Running USA 2014 State of the Sport – Part III: U.S. Race Trends

2013 proved to be another historic and record breaking year for U.S. running events and overall finishers. The 2014 State of the Sport – Part III: U.S. Race Trends report clearly shows that the Second Running Boom is still going strongly as it enters its third decade. The snapshot below summarizes the key race numbers and statistics from 2013 and past years.

2013 U.S. Running Snapshot:

  • Females account for 10.8 million finishers nationwide (a record number) and represent the highest percentage ever reported of 57% from event fields. Males in 2013 also set a new high with more than 8 million finishers in U.S. races. Overall, there were 19,025,000 finishers in U.S. running events (another record).
  • The number of U.S. race finishers has increased nearly 300% since 1990, and female representation has grown from just 25% to an all-time high of 57% in 2013; see Table 1 below.
  • Total number of U.S. running events reached 28,200, another all-time high, and a 7% increase since 2012; see Table 3.
  • The half-marathon continues to fuel the growth of the Second Running Boom with an annual increase of 6% finishers (1.96 million, another new high) with an astounding 61% female participation.
  • In 2013, the 5K maintained the #1 position of all race distances with 8.3 million finishers (another record number), claiming 43% of all finishers in the U.S., while the half-marathon again held the #2 position with approximately 10% of the finishers, followed by the 10K (7.9%).
  • Per our 2014 State of the Sport Part I special report, mud runs, obstacle runs and color-themed runs have grown exponentially in the past few years, and it is estimated that approximately a record 4 million runners participated in these mostly untimed non-traditional, adventure-type races last year.

Click here to read the full July 9, 2014 article on