level
  • Average Weight: 171.2
  • Average Body Mass Index (BMI): 24.2
  • 47.7% are content with their weight
  • 45.9% are content with their fitness level

 

Sources:

ACS = American Community Survey (2006 – 08). An annual nationwide survey distributed by the United States Census Bureau that collects updated and relevant data to provide communities a fresh look at how they are changing between the decennial census. Numbers reported reflect a three-year estimate between the years of 2006 and 2008. The ACS collects information such as age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data. For more information, visit: http://factfinder.census.gov


National Runner Survey = The 2009 National Runner Survey is a product of Running USA. Approximately 11,264 runners nationwide completed the online survey distributed by running events, clubs, specialty shoe stores, USA Track & Field, and running publications. Variables measured include: demographics, sports participation, running history and routine, shoes, events, community resources, apparel, sponsorship, health/diet, technology, sports/fitness products, food/drink, and travel. Results include data segmentation for gender, runner type, and distance.


NSGA = National Sporting Goods Association. “National Sporting Goods Market in 2009” and the Sporting Goods Market with Historical Data CD, based on retail sales in the U.S. projected from consumer interviews. For more information, visit: www.nsga.org


 

U.S. Running Event Finishers

 

Road race finisher total experiences slight year-over-year decline in 2016


WICHITA, Kan. - (March 23, 2017) – For the third straight year, the number of road race finishers declined in the United States, as 16,957,100 runners crossed a finish line in 2016, a one percent decrease from the 17,114,800 finishers in 2015. 

 

Despite the decline, the finisher total leveled off from the nine percent decline seen in 2015, while the 2016 finisher total ranks as the fourth largest in history. 

 

Between 1990 and 2013, finisher totals quickly grew from five million road race runners to over 19 million. Since 2014, the sport has seen a shrinking of sorts, as totals have now dropped under the 17 million finisher mark for the first time since 2012. 

 

As the industry continues to look for ways to keep runners racing and their events growing, the decline is also being seen as a check on unhealthy races, seeing those with unsustainable structures leave the marketplace, allowing sound events to strengthen their foothold. 

 

“While finisher totals continue to fall, however slightly, there are a number of positive signs for the industry,” said Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger. "As race directors react to declining participation numbers, what we're seeing is more of them increase value and create better experiences for their runners, partners, charities and communities." 

 

The number of organized races increased by 100 to 30,400 in 2016, but the number of races with 25,000 or more finishers decreased from 13 total in 2015 to ten in 2016, according to the Running USA Largest Races database. In addition, the 5K distance saw an increase in finishers in 2016, with 8,242.500 runners crossing the finish line. However, the 10K, half marathon and "other" distances saw decreases of four percent or greater. The marathon finisher total remained flat. 

 

For access to the full U.S. Road Race Trends report, Running USA members can login to the membership portal  and download the PDF copy. 

 

Image description

2016 U.S. Running Snapshot:

 

  • Females account for 9.7 million finishers nationwide and continue to represent 57% from event fields. Males in 2016 represented 7.3 million finishers in U.S. races. Overall, there were 16,957,100 finishers in U.S. running events, down 1% from 2015.
  • Total number of U.S. running events reached 30,400, a slight increase from 30,300 in 2015, with the largest growth seen in the half-marathon distance (4%).
  • The 25 to 44 year old age group continues to be the sweet spot for running, accounting for 49% of finishers.
  • In 2016, the 5K maintained the #1 position of all race distances with 8.2 million finishers, claiming 49% of all finishers in the U.S., while the half-marathon again held the #2 position with approximately 11% of the finishers, followed by the 10K (7%).

 

 

2016 U.S. Road Race Trends - By the Numbers

 

U.S. Finishers: Total

 

U.S. running event finishers in 2016 remained flat compared to 2015.  In 2016, there were a total of nearly 17,000,000 (16,957,100), down slightly from 17,114,800 in 2015.  This represents a decline of 1%.  Females account for nearly 9.7 million finishers nationwide and continue to represent 57% from event fields.  Males in 2016 represented over 7 million finishers in U.S. races. 

 

 

U.S. Events: Distance

 

The total number of events remained flat overall. In 2016, there were a total of 30,400 events, on par with 30,300 in 2015. There were more 5K and half marathon events though and fewer events that are other distances.

 

 

 

Distance

2016 Totals: Events

% of Total

’15 to ’16 Change

5K

17,000

56%

3%

10K

4,200

14%

0%

Half Marathon

2,800

9%

4%

8K/5 Mile

1,200

4%

0%

Marathon

1,100

4%

0%

Other Distances

4,100

13%

-12%

Total

30,400

 

0%

 

  

Source: Running USA powered by Athlinks

 

 For access to the full U.S. Road Race Trends report, Running USA members can login to the membership portal to download the PDF copy.