Running Statistics

Global Running Day: Running Statistics to Sound Smart

Happy Global Running Day! Now that I’m cleared to run twice a week (hooray, gains!), I’m lacing up later to enjoy an easy run. (Summer in Houston is all about easy runs for maintenance. This is not the time for speedwork.) In honor of Global Running Day, here are some running statistics. Realistically, you may never need them in casual conversation. But if you ever do, here’s a few running statistics to bust out for non-runners.

General Running Statistics

  • The most popular race is the 5K, with 7,643,600 finishers in 2015. (RunningUSA)
  • There were 16,500 5K races in the US in 2015. (RunningUSA)
  • The second-most popular race is the half marathon, with 1,986,600 finishers in 2015. (RunningUSA)
  • There were 2,700 half marathons in the US in 2015. (RunningUSA)
  • Half of road race finishers are between 25 and 44. (RunningUSA)
  • In the US alone, 44.6 million pairs of running shoes were sold in 2012 – that’s $3.04 billion spent on footwear. (The 100 Day Marathon Plan)
  • 45% of runners have completed 2-5 half marathons. (The 100 Day Marathon Plan)
  • 50% of runners have never tried a full marathon. (The 100 Day Running Plan)

Runners by Gender

  • Women account for 59% of 5K finishers, with a median time of 36:15 and an average age of 33.8. (RunningUSA)
  • 61% of half marathon finishers are female, with a median time of 2:22:21 and an average age of 36.7. (RunningUSA)
  • Men make up 56% of marathon finishers, with a median time of 4:20:13 and an average age of 40.4. (RunningUSA)
  • Women are more likely to achieve negative splits than men. (The 100 Day Marathon Plan)
  • Men run faster than women due to more muscle mass, bigger lung capacity, higher hemoglobin, and higher testosterone. (The 100 Day Marathon Training Plan)

Running and Health

Running reduces the risk of:

  • Breast cancer by 25%
  • Cataracts by 35%
  • Gastric cancer by 50%
  • Depression by 19%
  • Serious heart attack by 50%

(Women’s Running)

  • Running just 5 minutes a day slashes your risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. (Women’s Running)
  • Running as little as 12-20 minutes, three times a week, can increase bone density. (The 100 Day Marathon Training Plan)
  • The yearly average injury rate for runners is 24-68%. (The 100 Day Marathon Training Plan)

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